William f. buckley

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Last updated on July 2nd, 2017 at 07:40 am

William F. Buckley – no longer standing athwart history, yelling Stop – has died at 82.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/27/2008 at 01:25 PM
    1. RIP

      I met his son Christopher some 20 odd years ago; damn funny fellow.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2008 02 27 at 01:30 PM • permalink


    1. RIP, Bill.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 02 27 at 01:34 PM • permalink


    1. He is also the founding force behind the Young Ameericans for Freedom and the Sharon Statement.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2008 02 27 at 01:40 PM • permalink


    1. *Americans*!

      Posted by yojimbo on 2008 02 27 at 01:41 PM • permalink


    1. I recall the execrable ‘60’s, and remember well how NR was, indeed, the “blue-bordered oasis” of sanity in a time of epidemic leftism. In the ‘60s, ‘70s – and even into the ‘80’s – NR was just about the only game in town, if you liked conservative opinions grounded in history and political philosophy.

      And Buckley made it happen. I confess that I haven’t read him routinely for a long time – his work, over the last several years, has struck me as being uneven, and occasionally laced with an atypical pessimism – but that is as nothing compared to what the man accomplished in his prime, not only with NR, but in his books and with the extraordinary television interview show, Firing Line. I think it is fair to say that, more than any other single figure in my life, he succeeded in providing the popular philosophical underpinning for the spread of conservative ideas in America, through a combination of his own indefatigable publishing efforts, and his ability to bring together so many writers, historians, philosophers and politicians who shared his belief in the validity and the viability of conservative beliefs.

      And I am particularly proud to say that, as a child, I witnessed his famous smackdown of Gore Vidal on television (“If you don’t stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, I’m going to sock you in your goddam face.”)

      Requiescat In Pacem

      Posted by paco on 2008 02 27 at 01:56 PM • permalink


    1. He was wrong – segregation, the Iraq War – and he was right, and he was the latter more times than the former. I used to think the famous “crypto-Nazi” exchange between Buckley and Gore Vidal was one of the great televised beat-downs ever; I still do, but I’ve changed my mind about who got beat. RIP Mr. Buckley.

      Posted by rick mcginnis on 2008 02 27 at 01:56 PM • permalink


    1. This world is better for having had William F. Buckley in it. I remember watching Firing Line in the dumpy little place I shared with the ex. On a tiny little black & white tv. The man was fascintating to me, 20 years old & dirt poor. I may still be poor, but the husband is better, the house is better & many of my standards came as a result of listening to Mr. Buckley.

      Via con Dios, Bill—you will be missed.

      Posted by KC on 2008 02 27 at 01:59 PM • permalink


    1. One highly amusing feature of the old NR magazine was Buckley’s responses to readers’ letters. I recall one letter to Buckley, in which a “Dr. Prickman” offered a pretty crabbed and dismissive critique of one of Buckley’s books. Buckley responded (this is from memory, but I think pretty accurate): “Dear Dr. Prickman – Call me Bill. And may I call you by your nickname?”

      Posted by paco on 2008 02 27 at 02:03 PM • permalink


    1. “I would rather be governed by the first 500 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the faculty of Harvard University.”

      -William F. Buckley

      Me too.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2008 02 27 at 02:05 PM • permalink


    1. It’s impossible to engage in hyperbole when talking about Bill Buckley. I feel as sad and misty right now as when Ronnie died. Truly a giant, both in his colossal influence and his towering intellect. We won’t see his like again.

      This is a bad day.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2008 02 27 at 02:12 PM • permalink


    1. I was in college, in 1985, when I first read National Review.  It’s hard to remember how isolated conservatives were back then.  I was raised on a diet of Norman Lear and Carl Sagan and Alan Alda and thought “smart” meant “liberal.” The corollary of course was that smart, liberal grown-ups did not laugh, unless the humor drove home a didactic purpose.
      Finding NR was like finding a long lost branch of the family.  And to find people making fun of my tedious and self important professors was deeply, satisfyingly, deliciously subversive.  R.I.P. Mr. Buckley.

      Posted by bugscuffle on 2008 02 27 at 02:13 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve always loved what I read somewhere was his personal motto (and please forgive my tortured latin): “quod liquet jove non quod liquet bove”

      “that which is permitted of god is not permitted of cows”

      A good reminder of humility which we all need.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2008 02 27 at 02:16 PM • permalink


    1. It was through Bill Buckley that I first encountered the names of Evelyn Waugh, P.G. Wodehouse and Malcolm Muggeridge. If for no other reason, I would be eternally grateful to him for those introductions.

      Posted by paco on 2008 02 27 at 02:39 PM • permalink


    1. Mr. Buckley was my Dad’s commander. He gave my Dad his calling card, which is an incredible honor for an enlisted man. Dad never forgot. RIP, Mr. Buckley.

      Posted by Deborah Leigh on 2008 02 27 at 02:39 PM • permalink


    1. Rest in Peace, Mister Buckley.
      You fought to the end. Nothing better can be said of a man.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2008 02 27 at 02:46 PM • permalink


    1. I was in college in the late ‘60s and politics extended to (a) pretentious sloganeering and (b) doing the direct opposite of what Buckley et al said. It only took me 20 years to realize he was right about almost every criticism he had of us.
      God bless you, sir, and rest in eternal peace.

      Posted by Gary from Jersey on 2008 02 27 at 03:20 PM • permalink


    1. From “God and Man at Yale” to “Yale Man at God.”

      To eavesdrop on those conversations …


      Posted by SSG Pooh on 2008 02 27 at 03:29 PM • permalink


    1. I grew up in a conservative household (dad was a crew cut Navy veteran of WWII, mom a homemaker, the most noble profession).  Yet it was the 1960’s and 1970’s and it seemed like conservatism was a dying philosophy.  Thank goodness, people like William Buckley and Irving Kristol stood brave against the onslaught of the left.  The strength of the right owes no small debt to Mr. Buckley.  Rest in peace dear sir.

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 02 27 at 03:44 PM • permalink


    1. The US will be a bit poorer for his passing.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2008 02 27 at 03:50 PM • permalink


    1. Vale, Mr. Buckley.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 27 at 04:02 PM • permalink


    1. A truely remarkable man.

      Who of this generation will/can step up and take his place?

      Dark times indeed.

      RIP Bill.

      Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2008 02 27 at 04:17 PM • permalink


    1. #8 Paco

      I, too, loved the “Notes & Asides” column.  This is probably not news to you, but there is now a collection out titled “Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription.” It’s on my shopping list.

      Even though I never met the man, he was such an influence in my life that I really feel like I’ve lost a close relative.

      Posted by WingDynasty on 2008 02 27 at 04:34 PM • permalink


    1. #22 Wingdynasty: That sounds like an interesting book; I’ll have to get it.

      I saw Buckley, once, when I attended an NR symposium at Hunter College (of all places); think it must have been the 20th anniversary of the magazine. I had the copy of the 20th anniversary edition of NR, but mislaid it years ago; there was a photo of the audience which included a shot of me – in beige three-piece suit, long hair and beard (I looked like Che Guevara posing as a capitalist).

      Posted by paco on 2008 02 27 at 04:45 PM • permalink


    1. It seems to me that if Australia possessed a public figure of William Buckley’s calibre, we wouldn’t have to suffer the likes of minor minds like Phatty Adams and Robert Manne.

      RIP Sir.

      Posted by mehaul on 2008 02 27 at 06:35 PM • permalink


    1. #24
      Privatise the Nanny-State ABC and the Centre and Right might get a fair hearing.It’s Aunty who gives Phatt-Manne disporportionate airtime …

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 02 27 at 06:49 PM • permalink


    1. A grim year got worse today.

      Oh, well…I suppose it’s some small consolation that WFB won’t have to endure the Obama Administration.

      Posted by WingDynasty on 2008 02 27 at 06:59 PM • permalink


    1. William F. Buckley was not only right, but was so at a remarkably young age, and stuck to his guns in the face of an overwhelming tide of collective leftoid groupthink.

      He was buoyantly individualistic, he was funny, he loved the English language and used it well, he never got bitter, and, as Paco said, he poured the concrete for the edifice that is modern American conservatism.

      I recommend his collected writings, Miles Gone By. The audiobook version, read by his own patrician-voiced self, is a delight.

      Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2008 02 27 at 07:41 PM • permalink


    1. As an Aussie student in the US in 1970-3 I was very impressed by WFBuckley on TV, at a time many were not, who should be ashamed of themselves now..

      Unfortunately, Communism’s follies have outlived him, and the Left has learnt nothing. This in the execrable New York Times:

      Raúl Castro .. also shocked people when he acknowledged that the average salary of about $19 a month was too little to live on.

      How many Cubans were shocked to hear that they were agonisingly poor after 50 years of the Castros?

      Posted by Barrie on 2008 02 27 at 07:57 PM • permalink


    1. #24 mehaul: ‘if Australia possessed a public figure of William Buckley’s calibre…’

      It did once, and he was called B. A. Santamaria.
      Equally quirky and wrong sometimes, but urbane and correct on the biggest issues of the times, except protectionism.

      Posted by Barrie on 2008 02 27 at 08:01 PM • permalink


    1. To absent companions.
      Greene , raises his glass and drains it.
      Rest in peace Mr. Buckley.

      Posted by greene on 2008 02 27 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. # Egg and Barrie. Thanks for the comments. I’m most likely wrong but my feeling is we have conservative journalists of a sameness who don’t cut through beyond their immediate support base.

      Even Phatty is above this to his believers.

      He’s in the weekday Australian, the weekend Australian and on the ABC. And I’m sure other mediums I’m not aware of.

      The perception from his side is that he is a genuine intellectual, even though we believe he’s full of pretentious shit.

      This side of the argument doesn’t have such a hero. That’s the gap an Australian like William Buckley could plug.

      I agree with you re Santamaria. He and Buckley both shared a good grounding in the Catholic faith.

      Posted by mehaul on 2008 02 27 at 09:52 PM • permalink


    1. #25

      ABC crisis forces $50m stock dump

      We can dream.
      While the left have Buckley’s chance.

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 27 at 09:55 PM • permalink


    1. #29
      The story of B.A.S. and The Movement have yet to told.

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 27 at 10:03 PM • permalink


    1. #31 Thanks for your comments. I have railed aganst the Froth From Phatty for years but he just rolls on at 68..  It’s an insult to ocmpare him to WFB Jr. or B.A.S., as Adams is just a poetaster and a penny-a-liner in comparison.
      He’s never written a serious book, and couldn’t; though his knowledge is wide it’s all shoved through a very narrow lefty prism.
      Robert Manne is of very mixed history, and is now getting a name as the Left’s Intellectual, sadly. I once respected him..
      We do need someone of greatness, badly, now that John Howard’s gone and no-one’s holding the Liberal fort together.
      Janet Albrechtsen has the brains – and the looks and the guts, I think.
      And we do have the admirable Andrew Bolt too..

      Posted by Barrie on 2008 02 28 at 12:15 AM • permalink


    1. Indirectly, William F. Buckley is responsible for my being a conservative. My wife, the lovely and gracious Sonetka’s Mom, grew up reading NR: in fact, she was reading it when Gary Wills, of all people, wrote for it. (And he was a ditz even then!) I, on the other hand, grew up a wishy-washy liberal – my first two presidential ballots were cast for George McGovern and Jimmy Carter (to my everlasting shame). But then we were married, and got a subscription, and she and WFB won me over to the Dark Side.

      As it happens, I had some pieces published in NR back in the early 70s and late 80s – filler stuff, nothing worth noting or remembering – but they paid $50 a pop, which in those days bought a week’s groceries for our struggling family. And I still treasure the little blue cards that WFB included with the checks, giving his own comments: he was always gracious, of course.

      My favorite Buckley-ism is from “The Unmaking of a Mayor”, which describes his campaign to be elected mayor of New York City, back in the 1960s. At a press conference, a newsman asked Buckley to name the first thing he’d do if he were elected mayor. And without missing a beat, Buckley replied, “Demand a recount!”

      Buckley is gone. Braying jackasses like … oh, God, like nearly all of them … are still with us. Who said life was fair?

      Posted by Urbs in Horto on 2008 02 28 at 01:59 AM • permalink


    1. Mr. Buckley and National Review were of the few periodicals that helped me get through the Clinton years, being the only national conservative voice outside of Rush Limbaugh that I could eagerly look forward to month to month…and tick off the liberals in the local Barnes & Noble by leaving the stack of NR in plain view.  I actually kind of miss the days when I had to really hunt amid the magazines…I knew Buckley and NR were worth it.

      May he rest in peace.

      Posted by Sharon_Ferguson on 2008 02 28 at 04:25 AM • permalink


    1. “The central question that emerges…is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”
      —William F. Buckley, National Review, August 24, 1957What a lovely man and such a shame he’s kicked the bucket.

      Posted by Vincennes on 2008 02 28 at 06:01 AM • permalink


    1. No, Vincennes, Bill Buckley did not kick the bucket.  He died at his desk in his study, God smiled on him.  A very fortunate man.  RIP.

      Posted by Crossie on 2008 02 28 at 07:11 AM • permalink


    1. So, Vincennes, what was the Democrat party’s position on race 48 years ago?

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2008 02 28 at 09:44 AM • permalink


    1. #39 –

      “I was out-niggered, and I will never be out-niggered again.”
      George Wallace, 1958

      “Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
      Robert Byrd, 1945

      Posted by Achillea on 2008 02 28 at 02:42 PM • permalink


    1. “It proved it by lining up squarely behind Southern segregationists, saying Southern whites had the right to impose their ideas on blacks who were as yet culturally and politically inferior to them. After some conservatives objected, Mr. Buckley suggested instead that both uneducated whites and blacks should be denied the vote.”

      It would seem he was none too fond of the poor either. What a lovely man!

      p.s.I’m not sure what good you think you’ll do quoting Democraps to me…

      Posted by Vincennes on 2008 02 28 at 05:16 PM • permalink


    1. Buckley was always concerned about the propensity for the state to force change upon those who did not desire it. AS it relates to the Civil Rights movement in the US, I think he came to understand his loathing of government coercion perhaps had some need for an exception, and while I am sure he would debate every tactic the govenment used in that “struggle” I think on principle he supported its aims. He certainly was instrumental in getting rid of the “haters” in conservative movement, for he was not a hateful man by anyone’s account. He will be missed.

      Posted by JEM on 2008 02 28 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. Most things I have read on him suggest he felt his initially opposition to the Civil Rights movement was wrong.

      Posted by JEM on 2008 02 28 at 05:51 PM • permalink


  1. I’m not sure what good you think you’ll do quoting Democraps to me…

    Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Posted by Achillea on 2008 02 29 at 12:04 AM • permalink