Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 2:20:42 pm
This is why I call the dreaded Iowahawk “some kinda damn genius:” As a Conservative, I Must Say I Do Quite Like the Cut of this Obama Fellow’s Jib.
When my late father T. Coddington Van Voorhees VI founded the iconoclastic conservative journal National Topsider in 1948, he famously declared that “Now is the time for all good conservative helmsmen to hoist the mizzen, pour the cocktails, and steer this damned schooner hard starboard.” In the 60 years since he first uttered it after one-too-many Cosmopolitans at one of Pamela Harriman’s notorious foreign policy black tie balls, father’s pithy bon mot has served as a rallying cry for conservatives from Greenwich to Chevy Chase. Today, I say it’s time for we conservatives to once again grab the rigging and set sail with the flotilla of the true conservative in this race: Barack Obama.
Trust me, I haven’t taken this tack lightly. No Van Voorhees has supported an avowed socialist since great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandpapa Cragmont Van Voorhees lent Peter Minuet $24 and a sack of wampum to swing a subprime mortgage on Manhattan Island. Old dad himself often recounted how, as a lad, he would command the family chauffeur Carleton to drive the Duesenberg down to the Times Square Trans-Lux so he could hiss Roosevelt. But I’ve taken a good measure of this Obama fellow, and I must say I like the cut of the man’s jib.
How can I say this, you ask? One look at this Obama chap is all the answer you need. Suave, tanned, unflappable, Harvard connections; it’s obvious that here is a man to the conservative manor born. One imagines him at the helm of the Ship of State, basked in the sunlight diffusing through the seaspray over the bow, like some beautiful rugged Othello from a rapturous Ralph Lauren catalog, calmly issuing instructions to the deck crew in that magnificent mellifluous baritone of his. It’s that easy-going, almost effortless grace that has all the A-list conservatives like David Frum and Kathleen Parker whispering Reaganesque in hushed tones. Even Peggy Noonan — the Grand Dame of Gipperism — has succumbed to Obama’s undeniable conservative charms. Just last month I listened to her wax poetic about the Adonis of Chicago between chukkers at the Newport Club polo tournament final. “Why Peggy, you old dowager,” I quipped, “I believe you just had an orgasm.”
Certainly, my endorsement has raised more than a few eyebrows around the National Topsider water cooler, particularly among the alumni of jejune cow colleges like Michigan or Dartmouth. They sometimes point to Mr. Obama’s radical Rolodex and his hooey about “weath redistribution” and “dictatorship of the proletariat.” But, as I patiently explain, this is precisely the point - it is hooey, over-the-top rhetorical flourishes obviously designed by Mr. Obama to win over benighted inner city hoi polloi (a feat, I might add, that even the Great Communicator himself was unable to accomplish). As for his so-called radical ties, who among us hasn’t sent dinner party invitations to Gore Vidal and a leftwing terrorists or two to enliven the postprandial conversation? Leonard Bernstein loved hosting all manner of Weathermen and Black Panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army celebrities at his Park Avenue pied a terre, but it didn’t mean the Maestro wasn’t in favor of low taxes. On the contrary; I know for a fact he itemized every cent of the catering bills for his famous terrorist cocktail parties.