Dowd, Buckley, Parker: More Conservatives Wash Their Hands Of McCain


Political consultant and chief strategist for George W. Bush’s reelection campaign, Matthew Dowd, was quoted today as saying:

“They didn’t let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP. 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…

“[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.”

Mark McKinnon, a former McCain aide, came back with “No, I don’t agree.” Dowd’s response?

“Well, that’s even more disturbing than my thought.”

It was also reported today that conservative author Christopher Buckley has left the National Review, a publication his father, the late William F. Buckley, founded. The reason? Buckley published an endorsement of Barack Obama today in Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast. Buckley commented:

Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands. So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted–rather briskly!… I retain the fondest feelings for the magazine that my father founded, but I will admit to a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should result in acrimony and disavowal…

So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

National Review’s conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has also publicly spoken out suggesting that Sarah Palin is not prepared to be Vice President and should be dropped from the McCain ticket. In her interview on The Colbert Report, Parker refuses to say that she is going to vote for John McCain and strongly suggests that she may be voting for Barack Obama. Watch:

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Dowd, Buckley, Parker: More Conservatives Wash Their Hands Of McCain

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