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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P. William F. Buckley Jr.

William F. Buckley Jr.

William F. Buckley Jr. dies at 82

Hillel Italie
National Writer - Associated Press
February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald who showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House, died Wednesday. He was 82.

His assistant Linda Bridges said Buckley was found dead by his cook at his home in Stamford, Conn. The cause of death was unknown, but he had been ill with emphysema, she said.
Editor, columnist, novelist, debater, TV talk show star of "Firing Line," harpsichordist, trans-oceanic sailor and even a good-natured loser in a New York mayor's race, Buckley worked at a daunting pace, taking as little as 20 minutes to write a column for his magazine, the National Review.

Yet on the platform he was all handsome, reptilian languor, flexing his imposing vocabulary ever so slowly, accenting each point with an arched brow or rolling tongue and savoring an opponent's discomfort with wide-eyed glee.

"I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition," he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. "I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?' I couldn't think of anyone."

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15 Comments:

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

Thanks Edward for posting this.

"GOD and MAN at YALE" is a must read for any young conservative.

February 27, 2008 9:27 AM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

National Review was the first magazine that I subscribe to. I once went on a whale watching trip with the Cabrillo Museum and left a bunch of copies in the galley of the boat for the ecofascists to barf on in disgust. Yet it was the likes of Buckley, Will, Sobran, Safire and others that provited perspective on my political being.

February 27, 2008 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This has long been posted on CNN, FoxNews, and elsewhere. Why waste MayorSam time with this??? It's not even related to LA news.

February 27, 2008 9:41 AM  

Blogger Santiago said:

William F. Buckley Jr. will be fondly remembered for his personal mastery of a wide range of specialized knowledge that always seemed to combine both learning and scholarship. He was not merely well-informed, but exhibited amazing erudition on every topic of conversation that came up. It seem's he had a detailed grasp of the most abstruse or arcane points of knowledge.

February 27, 2008 9:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

MayorSam's Home of the Cut & Paste.

February 27, 2008 9:50 AM  

Blogger Edward Headington said:

Barry Goldwater is considered by many as the political godfather of the conservative movement. Where do you put Buckley in the pantheon? He certainly was a trailblazer and visionary--and this can be acknowledged regardless of where people sit on the ideological spectrum. His vocabulary and command of the English language was also second-to-none.

February 27, 2008 9:50 AM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

MEMO TO 9:41 AM,

Your smug, myopic disregard for the contribution that WFB had on American political discourse is sad.

February 27, 2008 9:51 AM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

The political face that was Goldwater was backed by the political intellect of Buckley.

February 27, 2008 9:54 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

A great man indeed...

The current crop of pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or even Dennis Prager do not come close.

Kudos to you Ed for posting it. I know you could not be a more polar opposite to Buckley.

BTW, Robin Williams had an awesome impression of Buckley.

February 27, 2008 10:18 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

It is true that we don't have real conservatives anymore like Reagan, Goldwater or Buckley. Now we have dinosaurs like Huckabee, clowns like GWB and pretty boys like Mitt Romney.

The closest thing we have to someone like Barry Goldwater is probably Sarah Palin.

February 27, 2008 10:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Red Spot -

It's sad that I have to re-introduce you to the subject of this blog's heading: "Home of LOS ANGELES Politics."

Dum dum, it's supposed to be about LOCAL politics. Or at least CURRENT politics, neither of which applies to Buckley. He's not local, and he's not recent.

Read the effing title of the blog. Stop huffing & puffing as though you know something. I'm right of center, myself, and think he hasn't been relevant (lately) or local (ever).

Dum Dum 9:41am

February 27, 2008 10:57 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

I will duly note that Gore Vidal, whom he called a "little queer" in 1968, has survived him. (Vidal's words to him weren't too kind either).

But Buckley v. Vidal in 1968, as well as various liberal visitors to Firing Line (e.g., Allen Ginsberg) should especially remind us that there was a time when the left and the right co-existed, looking freakish to each other to be sure, but thinking that the exchange between the two was worthwhile. The politics of Rove/Dean have all but gamed that away, and you're only taught to hate the other side these days.

But that's why both Buckley and Vidal had influence, whereas Rush and Rove, Howard Dean and Daily Kos truly do not. The new breed do not project, they merely reflect; they provoke and pander to their bases so as to chase the optimal amount of cash they can grab. We've let politics be reduced to money-grubbing; we live in the America we deserve, which is neither Buckley's nor Vidal's, nor even a blending of the two, but Rove's and Dean's, two people who have little talent for anything except for reducing every issue to money and market dynamics.

Buckley's death (and I saw Vidal at a play recently---I don't think he's doing well either) comes at a very sad time in the history of American ideas, but it should serve to remind us what that exchange can be.

February 27, 2008 11:12 AM  

Anonymous pedro besaculo said:

I also have an amazing erudition on every topic of conversation.

Now if I could only learn to spell thier, beleive and the abbreviation ect.

February 27, 2008 12:32 PM  

Anonymous anony-mouse said:

Articulate Emulator writes ……
“It seem's he had a detailed grasp of the most abstruse or arcane points of knowledge.”

(seem’s = possessive , should be seems )

It seems we have another Red Spot emulator, who is trying to use fancy words he does not know the meaning of. While I can empathize with people who want to appear articulate and intelligent, it’s best to stick to what you know.

February 27, 2008 1:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

R.I.P. Mr. Buckley

You made the world a better place.

February 28, 2008 6:00 PM  

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