October 14, 2008, 6:41 pm

When Christopher Buckley “bowed out” of the magazine his father founded, The National Review, I expected there to be some blowback. I didn’t expect it to be this bad—and I think tells us quite a bit about the tenor of the conservative mind at this particular historical moment. To wit:

Endorsing someone as far left as Obama is about as solid a repudiation of conservatism as you can get. The argument for keeping him out of NR would be the same argument for a Christian Magazine keeping out a writer who endorsed Satan.

The logic is unimpeachable: McCain may not be Christ, but Obama’s certainly Satan. Wait—did I write “unimpeachable”? There’s peaches aplenty there. This was the unimpeachable bit:

Obama did not write his own books; there’s every reason to believe that William Ayers “ghosted” most or all of them.

I kid, I kid. It’s in the next sentence:

Obama is an Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi/Anti-Semitic/Anti-White Rascist Marxist Muslim FACT.

The commenter wrote fact in all-caps. I can see a lowly “fact” being reputed, but, by the foundational laws of typography, a “FACT’ is irrefutable. See?

NRO is one of the best sources for conservative thought on planet earth, and Buckley can go fly a kite, which under [Obama] he’ll have to obtain a federal and state license to own and operate. NOT KIDDING.

Wait—no it isn’t. But this post is about Buckley, not Obama, and it is Buckley about whom a “BKennedy” (whose first name is no doubt “Bobby”) writes:

Chris Buckley fails. And his influency in English will backlash to hurt his dad’s magazine.

I know, I know: how many more fish can they stuff in that barrel, Scott? But this post isn’t about barrels or even The National Review. This post is about elitism and elites:

hristopher Buckley and Heather MacDonald should mate, but have Michelle Obama offer to be the surrogate mother. Then Barack Obama can raise the child as if it were his own. They’ll name him John, in honor of Kerry, and in 30 years we’ll be blessed with the Perfect Snob.

This post is about us and them, with them responding to the above comment thus:

Typical black family. LOL.

Which means this post is about the Culture Wars:

I do know that we have NOT had 8 years of conservatism as [Buckley suggests]. And I know that electing an eloquent radical Marxist is not the way to advance the cause. It’s suicide. Good riddance to you, and Kristol, and McCain, and for that matter GWB. The hell with reaching across the aisle. Where has it gotten us? Until we recognize the enemy as the enemy, we will continue to be defeated.

Make that the intra-conservative Culture War. To wit:

Christopher Buckley is another super-rich elitist, who can afford to behave and say whatever he wants.

No, I was right the first time. This is about the Culture War, only the populists (such that they are) are throwing their intellectual elites (such that they are) overboard because the latter are too centrist:

Look on the bright side[:] since McCain has failed to pick up the vaunted [independents] and moderates, perhaps no one else will be so hasty to try this strategy in the near future.

Why would they? After all:

This is binary. A or B.

Which is why, in the post to which all these people are responding (as well as conservative sites in general these days) “nuance” is used as a term of opprobrium:

The gratuitous sneer about ideological diversity, as if The Nation or Salon was any better, makes me think his political leanings are a tad more nuanced than he’s letting on, but if that’s the case then he probably shouldn’t have been given a column to begin with.

Because you can’t have nuance when everyone’s asked to pass “the litmus test.”

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