Circular firing squads has generally been a behavior attributed to Democrats, but as the McCain campaign implodes, the Rethugs are giving them a run for their money…
Update 1: Chris Buckley Is Down Wit Da Obama Man
Buckley’s Son Leaves National Review
October 14, 2008, 2:16 pm
By Patricia Cohen
Christopher Buckley, the author and son of the late conservative mainstay William F. Buckley, said in a telephone interview that he has resigned from the National Review, the political journal his father founded in 1955.
Mr. Buckley said he had “been effectively fatwahed by the conservative movement” after endorsing Barack Obama in a blog posting on TheDailyBeast.com; since then, he said he has been blanketed with hate mail at the blog and at the National Review, where he has written a column.
As a result, he wrote to Richard Lowry, the editor of the National Review, and its publisher, Jack Fowler, offering to resign, and “this offer was rather briskly accepted,” Mr. Buckley said.
Mr. Buckley said he did not understand the sense of betrayal that some of his conservative colleagues felt, but said that the fury and ugly comments his endorsement generated is “part of the calcification of modern discourse. It’s so angry.” Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan’s quote about the Democrats, Mr. Buckley added, “I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.”
Update 2: W’s re-election strategist, Matthew Dowd, compares the Rethugs’ infatuation with Sarah Baracuda as a bad Halloween candy binge.
Matthew Dowd, a prominent political consultant and chief strategist for George W. Bush’s reelection campaign eviscerated John McCain on Tuesday for his choice of Sarah Palin as vice president.
Dowd proclaimed that, in his heart of hearts, McCain knew he put the country at risk with his VP choice and that he would “have to live” with that fact for the rest of his career.
“They didn’t let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,” Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. “When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race… as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.”
Saying that Palin was a “net negative” on the ticket, he went on: “[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with… He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that.”
The other panelists were surprised, a bit, by Dowd’s bluntness. Not least because McCain’s well-known campaign motto is “country first.”
“No, I don’t agree,” said Mark McKinnon, a former McCain aide, after chiding Dowd for claiming particular insight into McCain’s soul.
“Well,” responded Dowd, “that’s even more disturbing than my thought” — the implication being that it would be truly frightening if McCain didn’t know how bad Palin truly was.
In the same HuffPo article, Time columnist Joe Klein summed up what seemed to be the panel’s Palin consensus.
“It was a gimmick,” he said of the pick. “It was one of the most disastrous decisions I have seen in a presidential campaign since I’ve begun covering them.”
Later in the session, Hilary Rosen, the Huffington Post’s Washington editor at large, noted that the Palin pick had been successful in energizing the Republican base — and McCain himself. But Dowd wasn’t biting.
“To me it is like Halloween,” he said. “You get energized by eating all that candy at night but then you feel sick the next day.“
Update 3: The WSJ’s Peggy Noonan piles on with “Palin’s Faiin”. She even credits Joe the Plumber as the more thoughtful and persuasive of the two.
But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? …
But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn’t think aloud. She just . . . says things.
Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she’s not a big “egghead” but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? “I’m Joe Six-Pack”? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—”palling around with terrorists.” If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn’t, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts…
In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It’s no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.