R.I.P. Bill Buckley

| 1 Comment

He was the sharpest and drollest person I'd ever heard speak:

Henry Gibson: Mr. Buckley, I have noticed that whenever you appear on television, you're always seated. Is that because you can't think on your feet?

Buckley: It's very hard to stand up carrying the weight of what I know.

-- Appearance on "Laugh-In," 1970

(from "Buckley Athwart History," selected WFB quotes, Wall Street Journal)

"Above all, conservatives tend to intuit that materialist terminology is insufficient to express the depth of American attachments to their ideals. It remains, for some reason, arresting that one speaks of the "sanctity" of life, of our "devotion" to our ideals, of the "holy" causes in which we engage. American conservatives never exclude those who discountenance transcendent perspectives, but we tend to live by them." [emphasis added]

-- "To Preserve What We Have," essay in The Wall Street Journal, 2002

That's how we've always conducted the two blogs, when you think about it.

I never met the man, though we remotely shared a state of residence, but when I was a teen, I remember "meeting" his brother James...

"Bucking History"

National Review also helped weed out the right's eccentrics; the militant atheism of novelist Ayn Rand and her followers was purged, as were the conspiracy theories of the John Birch Society. By 1960, Sen. Barry Goldwater spoke to his party's national convention as leader of a powerful bloc opposing its Northeastern liberal Rockefeller wing. And though trounced in the election four years later, he and the conservatives had set the stage for Ronald Reagan.
Ahh, we could use some of that purging of Northeastern liberals now...

"Up From Liberalism", Wall Street Journal:

Throughout, Buckley was rarely angry or grim. A famous debate in 1978 with the Gipper on the Panama Canal included the following exchange: Reagan: "Well, Bill, my first question is why haven't you already rushed across the room here to tell me that you've seen the light?" Buckley: "I'm afraid that if I came any closer to you the force of my illumination would blind you."

WFB found joy in everything, even in politics. "I have always held in high esteem the genial tradition," he wrote. This approach is now faded, and more in need in public life than ever. Several generations of conservatives grew up (in more than one sense) with Bill Buckley. Now they have--well, there is no one like him.

I never met the man, though we remotely shared a state of residence, but when I was a teen, I remember "meeting" his brother James and working with my family on his successful Senate campaign back in the 70s. It was my only time spent at a political campaign rally. Pretty exciting stuff, especially when you're a budding adult.

"Above all, conservatives tend to intuit that materialist terminology is insufficient to express the depth of American attachments to their ideals. It remains, for some reason, arresting that one speaks of the "sanctity" of life, of our "devotion" to our ideals, of the "holy" causes in which we engage. American conservatives never exclude those who discountenance transcendent perspectives, but we tend to live by them." [emphasis added]

-- "To Preserve What We Have," essay in The Wall Street Journal, 2002

That's how we've always conducted these two blogs, when you think about it.

WFB, you will be sorely missed.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Cross-posted on Abortion Pundit

1 Comment

A comment by someone condemning William F. Buckley as "godless" and generally ranting ad infinitum about how awful conservatives like him were because the commenter lumped WFB in with the likes of George W. Bush, etc., was deleted.

We don't usually publish such press releases in our comboxes. This is especially true because the commenter simply did not read the links about what WFB actually believed (he was a faithfilled Catholic and rather "God-full" and my own uncle can attest to this as he was his contemporary and friend) and what WFB espoused politically. He broke away from folks like Bush and lamented in part the current state of conservatism as do many of us conservatives who were (and continue to be as we speak) faced with the impossible choice of voting either for a half-baked, not truly pro-life Republican candidate or a very pro-choice Democrat

We have nothing left but that same choice again, in John McCain.

If McCain were to win the White House, all our current protests that we don't really favor him as our candidate will have been forgotten by the left-wing of the nation, just as they've forgotten that many conservatives really didn't have GWB as our first choice. It's much easier for the liberals to flog us as though either GWB or JMac were our first choices. Anyone who's ever been to a March For Life in the past 8 years knows that when a President actually sets foot on that stage on the National Mall, instead of phoning in his tepid words of whatever, THEN we will have a President we pro-life conservatives really wanted.

To the commenter who was deleted, please read a bit before jumping into a fight that was erroneous to begin with.




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