Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kicking the Buckley

Goodnight William F. Buckley, "scourge of liberalism."  What a life.  Would it be unfair to say he was a Kerouacian conservative, a romantic of the right?  He was a man of his era, and of several long before it.  I enjoyed his wit and respected his integrity more than the crumbs I saw in his comrades.  He may have built a Frankenstein movement, but he at least had enough sense to recognize the monster once it lurched.  No one on the right was interested in hearing from an anti-Iraq War prophet.  

In the coverage of his death, it has been much noted (as on NPR and the NYT link above) that he purged the conservative movement of the "kooks."  I've heard this line many times before.  And I can only ask, "Whaaaaaa???!!!"  Don't look now, Bill, but they're dancing on your grave.  They're the ones attending your funeral.  Buckley may have made conservatism look respectable to the chattering classes, but the nutcases not only didn't leave, they took over.  Coulter. Savage. Hannity. Malkin. Kristol. Cheney. Bush. The wingnut blogosphere.  The radicals are "on the road," and they're driving on the right.  


At 6:23 AM, Blogger Number Three said...

The WFB retrospectives have really given me the willies. It goes to show that longevity can make almost any position respectable--call it the Strom Thurmond effect.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Two of the best obits I've seen since I wrote this: David Brooks's hilarious recounting of his own college review of Buckley's Overdrive, and James Wolcott at Vanity Fair, who makes the exact same argument I do (down to the Kerouac reference and the kook critique), but far far better:


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