Welcome to the Desert of the Real, Chris

Christopher Buckley, son of William F., founder of the Neocon Rag, the National Review, has “resigned” over the snarling rancour caused by his Obama endorsement:

As for the mail flooding into National Review Online—that’s been running about, oh, 700-to-1 against. In fact, the only thing the Right can’t quite decide is whether I should be boiled in oil or just put up against the wall and shot. Lethal injection would be too painless.

I had gone out of my way in my Beast endorsement to say that I was not doing it in the pages of National Review, where I write the back-page column, because of the experience of my colleague, the lovely Kathleen Parker. Kathleen had written in NRO that she felt Sarah Palin was an embarrassment. (Hardly an alarmist view.) This brought 12,000 livid emails, among them a real charmer suggesting that Kathleen’s mother ought to have aborted her and tossed the fetus into a dumpster. I didn’t want to put NR in an awkward position.

Since my Obama endorsement, Kathleen 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.

Welcome to the world you and your dad created, Mr. Buckley. You and he spent 30 years riling up these dingbats, force feeding them Free Market Fundamentalism, racism, anti-liberal nincompoopery and general selfishness and now are surprised that they’ve turned on you for endorsing the embodiment of all they fear: a moderate black man with an ethnic-sounding name.

I’d cry for you, but thanks to the economic meltdown you helped champion, I can’t afford a hanky.

But. Look on the bright side: you’ve learned a lesson. Conservativism has failed. And there is a viable alternative. A few more decades, we’ll make a socialist of you yet.