Thursday, 16 October 2008

NRO bitch fest!

National Review online is one of the best and most influential American political sites, and its Corner one of the best political blogs. I don't think that's disputable, even if you don't share its neo-con world view. But the dire quality of the McCain campaign has caused some fantastic bitching and falling out there, as more and more contributors break rank to point out, for example, what an utter disaster SP is, only to be savaged by the remaining true believers. I pointed out recently that Kathleen Parker was the first to point out the obvious; now the influential David "Axis of Evil" Frum has followed suit, and is mightily pissed off about the flack he's taking for it:

I receive emails from readers every day who tell me that the only possible motive I could have for expressing doubts about the McCain ticket is my desire to attend cocktail parties, appear on TV, apply for a job in the Obama administration etc. Now I see this line of accusation appearing in the Corner too.

Let's develop this thought a little. Suppose it were true? Suppose I were indeed a venal, light-minded chaser after television appearances and social invitations. What difference would it make?

Do my correspondents (and now my Corner colleagues) truly believe that - but for my pitiful media and social ambitions - nobody in America would have noticeed that Sarah Palin cannot speak three coherent consecutive words about finance or economics?

And Christopher Buckley, son of WJ Buckley, founder of NR and a man who has the status of a saint in NRO-land, has now, marvellously, come out for Obama in the splendidly titled Daily Beast, and has been 'fatwah-ed' by the American right:

Since my Obama endorsement, Kathleen and I have become BFFs and now trade incoming hate-mails. No one has yet suggested my dear old Mum should have aborted me, but it's pretty darned angry out there in Right Wing Land. One editor at National Review--a friend of 30 years--emailed me that he thought my opinions "cretinous." One thoughtful correspondent, who feels that I have "betrayed"--the b-word has been much used in all this--my father and the conservative movement generally, said he plans to devote the rest of his life to getting people to cancel their subscriptions to National Review. But there was one bright spot: To those who wrote me to demand, "Cancel my subscription," I was able to quote the title of my father's last book, a delicious compendium of his NR "Notes and Asides": Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription.

For those of us who enjoy reading NRO and similar, without sharing their views, it's all the most supoib entertainment.

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