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William F. Buckley Against the World Print E-mail
By Jeremy Lott   
Saturday, 24 November 2012

After the walloping Republicans took in the 2012 elections, my first printable thought was, “Man, where is William F. Buckley when you need him?” The likely answer to that question is “in Heaven” or at least well on his way through Purgatory.

If he were still with us, he would turn eighty-seven today.

In life, Buckley’s political adversaries regularly slandered the man about as readily as they use his name now to bash conservatives. (Sample title, from just this week in the Politico newspaper: “Conservatives at a Crossroads: Harold Hill vs. William F. Buckley.”) Yet to those people who knew him, Buckley’s work on behalf of countless others added up to a kind of rough and tumble, vulgar saintliness.

We could use his wit and his perspective now. With the founding of several organizations and campaigns and the magazine National Review, Bill Buckley did more to create the conservative movement than any other man. Without Buckley, it's hard to conceive of a Goldwater campaign, a Reagan presidency, a Giuliani mayoralty, or many other historical benchmarks that proved there was a real alternative to liberalism.

There were conservative currents in America before Buckley. Starting with the publication of his breakout book God and Man at Yale, Buckleys vision turned about half the country into Conservative America. Conservatives shared a suspicion of elite opinion and a faith in Americas founding that could rival the twentieth centurys default progressive politics.

Even for those of us who are not movementarians (as I am not, for Marxian reasons – Groucho, that is), his was an achievement worth toasting. American conservatives, radically different fish from their continental European counterparts, insisted that certain hard truths need be proclaimed loudly.

These conservative truths were: 1) that the Soviet Union was monstrous and aggressive; 2) that the United States was heroic to oppose the spread of world Communism; 3) that government is necessary but dangerous; 4) that peaceful exchanges of goods – markets – make us better off and this result ought to be celebrated, not deplored; 5) that Original Sin is the only empirically verifiable dogma; and, latterly, 6) that we ought to follow “the heresy of your own eyes,” as Tom Wolfe has rightly called it, and ban the organized barbarity that is abortion-on-demand.

If most of those truths sound consistent with Catholic teaching, this is no accident. An interviewer for Playboy once asked him how he could be so sure that his deepest convictions would stand the test of time. Buckley replied by simply quoting the book of Job: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”

He was both small c and large C Catholic. He did not think it absolutely necessary for one to believe in God to be a conservative, but it sure helped. Outright mockers of religion were effectively excommunicating themselves from his movement. Occasionally, he added a good shove.

Great political conflicts, Buckley argued in his bestselling first book, are really spiritual conflicts. “I believe the duel between Christianity and atheism” – opposites manifest in the free West and the Soviet bloc – “is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level.”

Liberal Catholic anti-Communist critics got after Buckley for his likening of the struggle against an obvious menace to the less obvious one of liberal improvements. He later confessed it was not his idea at the first. Buckley wrote that his Yale mentor Willmoore Kendall, “was responsible for the provocative arrangement of a pair of sentences that got me into more trouble than any others in the book.” Yet it was his call to run and take abuse for those words, because he saw in them a truth worth defending.

In hindsight, Buckley looks simply way ahead of the curve. As we have seen most recently with Obamacare’s HHS mandate and European courts’ assault on Jewish ritual through banning circumcision, progressive polities prove ultimately quite intolerant of religious difference. They might not pound their shoes on the table and threaten to bury those of us who are religious dissidents, but sometimes it sure feels that way.

It would be good to have Buckley back with us now because of his accumulated wisdom that political change is a long struggle with brutal, heartbreaking setbacks. The Goldwater campaign lost in a Camelot-fueled landslide, but Reagan eventually took the White House. Buckley's mayoral candidacy for New York City didn’t even manage to keep Rockefeller Republican John Lindsay from being elected, yet notice that Rockefeller Republicans are pretty scarce on the ground these days.

The chief lesson of Buckley’s life – if we are to reduce it to that – is that one ought to stand up and tell the truth with as much intelligence, wit and passion as he can muster. Eventually, somebody will have to listen.

 
Jeremy Lott is the founding editor of Real Clear Religion and Real Clear Books and is the author of William F. Buckley, part of the Christian Encounters Series published by Thomas Nelson.

 
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Comments (31)Add Comment
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written by Thoms C. Coleman, Jr., November 24, 2012
Wonderful piece on a wonderful man. Just what we needed to remind us of the essence and coherence of Conservatism, which the triumphalist so-called Progessives are now saying is merely tribal and lacking a philosophical foundation. Curiously, when Leftists denoucne Conservatism they prentend to have respect for Mr. Buckley, ingoring his core beliefs concerninge mankind's fallen and imperfectable nature and the inherent futility and danger of of utopian schemems. His works must be re-discovered and cirualted as antedotes to the poinson pumped into the veins of our young by a Marxist-dominated academic world.
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written by Jack,CT, November 24, 2012
Mr Lott,
Thanks for advocating the truth!
Jack
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written by Grump, November 24, 2012
One of Bill's favorite guests on "Firing Line" was Malcolm Muggeridge, an agnostic for most of his life who later embraced Catholicism. Their dialogue was often a display of high intelligence and deep introspection rarely on display any more in public discourse. I wrote Buckley a few letters and he always responded in kind in a witty and courtly manner. Thanks for remembering a good man.

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written by Ray Hunkins, November 24, 2012
Thanks for causing us to remember an iconic Catholic conservative. He was the real deal. "The chief lesson of Buckley's life" should be the chief objective of us all as we march through life endeavoring to be good citizens. If we stand up and tell the truth with intelligence, wit and passion, many will WANT to listen.
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written by Jim, November 24, 2012
I often think of WFB these days. I look at the cheeseheads who head up the Dem party these days and think of his explanation for why Ted Kennedy would not go on Firing Line: "Why does the baloney resist the grinder." He would have had a field day cutting down this crowd. But a good man and one well worth remembering.
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written by Frank, November 24, 2012
@Sue
In spite of the fact that McCarthy was eventually right, HE DID NOT KNOW he was right and/or he would not reveal his sources. Given both McCarthy's alcoholism and his lust for the limelight, the quality and credibility of his message was lost in the poor quality of his transmission. Thus, the Left was able to discredit him by making him look like a fanatical bore. It was not until the publication of "The Venona Secrets" that validated McCarthy but did vindicate him. History cannot erase the fact that Joseph McCarthy was a self promoting demagogue. But Venona was so secret, not even the Presidents under which Venona operated knew of its existence. As for the John Birch Society, their arguments are dressed in the same hyperbole of the Left yet the Left gets their message across appealing through the argument of collective fairness and that the government id the only institution capable of delivering collective fairness. I have to give props to the Left, they've packaged their message and it is winning the day. Perhaps there is someone out there who combines the wit and wisdom of Buckley, Thatcher and Reagan. But I would argue that would be dangerous as we too in the Conservative Movement would succumb to the cult of personality that the Left is enjoying in Obama. Right now, we are staring an Obama second term square in the face. But after Obama then who? In the next few months, the first set of taxes for Obamacare are about to kick in. The Bush (43) tax rates are about to go away, sequestration could once again send unemployment into the adverse dizziness of double digits. I remember the 70's and the 80's and the 90's etc. In 1976, I voted for Carter as a Democrat and four years later I voted for Reagan. The Democratic Party had left me, it was time to turn over a new leaf. I cast that vote for Reagan when I was 25. We forget that the youth vote does not remember Reagan as many were born from 1987 to 1994. They are young, exuberant, idealistic, well meaning, hopeful, indoctrinated that government is a benevolent arbiter of all that is fair, and finally they are woefully ignorant. The rigid rod of reality has yet to hit them...but it will. Some will find good jobs and once they see all of the deductions taken out of their paychecks and still end up sending an additional payment off to the "benevolent arbiter," on April 15, buyers remorse will finally set in. A Liberal becomes a Conservative by either a) getting mugged and robbed on the streets, b) getting mugged and robbed looking at their pay statement or c) BOTH. And when that happens what do we do? The period of angst and naval gazing is over, it's time to accept the next four years and two months and begin now in developing the counter arguments that will resonate...it can be done. But it will not get done within the halls of the entrenched RNC. We have to hope and pray that Conservatives do rise up and begin making the cogent elegant arguments that strike to the rancid murderous core of Liberal/Progressive thinking. So, if as Conservatives, we believe on the "Bootstrap Theory," this is the best time to embrace it!
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written by Graham Combs, November 24, 2012
I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Buckley in action in a Manhattan studio where he was filming a special episode of Firing Line for the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. He was intellectual cool itself. Ad libing with two actors portraying Alexander Hamilton and Melancton Smith (both in period dress and character) even as he was late for a plane to another engagement. And on the contrary I think he would have been in agreement with the Tea Party on one big thing: decreasing government expenditures and influence. And despite the above comment the TP was not all about white males. That media distortion unfortunately will continue to have legs. They understood a principle was at stake even if they couldn't always quote the source. Although they knew more about the constitution than the constituional professor in the Oval Office. The demographying of every aspect of life is one of the great toxins in America today. There are principles and once upon a time that was understood. Mr. Buckley certainly understood it. I was depressed for days after his death because I think I instinctively knew that when we needed his voice we would not have it. He was not just another man of his time. Mr. Buckley was not a creature of cynicism or secular irony. And sadly, I suspect he was not always welcomed by many in the Church. I wonder if the Constitutional Era of American history is now at a end. It's just as well he didn't live to see it.
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written by Huh?, November 24, 2012
Dear JSmitty, just finished reading a book by Bill Simon, "A Time for Truth" published 1979. Main point was that bankruptcy of NYC was microcosm for what was happening to the federal government. A year later Reagan was elected campaigning for smaller government and promising to shut down the departments of Energy & Education--when he left office both departments were still there and deficit was larger. Don't know what you think the problems are today, but when Simon wrote 60 million Americans were getting some kind of government check, now roughly 50% according to Romney pay no tax, debt and looming bankruptcy still top the list of problems along w/all the social issues which now include gay marriage, passing out free condoms to first graders, after birth abortion, killing the sick, handicapped, insane and elderly to avoid caring for them or paying their medical bills and also to "harvest" their body parts... hardly lends credence to your view that "irresponsibility and obtuseness of Democratic liberalism was similarly at its peak 1965 - 1980."

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written by jsmitty, November 24, 2012
Well HUH, it's time the conservatives understand that the only way they gained any traction fighting against govt. were the colossal mistakes of liberalism of an earlier age...in the 70's liberals refused to crack down on urban crime, lost their nerve against the Soviets post--Vietnam, allowed inflation to get out of control, and most of all created a climate in which "the poor" were the central objects of every policy consideration. With their obsession with urban blacks, liberals created the climate in which taxpayers saw themselves as the people paying for government rather than benefitting from it. So they turned away the party of government for a while. Add to that that people saw that cities run by liberals were in total disarray (as you say) while the suburbs had better services and lower taxes and were run by conservatives.

But the point is America's rejection of government and receptivity toward anti-govt. rhetoric was mostly conditioned on things that just aren't true anymore today. Most cities are booming for instance. And crime is down..and taxes just aren't that big an issue for most Americans just because conservatives were so successful in cutting them!! You can't keep tapping the same well!

The fact that conservatives like you are still making arguments from books written over 30 years ago basically proves my point about the Rip Van Winkle quality of the Right, which is dying to have another Reagan 1980 moment because it has nothing to offer the discussion today.

What are the problems today?? The fact that there is 8% unemployment today...and a Republican campaign that had no specific proposal to deal with it and whose leading proposals of tighter money and big spending cuts would make it worse. the fact that wages have stagnated and fallen for many Americans who are still working. The fact that health insurance claims a much bigger share of workers earnings than do either taxes or inflation. The fact that the biggest users of govt. are Republican voting senior citizens, who are totally resistant to cuts.. The fact that whatever Islam is, it isn't Communism and thus cannot be dealt with by Cold War models. etc etc. etc.

I agree with you on abortion (not sure where you're getting the other stuff, though). But you can't win elections or govern the country on the basis of opposition to abortion alone.

We desperately need an updated conservatism for 2012!! Your post actually proves it.
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written by jsmitty, November 25, 2012
@graham combs.

The Tea Party doesn't really want a decrease in govt. power and influence. Yes maybe a few members do and certainly their main funders do but that is beside the point. The committment to small government is purely rhetorical, as is the refrain about the Constitution and "founding principles." The Tea Party is mainly about protecting government benefits for the elderly which they think are threatened by the Obamacare and other Obama administration spending priorities. Given the fact that retirement benefits are already the most expensive non-defense item in the budget and that Medicare is the fastest growing part of the budget there's just no way a movement centered around defending this as is can be said to be small government. We need to be honest with ourselves about this sham.

Buckley would have seen through the facade. The Tea Party can be said to be truly "small government conservative" when it starts demanding cuts in its own retirement benefits for the sake of reducing the indebetedness of the US, not until.

Buckley would have been honest enough to note that it is just as much "socialism" to demand government run health care in old age (Medicare!) as it is to provide far more modest support in it for non retired Americans. The Tea Party likes socialism just fine when it is the beneficiary of it. Time was, Reagan and Buckley denounced Medicare as socialized medicine. Now their admirers cling to Medicare benefits and have the gall to use small government rhetoric in doing so. Today's "conservatism" is the world turned upside down.
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written by Other Joe, November 25, 2012
Dear jsmitty or @jsmitty if you prefer, the root of our most serious problems today (abortion being among the most serious) from obesity to lying to protect policy initiatives and the now obvious corruption of media is the lack of a moral model. Things are actually quite bad and trending downward at an accelerating pace. The natural consequences of profligacy and immorality have been temporarily screened from public view by taking money (goods and services) from the future to feed a sick dependency in the present. The unemployment is not 8% actually. We have agreed to represent it as such. Your characterization of the Tea Party movement and what motivates them is cheap bigotry. You have passion and God given intelligence, but you seem blind to the reality and implications of Original Sin - especially as it applies to a government attempting (and so far successfully) to break its restraints one by one. Mr. Buckley understood the grave moral danger of this. You seem to miss this point. The message of common decency gets no traction today because slightly more than half the population and their advocates and the purveyors of their culture don’t believe in it. Welcome to Potterville.
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written by Sue, November 25, 2012
".. McCarthy was eventually right, HE DID NOT KNOW he was right..." How do YOU KNOW this?

"...McCarthy's alcoholism..." could very well have been exacerbated by the Left's massive smear campaign: "Following his censure, McCarthy sunk into alcoholism from which he never recovered. " (senatormccarthy.com website)

" Thus, the Left was able to discredit him by making him look like a fanatical bore." So, it did not help that Buckley piled on (style snob that he was), putatively from "the right", instead of affirming as true the *content* of McCarthy's prophetic message.

"..Venona was so secret, not even the Presidents under which Venona operated knew of its existence..." Or so they claimed. (Eisenhower probably knew more than he let on. But his lips were sealed by his own complicity in the forced repatriation of Soviet soldiers post WWII.) But this information was knowable, and a few lone voices in the desert bravely put it forward.

"As for the John Birch Society, their arguments are dressed in the same hyperbole of the Left.." Really? I find their information startingly relevant, trenchant, and totalitarian-targeting. Try googling one of their current articles "From Healthcare to Holocaust" - which traces a straight line from Bismarck to Obama on the subject of political medicine, for example.
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written by Brad Miner, November 25, 2012
May I point out -- to those who indicate that WFB trashed McCarthy -- that the book he wrote with his brother-in-law, Brent Bozell, McCARTHY AND HIS ENEMIES (1954), was a strong defense of McCarthy and his anti-communism. Get your facts right, people.
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written by diaperman, November 25, 2012


Opposition to abortion and support for traditional values was part of conservatism in Buckley's day and will remain so today.

But I just ask you to consider, there is a reason that stuff you believe gets no traction...it's much much easier to tell a straightforward story of moral decline in the context of 1979 than today...not tell it in a way that you'd believe it but tell it in a way that the man on the street believes it. In 1979 you had soaring abortion divorce, urban crime rates, inflation, high unemployment and foreign policy fecklessness all at once and all after liberal ideas reigned unchecked politically from the GOldwater landslide on. Even Nixon was basically a liberal in practice.

So it's easy to tell a story about these things in a way in which moral decline resonates with a large majority of Americans.

But that was then...this is now. Today the biggest support for gay marriage and alot of support for abortion comes from very high earners in the Northeast, the West Coast and to a lesser extent the suburbs of Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Detroit etc. These people tend to live perfect bourgeois lives with very high rates of education, very high rates of participation in the labor force, very high rates of marriage, very low rates of divorce, an immense investment in time and treasure in their kids. These people used to support Reagan in droves and now they support Obama. You don't like this and I don't either but we need to be honest with ourselves that it is hard to tell them a story of moral decline in America. They don't see it and they don't feel it.

Meanwhile in small town America, the areas which still support traditional values, you find blight, soaring illegitimacy, crystal meth use, less education, and far lower participation in the labor force. Many are on disability, recieve food stampps, EITC etc. because let's face it, there aren't many jobs and most of the jobs available don't pay much. (The best students have already moved to Chicago and DC seeking better opportunities) Don't believe me read Charles Murray's recent book "Losing Ground."

It's hard to tell a straightforward story of moral decline today for conservatives because the decline has mostly spread to their own voting class.

And this is why telling the story of the " half" of the country being dependent is asinine for conservatives. A big chunk of that "half" is their own voting base!

This is a totally different scenario than when Buckley was around. Which is why the right needs to update itself to the problems of today.

Think about this...Conservatives spinning 30 year old stories, recalling dead folk heroes and debating whether McCarthy got a fair hearing. Any wonder why the country has left us behind?
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written by Sue, November 25, 2012
Yes, Buckley was with Bozell and McCarthy at one point, and then Bozell split from Buckley, over just such issues as we are discussing. Can't be specific now (no time), but Buckley was McCarthy's fair-weather friend.

I am with Bozell pretty much down the line, thanks for bringing this true patriot in.
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written by Sue, November 25, 2012
"... debating whether McCarthy got a fair hearing. Any wonder why the country has left us behind?"

Here's why it matters about McCarthy. The neo-con establishment which lives on has transformed his name into a weapon to brandish against anyone who might be too conservative. On the other hand, they made Buckley into the positive icon, so that whenever you make a complaint against neo-cons, they can say "Even Bill Buckley believes..." and cite him as the "conservative" standard. Google "'Bill Buckley: Pied Piper of the Establishment'" to read an article that really cuts through a lot of the fog in this discussion.
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written by Chris in Maryland, November 25, 2012
Dear jsmitty:

What facts support a claim that cities are booming? I have some recent access to 3 cities: NYC, Baltimore and Washington, DC. Of NYC, where my daughter goes to college, the city comptroller just published that the unemployment rate in Sep stood at 9.5%, up from 9.1% in Dec 2011. When we drove her up to school, we headed north on the upper end of The West Side Hwy, and we had to get off the road, because the pavement had completely eroded...it was like a dirt road. Because of budget cuts, garbage was piled in heaps on street corners of the trendy upper west side above Columbus Circle, and the city smelled to high heaven. Office vacancy rates continue to climb. And the State of NY just published its accumulated debt figure for FY12: $300 BILLION. Meanwhile, tax increases drive businesses and families out of the state. As to Baltimore...it looks much worse than NYC, and the state comptroller has taken to the radio airwaves warning citizens and the lunatics in Annapolis that businesses by the thousands have closed or left/continue to leave in the face of enormous tax increases. But Washington, DC...the "New Neverland," they're looking just fine...at least along K Street.
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written by Chris in Maryland, November 25, 2012
I believe Diaperman has put his finger on the point...the economic decline is murdering parts of the conservative base...and the Democrat party intends to keep it that way...maintain suffocating taxes on small businesses...then no growth...and no jobs for the "Reagan Democrats."
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written by policrit, November 25, 2012
The Politico article mentioned compares Buckley favorably to Hill, not unfavorably, as the article implies. Any suggestion that Buckley was an intellectual of any sort is completely wrong. At no time did he attempt any serious effort at increasing the store of human knowledge in any intellectually serious discipline. Moreover, his first book, "God and Man at Yale" is saturated with anti-intellectualism.
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written by David S. Levine, November 25, 2012
1964, Johnson; 1968, Humphrey; 1972, McGovern; 1976 Carter. Humphrey is the only one I'm not ashamed of. Sorry I didn't vote for Goldwater--will always be grateful to Chairman Bill for acting as the steady drip of water in the tradition of Rabbi Akiva, for my seeing the light (along with Jimmy Carter's screwing up the nation).
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written by Tom Motherway, November 25, 2012
Great post, thanks. I would argue the he and Richard John Neuhaus (First Things) are sipping scotch in heaven now and smiling at the liberal pyrrhic victory. We continue to "stand athwart." tjm
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written by One More Joe, November 25, 2012
Interesting comment from Diaperman. Are there really conservatives out there still who feel McCarthy and the John Birch Society got a raw deal? Whoever SUE is she proves you can lead an American citizen to water but you can't make them think. Frightening!
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written by Steve J., November 26, 2012
God and Man at Yale was the 1st great post-war piece of consdervative agit-prop...

ELITE VS. ELITE: BUNDY ON BUCKLEY
I stumbled across a reference to McGeorge Bundy's review of William F. Buckley's God and Man at Yale and I found that it's online at the Atlantic. Bundy was at least the intellectual peer of Buckley and he also went to Yale undergrad. His review points out what is now a common weakness of conservative books:

The recently published book, God and Man at Yale (Regnery, $3.50), written by William F. Buckley, Jr., a 1950 graduate of Yale University, is a savage attack on that institution as a hotbed of "atheism" and "collectivism." As a believer in God, a Republican, and a Yale graduate, I find the book is dishonest in its use of facts, false in its theory, and a discredit to its author and the writer of its introduction.

In summary, Mr. Buckley's basic technique is that of a pretended firsthand report on the opinions and attitudes of Yale's teachers and textbooks, in which quotations and misquotations are given whatever meaning Mr. Buckley chooses to give them and not the meaning their authors intended. This method is dishonest.
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written by Sue, November 26, 2012
"One More Joe" is demonstrating for us the very technique neocons have mastered to demolish the conservatives - the use of scare words to create a sort of "police line - do not cross" walled off atmosphere about a particular point of view. The sculpting of "McCarthy" as just this sort of boogeyman code word was what Buckley abetted in his running away from McCarthy. The subtext was, McCarthy had a viewpoint only a mother (or Buckley, the conservative pseudo-saint) could love....but that even Buckley had his limits. This message and its doubling down with the Birchers served to condition a whole generation to shy away from anyone who might espouse "dangerous" ideas like the notion there might just be fifth column infiltration of our own government and institutions. You might get cooties if you even associated with such people. A very effective way to propagandize with just one word, and you get to demoralize the opposition at the same time.

Other than ad hominem lobs, I have heard little refutation of my propositions so far. In an academic debate, those points would go to me.
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written by Nearsited, November 26, 2012
When you say,"Rockefeller Republicans are pretty scarce on the ground these days", are we to assume that you left out "since Romney's defeat"? The only non-Rockefellerish presidential candidate I recall was Reagan.
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written by Chris in Maryland, November 26, 2012
@ Steve J:

McGeorge Bundy was a career member of the liberal establishment, he was chairman of Yale's Liberal Party, and he served in the JFK and LBJ administrations (where his ineptitiude contributed mightily to the Vietnam fiasco). So of course he opposed and smeared Buckley...Buckley was countering the "Bundy's" at Yale.
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written by Sue, November 28, 2012
Lest we think the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the whole Bundy example is like putting up a bin Laden article criticising Obama - that the subject is debunked doesn't elevate the object.

Two more fun facts about Buckley. "He was drafted into the Army in 1944, and upon his discharge in 1946 worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, where three of his siblings have also been employed. Buckley's immediate supervisor at CIA was E. Howard Hunt, who sent him to Mexico City, where he was charged with undermining the Mexican government.
... During the Watergate scandal, Buckley underwrote his former CIA boss Hunt's legal defense." NNDB

Also, Buckley is pretty much the only other guy besides Obama to write his bio right out of college...why?

Sorry, but there's a lot more research to do before sainting WFB.
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written by Jeremy Lott, November 30, 2012
>During the Watergate scandal, Buckley underwrote his former >CIA boss Hunt's legal defense

Hunt's children were Buckley's godchildren and he ended up taking care of them after Hunt went down because their mother had died in a plane crash. Yeah, awful that he would help out with his godchildren's father's legal defense.

>Buckley is pretty much the only other guy besides Obama >to write his bio right out of college...why?

Buckley never wrote a real autobiography. He did write books about his run for mayor of NYC and his time as a UN delegate, etc.
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written by Sue, December 09, 2012
I have no doubt that CIA operatives, especially those as deep in slime as was Hunt, choose very carefully who their children's Godfather might be. Just saying, WFB needs more research.

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