The Childlike Faith of Christopher Buckley


“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old Chinese curse.

And things do indeed just get curiouser and curiouser. For example, today I see that the son of William F. Buckley, Christopher, a writer of humorous novels and self-described conservative/libertarian, has announced his intention to vote for Barack Obama.

Read it for yourself but his reasons can be summarized as follows.

  • He’s disappointed in the strategy and ads of the McCain campaign over the last few weeks.
  • He loathes Sarah Palin with a deep and burning detestation– but for reasons that he doesn’t bother to articulate but assumes all sensible people share.
  • He thinks Barack Obama seems smart and that it’s cool that he writes his own books.
  • He’s saddened that John McCain has changed some of his positions on the campaign trail, ostensibly in order to help himself get elected. (Of course, Obama has done much more cynical triangulating since winning his party’s nomination than has McCain but this, for some reason, doesn’t bother Buckley in the least.)

So how does a smart man who claims to value small, non-intrusive government decide to vote for a guy whose entire political record and every utterance on the campaign trail has uniformly promised bigger, more-intrusive governemnt? That’s simple:

Blind hope and (faithless) prayer. Seriously:

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. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.

Well, there you have it. Buckley hopes President Obama will “surely understand” that everything he has said and believed over the last 20 years is wrong-headed, once he is seated in the Oval Office.

This level of child-like (secular) faith would truly be touching if it didn’t involve my family’s finances and security. Why, it’s a faith so big that it can believe that when the new liberal Democrat super-majorities in the House and Senate led by Pelosi and Reid start sending President Obama bill after bill calling for a sweeping increases in the size and scope of government, he’ll courageously veto them.

Now that’s some audacious hope, right there my friend.

You can be sure that all of the liberals cheering Buckley in the comment thread below his little essay believe precisely the opposite. In fact, they are confident that any backtracking from ultra-liberal positions Obama may have done in the course of the campaign are purely expediencies demanded by the election process. They’re counting on the fact that Buckley’s faith is misplaced, even as they praise him for holding it.

Look into the url address window on the web site that published Buckley’s cry for help and you’ll see they named the file, “the-conservative-case-for-Obama.”

But there is no “case” anywhere to be found in Buckley’s words. Just emotion and pique. How very sad. I pray (non-secularly) that Buckley has a crisis of faith on election day.