Dear Pup once said to me sighfully after a right-winger who fancied himself a WFB protégé had said something transcendently and provocatively cretinous, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.” Well, the dear man did his best.
First of all: Pup? Chris Buckley calls his dad PUP?
Second of all: WHEN did William F. Buckley lift a finger to weed out the nutcases in his movement? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Ann Coulter write for his little magazine at one point? Oh sure, she was finally shit-canned for suggesting that the US should--what was that again?--"invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." But Buckley et al. probably knew how unhinged Trash Can Ann really was when they hired her.
Even after the National Review sacked Annie, it continued to employ like-minded fools like this professional mama's boy. I'd love to hear solid examples of Buckley's principled conservatism and his sincere efforts to separate himself and like-minded rational righties from the Goldbergs and Coulters. However, I suspect I'll be greeted by the sound of chirping crickets.
Meanwhile, Chris Buckley and his friend Kathleen Parker are shocked--shocked!--at how whacked-out some of McPalin's supporters truly are. It's up to Firedoglake to remind Kathleen that this is nothing new. Five years ago, she was happily reprinting e-mails from people who wanted liberals to be "lined up and shot."
And let's not forget this dispatch from Ms. Parker:
As one-two punches go, the Byrd-Waxman sally was a bad day for nerds everywhere. Performing a whiney duet of the desperate, they managed to evoke images of skinny boys studying the quarterback's swagger for clues on cool. It's almost as painful to watch them contort in envy as it must have been for them to watch Bush, a stud muffin no matter what his other flaws, arriving on a testosterone bullet to the cheers of 5,000 sailors.
It's not half as inflammatory as suggesting liberals be shot, but it's much, much funnier. Poor Kathleen Parker wanted so badly to be one of the kool kidz. Except she's managed to run afoul of Sarah "Mean Girl" Palin, so now she's been exiled from the clique.
To quote FDL:
Suck it up, Kathleen. You've been tossing red meat to a caged rabid animal for two decades. No sympathy when it finally bites you.
Back in 2003, when Parker was still swooning over her stud muffin and Buckley's bunch were still sticking their fingers in their ears and screeching, "Neener neener, we can't hear you reality-based folks!" a handful of conservatives were trying to sound the alarm on the Bush/Cheney lies. One of these was Paul Craig Roberts, a Buchanan-esque paleocon and former Reagan cabinet member. Roberts described the movement-conservative mindset in 2004 with The Brownshirting of America:
In language reeking with hatred, Heritage Foundation TownHall readers impolitely informed me that opposing the invasion of Iraq is identical to opposing America, that Bush is the greatest American leader in history and everyone who disagrees with him should be shot before they cause America to lose another war. TownHall’s readers were sufficiently frightening to convince the Heritage Foundation to stop posting my columns.
Bush’s conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country....
Where did such "conservatives" come from?
Maybe Chris Buckley and Kathleen Parker can answer this question at some point. Of course, to do so would involve admitting that they've been wrong wrong wrong-itty wrong about, well, everything under the sun. They were so insistent about pretending to be right that they ignored the blatantly obvious truth.
And the blatantly obvious truth is this: By the dawn of the twenty-first century, William F. Buckley's conservatism was a clique and not a movement. Kooks were tolerated, even encouraged, as long as they never questioned the leaders of the Kool Kidz Klique.
Kathleen Parker has learned another sad lesson after speaking out on Sarah Palin: Being a Kool Kid in eleventh grade doesn't necessarily guarantee future success in life. There are Kool Kidz who become losers in adult life. There are also nerds who later become innovators in the arts, media, business, and government. Case in point: The Waxman-esque nerds now represent the future of American politics while the neoconservative stud muffins have been demoted to punchline status.
Maybe Buckley and Parker and the rest of their movement conservative friends could try honesty at some point, instead of these desperate attempts to save face. Of course, that would involve admitting that they're not in high school anymore.