Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr.

The proverbial "father of modern conservatism" and founder of the National Review was found dead at his desk. I heard William Kristol on Talk of the Nation eulogizing the man
When Kristol said pointed out that Buckley was foward-thinking enough to dedicate an issue to slamming right-wing anti-semitism, I couldn't help but help but think of Buckley's support for segregation. I guess the same respect he extended to Jews just doesn't apply to black-folks. I also can't help but remember that the National Review during Buckley's tenure was pro-Franco.
Nevertheless, Buckley was a greater man than the moral and intellectual dwarves that now drive the movement he sired. See this.

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at
Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because
Dick Cheney convinced him that Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,”
Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf War One,
the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.” He says he is
“heartbroken” by this “rise of defeatism on the right.” He adds, apropos of
nothing, “There was nobody better than Don Rumsfeld. This defeatist talk only
contributes to the impression we are losing, when I think we are
winning.”
The audience cheers Podhoretz. The nuanced doubts of Bill Buckley
leave them confused. Doesn’t he sound like the liberal media? Later, over
dinner, a tablemate from Denver calls Buckley “a coward.” His wife nods and
says, “Buckley’s an old man,” tapping her head with her finger to suggest
dementia.

While Buckley is the "father" of modern conservatism, he is also the biological father of Christopher Buckley, author of "Thank You for Smoking" and other satirical novels.
This always amused me: Buckley vs. Vidal.

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