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William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008

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It is impossible to begin to sum up the life of someone as articulate, imaginative, capricious and influential as William F. Buckley, Jr. Every conservative pundit in the old or new media owes him an incalculable debt and is to some degree attempting to imitate him. He died on Wednesday at his home in Connecticut, and I doubt that any of the many aspirants to his throne of right-leaning wit and wisdom are qualified to fill his shoes.

Buckley is credited with single-handedly reviving conservatism and breaking the political dominance of socialistic liberalism emerging from the Roosevelt era, both through his writing and speaking and through his work as publisher of the enormously influential magazine National Review for over 50 years. Buckley authored more than 5,600 articles and dozens of books, including a number of novels. He hosted the television show Firing Line for more than 30 years and it became the model for the talking-head style interview and debate shows which now dominate Sunday mornings and cable news.

Buckley was the epitome of traditional Republicanism with his unapologetic elitism, reverence for traditional values, libertarian views on civil rights and unwavering opposition to every aspect of socialism and communism. He also opposed those who perverted the basic values of conservatism, excoriating reactionaries, bigots and theocrats with as much vehemence as he opposed those who subverted liberalism to the service of collectivism.

Buckley championed individualism and was brilliant in his own individuality. He sometimes undermined his own serious points with his insidious and self-mocking humor and while he remained true to his values they eventually put him at odds with the conservative movement which he had empowered. He was at his height of influence with his support and encouragement of the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, a campaign which might never have gotten as far as it did without the involvement of young conservatives inspired by Buckley. It was that campaign and Buckley’s writing which inspired the resurgence of conservative leadership in the Reagan era.

Although every conservative leader for the last 50 years admired Buckley, he was never willing to compromise his principles enough to be anything but a political outsider, often finding himself criticizing conservatives more than liberals and advocating positions which few others on the right were brave enough to embrace. He supported marijuana legalization and opposed the war in Iraq. He despised Neocons and other interventionists, rejected the legislating of morality and consistently supported individual liberty. He understood that you could have great faith without needing to impose your beliefs on others. He always opposed big government, statism and excessive taxation. He was a great and consistent voice for reason over fanaticism.

Before we can even really understand how much we are going to miss Buckley as the conscience of conservatism, his legacy is being torn apart by vultures seeking to embolden their dull plumage with some of his bright feathers. National Review has already gone off the rails and the Republican party is deeply split between a number of largely misguided factions with some very strange ideas of conservatism.

The sad truth is that although Buckley inspired the conservative revival and is consistently praised by contemporary conservatives, they really aren’t following in his footsteps. They have lost sight of the principles which he believed in. When Mona Charen concluded her reminiscence of Buckley by placing him in the same company as arch-neocon Irving Kristol, she demonstrated how little she and other pseudo-conservatives actually understood Buckley and his ideas. If Buckley hadn’t been enshrined as the ‘father of modern conservatism’ and was being judged solely on his beliefs, most of these so-called conservatives would condemn him as a traitor to the movement.

With Buckley gone, the right has lost more than just a charming and witty icon. It has lost one of its most consistent voices of pure conservatism. It has lost its rudder and is too likely to be steered off course by the pygmies left at the helm, most of whom are secretly happy they no longer have Bill Buckley looking over their shoulder and making cutting remarks.

For more on Buckley see:

Various reminiscences at National Review.

Douglas Martin in the New York Times.

Mona Charen in the Washington Post.

Henry Allen in the Washington Post.

Paul Mulshine with a look at how conservatism has strayed from Buckley’s ideals on NJ.com.

A nice summary of comments from different sources at the Wall Street Journal

Excellent clip from Firing Line of Buckley and Gore Vidal discussing the presidency. Very relevant to the current election.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    I heard someone on the radio this morning suggesting that Buckley’s conservatism is facing abandonment in this year’s election. I thought to myself: no, it was abandoned when George Herbert Walker Bush became President.

    Buckley’s passing is sad, no matter one’s political views, I think. He was an articulate defender of his position, and always enjoyable to read.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dead on, Phillip. I think that McCain is a lot closer to Buckley’s take on conservatism than most of those Bush has surrounded himself with.

    I find it somewhat sickening to listen to people like Mona Charen and Jonah Goldberg crying crocodile tears over Buckley, when the truth is that judged by his standard they come up very short.

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    Well done;I think you’re right on almost every point.

    Buckley and Goldwater made conservatism a matter of principles. Today’s pseudo-conservatives try to make it all about power over others.

    We won’t see his like again.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think the difference between Buckley’s conservatism and the newer trends, is that Buckley arrived at his positions through reason, while the current conservative trendsetters seem to have received their conservatism as revealed truth without any kind of intellectual process involved.

    I find thinking conservatism very appealing. Unreasoned and purely emotional conservatism is far more unattractive.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Nice tribute, Dave.

    I loved watching Buckley. One of the articles I read this morning (a syndicated piece by AP writer Hillel Italie), portrayed him on the set of Firing Line as “all handsome, reptilian langour…,” which I thought was a marvelous metaphor for his habit of licking his lips as he skewered his guests with that awesomely synoptic vocabulary of his.

    I will miss him.

  • bliffle

    I found WFB in the 50s when “God And Man At Yale” was published and found him a refreshing change from the left-orthodoxy that was then current. It was a big struggle to get speaking dates on campus allowed for WFB. I was a charter subscriber to NR and enjoyed it immensely for at least 10 years when I found it becoming too dusty and Royalist. Yes, it was largely NR that brought Goldwater into prominence.

    In the late 60s I attended a Buckley lecture at a local Catholic college and was treated to the most insightful, nuanced, and consistent expositions of life, love and politics that I have ever heard.

    Buckley was, indeed, a fan of the Harpsichord and JS Bach, and, especially, Wanda Landowska. He helped make her early recordings popular and brought her back into some prominence. He also supported the popularization (such as it was) of the Zuckerman Harpsichord Kit, one of which I bought and assembled around 1960. Included with the kit was a short LP called “How to Write a Fugue” with a little ditty sung by Glenn Gould called “so, you want to write a fugue?” which I will bet does NOT appear in his published discography.

    Buckley was an altogether amusing and intelligent fellow.

  • Pablo

    I, out of respect for the dead, will refrain from commenting on Mr. Buckley for a few weeks, after that, all bets are off.

  • Lumpy

    Pablito. I’m sure you think that Buckley was an elitist swine and a pawn of the CFR. Plus he was born in Mexico so you think he was a wetback. But all your attitude does is show how unreasonable and out of touch you are. Buckley did more in a year to advance rhe cause of liberty than Ron Paul has done in a lifetime.

  • Pablo

    Lumpy,

    You said it, and I dont think anyone could have said it better than you did. Thank you, however I do not agree with the racist remark. I will post some WFB quotes soon, as I said I will allow some time to pass.

  • Dan Miller

    Excellent article.

    Bill Buckley was truly one of the greats, with powers of persuasion that would make even Sen. Obama pale by comparison. Buckley had so much more to offer than does any contemporary debater, perhaps because he had consummate technical skills and really believed what he argued.

    I heard Buckley speak, only once, when the Yale Political Union had a debate over whether to invite Gus Hall, the then leader of the Communist Party in the U.S., to speak. Buckley keynoted the debate, the result of which was a foregone conclusion — Gus Hall would certainly be invited. That was before the debate. Buckley was marvelous and, when the vote was held, Gus Hall was not invited.

    That was back in 1961 or 1962. Later, in law school (probably 1964 or 1965), I heard Norman Thomas, the then head of the Socialist party in the U.S. debate. He too was outstanding. He had to be led to the speaker’s podium because he could no longer see very well; but his deep base, booming, speaking voice, honed by years of speaking without electronic amplification, resonated through the hall. He was exemplary, and not only his voice resonated through the hall. Even to a conservative, he was persuasive.

    In later years, I often wished for an opportunity to hear Buckley and Thomas debate. It may have happened, but if it did I wasn’t there.

    Two great debaters, now both sadly gone.

    Dan

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Even I rather liked WFB, believe it or not.

    However, this line from the [generally favorable] obit in the NY Times does give one pause:

    In 1955, Mr. Buckley started National Review as voice for “the disciples of truth, who defend the organic moral order” with a $100,000 gift from his father and $290,000 from outside donors. The first issue, which came out in November, claimed the publication “stands athwart history yelling Stop.”

    It proved it by lining up squarely behind Southern segregationists, saying Southern whites had the right to impose their ideas on blacks who were as yet culturally and politically inferior to them. After some conservatives objected, Mr. Buckley suggested instead that both uneducated whites and blacks should be denied the vote.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Pablo,

    First of all, I share your respect for the dead. In that vein, I’ll note that William F. Buckley (Jr.) was one of the most amusing and entertaining men to run for mayor of the City of Greater New York. When asked what he would do if elected, he said, “why, I suppose I’d resign.”

    You can’t beat a line like that. Ed Koch spent eight years at Gracie Mansion trying – and he never succeeded.

  • Lee Richards

    Sure, Buckley said and wrote things at one point in his life that he wouldn’t have said, written (or thought) at another point. Hasn’t everyone? That’s called growth and maturation.

    Times and circumstances change, and change us, unless our heads and hearts are made of concrete. What was unquestioned truth to us yesterday may become strongly doubtful to us today.

    Anyone in history can be cherry-picked for the mistakes and mis-statements they later regretted(and any of us not in the history books, too.)

    I am not defending everything Buckley ever said or did. He was no saint or savior. On balance, he was a thoughtful, highly intelligent and principled political thinker, writer, lecturer and debater. Always correct? Hardly. Stimulating and original? Usually.

    His entire life can provide better evidence of the kind of person he was than can a few random quotations from his vast body of work.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    On reflection, I think the most telling thing about Buckley and why we HAVE to love him, is that apparently whenever he showed up at a party Ayn Rand would stomp out in overly dramatic fury. If he could piss her off that much that alone made him a great man.

    Dave

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Dave, first good job.

    Second, where do the guys over at the Weekly Standard stand on the conservatism scale and particularly vis-a-vis Buckley?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The Weekly Standard didn’t do nearly as much with Buckley yesterday as some other sites. They reprinted a couple of articles and had one retrospective.

    You’d think that TWS would be kind of hardcore Neocon what with Bill Kristol as one of the publishers, but it’s actually tending to be more moderate and more reasonable than National Review has been lately.

    As NR brought in Neocons after Buckley semi-retired, TWS was bringing in moderates to appeal to a broader audience.

    IMO both magazines remain far less scary than American Conservative which is so far right that all their web content comes directly from their foamy-mouthed print edition, so they won’t have anything on Buckley for another week or so.

    Fuck ‘em all. Just read Reason.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    People tend to forget that Buckley was an excellent writer, and quite entertaining. As it happens, I fell upon “Miles Gone By: a literary autobiography” today at ‘books.google.com’ and proceeded to read most of it with great interest and relish.

    NPR replayed a 1989 interview by Terry Gross today that showed Buckleys grace and fairness in a fine way. He was gracious and fair, exhibiting none of the petulance that Gross has gotten from brutes like Bill O’reilly. For example, Gross ( a real lightweight who does not possess the kind of Prepared Mind one needs to discuss any subject deeper than the latest pop singer) asked if she could quote something he once said many years ago that she wanted explained, and Buckley said she could quote anything he said at anytime and that was fair.

    Some critics insist that Buckley was a racist, or at least defended racists, but this is a mistake. He was an elitist and when he said that southern whites were entitled to exclude blacks from voting it was on account of their inferior education, not skin color or previous condition of servitude.

  • zingzing

    “He was an elitist and when he said that southern whites were entitled to exclude blacks from voting it was on account of their inferior education, not skin color or previous condition of servitude.”

    huh. that kinda makes my skin crawl. when did he say this exactly? and what made him think that just because someone was white that they had been given a good enough education (by his standards) to vote? i know plenty of dumb white trash. of course, they don’t tend to vote anyway…

    still, that’s a nasty little opinion. and a nasty way at looking at rights and freedom.

  • zingzing

    nasty way of

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Yeah, Reason is interesting but more from a libertarian perspective. I read it all the time.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, the argument for the disenfranchisement which Buckley endorsed – and he often said these things as hypotheticals to try to make a point – was of a sort which many other conservatives still believe in.

    It seems elitist, but the basic concern is that a segment of the population really isn’t qualified to vote responsibly. Not because they are black or poor, though many of those falling into this category certainly would have been in the 1950s when Buckley made his controversial comment, but because they are either inadequately educated and informed or lack a commitment to society and good government because they don’t own property or pay taxes and therefore have nothing at risk to the actions of government.

    The idea of restricting voting to ‘qualified’ voters is very appealing, and it was the standard nationwide at the time the Constitution was written. Universal male sufferage wasn’t something which began to even be considered desirable until the 1820s and even then it was very controversial.

    It’s actually one of the basic tenets of (small r) republican government that only some members of society qualify as full citizens, usually based on a certain level of income, education and ownership of property. Everyone enjoys the protections of the law, but only qualified citizens should be allowed to vote, because they have more of a stake in society and more to gain or lose from the actions of government.

    I don’t find the idea entirely without merit.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    zing,

    I’m not going to defend Buckleys view, just explain whence it came. I, too, think he was in error taking this position. In fact, I attacked it pretty thoroughly many years ago in the comments section of NR, as did many others. Buckley was a Patrician and a committed Catholic and consistent to his own code, which he inherited from his father.

    He also said that white trash shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Basically, he would require a literacy test and a citizenship test. One should only be rewarded with citizenship upon attaining certain creds such as literacy and financial viability. Easy to say, one might object, born into a millionaires family, sported to a Yale education, and then sported to a magazine startup by family and friends. Rather like the twit in the whitehouse who has airily stated that poor people are poor because they are lazy. But Buckley sought to establish creds on his own by enlisting in the WW2 infantry and by establishing a national coalition of radio stations.

    Buckley was the kind of character that was almost non-existent in the USA, but quite common in England: rockribbed defender of the mighty with bohemian lifestyle and infinite charm that deceived people into thinking he might like them despite their own low class. In the USA such ideas were trumped by Brahmin Transcendentalism and other democratizing influences. Buckley started NR to create an intellectual superstructure for the defense of ‘conservatism’, which then as now meant different things to different people.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave, your #21 gives me [and I suspect many others] the same sort of shudder and shiver you claim Hillary Clinton’s tax proposals give you. The property and income portion of your formula in particular. Disgusting.

    Some very evil people could use very similar reasoning and cause devastating trouble. Some of these people, for example, might think Germany had some good ideas in 1933-45.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Handy, while Dave’s comment makes me just as uncomfortable as it did you, your response (the second paragraph anyway) doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s an example of a curious little logical fallacy known in the trade as argumentum ad hitlerum.

    Just helping ye out.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Substitute your own choice of ethnicity-focused political extremists, then. I wasn’t accusing Dave of being a Nazi, but of cozying up to some very questionable arguments that could be [and have been] used for harm.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Handy, it has nothing to do with ethnicity, it has to do with setting qualifications for voting based on objective standards which don’t include things like race, gender, sexual preference or national origin. Lots of societies have had more than one level of citizenship. It’s not really all that radical or creepy a concept.

    And keep in mind that I didn’t say that we SHOULD implement a system like this, just that it had some logic to it, and that it was the kind of thing Buckley was talking about.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    It’s an old chicken/egg type problem: do you admit all people to the body politic and hope that they acquire the skills of citizenship, or do you require them to pay the price of admission by acquiring education and wealth first?

    In the USA we have tried to obviate the issue by equipping people with a publicly funded education sufficient to both equip them for citizenship and for financial vocation so that when they attain voting age they have also achieved the citizenship requirements.

    Sounds like a good idea. There are some problems in the implementation, however.

  • Pablo

    I have a better idea. Lets have the federal government subsidize all school districts throughout the US. Then the dept of education can
    set up all the curiculum for all schools, with United Nations help of course. Then we can really educate people, and they will then be “worthy” of voting “priviledges”.

    Part of the curiculum set in US History will not include teaching that the USA is a constitutional republic, (not a democracy), nor will it provide for classes in constitutional law, as that will be left to law school students.

    After said department has thouroughly brainwashed the students, then we can do as his emminence WFB suggested regarding voting.

    Am I being facetious or not?

    What WFB and Mr Nalle fail to recognize is that people are born with rights, we as americans have established that voting is in fact a RIGHT, not a privilege, and being a right, is not subject to infringment. Now those of you that will argue that our rights are infringed frequently, and I should get used to it, I must reply that I will never get used to it, and always resist, and that those of you that would give up (not plagerizing) your liberty for security, deserve NEITHER.

    I will only say this about Mr. Buckley at this time. He was the ULTIMATE snob, and despite his so-called libertarian bent, (supporting drug posession legalization etc.)he was more aligned with globalists, and particularly the CFR.

    I will write a more castigating opinion soon.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Actually, Pablo. I’d argue that voting is in fact NOT a fundamental right. It’s a right rcognized in a couple of amendments to the Constitution, but it’s not in the main body of the document or in the Bill of Rights, and it certainly isn’t covered under the rights to life, liberty and property.

    What you fail to grasp is that mob democracy is inherently dangerous to the kind of libertarian ideology you claim to believe in. All mob rule does is inevitably take away the rights of everyone but the mob.

    And BTW, as I’m writing this I see that the featured google ad is for my personal blog under its own name ‘the elitist pig’. How appropriate.

    Reminds me I need to change that ad, though.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    “What WFB and Mr Nalle fail to recognize is that people are born with rights, we as americans have established that voting is in fact a RIGHT, not a privilege, and being a right, is not subject to infringment. Now those of you that will argue that our rights are infringed frequently, and I should get used to it, I must reply that I will never get used to it, and always resist, and that those of you that would give up (not plagerizing) your liberty for security, deserve NEITHER.” (emphasis added; see below)

    Anybody else notice Pablo’s patronizing habit of telling the rest of us what we will respond to his diatribes?

    He does this in almost every comment he posts.

  • bliffle

    How curious. At the same time that we are marking the death of WFB, certainly a remarkable and intriguing american, a man of great intelligence and charm, there is a new documentary on PBS celebrating the life of Peter Seeger, who is still alive and strumming that damn noisy banjo (I swear it stops the hens from laying!)

    “we were waist deep in the big muddy,
    and the big fool says to push on”

    “if you love your Uncle Sam,
    bring ‘em home, bring ‘em home”

    “to everything, turn, turn, turn,
    there is a season,
    turn turn turn
    and a time for every purpose under heaven…”

    All my kids went to sleep hearing about the horrible monster Abiyoyo, who

    “…had scraggly green teeth …
    because he didn’t brush them every day…”

    …and who danced himself exhaustedly to sleep because that little kid in the village kept playing his darn ukelele.

    *sigh*

  • Baronius

    Dave, I sense more revisionism on your part.

    Buckley opposed Rand because of her atheism. He fought to keep atheism out of the conservative fold. His first book, God and Man at Yale, was an indictment of the university for its loss of religion. National Review was overtly Catholic. Buckley’s opposition to Communism was founded on individualism, yes, but also his Christian faith.

    Buckley was a round peg, and you can’t fit him into a progressive Republican hole.

  • Pablo

    I am so sorry that I am bothering you Clavos, I will try to make it a habit. :)

  • bliffle

    Buckley simply thought Rand was stupid. So would anyone, you would think.

  • G. Oren

    Good to see that Dave took up the task of eulogizing WFB. Good effort Dave.

    I began subscribing to NR in the spring of 1980 as a college freshman. Reading past issues voraciously in the periodical stacks of our library (including the famous or infamous Whitaker Chambers putdown of Ayn Rand – which NR put out on their website some years ago)and his early books, God and Man at Yale and Up From Liberalism. I was deeply impressed by WFB’s urbanity and wit. His Firing Line shows were remarkable examples of sustained intellectual discussion – something hardly possible to imagine in todays TV (except on PBS) – even with the explosion of cable news shows. For its first 30 years of existence, NR was irreplaceable as a journal of the right. There was no comparable publication in existence. The early contributing editors to NR were of varied intellectual backgrounds but were united by their opposition to communism and the fellow traveling softheadedness of postwar liberalism.

    Compare the early NR writers like Wilmore Kendall, Max Eastman, Whitaker Chambers, James Burnham, Russell Kirk, Frank Meyer etc.. (although they many times disagreed with each other) to the nullities that populate those pages now!

    It is true that the right lost its unifying force when the Soviet Union collapsed unexpectedly at the end of 1991. But NR had lost many of its best later contributors in the spat between paleos and neos. Chilton Williamson and Joseph Sobran being two of the best. Sobran’s “Pensees” for the 30th anniversary issue in 1985 remains one of the best essays on American conservatism ever penned.

    Reading WFB’s essay preface to the 1970 edition of a collection of essays called “Did you ever see a Dream Walking – American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century” (later revised and re-released in 1988 as “Keeping the Tablets – Modern American Conservative Thought”) I was struck once again by his forceful anti-statism, reverent moral sensibility within a secular framework and dedication to an American renaissance of thought. Here is a quote from the final paragraph of WFB’s essay: “I hope and pray that, as time goes by, the twentieth century will shed the odium that clings to its name, that it may crystallize as the century in which the individual overtook technology-the century in which all the mechanical ingenuity of man, even when fired by man’s basest political lusts, proved insufficient to sunder man’s essential reliance on his Maker, the century in which we learned finally (no, not finally; we never learn finally), or at least for a period, how useless it is, how dangerous it is, to strut about ideologizing the world when we need to know that it was born intractable and will die intractable.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    (later revised and re-released in 1988 as “Keeping the Tablets – Modern American Conservative Thought”)

    Shouldn’t that be “Keep Taking the Tablets…”?

    ;-D

  • REMF

    “Anybody else notice Pablo’s patronizing habit of telling the rest of us what we will respond to his diatribes? He does this in almost every comment he posts.”
    – Clavos

    “Come on you guys, I don’t want you to play with Billy anymore because he’s always trying to start trouble.”
    – an insecure 4th grader trying to manipulate others at recess

  • bliffle

    I lost interest in NR as a magazine and WFB as a political thinker by 1970. His version of conservatism was simply to dry and without juice, and the consequences of many of his syllogisms were simply too adverse to support the premises. Modus Ponens.

    But he was always entertaining, and very amiable, on his own terms.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Buckley was a very intriguing political figure of the 20th Century, but his defenders here certainly don’t make the case.

    He kept a Communist from speaking at Yale. If Buckley had belief in the righteousness of his convictions, why would he not challenge the man to a debate or hear him out and respond to the speech at a later date? Banning only increases interest in something.

    What exactly is there to be impressed about that Buckley felt the group he was born into should be the only one allowed to vote. Very courageous stand. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    The clip is not from “Firing Line,” but ABC News like the announcer and YouTube clearly state.

  • G. Oren

    Reading back thru some of the comments here I’m a little surprised that the only thing anyone seems to have fixated on is that WFB supported a literacy test to vote 45 years ago. While that might have seemed exceptionable to some and common sense to others at the time, the intervening years have basically demonstated that the poor and uneducated don’t vote consistently anyway, neither do close to 50% of the population – conservatives would debate whether that is a good or bad thing.

    Bliffle – I understand what you mean about “dry and without juice”. For me NR became tedious toward the end of the GHW Bush adminstration – tired and worn-out. I don’t think WFB much cared for the Weekly Standard style, nor for the political consequences of the Commentarians version of neo-conservatism – liberalism light – though they made useful allies for a time.

    El Bicho – I believe I remember reading that WFB agreed with you that in a free market place of ideas, all ideas should be heard and debated. The exception to that rule of tolerance was to exclude those who, if they won enough support, would intolerantly suppress all subsequent debate. The example being that the German people supported Hitler and voted him in as Chancellor – wherein they got an end to further choices. We are too quick to embrace sloppy rhetoric about democracy – on the left and the right. Witness, if democracy as we understand it were to instituted in the Middle-East right now, we’d probably see another half-dozen Islamic Republics – I’m sure that’s what W (shrub) wants.

    Back to my original thought. WFB supported legalization of Marijuana, not just medical MJ but cigarette style marketing etc… He felt most of the war on drugs was a tremendous waste of time, effort and money and ultimately still made a handful of “criminals” rich – just like prohibition. WFB also supported some for of National Service – a two year commitment after high school that would have required young people to grow up a little and serve their country in some manner – perhaps military service, perhaps something similar to Americorps and the Peace Corps. This idea had great merit I think, because it would have forced a sense of community and shared sacrifice upon our young, who more and more are isolated from other young people not of their social class and prospects.

    Neither legalization of MJ or National Service were at all popular with the GOP.

  • http://pointlessannointed.blogspot.com Colin

    I may be wrong – and I welcome correction in an enourmous styley – but isn’t WFB the source of the “believed they could fly” acid scare stories?

    There is a nice obituary of him in the Independent in the UK.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    He kept a Communist from speaking at Yale. If Buckley had belief in the righteousness of his convictions, why would he not challenge the man to a debate or hear him out and respond to the speech at a later date? Banning only increases interest in something.

    Buckley’s point was that Yale already had plenty of communists of its own and didn’t need to encoruage any more of them. And he did debate plenty of people from the far left over the years, including Noam Chomsky.

    What exactly is there to be impressed about that Buckley felt the group he was born into should be the only one allowed to vote. Very courageous stand. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    That’s a gross mischaracterization of what he believed. The qualifications he proposed had nothing to do with being born into the social and economic elite.

    The clip is not from “Firing Line,” but ABC News like the announcer and YouTube clearly state.

    IIRC Firing Line was a feature on ABC News. You know, back when the news lasted more than 20 minutes.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Ok I waited a week. There isn’t really much to say about WFB, except this. He was an intelligent pompous ASS. That sums up my opinion of him. On a side note however to those conservatives out there, it is a sad day for you when this man is about all you can come up with as to one of your heroes. I would greatly like to hear about your opinions on such conservative luminaries as Newt Gingrich, Orin Hatch, Sean Hannity, William Kristol, or (God rest his soul) Jerry Falwell.

    Your (conservatives) movement in my opinion had its most legitimacy and coherence with Barry Goldwater, and since that time has been slowly sinking down into the realm of fascism, corruption, and arrogance, particularly with your new breed of neo cons.

    I did sleep more soundly the night that I heard about WFB’s demise.

  • Maurice

    Dave,

    I didn’t read any of the comments. I read your article and appreciate your comments on a great man. Thanks, M.

  • Clavos

    Maurice,

    “I didn’t read any of the comments”

    You didn’t miss anything.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, the fact that you think Buckley fits in the same category with the ‘conservatives’ you mention shows how little you understand him. If you don’t have a basic familiarity with his beliefs and the positions he espoused, then I don’t see how you can have a meaningful opinion of him. All I see you really saying is that you thought he was an elitist and that elitism is bad. That’s an incredibly bigoted and naive viewpoint, sorry.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    No comment on the republican luminaries that I listed? Not surprising. I am very familiar with WFB and his political beliefs, the only one that I ever agreed with him on was the phony war on drugs. As to being bigoted towards elites, you bet I am, and proud of it. It was obvious from WFB’s style and writings that he believed that he was far superior than most other people, particularly people that did not make the kind of dough that he did. His nose was always above his face, with that characteristic smugness that I found so repulsive.

    The fact is Dave that your conservative movement has no heroes, most of them are vacuous, and obviously only in the movement for the dough that they may be able to generate out of it. Newt Gingrich, creep and facist, Orin Hatch using the art of being innocuous to be a storm trooper, Pat Robertson, give me a break. I could go on and on with such luminaries as Richard Armitage, Elliot Abrahms, Rush, Hannity, etc. The fact is that most of these people make their livings by promoting hate and fear, and do everything that they can to eviscerate the constitution, and declaration of independence on a daily basis.

    Conservatism today is nothing more than a cloak for fascism and intolerance, and promoting the military industrial complex that Eisenhower so prophetically warned us about.

    The world is a better place imho without Mr. Buckley in it, I will pray however for his immortal soul, as he will need it.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, you make a typical mistake in suggesting that it is ‘my’ conservative movement. I’m a classical liberal and I have never agreed with Buckley on the redefinition of terms like conservative and broadening them to include ideas which really don’t fit them. When you open the door that wide you leave room for people like the Neocons to slip in.

    I’m surprised that opposition to the War on Drugs is the only common ground you have with Buckley. I’d have thought you would agree with his opposition to the War in Iraq and his support of small government and minimal taxation.

    As for your ‘luminaries’, I’ve discussed all of them before on BC and most of them I consider dangerous scum, with the possible exception of Gingrich who I find occasionally somewhat sensible.

    I find it ironic that you accuse these ‘conservatives’ of promoting hate and fear, when that’s exactly what you seem to be selling ad nauseum in your conspiratorial rantings.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Pablo, in what sense has the conservative movement descended into fascism, corruption, and arrogance?

    Your characterization of Buckley is wildly off-base. He was pro-intellect, but very anti-intellectual, anti-elite. He believed in the strength of his ideas rather than his birth. Your descriptions of other conservatives are pretty inaccurate too. (Even the names: Armitage? Really?) Hatch uses the facade of a storm trooper to hide his innocuousness. And I’ve never heard anyone claim that Hannity is the cream of the conservative intellectual crop.

    If you oppose conservatism so much, you should know your enemy. You don’t.

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    And your conservative heroes are??

  • Clavos

    “Heroes” is a subjective artificial construct rooted in mythology.

    There are no heroes in the real world.

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose

    Are you serious? I think there are a lot of heroes in the world; they’re not always the people the establishment tells us about though.

    Fiona MacKeown, the mother of Scarlett Keeling, is definitely a hero(ine) for the tremendous courage and love she has shown in standing up for her late daughter.

  • REMF

    “There are no heroes in the real world.”
    – Clavos

    Except perhaps the late Col. David Hackworth:
    **10 Silver Stars
    **8 Bronze Stars
    **8 Purple Hearts
    **Distinguished Service Cross (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
    **Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)
    Distinguished Flying Cross
    **Air Medal (with “V” Device & Numeral 34) (One for heroism and 33 for aerial achievement)
    **Army Commendation Medal (with “V” Device & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
    **25 years active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces
    **World War II Victory Medal
    **Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany and Japan Clasps)
    **National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Service star)
    **Korean Service Medal (with Service Stars for eight campaigns)
    **Vietnam Service Medal (2 Silver Service stars)

    And FWIW, Hack also condemned Billy Calley’s massacre of innocent women, old men, children and infants at My Lai.

  • troll

    …and then there’s my personal hero – Alfred E Newman whose insight (*What me worry?*) inspires us all in times of crisis

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Isn’t it spelled “Neuman?” I digress.

    REMF, yes. Impressive. But once long ago soldiers were paid not with stars but loot and cash. But that became too much of an expense for the war pigs.

  • troll

    yup

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    There have been many great conservative minds in history. To suggest otherwise smack of pure stupidity. Start with Edmund Burke and move up and follow the lineage. Russel Kirk wrote a book called “The Conservative Mind” which influenced American conservatism (as well as British) and is worth reading. In the U.S. there was John Dewey and Milton Friedman (and of course Buckley) as well John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and D. Eisnehower who were examples of conservative leaders.

    Sure there were some “controversial” ones recently discovered that ruffled the feathers of Hollywood elites like Leo Strauss but actors recite lines. They can’t necessarily read and process information.

    Some may not like certain tenets of conservatism but it doesn’t follow that it has no “heroes.”

    Whatever that damn question means.

  • Clavos

    Chris Rose,

    The woman you mention is a hero because you consider her so.

    An American neo Nazi will consider Eric Rudolph a hero.

    REMF’s hero, Hackworth, came to be accused of being “derelict in his duties” and “act[ing] without honor” by General Abrams and others of his superior officers. He only saved himself from a court martial by resigning from the Army.

    As I said, it’s an artificial construct rooted in mythology.

    One man’s hero is another’s scoundrel.

  • REMF

    “REMF’s hero, Hackworth…”
    – Clavos

    The following from another who viewed Col. Hackworth as a hero, and served with him during one Hack’s four tours in ‘Nam:

    “I’m responding here, cause Col. David H. Hackworth’s passing caught me by surprise. He had made a big impact on me. I was one of the few soldiers left from the 4/39 Infantry Battalion when Hack came on board in 1969. It was in the dry season in Vietnam, and Charlie likes to get ready for his spring offensive by avoiding contact.

    But I quickly found out that this was just ineffective leadership. As I recall when Hackworth came on, we had a battalion kill figure of 4,000-plus in like two months. Prior to this, during the monsoon, our battalion was on the brown-water navy duty after Tet, and in combination we lost just about 700 men in combat. We were always in fights, but never got any feedback on the kills we made unless we counted them ourselves.

    But getting back to Hack, the moment I saw him, I knew he was the real deal. But Vietnam, you never expected to ever, ever actually see, nor serve under a man like Hackworth. He was the type of Army officer I thought would be in abundance, but I found out in two weeks this was not the case in the infantry. Most of guys were just doing their time to get out – I mean the officers – and really did not know anything and really did not know how to fight or command men in battle. I remember many times I questioned myself for following such crazy orders.

    But I modified the orders in action, that’s way I’m alive today. Under Hackworth, we moved as a force, with purpose, and Charlie found it extremely difficult to run operations south of Dong Tam.

    I was extremely fortunate to serve under Hack. One thing I saw and I really despised it, when this brigade commander came down to the fire base. Now this guy was not much older then me, he was a full bird, hell I had just turned 20. Hack being the soldier and a lieutenant colonel was showing this guy around, and he (the brigade commander) was not interested at all. Hell, you could feel it from across the base; you did not have to be close to him to know that.

    Well, that’s what I mean about guys during their time and getting a promotion. But Hack knew how to soldier and how to put fear in Charlie and keep it there. The 4/39 was in charge of this part of the Delta and young full bird colonels got their star without going to the war college because Hackworth was in their pipeline.

    Many years later, I was reading the Sunday newspaper and there was a lengthy interview with Hackworth about the 4/39 Infantry, part of the 9th Infantry Division assigned in the Mekong Delta area of South Vietnam. It was a spectacular account.

    – A 4/39 Soldier”

    (6/7/2005, from the Soldiers For Truth website)

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, I think your definition of heroism is too subjective.

  • Clavos

    Har de har, Chris…

  • Pablo

    alessandro,

    I was referring to contemporary conservatives. I agree with the ones that are no longer with us that you mentioned. Give me some examples of living known conservatives that you actually admire and why.

  • bliffle

    I welcomed Buckley as a breath of fresh air in the 50s, and he was. He blew away much of the staleness of both left and right, liberal and conservative, and was always worth paying attention to.

    Even very recently while reading a Buckley article I was impressed with the fresh insight he provided (I don’t remember the subject) and tho I didn’t agree with his point it made me post a proviso, a disclaimer, to my own attitude on the subject. Now that’s a good writer.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Pablo,

    I appreciate the clarification. Admire? Nah. I don’t rationalize things along those lines. I appreciate people and ideas – except communists. Pigs.

    :< )

    As for "contemporary" I assume this to mean now. Nonetheless, here’s a list – love ‘em or hate ‘em this is a pretty good list. As a point of interest, the French-Italian philosopher Joseph de Maistre was one of the lesser known fathers of conservatism. Once again, no clue how to link.

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose
  • Pablo

    Allesandro,

    I checked out the site, they are all dead, except for Buchanan. Incidentally Irving Kristol was a marxist. I adore Lyssander Spooner however.

    My point in asking and bringing this up, is that in my opinion the “conservative” movement for all intents and purposes is bankrupt. They have no statesman, no heroes.

    Baronius,

    I am still patiently waiting sir to hear you come up with any contemporary conservatives that you admire and why. You apparently did not like the ones that I came up with (I wonder why), I dont like them either. As to fascism and who I think in the conservative movement are facists: James Woolsey, Krauthamamer, Kristol boy, Cheney, I could go on and on. What never ceases to amaze me is that almost invariably those that I do think are fascist are almost invariably in the CFR.

    You asked me in what sense has the conservative movement descended into fascism, corruption, and arrogance. With the exception occasionally of the second amendment, I have never seen modern day conservatives stand up for the Bill of Rights. Particularly the 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th amendments. They are almost always on the side of big brother government, more curtailing of civil liberties, support using RFID technology to monitor innocent citizens, and usually support nationalism to the point of fervor over reason. The corruption is indicative of such people as Abramoff, and his pals Delay and Ney, at the feeding trough.

    From the days of the conservative movement when it was based on the right to be left alone, and individual liberties things sure have changed. Today’s conservatives imho are much more akin to the jack booted thugs of a certain European country circa 1933, based on promoting intolerance and fear. I do know my enemy Baronius, do you?

  • Baronius

    Pablo – I’m sorry about making you wait 24 hours for a reply. I’ve been having awful internet security problems recently, and don’t get on the boards as much as I used to.

    Conservative heroes? I’d have to put Bill Bennett and Antonin Scalia on the list. I haven’t read Jonah Goldberg’s book yet, but I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and he’s definitely one of the better minds in the movement. I don’t know if PJ O’Rourke would want to be called a conservative thinker, but he is. Definitely Thomas Sowell, George Gilder, and Charles Murray. Each of them has their own field of expertise, and sometimes Murray is crazy, but they’ve all three been writing some amazing stuff for quite a while.

    You mentioned Cheney: he’s certainly a hero, along with Ashcroft and Rumsfeld. I wouldn’t consider Rush to be a hero, but the man is talented. Very underrated as a political analyst. That puts me one shy of a dozen. I realize that I haven’t listed many politicians, but I hope that this list will do.

    REMF may point out that these aren’t military figures. I don’t think of military leaders as political. In fact, I’ve got more respect for the soldiers who don’t use their service as a podium for their ideology.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Thanks CR.

    I agree with Baronius. Bennett and Scalia are good examples as well as the others he mentions. George Will and John O’Sullivan are fine writers. I think historian John Keegan is conservative as is Niall Ferguson. Victor David Hanson is a poetic, if not at times over the top historian in the U.S.

    While Mark Steyn is more of a commentator, he’s popular. In Canada, Andrew Coyne is considered conservative. Economically, Larry Kudlow is by all definition a conservative as is William Watson here in Canada In France, Sarkozy is leading a Thatcherite movement in his country – politically speaking.

    I would say O’Rourke (easily one of the best satirists around) is conservative.

    As you can see, Pablo, there are many. I think many do influence.

    Actually, it can be argued conservatism is in a healthier position and more vibrant in the halls of ideas than liberalism.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    By the way, all you need to do is go read place like The National Review and First Things (to name a couple) to be exposed to various conservative thinkers.

  • Villiami Selsele

    Buckley was clever to a certain level and quite cunning- sly. In the end his “conservatism” turned out to be a variant of statism. He just had different reasons for wanting it and a different list of people he wanted to see running it. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Buckley’s political movement lost steam. There were no underlying principles other than what he was against.

    Buckley’s primary achievement was the replacement of the traditional conservative ethic of freedpm and individuality with a new version based on the ideal of the state as sovereign over all- a reversal of what the framers of the US Constitution had in mind. Didn’t any of you notice?

    By the way, I especially enjoyed his excoriation and critiques of books he had never read. That was funny.

    I trust the man is soon forgotten.

  • Villiami Selsele

    Buckley was clever to a certain level and quite cunning- sly. In the end his “conservatism” turned out to be a variant of statism. He just had different reasons for wanting it and a different list of people he wanted to see running it. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Buckley’s political movement lost steam. There were no underlying principles other than what he was against.

    Buckley’s primary achievement was the replacement of the traditional conservative ethic of freedpm and individuality with a new version based on the ideal of the state as sovereign over all- a reversal of what the framers of the US Constitution had in mind. Didn’t any of you notice?

    By the way, I especially enjoyed his excoriation and critiques of books he had never read. That was funny.

    I trust the man is soon forgotten.

  • 773SleepyHollow

    Some posters have suggested that Buckley’s support of a literacy test for voters was non-racial… well, here’s the quote from the Times obit again; I’ve capitalized part of it for emphasis:

    “In 1955, Mr. Buckley started National Review as voice for ‘the disciples of truth, who defend the organic moral order’ with a $100,000 gift from his father and $290,000 from outside donors. The first issue, which came out in November, claimed the publication ‘stands athwart history yelling Stop.’

    It proved it by lining up squarely behind Southern segregationists, saying Southern whites had the right to impose their ideas on blacks who were as yet culturally and politically inferior to them. AFTER SOME CONSERVATIVES OBJECTED, Mr. Buckley suggested instead that both uneducated whites and blacks should be denied the vote.”

    In other words, Buckley’s main goal was to maintain white supremacy, not to have a literate voting pool… only when some other, non-racist conservatives objected to this did he throw them the bone of denying uneducated Americans their franchise regardless of race. (Even then, I doubt Buckley truly thought the literacy tests would be applied fairly to blacks and whites in the Jim Crow south.)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sleepy, your argument fails because there’s no evidence that Buckley ever held any other racially based positions. With the evidence suggesting that he was not in general a racist, his argument that the issue was fitness to vote without regard to race seems fairly believable and I see no reason not to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    As for Villiami’s bizarre comment, it’s quite clear that he’s as unfamiliar with Buckley’s beliefs as Pablo and just as irrationally prejudiced because of the mere fact that Buckley was proud to openly admit to being a conservative.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Pablo – It’s pretty confusing when you address these comments on another thread. The Spitzer thread has gone from a discussion of morality and hypocrisy to economic issues. It’s the last place I should be defending conservative leaders.

    Alessandro, how did I forget Steyn, or Hanson for that matter? I’m not a fan of George Will, but the guy can write, and he’s still quite influential. I don’t know if you’ve run across Heather Mac Donald (City Joural, I think) or Jay Nordlinger (National Review), but they’re both worth reading.

    I don’t know if there will be another Buckley though. He was the best, and he provided a forum for the best. He so obviously deserved a seat at the table that the top people on the left and in the center paid attention, and over time other conservatives were invited into the conversation. We’re so spoiled today. It wasn’t long ago that a person had to prove himself to be worth listening to, and even moreso for a conservative.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Yes, I’ve heard of them and in fact do read Nordlinger from time to time. Is it me or do conservatives have a sense of humour?

    Reason magazine certainly feel Buckley opened the door for the libertarian movement to have some space in the halls of civil discourse.

    Personally and frankly, I think too many people misread Buckley. Some negative interpretations of his work are somewhat shallow. I would not be surprised those who do this are the ones who grudgingly read his stuff with a preconceived notion and are already looking for something to”catch” him on. “A-ha! I knew it! He’s a racist!”

    Sometimes our perceptions are dead on and other times…

    Aren’t we all guilty of this every now and then? That’s when you have to shake your head and knock those little evil gremlins out, take a shot of hootch, inhale deeply and start again.

    You don’t have to like and agree with Buckley to appreciate him. Conversely, if you like them you know where his shortcomings lie.

    That’s the beauty of discourse and the arts.

  • REMF

    “You mentioned Cheney: he’s certainly a hero, along with Ashcroft…”
    – Baronius

    Huh?! Heroes to whom, others who dodged the draft during time of war?

  • REMF

    “Conservative heroes? I’d have to put Bill Bennett…”
    – Baronius

    Hero for what? His draft-dodging and gambling addiction?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    REMF:

    I have a suspicion that Baronius – at least partly – posted some of those names out of curiosity to see what people’s temples look like when they explode.

    I guess he knows now.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    We all do…when their temples explode all you can see is the great, yawning void behind them.

    Dave

  • REMF

    “We all do…when their temples explode all you can see is the great, yawning void behind them.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Not exactly totally void, I do know a phony when I see one.

  • Clavos

    I consider most draft dodgers to be exceptional people precisely because they were smart enough NOT to get sucked into the military…

  • REMF

    “I consider most draft dodgers to be exceptional people precisely because they were smart enough NOT to get sucked into the military…”
    – Clavos above

    “John Kerry joined the Navy to avoid the draft and having to serve in combat on the ground.”
    – Clavos in 2006

  • Clavos

    Yet more proof of how stupid kerry is.

    “You can’t draft ME; I’ll join up!”

  • Cincinnatus

    Kerry didn’t have the integrity to stand up and refuse to be drafted. He knew he could join the military and use his education and family influence to minimize the risk involved, rather like Al Gore.

    I’d respect him at least a little if he had used a college deferment or hid out in England like Bill Clinton, but to make a sham of military service is far worse than merely dodging the draft.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    Speaking of privileged individuals, didn’t one of the Royal offspring spend a few hours in Afghanistan and is safely back home? What’s that about?

  • REMF

    “He knew he could join the military and use his education and family influence to minimize the risk involved, rather like Al Gore.”

    Um, you left out GW Bush, Dan Quayle, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan, George Will, Donald Rumsfeld and Bob Dornan.

    —————————

    “I’d respect him at least a little if he had used a college deferment or hid out in England like Bill Clinton, but to make a sham of military service is far worse than merely dodging the draft.”

    Or he could’ve gotten a medical deferment for a pimple on his ass like Rush Limbaugh. And would GW Bush’s DESERTION also qualify for “making a sham of military service”??

    —————————

    BTW Cincinnatus, Kerry faced and returned enemy fire in combat, earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and 3 Purple Hearts. And yourself?

  • Clavos

    “Kerry…returned enemy fire in combat…”

    Yup. He shot a fleeing Vietnamese in the ass.

    Heroic dude, he. Real presidential material.

    Or not.

  • bliffle

    #83 — March 12, 2008 @ 15:53PM — Clavos

    Yet more proof of how stupid kerry is.

    “You can’t draft ME; I’ll join up!”

    Uhhhh, did Kerry actually say that? As implied by the quote marks?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Alessandro: “didn’t one of the Royal offspring spend a few hours in Afghanistan and is safely back home? What’s that about?”

    Prince Harry did indeed spend several weeks on active duty in Afghanistan, and it would have been longer had some idiot named Matt Drudge not blurted his presence there to the world, instantly making him a top Taliban target*.

    You can read the Silver Surfer’s take on the story right here on BC.

    * Harry, not Drudge, unfortunately.

  • bliffle

    #87 — March 12, 2008 @ 20:25PM — Clavos

    “Kerry…returned enemy fire in combat…”

    Yup. He shot a fleeing Vietnamese in the ass.

    Clavos,

    Is that true or are you being hyperbolic?

  • Clavos

    Bliffle,

    The Commie was fleeing. The “ass” part was hyperbole.

    From an article on the Factcheck website:

    “The longest of the citations, signed by Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam, describes Kerry as killing a fleeing Viet Cong with a loaded rocket launcher. It says that as Kerry beached his boat to attack his second set of ambushers, “an enemy soldier sprang up from his position not ten feet from Patrol Craft Fast 94 and fled. Without hesitation, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY leaped ashore, pursued the man behind a hooch, and killed him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber.”

  • bliffle

    Clavos,

    So what was the point of your hyperbole?

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    #89 – Thanks, Doc. Yeah, that would make him an easy target.

  • Clavos

    Color, bliffle.

    Artistic license.

  • Baronius

    Clavos – If I may suggest something… Kerry’s first Purple Heart was awarded for the shrapnel that hit him after he shot a rock. Certainly you can do something with that.

    REMF – I already addressed your point in comment #67.

    Dread – Those names weren’t chosen to goad anyone. I’ve said before that Cheney, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld will one day be recognized as our Clay and Webster.

  • bliffle

    #94 — March 13, 2008 @ 00:51AM — Clavos

    Color, bliffle.

    Artistic license.

    Distortion. Deceit.

  • bliffle

    Clavos, were you being ‘colorful’ when you attributed a quote to Kerry in #83?

  • Clavos

    “Distortion. Deceit.”

    “Clavos, were you being ‘colorful’ when you attributed a quote to Kerry in #83?”

    You mean like kerry was distorting, deceiving, and being colorful (not to mention outright lying) in the testimony about my service he gave before Congress in 1971?

  • bliffle

    I’m not aware that Kerry lied explicitly about you, or, really, anyone else. But even if he did it doesn’t seem to me that justifies you lieing here today on BC. Just my opinion.

    So, I surmise that Kerry never said what you attributed to him?

  • REMF

    Bliff, don’t forget this one by our friend Clavvy a couple years ago:

    “John Kerry’s 1971 speech was responsible for the way I was treated when I came back from ‘Nam in 1966.”
    – Clavos, 2006

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think Bliffle is ably demonstrating the utter lack of reasonable perspective which makes the left so unappealing to so many.

    That he looks for deception and deceit in every colorful comment shows that he’s moved beyond rational dialog into ideological blindness.

    Dave

  • REMF

    “I think Bliffle is ably demonstrating the utter lack of reasonable perspective which makes the left so unappealing to so many.”
    – Dave Nalle

    I disagree, Nalle. I feel his perspective is far more reasonable than anything you’ve ever presented.

    —————————

    “That he looks for deception and deceit in every colorful comment shows that he’s moved beyond rational dialog into ideological blindness.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Couldn’t disagree more, Nalle. Again, Bliff’s dialog is much more rational than yours, and makes a lot more sense than your over-inflated ideology.

  • Clavos

    “I’m not aware that Kerry lied explicitly about you, or, really, anyone else”

    It’s a matter of record. He lied about ALL of us.

    “So, I surmise that Kerry never said what you attributed to him?”

    You can’t really “surmise” it, because he DID volunteer, so it’s entirely possible he DID say it. But, if you’re asking if there is a record somewhere of his having said it, I’m not aware of one.

    My original point (which got lost in your meaningless hairsplitting) is that he was stupid to volunteer.

    And I stand by it.

  • Clavos

    “”John Kerry’s 1971 speech was responsible for the way I was treated when I came back from ‘Nam in 1966.”
    – Clavos, 2006″

    Show me the comment number date, and thread where I wrote those exact words, shuffleboard boy.

  • Clavos

    “Bliff’s dialog is much more rational than yours, and makes a lot more sense than your over-inflated ideology.”

    What delicious irony!

    The king of non sequiturs sets himself up as the arbiter of rationality and sense.

    Best laugh of the day…

  • bliffle

    So, then Clavos, Kerry never uttered the statement you attributed to him in quote marks?

    Should I believe you when you quote someone in the future or should I expect that it’s not true?

    You tell me.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Holy Christ, Bliffle, Clavos found the Kerry quote in this article.