Charles Krauthammer, conservative columnist and Fox News contributor, blasted Delaware’s selection of U.S. Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell on the basis of ‘the Buckley rule.’ He is wrong.
The ‘Buckley Rule’ is named after conservative pioneer and writer William F. Buckley, Jr., who is now deceased.
Buckley had once stated that prudence dictates the support of a candidate who can win, even if that candidate is not as conservative as another who cannot win.
But Krauthammer misrepresented Buckley on at least 2 counts.
First, Buckley adhered to his own ‘rule’ only to a point and often outright defied it.
During the early to mid 1970s I worked under the tutorage of Buckley in Young Americans for Freedom, which he had founded in 1960 to promote conservatism on college campuses. Later Buckley expanded the objectives of YAF to include working to elect conservatives to office, and to elect Ronald Reagan to the Presidency.
Buckley regularly took up the causes of candidates who were considered at the time to be ‘unelectable.’
For example, Buckley and the YAF endorsed and promoted the candidacy of Barry Goldwater for President in 1964. Goldwater was considered too far outside the mainstream to be elected, and Lyndon Johnson’s sleazy misrepresentations of Goldwater’s views are now legendary. He never had a chance.
Yet Buckley fought hard for the cause. Krauthammer conveniently failed to consider the fact that ‘the Buckley rule’ never prevented Buckley from backing ‘the lost cause.’
Second, Krauthammer fails to consider that the political climate has vastly changed since the Buckley era of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. During that time period the Republican Party was dominated entirely by moderate-to-liberal elitists. Conservatives were rare.
Eisenhower, Nixon, George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, and other elitists dominated the Party, and thus, Buckley was often forced to promote candidates who were given little or no chance to win.
All of that changed, however, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The Party establishment did not like Reagan. But Buckley’s vast influence through Young Americans for Freedom succeeded in getting Reagan elected, despite the long odds, and with him came an entire group of young conservatives who ousted liberal Democrats from Congress.
Today, the political climate in America is volatile. Never before since the American Revolution has the electorate been so angry, so outraged, so fired up, and so motivated. The citizens are determined to oust elitist career politicians and replace them with citizen candidates who represent their grassroots values.
These candidates are ‘flawed,’ but these so-called ‘flaws’ are precisely one of reasons they garner such widespread support. The flaws mirror those of the grassroots citizens themselves, who know that they too are not perfect.
But the fatal flaws of the political ruling class in Washington are much worse than anything the citizens have seen in the Tea Party candidates they have propelled to national prominence. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank helped Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to engage in practices that led directly to the economic crash of 2008. Our illustrious Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, believes that taxes in America are ‘voluntary.’ Our stellar Senator from Delaware and now Vice-President Joe Biden has made so many kooky statements, almost on a daily basis, that it is difficult to keep up with them all.
And this is not to mention those highly admirable role models of emotional stability and masters of the spoken word such as Nancy Pelosi, Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Barbara Boxer, Corinne Brown, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Charles Rangel, Anthony Weiner, and host of other Leftwing clowns who regularly embarrass themselves and the country with their often weird statements that have no basis in reality.
If Christine O’Donnell is a ‘kook’ then all of the aforementioned ruling class elitists belong in straight-jackets.
Krauthammer should be ashamed of himself for engaging in such smears based upon an erroneous interpretation of a statement by William F. Buckley.
Be sure to catch my blog at The Liberty Sphere.