In the current issue of Maclean’s, I look at why Sarah Palin gets under people’s skin:
One piece of the story is her anti-intellectualism, the same strident damn the experts, trust-your-gut style as George W. Bush. You either love it or hate it. That’s why it’s interesting to watch conservative intellectuals grapple with Palin. Since I wrote this story, David Brooks has called her a “cancer” on the Republican Party, David Frum has battled his colleagues and readers over his opinion that the Palin pick was a mistake, and Christopher Buckley has endorsed Obama (“And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?”) and today quit the National Review, the conservative magazine founded by his father.
Also, in his farewell, Buckley wrote today:
“While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.
So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.”