R.I.P. William F Buckley

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Arnie, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Arnie


    One of the great ones has passed.........................


    NEW YORK (AP) - 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."

    Buckley had for years been withdrawing from public life, starting in 1990 when he stepped down as top editor of the National Review. In December 1999, he closed down "Firing Line" after a 23-year run, when guests ranged from Richard Nixon to Allen Ginsberg. "You've got to end sometime and I'd just as soon not die onstage," he told the audience.

    "For people of my generation, Bill Buckley was pretty much the first intelligent, witty, well-educated conservative one saw on television," fellow conservative William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said at the time the show ended. "He legitimized conservatism as an intellectual movement and therefore as a political movement."

    Fifty years earlier, few could have imagined such a triumph. Conservatives had been marginalized by a generation of discredited stands - from opposing Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to the isolationism which preceded the U.S. entry into World War II. Liberals so dominated intellectual thought that the critic Lionel Trilling claimed there were "no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation."

    Buckley founded the biweekly magazine National Review in 1955, declaring that he proposed to stand "athwart history, yelling 'Stop' at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who urge it." Not only did he help revive conservative ideology, especially unbending anti-Communism and free market economics, his persona was a dynamic break from such dour right-wing predecessors as Sen. Robert Taft.

    Although it perpetually lost money, the National Review built its circulation from 16,000 in 1957 to 125,000 in 1964, the year conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater was the Republican presidential candidate. The magazine claimed a circulation of 155,000 when Buckley relinquished control in 2004, citing concerns about his mortality, and over the years the National Review attracted numerous young writers, some who remained conservative (George Will, David Brooks), and some who didn't (Joan Didion, Garry Wills).

    "I was very fond of him," Didion said Wednesday. "Everyone was, even if they didn't agree with him."

    Born Nov. 24, 1925, in New York City, William Frank Buckley Jr. was the sixth of 10 children of a a multimillionaire with oil holdings in seven countries. The son spent his early childhood in France and England, in exclusive Roman Catholic schools.

    His prominent family also included his brother James, who became a one-term senator from New York in the 1970s; his socialite wife, Pat, who died in April 2007; and their son, Christopher, a noted author and satirist ("Thank You for Smoking").

  2. The word "patrician" must have been coined to describe this extraordinary intellectual. He wielded ideas in debate like a rapier. He teased out phrases like someone enjoying a fine cigar, sometimes rapidly and sometimes tantalizingly slowly. He would have been entertaining reading the classified ads.

    My favorite Buckleyism was his wry observation that he would rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than the Harvard faculty. At least his son Christopher carries on the family tradition. Thank You For Smoking is one of the funniest movies ever.
  3. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    I used to watch Firing Line, used to read National Review, and am sorry to see Bill pass on. While I disagreed with a number of his notions he was a powerful intellect, a marvelous debater, and always had a twinkle in his eye. May he R.I.P.
  4. neophyte321

    neophyte321 Guest

    At the risk of besmirching his name , I'll pledge my allegiance to William Buckley ...

    I wept for three days straight when Reagan died .. literally.

    Buckely's passing may be as significant, but for some reason, I can't shed a singe tear.... that nerve has been so efficiently deadened.

    Welcome to the future .... If you have any questions, the answers will be explained in triplicate.
  5. Saw on CBN news, WfB & Brent Bozell got in a debate with the professors @ Yale , on his book God & Man.

    Pat Robertson, who went to Yale apparently about the same time, said they ate the professors lunch in that debate:D
  6. never could tolerate the asshole.

    typical eastern non productive Ivy leaguer riding the hard work of others...

    I'd rather read the works of the Romans or Greeks who had a lot more to say and were the first to say it..
  7. like..."two sworn enemies standing waist-deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five."
  8. just another uptight cracker who kicked the bucket.