Wednesday, February 27

RIP William F. Buckley

He was wrong nearly all of the time yet unlike most of the so-called "conservatives" of today, I would have been happy to have him over to dinner if he'd sit up straight and smoke outside. He had ideas rather than talking points, and demonstrated better than most that articulate cleverness is a virtue in and of its own self.

I wonder what he was smoking when he said this, just so he could show he could do Allen Ginsburg. Of course those who've seen Ginsburg live realize how much he did Buckley: suit tie lectern formality.

Aw nevermind, what Glenn Greenwald says.


  1. My late, great father was so conservative, he thought Nixon was a lib.

    But even he detested Buckley.

  2. Anonymous9:14 PM

    I know there are liberals and moderates who think Buckley was a decent guy, but he was a rank racist. I just heard the interaction between Buckley and Gore Vidal back in I believe 1968. You know, the one where he got pissed at vidal calling him a crypto-fascist and called him a queer and threatened to punch him in the face. Long and short, he may have appeared to be an intellectual and an even handed debater, but his positions were wrong and, usually, vile.

  3. My first encounters with Buckley were really through the Firing Line debates on PBS, which I sorta liked as a teenager. I didn't learn until more recently that National Review had been racist and pro-dictator. Buckley himself criticized Bush, and I think mellowed somewhat as he aged.

  4. His legacy is dubious, for sure, and whether he will be remembered by subsequent generations, liberal or conservative, is a matter of conjecture.

  5. Anonymous7:41 AM

    My problem with someone like William Buckley is that he had a great education (probably liberal, in the extreme, by his standadards) and yet put it all in the service of a narrow, bigoted, cheerless world view. He was viewes as the second coming of Thomas Aquinas by a lot of not so deep thinking reactionaries.

    Good-bye and good riddance. Oh, Bill, when you see Ronnie Rayguns see if you can get him to adjust the thermostat.



I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!