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Rich Lowry Delanda Est!

01 July 2010 @ 11:57

If anyone needed further proof that Rich Lowry must be taken out as the leader of National Review in a violent and bloody coup, they need look no further than their recent editorial endorsing John McCain over J.D. Hayworth in the Arizona Senate Republican Primary.  NRO’s own Andrew McCarthy has published an indictment of the crime that the Editorial Board, under Mr. Lowry’s direction, has committed.  A highlight:

I haven’t been keeping score, but my sense has been that National Review stays out of Republican congressional primary races, at least most of the time. This is a good thing. It reflects an ethos focused on the strategic direction of the conservative movement rather than tactical politics. It underscores that issues are more critical to us than personalities.

As a practical matter, moreover, it avoids diminishing the magazine’s prestige. A candidate who wins despite NR’s endorsement of his opponent could become hostile — and less open to our ideas — especially because he knows NR’s endorsement of the other guy will be used by the Left as a cudgel against him. And then there’s NR’s readership: Not only would the magazine appear less influential if its conservative readers reject its preferred candidate; readers will be doubly miffed if their preferred candidate loses a tight general-election race to a leftist who has exploited the NR endorsement.

For all these reasons and more, I was disappointed to see the editors abandon prudent restraint and dive into the 2010 primary fray. More disappointing, though, is that, of all the candidates on whose behalf this improvident decision might have been made, NR’s prestige has been put on the line for John McCain, the incumbent Arizona senator being challenged from the right by former congressman J. D. Hayworth.

As I argued in an extensive analysis of McCain’s policy stands during the 2008 campaign, the senator is not a conservative. He is a big-government progressive in the mold of his hero, Teddy Roosevelt. It is unsurprising, then, that the editors are forced to concede, at the outset of their endorsement, that it would be “an understatement” to say NR “has not always agreed with Sen. John McCain’s judgment.” Understatement indeed: We are talking here about the same John McCain who was beseeched to be the runningmate of John Kerry — perhaps the Democrats’ most left-leaning presidential candidate until Barack Obama came along. The Kerry dance was a natural. As a presidential candidate himself in 2000, McCain had asserted that, if elected, he would turn to Kerry — along with then-senator Joe Biden and Zbigniew Brzezinski (President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser) — “to get foreign-policy, national-security issues back on track.”

The editors’ case for McCain is depressingly weak and bereft of balance. They offer three rationales: (1) that McCain, though not reliable, is “usually . . . on the conservative side of national controversies”; (2) that “when McCain is right he can have a terrific impact”; and (3) that Hayworth is “not obviously a more exemplary statesman than McCain.” The first claim is meritless, which explains the skewed version of history offered in its behalf. The second claim overrates McCain’s national-security credentials and ignores the horrible impact he can have when he is wrong, which he often is. The third claim — which mugs Hayworth’s reputation after airbrushing McCain’s — is, at best, a basis for hewing to the sage practice of remaining above the endorsement business, not for endorsing McCain.

Please do read the whole thing.

No jury in it’s right mind would deliberate more than a few minutes and find ‘Twinkle Toes’ Lowry and the Board guilty of pre-meditated rank stupidity and amateurism aforethought.

Quin Hillyer writes:

I have been baffled ever since I read NR’s endorsement….

What were my friends at NR thinking?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!

Be baffled no more, my friend: This action by Mr. Lowry is the latest in a long line of amateur and dumb moves by National Review ever since he took over.  I continue to read the magazine and website only for the non-Lowryish wisdom of Mark Steyn, Andrew McCarthy, John Derbyshire, Jonah Goldberg, and Jay Nordlinger — ie: those writers [except for the last who I have a genuine affection for] who often buck the NRO Man.  Too often Lowry seems to side with those squishes who want to be invited to the best soirees and spoken well of by the ‘moderates’.

William F. Buckley may have been a courageous fighter for the conservative cause, but his record on choosing successors has him batting .333 [the choice of Richard Brookheiser was so awful even he finally realized it; only John O’Sullivan was worthy].

National Review needs a leader who is part sophisticate and part junkyard dog, like WFB and Mr. O’Sullivan were, and like Jonah Goldberg is.

Rich Lowry Delanda Est!

Viva Le Jonah!

2 Comments
  1. 01 July 2010 @ 17:26 17:26

    Jo-NAH! Jo-NAH! Jo-NAH!

    I’ve seen – witnessed up close – cases where an exec leaves an assignment to an apparently bright and capable young upstart – knowing full well that the exec’s legend will never be eclipsed. In the case I’m thinking of, it took the firm seven years to realize the screw-up and fire the nitwit. Too late, a lot of damage had been done.

    Reagan, for example, had Bush forced upon him by the RNC. Bushed upped the ante by selecting that titan of poodledom – what’s his name. I’ll give W this much credit: There was no finer choice than Darth Cheney as Veep.

    About Goldberg… He’s just as you say – part sophisticate, part junkyard dog. He’s also got a fire going with Liberal Fascism.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      01 July 2010 @ 19:50 19:50

      I seriously think of doing a bit of mischief and starting a blog advocating the coup.

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