Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who is Christopher Buckley?

I'll give you a hint. He's not a former DB for the Florida State Seminoles, he's not a former linebacker for Texas A&M, and he's not a conservative columnist. He is the unknown son of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley. He has been writing for the conservative magazine National Review (founded by his late father), but to date, has been largely irrelevant. He failed to inherit the conservative "torch" from his father, who likely favored Rush Limbaugh for that task. Much like Comidus was slighted by his own father, Marcus Aurelius, in favor of the great commander Maximus, Christopher appears to have been passed over. I don't fault him for seeking relevance by distancing from his father's legacy.

Christopher Buckley's article this week, "Sorry Dad, I'm Voting for Obama", has certainly put him on the map. His hail mary for significance connected (we're talking about him, right?), but I think he only got one foot down in bounds--incomplete pass. Sure, he'll be on Sportscenter, but soon forgotten, just like Ron Reagan, Jr. after the 2004 DNCC speech. Christopher Buckley is now the PR equivalent of Kim Kardashian. Kim had a famous father, but we had never heard of Kim until she made her sex tape. Now she's famous, but no one has any respect for her. She's just a hairdresser with a famous dad, who made a sex tape.

You can tell immediately that Chris Buckley knew he was starting from a position of weakness. He began his article by discrediting anyone who disagrees with him as a "kook" and anyone who speaks up about it as a "cretin". This technique is used by my "moderate" friends, who try to proactively discredit me by associating my opinions with Rush Limbaugh. It is an immediate sign of a weak argument.

Christopher Buckley goes on to make some good points about McCain. It is true that he has been changed by the campaign. When I hear Obama say "the straight talk express has lost a wheel", that resonates with me. McCain has been all over the board lately, moving right on some things and left on others, while Obama has been relatively disciplined (his shifts have been there, but more subtle). McCain's 9th inning "attacks" on Obama's record should have been started in the 8th inning. Still, we know who McCain is, and it's safe to assume he will gravitate back to that in office. Some of it I like, and some I don't, but we know what he is, and it will always be closer to conservatism than anything we would ever hope to get from Obama.

We know who Obama is too. He has a clear record of big government and tax increases, as well as inaction on some major issues. He's a liberal, wealth redistributor who believes all problems should be solved by wealth redistribution. Chris Buckley tries to gain credibility by implying his father would agree with him. We all know that's absurd. Christopher basically says he is voting for Obama and hopes he will do a 180 on all of his positions and history. That he's a good writer and speaker, and he's smart, so he'll come around. That is a losing bet. It reminds me of a discussion on the Hardline (Sports Radio KTCK 1310 am-Dallas) in the late 90's. They were discussing Rusty Greer's unusually low batting average early in the season (I think he was batting around .200 in May). Greggo explained his theory that a .300 hitter will always end up around .300 by the end of the season. He turned out to be right about Greer, but I think it translates well to politicians. They rarely change. If you think you are going to follow Christopher Buckley's lead, and vote for Obama, praying he will "come around" on military, taxes and spending, prepare to be disappointed.

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