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The Daily Inquisition / October 14, 2008

Today’s Defendant: Christopher Buckley

Statement of the Grand Inquisitor: Like his father before him, Buckley has led a life of vilest error from beginning to end: speechwriter for G.H.W. Bush, author of reams of smug crap, wearer of that stupid hat pictured above. Today we will contemplate his most recent sin, which might seem small in and of itself, but which in our view constitutes The Last Straw. He made an announcement in The Daily Beast, Tina Brown’s latest foul publication, entitled “Sorry Dad, I’m Voting for Obama”. It starts like this: “Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They’d have cut off my allowance.”

That’s how he writes, with the upper-class-twit smirk built into every syllable.

Note how blithely he admits that all the best people in punditry, the aristocracy of right-wing shills, are girding themselves to make the same leap. Christopher Hitchens, David Brooks, William Kristol, Kathleen Parker, they’re all loudly noticing that John McCain might not have the right stuff after all, whereas Barack Obama’s “first-class temperament” becomes more and more apparent the higher his poll numbers climb and the closer he gets to approving the White House guest list. That “first-class temperament” gag is getting a lot of play lately, and Buckley can’t wait to prove that he, too, owns a copy of Bartlett’s Quotations: “[Obama] has exhibited throughout a ‘first-class temperament’ pace Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s famous comment about FDR. As for his intellect, well, he’s a Harvard man…”

Buckley went to Yale.

It should be noted that Holmes Jr. rated FDR’s intellect merely second-class. One could only wish it were possible to punch Buckley so hard in the stomach that the impact traversed time and space to make his pal Holmes puke too.

Buckley sums it up jauntily by assuring Obama that “despite his sometimes airy-fairy rhetoric” he might make a nice president one day. “So I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship.”

“We are all in this together.” So Buckley is joining us, the little people, down here in the wreckage. There goes the neighborhood!

Statement of the Defense: It might have been possible to defend him if he hadn’t called his parents “mum and pup.” But as it is, no.

Verdict: He shall be punched in the stomach forever.

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