For more on the Christopher Buckley thing, here’s his latest post, and Rich’s note on The Corner yesterday. (Don’t miss the part where Buckley changed the header of his post from the patently dishonest “I Was Fired” to the fully accurate ”Buckley Bows Out”)
Here’s my three cents:
(1) Those who cancelled their subscription to National Review over this matter are being silly. The magazine’s value is not negated by what any one contributor (or ex-contributor) does or says on any one day. NR is more than a great conservative political journal; it his an American Icon. You’d no more stop reading it than you’d swear off apple pie and ice cream.
(2) It appears that Christopher Buckley is exaggerating all over himself in an effort to create a stir and invite publicity as he breaks away into his brave new world.
What does Christopher mean by saying that Rich Lowry “rather briskly” accepted his resignation and that he is saddened by the “disavowal”?
Does he mean there was not a satisfactorily lengthy pause preceding Rich’s agreement to his departure? Was Christopher’s ego disappointed at not receiving the expected number of murmured regrets and “it’s a damn shame”s?
Or did he think, as I suspect, that his resignation would not be accepted? Was the act more a gesture than a genuine offer, and is he now in a snit because Rich and Jack Fowler had the ill manners to take him at his word?
Regardless, to say there was/is “acrimony” on the part of NR is surely going too far. I’ve seen nothing but friendship and warmth extended Buckley’s way from everyone at NR and on The Corner, so the insinuation that there is an air of rancor and animosity feels like Complete and Utter Nonsense.
(3) There is much more that could be said in re: to Christopher’s comments about WFB’s occasional support of liberal Democrats (all far better men than Obama appears to be), rigorous standards of candor (which Junior seems to be lacking), and independence of thought and action (which were genuine and never for show).
But, it is all well known. WFB was a singular man. He was always himself, and never embarrassed or dishonored his friends (or even his enemies) by being small of heart or deed.
The son does not honor the father with all this elaborate and unpleasant flailing around. A graceful exit would have been a more fitting tribute to the man we all loved…and miss terribly in these difficult days.
(UPDATE: Anne of Idaho, who is reading D.H. Lawrence, sends an unrelated yet serendipitous quote.
“And he began to feel, coldly and cynically, that among all her distress there was a luxuriating in the violent emotions of the scene in hand, and the situation altogether.”
Re-stated: Christopher Buckley is being a drama queen, and it is causing me to feel more indifferent to his plight than I otherwise might.)