Republican party bailout… what this historical moment is calling for


… bail out at the ballot box that is.

There appears to be an unprecedented number of Republican party intellegencia publicly denouncing the McCain campaign.  Despite the visibility and numbers of party-defectors, this is no ‘come to Jesus’ Republican conversion.  I don’t believe these staunch party die-hards are permanently disavowing the GOP or their core belief systems.  I think they’ve come to realize that there is something worse, much worse, than a big-government, elitist liberal at the helm.  What’s worse is clearly a McCain-Palin ticket.  

I have often wondered why this ticket doesn’t scare thinking Republicans?  Apparently, it does.  Colin Powell is just the lastet to announce an 11th hour endoresement of Barack Obama.  Earlier this week, in a dramatic turn worthy of Lost, Christopher Buckley (son of William F Buckley and former columnist for The National Review) announced his support for Barack Obama.

From Sorry, Dad, I’m Voting for Obama
Christopher Buckley, October 14, 2008

Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon.

As to the particulars, assuming anyone gives a fig, here goes:

I have known John McCain personally since 1982. I wrote a well-received speech for him. Earlier this year, I wrote in The New York Times… a highly favorable Op-Ed about McCain, taking Rush Limbaugh and the others in the Right Wing Sanhedrin to task for going after McCain for being insufficiently conservative. I don’t—still—doubt that McCain’s instincts remain fundamentally conservative. But the problem is otherwise.

… John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, “We came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.” 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 “by the end of my first term.” 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?

As for Senator Obama: He has exhibited throughout a “first-class temperament,” pace Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famous comment about FDR. As for his intellect, well, he’s a Harvard man…

I’ve read Obama’s books, and they are first-rate. He is that rara avis, the politician who writes his own books. Imagine. He is also a lefty. I am not. I am a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets.

But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves.

Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric—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.


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