My conservative friend Jim Geraghty over at NRO takes umbrage (that is what “stupidest” means, no?) at my Ruling Class article.
In fact, he applies the term “stupidest” as in an article that is the stupidest in the entire history of The American Spectator. Which means…since 1967? Now THAT’s a serious responsibility to bear! Gulp!
I quoted him directly and correctly as saying:
With Christine O’Donnell, all we have are promises. We can’t evaluate her on her record in elected office because she has no record. O’Donnell seems determined to begin her political career by winning a U.S. Senate seat; she has never served in a local board of education, town or city council, state legislature, etc. Her next general-election victory will be her first.
What amazes here is that someone as smart as Jim (and he is that, no sarcasm intended) lays down a standard which Ronald Reagan himself failed utterly. Reagan never served a micro-second on a “local board of education, town or city council, state legislature, etc.”
Reagan went straight from private life to running for Governor of California, where his GOP Establishment critics said a version of exactly what Geraghty is saying of O’Donnell: “her next general-election victory will be her first.”
The fact that it seems not to occur to Jim that this is, as it were, Ruling Class reasoning — you must show us first you are one of us — really does surprise.
The founder of National Review ran a legitimate campaign for mayor of New York without a day in public office. Indeed, this very weekend, Judge and former U.S. Senator James Buckley, brother of Bill, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Young Americans for Freedom in Washington.
Does Jim Geraghty not realize that Jim Buckley failed the Jim Geraghty test along with Ronald Reagan? James Buckley had never for a second served in the legislature or the Congress or any other public office that I’m aware of before being elected U.S. Senator from New York in 1970. And, by the way, Buckley did that by opposing the Republican incumbent Senator Charles Goodell (a GOP Congressman appointed by Rockefeller to succeed Bobby Kennedy) and a Democratic Congressman, Richard Ottinger. New York voters, told repeatedly Buckley was a loser and extremist, elected him anyway — the one guy of the three with zero experience in political office.
The point here is that to insist as Jim does that one must somehow make one’s way upward through various approved offices before qualifying as a legit Senate candidate is itself a sign of Ruling Class reasoning.
I’m here to help Jim work his way through an apparent attack of outsider-phobia. This disease is not fatal, it can be treated. I’m here to help. Others are standing by.