Bye-Bye Buckley!

by John Hawkins | October 15, 2008 9:14 am

Christopher Buckley, the scion of William F. Buckley is now out as a writer at National Review after submitting his resignation in the wake of a vacuous column he wrote endorsing Barack Obama. Here’s his take on the situation[1],

“Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands,” Buckley wrote in a blog posted Tuesday on, the online broadsheet founded by Tina Brown.

“So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted — rather briskly! — by Rich Lowry, NR’s editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler.”

…On his blog posting Tuesday, Christopher Buckley — whose books include “Thank You for Smoking” and the recent “Supreme Courtship” — said he had received a great deal of angry e-mails and observed that “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.”

Over at National Review, Rich Lowry[2] is emphasizing that Buckley wasn’t fired, he resigned,

Chris is up with a post at The Daily Beast, “Sorry, Dad, I Was Fired.” I’d like to clarify this “firing” business. Over the weekend, Chris wrote us a jaunty e-mail with the subject line “A Sincere Offer,” in which he offered to resign his column on NR’s back page and said that if we accepted, there “would be no hard feelings, only warmest regards and understanding.” We took the offer sincerely. Chris had done us the favor of writing the column beginning seven issues ago on a “trial basis” (his words), while our regular back-page columnist, Mark Steyn, was on hiatus. Now, Mark is back to writing again, and–I’m delighted to say–will be on NR’s back-page in the new issue.

Just one other point: Chris says that his Obama endorsement has generated a “tsunami,” that e-mail at NRO has been running “oh, 700-to-1” against him, and that there’s a debate about whether to boil him in oil or shoot him. Chris is either misinformed or exercising poetic license. We have gotten about 100 e-mails, if that (a tiny amount compared to our usual volume), and threats of cancellations in the single digits (we never like to lose any readers, but circulation is way up this year).

Here’s the honest truth: Christopher Buckley is a non-entity in the conservative movement that no one would have ever heard of had he not been born a Buckley. In fact, I took the time to go back through the archives at Right Wing News & Conservative Grapevine and as far as I can tell, I have never linked a single thing Christopher Buckley has ever done. In other words, I probably dole out 8000 links a year between RWN and CG and he’s never written or said anything interesting or enlightening enough to merit one of them.

So, if Christopher Buckley wants to back Obama or even go all the way over to the left, I’d just like to say good luck, pal — maybe Sully needs a towel boy or David Brock at Media Matters needs a secretary.

PS: I am for a big tent Republican Party and welcome moderates, but there is a difference between “being a Republican” and writing for National Review, the flagship publication of conservatism. Publicly supporting a socialist like Barack Obama doesn’t disqualify you from the first category, but it should disqualify you from the second.

  1. his take on the situation:
  2. Rich Lowry:

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