Susan Eisenhower is an internationally respected businesswoman and lifetime Republican. This year she supports Barack Obama. C.C. Goldwater produced a major documentary about her grandfather, former Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.). This year she 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 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 his praise of Obama's presidential temperament and global perspective was coupled with criticism of McCain's negative campaigning and the direction of the Republican Party.
While Obama closes his campaign with a call for unity, McCain closes his campaign with more attacks against Obama. But the central truth of 2008 is this: If Obama is a pal of terrorists or a socialist, why is he supported by leading members of the most famous families in Republican history, such as Goldwater, Eisenhower, Buckley and Powell?
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.
The right-wing extremists call Noonan, Brooks and Parker elitists, but the real new elitists are named Palin, Bachmann, Buchanan and McCain, who believe working-class voters can be appealed to as angry bigots who can be fooled by phony charges such as socialism and phony characters such as Joe. It is the right-wing anger players and anti-foreign jingoists who look down their noses at working people, assuming they are bigoted enough to believe the lies and stupid enough to fail to understand their true economic interests.
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, Colin Powell for Obama and Julie Nixon Eisenhower for Obama, forming the new tectonic plate of post-partisan change and the great hope for a unified America with Barack Obama as president.
Crossposted from thehill.com where you can also comment