Goldwater, Eisenhower and Buckley for Obama

C.C. Goldwater produced a major documentary about her grandfather, former Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.). This year she supports Barack Obama.

Susan Eisenhower is an internationally respected businesswoman and lifetime Republican. She, too, supports Obama.

Julie Nixon Eisenhower is part of two famous Republican families. In 2008, she backs Obama. Chris Buckley is a writer, conservative and son of one of the fathers of modern conservatism, the late William F. Buckley. He, too, supports Obama.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell broke with his tradition of supporting Republicans and strongly endorsed Obama. Powell’s support was powerful because he coupled praise of Obama’s presidential temperament and global perspective with criticism of McCain’s negative campaigning and the direction of the Republican Party.

Something profound is happening in 2008. There is a post-partisan appeal to Obama: his desire to end partisan acrimony; his calm and deliberative temperament that is widely seen as presidential and has great appeal to independents and some reasoned conservatives.

Obama follows President Bush, who has violated core conservative values and created a wave of dissent from principled conservatives. McCain’s Rove-like attacks on Obama do not ring true. His 90 percent support for Bush cannot be hidden by last-minute spin.

Susan Eisenhower, C.C. Goldwater, Julie Nixon Eisenhower and Chris Buckley do not have a history of supporting Democrats. It is unprecedented and remarkable that a Democratic nominee has this many supporters named Eisenhower, Goldwater, Nixon and Buckley. They are not alone.

Conservative radio talk show host Michael Smerconish; pro-life legal scholar Douglas Kmiec; former Republican Sens. Mac Mathias (Md.) and Lincoln Chafee (R.I.); former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld; and former Iowa Rep. Jim Leach are among others who have broken with their histories of supporting Republicans and endorsed Obama.

Nationally respected conservatives such as Peggy Noonan, David Brooks and Kathleen Parker have criticized McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for vice president.

President Bush, usually with McCain’s support, has adopted anti-conservative policies of big government, big spending, big deficits and Big Brother that failed our economy and require big bailouts. First Bush and now McCain try to shift attention from their failures with personal attacks against political opponents, while Bush outsources his partisan staff to plan the attacks for McCain.

Budget deficits. Bailouts. Eavesdropping. Torture. Scandals. There is a crisis of conservatism that has deformed long-held principles of Republican conservatism and led a long list of principled conservatives to dissent.

Former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett dissents on economics. Former Reagan Justice Department official Bruce Fein dissents against violations of libertarian conservatism.

Leading libertarians Ron Paul and Bob Barr, who should be part of a Republican governing coalition, form their own loyal oppositions.

These are serious men and women of authentic conservative values who will not be fooled by McCain’s invocations of Paris Hilton, Bill Ayers, pit bulls with lipstick, bogus charges of socialism or Joe the Unlicensed Plumber who pretends to be a working-class hero while he rails against Social Security.

Republican support for Bush has destroyed the tectonic plate of conservatism. As Election Day arrives there is Goldwater for Obama, Eisenhower for Obama, Buckley for Obama, and Julie Nixon Eisenhower for Obama forming the new tectonic plate of post-partisan change.


Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He can be reached at brentbbi@webtv.net and read on The Hill Pundits Blog .