Buckley and the binary commentariat

Christopher Buckley leaves National Review and what he describes as the modern conservative movement. It’s a bit drama-queenish and quite possibly disingenuous, but he still makes some effective points about the problems of the increasingly narrow “conservative” commentariat:

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.

I don’t disagree with his decision to leave the Republican Party. However, considering the things he’s complaining about, why on Earth is he supporting Obama? Sometimes watching the conservative commentariat thrash illogically about is like being a three-dimensional being standing over a community of Flatlanders.

“Republicans bad… therefore Democrats good!”

“No, Democrats badder, ergo Republicans good!”

There are still some Republican commentators with more than half a brain at National Review, such as Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonah Goldberg, John Derbyshire – his highly amusing atheist antics notwithstanding – and Yuval Levin, but they’re getting increasingly drowned out by the lesser breed and the neocons.