Obama has in himâ€”I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy â€œWe are the people we have been waiting forâ€ silly rhetoricâ€”the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.
So, I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, Iâ€™ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America.
He also slams John McCain:
John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, â€œWe came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.â€ This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget â€œby the end of my first term.â€ Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?
So the Right is pissed off and Buckley offers, and the National Review accepts, his resignation.
One would be tempted to say the obvious except we don’t have to, Buckley does it for us:
I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of â€œconservativeâ€ government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.
Mr. Buckley is not alone among conservatives. Oddly enough, the conservative vote this year is for Obama.