Sunday, July 23, 2006

Over to You, Jonah

One does wonder if the current crop of Cornerites will feel the need to respond to Papa Bear Buckley's latest.

Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.

"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says.

Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq. ... The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular."


"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress, and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge," Buckley says.

Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. … So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable"

Whatever one thinks Buckley - and sensible people don't think much of him - he at least has a bit of a brain. The only contemporary National Reviewer I'd say the same about is John Derbyshire, who while being a man with awesomely loathsome views is usually not an idiot.

Recent CW among certain circles has been that conservatives will try to rescuse conservatism from the clusterfuck of the Bush years by arguing that Bush was no conservative. That will happen to some degree, but it will mostly come from the slightly older conservative commentariat.

The slightly younger crowd had their adolescence in the Clinton years and came of age during the Bush years. This entire political movement has been about defending the actions of the Bush administration.