The Obama endorsement craze claims it first conservative victim! We told you earlier today that Christopher Buckley was one of a growing group of conservatives to endorse Barack Obama. He apparently did so at Tina Brown‘s newly launched The Daily Beast instead of at his regular gig on the back page of the National Review so as to avoid the kind of hate mail his colleague Kathleen Parker received when she criticized the Palin pick. Good luck with that!
The internets are tricky business. According to Buckley the hate mail found him anyway, along with the displeasure of his NR colleagues, and now via Politico comes word that Buckley has resigned from the very magazine his father founded (they apparently accepted rather briskly!).
Since my Obama endorsement, Kathleen [Parker] 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.
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! — by Rich Lowry, NR‘s editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler. 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.