Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cowardly Rationalization?

Roger Kimball does not know what to make of Christopher Buckley's endorsement of Obama:

At the moment, I am feeling glum because Christo has broadcast a public endorsement of Barack Obama.


I heard a rumor about it a week or so ago and wondered at first whether it might be one of those winking, tongue-in-cheek gambits satirists sometimes employ to get our attention. “Wow, Christopher Buckley, son of Wm. F. Buckley Jr., Republican speech writer, board member and regular contributor to National Review is supporting Obama! He’s not serious, is he?” And then it would turn out that, no, he wasn’t serious.

But inspecting his public declaration I conclude that he is very serious indeed.

I wrote about Buckley's endorsement of Obama previously, but I just want to add that Christopher Buckley's endorsement was most likely one part cowardice, and one part rationalization.

Christopher Buckley's cowardly endorsement of Obama is a means to avoid peer pressure. Many of Buckley's peers are most likely "intellectual" liberals who have continually mocked John McCain and his supporters since Sarah Palin was selected. Consequently, rather than bear the "shame and stigma" of supporting a candidate who many of his "intellectual" friends mock for having chosen an "imbecile" as a running mate, Christopher Buckley succumbed to this peer pressure and cowardice and endorsed Obama.

Additionally, Christopher Buckley is endorsing Obama as a means to rationalize supporting something that he feels is a foregone conclusion. In his endorsement that he states "[i]f Obama raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr". Yet he endorsed him nonetheless. He rationalizes this support by saying "having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves". Hence, Buckley is not endorsing Obama, but is instead endorsing the hope that Obama will govern like McCain (i.e., he is rationalizing his support for the inevitable outcome he dreads).