Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry, Dad, I'm voting for Obama

That was the title of a blog post written by Christopher Buckley that appeared on The Daily Beast. It also was Buckley's undoing. As a result of that post, Buckley had to resign from the National Review, a magazine founded by Buckley's father, William F. Buckley, Jr. I hesitate to say Buckley was forced to resign, because he offered up his resignation freely. However, Buckley told Chris Matthews tonight on Hardball that he didn't expect National Review to accept it. Why did Buckley have to tender that resignation in the first place? Because, after his Daily Beast post, readers of National Review were threatening to cancel subscriptions and sending angry e-mails. Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, downplays the anger from readers saying, "We have gotten about 100 e-mails, if that (a tiny amount compared to our usual volume), and threats of cancellations in the single digits." But if the response from subscribers was no big deal, why accept Buckley's resignation so quickly?

I bring this up because I find it funny that someone like Sen. Joe Lieberman shows up at the Republican National Convention to support Sen. John McCain, and Republicans talk about it like Lieberman just realized which candidate is right for America. It's not that he's a traitor. Not that he should be hung for his lack of allegiance to his political party. He just had a mind of his own. It's all about bipartisanship. It's not about being a Democrat or a Republican, but about being an American. I'm not a Lieberman fan, but to each his own. If Lieberman thinks McCain is his kind of guy, bully for him. My problem with Lieberman is that he seemed to be part of the Obama bandwagon when it benefited his Senatorial campaign, then suddenly, Obama was the wrong choice for America.

I don't understand how conservatives could think that Lieberman endorsing McCain is a smart move, but Buckley switching sides is something akin to being a traitor. Buckley said of his father, "He would let you say anything you wanted as long as it was argued." Buckley made his argument in the post, and while it might not have been what many National Review readers wanted to hear from one of their own, it is what it is. Is Buckley, or anyone for that matter, not allowed to make a decision to vote for the other side without being considered a traitor of some kind? Where is this freedom of democracy we tout as a cornerstone of the United States, the right to make a choice regardless of our party affiliation?

I guess this is similar to those people at McCain rallies who yell "off with his head" and "kill him" with regard to Obama. If you're not with us, you're against us.

Buckley's own statement said it best: "We seem to be living in a time of arteriosclerotic orthodoxy."

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