Commentary Magazine


Topic: Bill Buckley

Not Doing His Party Any Favors

With a nod to Bill Buckley, I’d rather have economic policy set by the first 400 people in the Boston phone directory than by Larry Summers. If you needed further reason to subscribe to this view, there is this:

In the new poll released this week, 55% said that “increasing taxes on any Americans will slow the economy and kill jobs,” CNBC said. Only 40% said the Bush-era tax cuts should be canceled for higher earners, as President Barack Obama advocates. … The CNBC poll also showed significant erosion of support for placing more regulation on business. Eighteen months ago, 47% said increased regulation would be good for the economy. Now, only 34% say so. In addition, 55% of Americans said Obama’s overall economic plans have made things worse so far.

Meanwhile, Obama is trying to change the subject. But, alas, the new topic isn’t a winner: “President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to reintroduce his signature health-care bill to voters who don’t much like it or even understand it six months after he signed it.”

I’m not sure what Obama is accomplishing on behalf of Democratic candidates at this point. If anything, he is reminding voters that they don’t like his economic policies, never wanted ObamaCare, and would rather he didn’t raise taxes. Maybe an overseas trip would be preferable. (Not to Israel, of course. Catcalls and whistles from Israeli protesters wouldn’t look so great on the evening news.) As far as Democrats are concerned, the longer the better.

With a nod to Bill Buckley, I’d rather have economic policy set by the first 400 people in the Boston phone directory than by Larry Summers. If you needed further reason to subscribe to this view, there is this:

In the new poll released this week, 55% said that “increasing taxes on any Americans will slow the economy and kill jobs,” CNBC said. Only 40% said the Bush-era tax cuts should be canceled for higher earners, as President Barack Obama advocates. … The CNBC poll also showed significant erosion of support for placing more regulation on business. Eighteen months ago, 47% said increased regulation would be good for the economy. Now, only 34% say so. In addition, 55% of Americans said Obama’s overall economic plans have made things worse so far.

Meanwhile, Obama is trying to change the subject. But, alas, the new topic isn’t a winner: “President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to reintroduce his signature health-care bill to voters who don’t much like it or even understand it six months after he signed it.”

I’m not sure what Obama is accomplishing on behalf of Democratic candidates at this point. If anything, he is reminding voters that they don’t like his economic policies, never wanted ObamaCare, and would rather he didn’t raise taxes. Maybe an overseas trip would be preferable. (Not to Israel, of course. Catcalls and whistles from Israeli protesters wouldn’t look so great on the evening news.) As far as Democrats are concerned, the longer the better.

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The Delaware Lesson

Charles Krauthammer explains many conservatives’ frustration over Christine O’Donnell’s upset primary win:

The very people who have most alerted the country to the perils of President Obama’s social democratic agenda may have just made it impossible for Republicans to retake the Senate and definitively stop that agenda. …

That’s what makes the eleventh-hour endorsements of O’Donnell by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sarah Palin so reckless and irresponsible.

I would offer two caveats, although I agree with the sentiment. (By the way, there is much less upset with the Tea Partiers who have proved their value to the party and championed many excellent candidates than with the two supposedly professional pols). First, there are other routes (through California, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc.) to get to control of the Senate, but it sure is harder to take the Senate if Delaware is not a “solid Republican” but a “solid Democratic” race. And second, a bare majority in the Senate will not be sufficient to rip up the Obama agenda, although it sure would make a difference in confirmation fights, committee hearings, investigations, etc. That said, there is a reason why some are upset.

Krauthammer reminds us:

Bill Buckley — no Mike Castle he — had a rule: Support the most conservative candidate who is electable. …

Of course Mike Castle is a liberal Republican. What do you expect from Delaware? A DeMint? Castle voted against Obamacare and the stimulus. Yes, he voted for cap-and-trade. That’s batting .667. You’d rather have a Democrat who bats .000 and who might give the Democrats the 50th vote to control the Senate?

So Krauthammer suggests DeMint and Palin go to Delaware. (“You made it possible. Now make it happen.”) But Palin has fessed up that she might do more harm than good. (Yesterday, Palin on Fox News explained: “I’ll do whatever I can. I want to help, though, and not hurt. And, you know, sometimes it’s a double edged sword there if my name is connected to anybody.”) Because, for Pete’s sake, this is Delaware!

Perhaps, like John Boehner, the GOP will get lucky and O’Donnell will either pull a stunning upset win (bizarre things have already happened this year, but this would surely rank up there) or the party will find some other route to majority status in the Senate. Alternatively, if the GOP picks up only seven or eight states, the single Delaware seat would not have been all that critical.

Still, Delaware is a lesson worth absorbing as the prelims for 2012 get underway. The task for the GOP will be to find a standard bearer that is in the Marco Rubio mold and not in the Christine O’Donnell mold. If that message is internalized, maybe the lost seat will have been worth it to the GOP. Better to blow Delaware in 2010 than the presidency in 2012.

Charles Krauthammer explains many conservatives’ frustration over Christine O’Donnell’s upset primary win:

The very people who have most alerted the country to the perils of President Obama’s social democratic agenda may have just made it impossible for Republicans to retake the Senate and definitively stop that agenda. …

That’s what makes the eleventh-hour endorsements of O’Donnell by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sarah Palin so reckless and irresponsible.

I would offer two caveats, although I agree with the sentiment. (By the way, there is much less upset with the Tea Partiers who have proved their value to the party and championed many excellent candidates than with the two supposedly professional pols). First, there are other routes (through California, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc.) to get to control of the Senate, but it sure is harder to take the Senate if Delaware is not a “solid Republican” but a “solid Democratic” race. And second, a bare majority in the Senate will not be sufficient to rip up the Obama agenda, although it sure would make a difference in confirmation fights, committee hearings, investigations, etc. That said, there is a reason why some are upset.

Krauthammer reminds us:

Bill Buckley — no Mike Castle he — had a rule: Support the most conservative candidate who is electable. …

Of course Mike Castle is a liberal Republican. What do you expect from Delaware? A DeMint? Castle voted against Obamacare and the stimulus. Yes, he voted for cap-and-trade. That’s batting .667. You’d rather have a Democrat who bats .000 and who might give the Democrats the 50th vote to control the Senate?

So Krauthammer suggests DeMint and Palin go to Delaware. (“You made it possible. Now make it happen.”) But Palin has fessed up that she might do more harm than good. (Yesterday, Palin on Fox News explained: “I’ll do whatever I can. I want to help, though, and not hurt. And, you know, sometimes it’s a double edged sword there if my name is connected to anybody.”) Because, for Pete’s sake, this is Delaware!

Perhaps, like John Boehner, the GOP will get lucky and O’Donnell will either pull a stunning upset win (bizarre things have already happened this year, but this would surely rank up there) or the party will find some other route to majority status in the Senate. Alternatively, if the GOP picks up only seven or eight states, the single Delaware seat would not have been all that critical.

Still, Delaware is a lesson worth absorbing as the prelims for 2012 get underway. The task for the GOP will be to find a standard bearer that is in the Marco Rubio mold and not in the Christine O’Donnell mold. If that message is internalized, maybe the lost seat will have been worth it to the GOP. Better to blow Delaware in 2010 than the presidency in 2012.

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Home from the Sea

cross-posted at About Last Night

Moss Hart, who grew up poor and spent a not-inconsiderable portion of his young life riding the subway from deepest Brooklyn to Times Square, swore that if he ever struck it rich, he’d take cabs everywhere, even if his destination was only a block or two away. I’ve never been poor and have yet to strike it rich, but I rode the subway often enough in my first years as a New Yorker to be glad that I can now afford to take cabs. Be that as it may, a true New Yorker who wants to get somewhere at ten on a rainy morning takes the subway, and since today’s Mass for the repose of the soul of William F. Buckley, Jr., who died five weeks ago, was scheduled to start at ten o’clock sharp at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I put on my black outfit and raincoat, descended into the bowels of Manhattan, and made my bumpy way to Rockefeller Center in the midst of a rush-hour crowd.

It’s been quite a while since I walked through Rockefeller Center, even longer since I’ve been inside St. Patrick’s, and a very long time indeed since I last attended a memorial service for a public figure. For all these reasons, I have no standard against which to measure Bill’s funeral obsequies. All I can tell you was that today’s service seemed as splendid as it could possibly have been. The cathedral was full of mourners, the choir loft full of singers, and the music was mostly appropriate to the occasion. Bill was a serious amateur musician who loved Bach above all things–he actually performed the F Minor Harpsichord Concerto in public on more than one occasion–so the organist played “Sheep May Safely Graze” and the slow movement of the Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major. No less suitable were the sung portions of the Mass, drawn from Victoria’s sweetly austere Missa “O magnum mysterium,” and the closing hymn, the noble tune from Gustav Holst’s The Planets to which the following words were later set: I vow to thee, my country–all earthly things above–/Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love.

The only thing that made my inner critic smile wryly was the performance during communion of the Adagio in G Minor long attributed to Albinoni but in fact woven out of whole cloth by one Remo Giazotto. It is a preposterously operatic piece of spurious yard goods, and to hear it played on the organ with all stops pulled put me in mind of something Bill wrote after attending a Virgil Fox recital many years ago:

At one point during a prelude, I am tempted to rise solemnly, commandeer a shotgun, and advise Fox, preferably in imperious German, if only I could learn German in time to consummate the fantasy, that if he does not release the goddam vox humana, which is oohing-ahing-eeing the music where Bach clearly intended something closer to a bel canto, I shall simply have to blow his head off.

That was the Bill Buckley I knew, whip-smart and impishly outrageous, the same man that David Remnick had in mind when he described Bill as having “the eyes of a child who has just displayed a horrid use for the microwave oven and the family cat.”

I wish I could say I knew him well, but I didn’t. I dined at his table a number of times but was only alone with him once, when I interviewed him about Whittaker Chambers for an anthology of Chambers’ journalism that I edited in 1989. On that occasion Bill assured me that although they had been close, Chambers never had “any direct historical or intellectual influence” on him. The reason he gave is striking:

I never embraced, in part because subjectively it’s contra naturam to me, that utter, total, objective, strategic pessimism of his. Among other things, I think it’s wrong theologically to assume that the world is doomed before God decides to doom it. So I never drank too deeply of his Weltschmerz.

Indeed he did not: Bill was the least weltschmerzy person imaginable. Henry Kissinger, who eulogized him this morning, alluded to that side of Bill’s personality when he remarked that Bill “was vouchsafed a little miracle: to enjoy so much what was compelled by inner necessity.” I couldn’t have put it better. Bill worked fearfully hard and was deadly serious about what he believed, but he extracted self-evident enjoyment from everything he did, and you couldn’t be in his presence for more than a minute or two without responding to his joie de vivre. If I’d been in charge of the music today, I would have made a point of picking something a good deal more festive–Bach’s Fugue à la gigue, say, or one of the harpsichord sonatas in which Scarlatti turns the instrument Bill loved best into a giant guitar.

Christopher Buckley, Bill’s son, followed Henry Kissinger, and gave just the sort of eulogy I’d expected from him, funny and light-fingered, putting much-needed smiles on our faces. Only at the end did he sound a darker note, quoting the lines from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Requiem” that he chose as the epitaph for a man who loved sailing as much as he loved Bach: Here he lies where he long’d to be;/Home is the sailor, home from the sea,/And the hunter home from the hill. Then we all sang “I Vow to Thee, My Country,” pushed our way past the waiting photographers, and returned to the gray, misty day.

I passed up a lunch invitation and went home by myself, preferring to be alone with my thoughts. I was thinking of an evening in the fall of 1985, not long after I moved to New York from the Midwest. I’d been writing for National Review, Bill’s magazine, since 1981, but I’d never met my first great patron face to face, so he invited me to an editorial dinner at his Park Avenue apartment. Back then I was working for Harper’s, whose offices were in Greenwich Village, and the thought of meeting Bill for the first time was so exciting that I walked all the way from Astor Place up to 73 E. 73rd Street (where Bill invariably entertained at 7:30).

It was, of course, a symbolic gesture: I was taking possession of the streets of the city to which I had moved and in which I hoped someday to make a name for myself. At the end of my journey I knocked on the door of Bill’s maisonette, and a few moments later he clasped my hand and said, “Hey, buddy!” It was, I would learn, his standard greeting, always uttered with a warmth that remained disarming no matter how many times you heard it.

Ever since then I have associated Bill Buckley with New York, whose doors he flung wide to me, just as he opened the pages of the magazine he edited. Now New York is my home–but Bill is gone, buried in Connecticut, home at last from the sea. Somehow you never imagine outliving the people who show you through the doors that lead to the rest of your life.

cross-posted at About Last Night

Moss Hart, who grew up poor and spent a not-inconsiderable portion of his young life riding the subway from deepest Brooklyn to Times Square, swore that if he ever struck it rich, he’d take cabs everywhere, even if his destination was only a block or two away. I’ve never been poor and have yet to strike it rich, but I rode the subway often enough in my first years as a New Yorker to be glad that I can now afford to take cabs. Be that as it may, a true New Yorker who wants to get somewhere at ten on a rainy morning takes the subway, and since today’s Mass for the repose of the soul of William F. Buckley, Jr., who died five weeks ago, was scheduled to start at ten o’clock sharp at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I put on my black outfit and raincoat, descended into the bowels of Manhattan, and made my bumpy way to Rockefeller Center in the midst of a rush-hour crowd.

It’s been quite a while since I walked through Rockefeller Center, even longer since I’ve been inside St. Patrick’s, and a very long time indeed since I last attended a memorial service for a public figure. For all these reasons, I have no standard against which to measure Bill’s funeral obsequies. All I can tell you was that today’s service seemed as splendid as it could possibly have been. The cathedral was full of mourners, the choir loft full of singers, and the music was mostly appropriate to the occasion. Bill was a serious amateur musician who loved Bach above all things–he actually performed the F Minor Harpsichord Concerto in public on more than one occasion–so the organist played “Sheep May Safely Graze” and the slow movement of the Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major. No less suitable were the sung portions of the Mass, drawn from Victoria’s sweetly austere Missa “O magnum mysterium,” and the closing hymn, the noble tune from Gustav Holst’s The Planets to which the following words were later set: I vow to thee, my country–all earthly things above–/Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love.

The only thing that made my inner critic smile wryly was the performance during communion of the Adagio in G Minor long attributed to Albinoni but in fact woven out of whole cloth by one Remo Giazotto. It is a preposterously operatic piece of spurious yard goods, and to hear it played on the organ with all stops pulled put me in mind of something Bill wrote after attending a Virgil Fox recital many years ago:

At one point during a prelude, I am tempted to rise solemnly, commandeer a shotgun, and advise Fox, preferably in imperious German, if only I could learn German in time to consummate the fantasy, that if he does not release the goddam vox humana, which is oohing-ahing-eeing the music where Bach clearly intended something closer to a bel canto, I shall simply have to blow his head off.

That was the Bill Buckley I knew, whip-smart and impishly outrageous, the same man that David Remnick had in mind when he described Bill as having “the eyes of a child who has just displayed a horrid use for the microwave oven and the family cat.”

I wish I could say I knew him well, but I didn’t. I dined at his table a number of times but was only alone with him once, when I interviewed him about Whittaker Chambers for an anthology of Chambers’ journalism that I edited in 1989. On that occasion Bill assured me that although they had been close, Chambers never had “any direct historical or intellectual influence” on him. The reason he gave is striking:

I never embraced, in part because subjectively it’s contra naturam to me, that utter, total, objective, strategic pessimism of his. Among other things, I think it’s wrong theologically to assume that the world is doomed before God decides to doom it. So I never drank too deeply of his Weltschmerz.

Indeed he did not: Bill was the least weltschmerzy person imaginable. Henry Kissinger, who eulogized him this morning, alluded to that side of Bill’s personality when he remarked that Bill “was vouchsafed a little miracle: to enjoy so much what was compelled by inner necessity.” I couldn’t have put it better. Bill worked fearfully hard and was deadly serious about what he believed, but he extracted self-evident enjoyment from everything he did, and you couldn’t be in his presence for more than a minute or two without responding to his joie de vivre. If I’d been in charge of the music today, I would have made a point of picking something a good deal more festive–Bach’s Fugue à la gigue, say, or one of the harpsichord sonatas in which Scarlatti turns the instrument Bill loved best into a giant guitar.

Christopher Buckley, Bill’s son, followed Henry Kissinger, and gave just the sort of eulogy I’d expected from him, funny and light-fingered, putting much-needed smiles on our faces. Only at the end did he sound a darker note, quoting the lines from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Requiem” that he chose as the epitaph for a man who loved sailing as much as he loved Bach: Here he lies where he long’d to be;/Home is the sailor, home from the sea,/And the hunter home from the hill. Then we all sang “I Vow to Thee, My Country,” pushed our way past the waiting photographers, and returned to the gray, misty day.

I passed up a lunch invitation and went home by myself, preferring to be alone with my thoughts. I was thinking of an evening in the fall of 1985, not long after I moved to New York from the Midwest. I’d been writing for National Review, Bill’s magazine, since 1981, but I’d never met my first great patron face to face, so he invited me to an editorial dinner at his Park Avenue apartment. Back then I was working for Harper’s, whose offices were in Greenwich Village, and the thought of meeting Bill for the first time was so exciting that I walked all the way from Astor Place up to 73 E. 73rd Street (where Bill invariably entertained at 7:30).

It was, of course, a symbolic gesture: I was taking possession of the streets of the city to which I had moved and in which I hoped someday to make a name for myself. At the end of my journey I knocked on the door of Bill’s maisonette, and a few moments later he clasped my hand and said, “Hey, buddy!” It was, I would learn, his standard greeting, always uttered with a warmth that remained disarming no matter how many times you heard it.

Ever since then I have associated Bill Buckley with New York, whose doors he flung wide to me, just as he opened the pages of the magazine he edited. Now New York is my home–but Bill is gone, buried in Connecticut, home at last from the sea. Somehow you never imagine outliving the people who show you through the doors that lead to the rest of your life.

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More on Buckley

cross-posted at About Last Night 

Bill Buckley died this morning. In public life he was a witty, devastatingly effective spokesman for conservatism and the founder of National Review, one of the most influential political magazines of the twentieth century. In private life he was considerate beyond compare, a charismatic host with a magical gift for putting his guests at ease and a passionate amateur pianist who played Bach with fair skill and much love.

I had known him since 1981, when he published the first magazine piece I ever wrote, a review of a book about A.J. Liebling. A year later he wrote a syndicated column about another piece of mine, at a time in my life when I was still trying to find myself as a writer, and my path was smoothed by his generous words. On countless other occasions he helped me in ways I knew I would never be able to repay, though I made a token effort by dedicating my Mencken biography to him.

Bill was devastated when Pat, his wife, died last April. They had been the closest of companions, and no one who knew him at all well expected him to survive her for very long. Nor did he: Bill outlived Pat by less than a year. Now the obituarists will write of his place in the history of postwar American political thought, and they will have much to tell, for he was a very important man and an exceedingly good writer. At some point I will sit down and reread Cruising Speed: A Documentary, my favorite of his five dozen books and the one that best conveys his personality. But not yet: right now I want to think of him not as the great public figure he was but as the charming, funny man who once upon a time was unstintingly kind to an unknown young writer.

I thought the world of him, and I cannot imagine the world without him.

cross-posted at About Last Night 

Bill Buckley died this morning. In public life he was a witty, devastatingly effective spokesman for conservatism and the founder of National Review, one of the most influential political magazines of the twentieth century. In private life he was considerate beyond compare, a charismatic host with a magical gift for putting his guests at ease and a passionate amateur pianist who played Bach with fair skill and much love.

I had known him since 1981, when he published the first magazine piece I ever wrote, a review of a book about A.J. Liebling. A year later he wrote a syndicated column about another piece of mine, at a time in my life when I was still trying to find myself as a writer, and my path was smoothed by his generous words. On countless other occasions he helped me in ways I knew I would never be able to repay, though I made a token effort by dedicating my Mencken biography to him.

Bill was devastated when Pat, his wife, died last April. They had been the closest of companions, and no one who knew him at all well expected him to survive her for very long. Nor did he: Bill outlived Pat by less than a year. Now the obituarists will write of his place in the history of postwar American political thought, and they will have much to tell, for he was a very important man and an exceedingly good writer. At some point I will sit down and reread Cruising Speed: A Documentary, my favorite of his five dozen books and the one that best conveys his personality. But not yet: right now I want to think of him not as the great public figure he was but as the charming, funny man who once upon a time was unstintingly kind to an unknown young writer.

I thought the world of him, and I cannot imagine the world without him.

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In Memoriam WFB

Although I barely knew him, I am, like many others, stunned and saddened by the news of William F. Buckley Jr.’s demise. A great deal will no doubt be written in the hours and days ahead about his colossal achievements: He practically invented the modern conservative movement, he founded a magazine that still endures as one of the most influential beacons of the Right, he nurtured many generations of talent, and he produced too many books and articles to count. On top of it all, he managed to live a whale of a life, whether skiing in Gstaad or sailing across the Atlantic. He was also, in my encounters with him, an unfailingly kind, generous, and gracious soul. Not even his most rabid political opponents could deny his innate decency, any more than they could deny his rapier wit.

One trait of his was, I believe, especially responsible for his success. It is hard to put into words, or perhaps my vocabulary is simply inadequate to the task—something that is particularly galling since I am speaking of the master of the mot juste. The best I can do is to say that he was “balanced.” That’s not quite right. But what, after all, is the opposite of “unbalanced?” That is the danger that anyone who devotes himself to an ideological pursuit, as Buckley did, runs. It is all too easy to go off the rails, to become fanatical in your convictions, and to leave good sense and moderation behind. That is a danger that has befallen countless conservatives from Joe Sobran to Jude Wanniski.

The most successful conservative editors, such as Bob Bartley, Norman Podhoretz, and, more recently, Bill Kristol, have not succumbed to the temptation of extremism. Neither did Bill Buckley. In fact, he managed on a number of occasions to keep the conservative movement as a whole from lurching into loony-land.

COMMENTARY is running an article by him that recalls the important role he played in the early 1960’s in repudiating the John Birch Society. This was one of the most important services he performed for conservatism, though it was hardly the last time that he would break with fellow-travelers (such as Sobran) who had simply gone too far. His common sense, his equipoise if you will, stood not only him but the entire conservative movement in good stead for many decades.

This is an important part of his remarkable legacy, and one that deserves to be honored and remembered—and emulated.

Although I barely knew him, I am, like many others, stunned and saddened by the news of William F. Buckley Jr.’s demise. A great deal will no doubt be written in the hours and days ahead about his colossal achievements: He practically invented the modern conservative movement, he founded a magazine that still endures as one of the most influential beacons of the Right, he nurtured many generations of talent, and he produced too many books and articles to count. On top of it all, he managed to live a whale of a life, whether skiing in Gstaad or sailing across the Atlantic. He was also, in my encounters with him, an unfailingly kind, generous, and gracious soul. Not even his most rabid political opponents could deny his innate decency, any more than they could deny his rapier wit.

One trait of his was, I believe, especially responsible for his success. It is hard to put into words, or perhaps my vocabulary is simply inadequate to the task—something that is particularly galling since I am speaking of the master of the mot juste. The best I can do is to say that he was “balanced.” That’s not quite right. But what, after all, is the opposite of “unbalanced?” That is the danger that anyone who devotes himself to an ideological pursuit, as Buckley did, runs. It is all too easy to go off the rails, to become fanatical in your convictions, and to leave good sense and moderation behind. That is a danger that has befallen countless conservatives from Joe Sobran to Jude Wanniski.

The most successful conservative editors, such as Bob Bartley, Norman Podhoretz, and, more recently, Bill Kristol, have not succumbed to the temptation of extremism. Neither did Bill Buckley. In fact, he managed on a number of occasions to keep the conservative movement as a whole from lurching into loony-land.

COMMENTARY is running an article by him that recalls the important role he played in the early 1960’s in repudiating the John Birch Society. This was one of the most important services he performed for conservatism, though it was hardly the last time that he would break with fellow-travelers (such as Sobran) who had simply gone too far. His common sense, his equipoise if you will, stood not only him but the entire conservative movement in good stead for many decades.

This is an important part of his remarkable legacy, and one that deserves to be honored and remembered—and emulated.

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William F. Buckley, Jr.

Bill Buckley has died at the age of 82. This American original probably did more to transform the American ideological landscape in the second half of the twentieth century than any other writer or editor, and he did so with surpassing grace. We’ll have far more to say about this on CONTENTIONS as the day and week unfold.

Bill Buckley has died at the age of 82. This American original probably did more to transform the American ideological landscape in the second half of the twentieth century than any other writer or editor, and he did so with surpassing grace. We’ll have far more to say about this on CONTENTIONS as the day and week unfold.

Read Less




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