Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence and Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia, the 1962 epic film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence.
"So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people — greedy, barbarous and cruel," Peter O'Toole as "Aurens" told Omar Sharif as Ali in "Lawrence of Arabia" scriptwriter Robert Bolt's words 46 years ago. That arresting phraseology, applied to our fellow Americans of the "Northeast Corridor Conservative" community, came to mind this afternoon as we contemplated the all-about-me cravenness of Christopher Buckley, WFBs only child, in abandoning ship to pull himself up comfortably alongside the WS (Whose Ship?) Barack H. Obama, the craft he's presumably thinking will carry him safely back to port in an Obama landslide. Oh, ick.
Vanderleun in the comments to Roger Kimball's post about his friend Christo's lapse says it all:
Buckley’s statement strikes me as nothing less than false bravado. It seems bold but at bottom it risks nothing. In a way Buckley is like a latter-day Andrew Sullivan seeking to win both ways.
And like Sullivan he will win both ways. Why? Because in contemporary conservative circles there are never any real personal consequences to “going off the reservation.”
Friends such as Roger will criticize him “more in sorrow than in anger,” but he will still be welcome at dinner parties and other festivities. He will still be welcome in most meaningful conservative circles. He will not be thrust out into the howling winds as he would be if he had been long on the left and declared for McCain.
"Most meaningful conservative circles"? Harrumph! As we said in our own comments on vanderleun's comment"
I don’t know nothin’ ’bout “meaningful conservative circles,” but I, for one, won’t be soon forgiving or forgetting the cravenness of young Buck and his fellow “Northeast Corridor Conservatives.”
Northeast Corridor Conservatives. A little people, a silly people — greedy, barbarous and cruel. It's all about the Darwinian quest for approval amongst one's peers — the importance of being noticed — and, most importantly, whom one chooses as one's peers.