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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pip pip, Obama's our man!

Rachel Lucas points us to Iowahawk's latest satirical masterpiece. Now, whoever can he possibly be describing?

If you are a conservative like me, you guffawed when you heard John McCain announced this declasse rube as a running mate, followed by good-natured applause, thinking it was some sort of whimsical campus prank he was reenacting from his Annapolis years. This was, of course, quickly followed the shock of realizing that he wasn't joking, and all that Hanoi unpleasantness had finally driven him around the bend.

It's an inescapable conclusion that this woman has, in 6 short weeks, single-handedly destroyed the Republican party. Certainly George Bush may share some of the blame; but we conservatives must remember how our hopes were buoyed by his impressive bloodlines and Yale degree before we realized his excursion to Texas had caused him to "go native." But la Palin offers true conservatives no such extenuating graces. I mean, my God, this woman is simply awful; the elided vowels, the beauty pageantry, the guns, the crude non-Episcopal protestantism, the embarrassing porchload of children with horrifying hillbilly names, the white after Labor Day. As fellow conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan quipped to me the other day outside a Martha's Vineyard antique shop, it's gratifying to know the Gipper isn't alive to see what has become of his party.

But it's not just American conservatives who are appalled. Just last week conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks and I were enjoying an apres-badminton apertif at the family weekend house in Montauk with my good friend Viscount Klaus-Maria Von Wallensheim, the conservative EU Agricultural Pricing Minister with whom I shared an Alpine chalet and manservant during our years as classmates at a Swiss boarding school. "Kloonkie" (my old school appellation for the Viscount) reported the growing dismay of the Continental Right over Palin's embarrassing enthusiasm for childbirth and Israel.

"Coddsie, old chap," he warned, "You know I've always been America's biggest defender in Monaco. But if you elect this ill-bred charwoman, I will be forced to move anchor to St. Tropez out of pure shame."

David and I were left nodding silently, for how else could we respond? If Palin has lost Kloonkie, she has surely lost the entire conservative movement.

I have spoken contemptuously of the New York-Washington Axis that dominates the so-called conservative commentariat. The truth is, they aren't conservatives, they aren't libertarians, and they might as well go back to the left where they have always belonged. Why, one asks, should any man or woman of the Right pay any attention to what the "conservatives" who make up The New York Times and two-thirds of National Review think any longer?

"Just like the Democrats, only a little less," is not a functional political strategy. It barely even qualifies as a coherent tactic, for crying out loud.

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