Christopher Buckley, son of the late great William F.Buckley Jr., writes in a column for the online journal "The Daily Beast" that he is endorsing Barack Obama for president.
He admits this will surprise many readers. After all, Obama is a big-government liberal and Buckley is "a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets."
Buckely's stand on the most glaring social issues of today is different: "On abortion, gay marriage, et al, I’m libertarian." This is the live-and-let-live school of social thought; the one that says "if it's what you really feel and it doesn't involve taxing me any more, go ahead and do it, really who gives a hoot."
I don't think anyone could seriously call Obama a libertarian on the issue of abortion. Come on, the guy's a freaking cheerleader for abortion. Who else opposed the born-alive protection act with such fervor? For once we were all glad the feds stepped in and called the shots there.
But the issue of libertarianism and abortion must be confronted. So the ever-helpful DIH decided to conduct a spot of research.
So I called Pregnant Friend. "Hello," I said. "I'd like to speak to the fetus, please."
"You mean the baby?" I could hear her jiggling her belly. "Hey. Hey, kid. Wake up. Telephone."
"Oh, lord, not another one," said a tiny voice. "I hate election season. Yes? Can I help you?"
"Sorry to bother you, fetus. But I need your input on this. How do you feel about abortion on demand? I mean, what's your gut on this?"
There was a soft sigh. "Let me guess. You've been talking to the libertarians."
"How did you know?"
"Because only a libertarian would ask me such a stupid question. Sorry. I just get so tired of this nonsense. As I understand the libertarian philosophy- I'm simplifying here. of course- they believe in a kind of laissez-faire attitude towards social issues. Let things thrive or fail on their own strengths. Well, as a matter of fact, I agree. And I would deeply appreciate the right to be left to thrive or fail on my own, without the influence of some (you should pardon the expression) half-assed social theorist butting in."
"But what about choice?"
"Choice, my dear Desperate, is a word one uses to describe a side of beef. Am I here by my own choice? Of course not. The 'choice,' if you want to know that truth, that brought about my existence was probably made when my father decided a bottle of Moet-Chandon would be a nice surprise for Mother last Valentine's Day. But that's another story."
"Okay, but... what about ...you know..."
"I was searching for a nicer term."
"Let me know when you find it. Personally I've never heard of anyone without a truckload of defects. I can only wonder if the younger Mr. Buckley has taken a good look in the mirror lately. Enough said."
"So, you're saying the libertarians are wrong."
"Not at all. I'm just saying they should follow their own philosophy. They don't have to have anything to do with me at all. In fact I'd prefer it that way. Put Mother back on, would you? And switch me to Line 2."
Pregnant Friend took the phone. "Yes. Yes, all right. Go back to sleep." She switched back to me.
"What did he- uh, she-- uh, what did the little person say?
"No more pollsters. He says they're-- well-- dense."
"His very word." She sighed. "And no more pesto sauce. 'Take a break and try Bolognese,' he said."
"Demanding little guy."
"He promises he'll make it all worth my while."
"You believe him?"