The Spectacle Blog

Along Comes a Crack-up!

By on 10.22.08 | 1:16PM

New York magazine's John Heilemann's wishful thinking is confirmed:

Conservatism, [Christopher Buckley] thinks, is facing nothing less than an existential crisis. The

events of recent days may have given him less of a stake in the outcome than before, but still he

offers a friendly word of advice for those who care to listen. “The smart ones in the movement should get together right after the election at the Greenbrier or the Homestead, you know, where they typically have these kinds of get-togethers, and have a long dark night of the soul,” he says. “And I’ll tell you what the conference should be called: Conservatism—What the F---?”

I thought conservatives were already having a long dark night of the soul -- for the last eight years. The P3 (the Prospect of a Palin Presidency) isn't the spark. It's an unfortunate casualty. As for the rest of this piece, I'm not entirely certain that the roster of interviewees is sufficient to call well-reported. Sheryl Stolberg's Times article on Christopher Buckley commits a similar omission, specifically an interview with Rich Lowry, who deserves to (and ought to) weigh in on the matter. (It's possible Lowry is refraining from commenting, erring on the side of politeness.) It remains entirely weird though, that Buckley is allowing this trope, that his resignation was actually a dismissal. The man is still on the board of National Review, after all. If he's so upset about it, why not resign that too?

It's a shame. He puts NR in a difficult position where they can't respond in kind simply out of politeness and duty to the memory of his father. They can only clarify the facts as they see it and drop it. I don't think turning to the Times and then to New York counts as "no hard feelings, only warmest regards and understanding."

Anyway, is this really the basis for the new conservative discussion? I think I'll sleep through that long dark night of the soul (with one eye open) thank you very much.

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