Can We Have Buckley Back?

Over the last few days, Jon Henke has laid out the case for the Right more strongly disavowing outfits like WorldNetDaily that actively peddle Birther nonsense. To the extent the mainstream Right has weighed in, it has been to urge Jon to ignore WND and move on, in the interests avoiding an intra-movement civil war. Some have even tried to subtly distance Jon from the conservative movement, saying his views don't represent those of most conservatives. Many on the Right have made the calculation that however distasteful their views, a public fight with the Birthers just isn't worth it.

As a fiscal and social conservative, I happen to think Jon is completely in the right here, both substantively and strategically. Don't raise the canard that we ought to be attacking Democrats first. Conservatives are entirely within their rights to have public debates over who will publicly represent them, and who will be allowed to affiliate with the conservative movement.

The Birthers are the latest in a long line of paranoid conspiracy believers of the left and right who happen to attach themselves to notions that simply are not true. Descended from the 9/11 Truthers, the LaRouchies, the North American Union buffs, and way back when, the John Birch Society, the Birthers are hardly a new breed in American politics.

Each and every time they have appeared, mainstream conservatives from William F. Buckley to Ronald Reagan have risen to reject these influences -- and I expect that will be the case once again here.

But there is another subtext that makes Jon's appeal more urgent. As a pretty down-the-line conservative, I don't believe I am alone in noting with disappointment the trivialization,  excessive sloganeering, and pettiness that has overtaken the movement of late. In "The Joe the Plumberization of the GOP," I argued that conservatives have grown too comfortable with wearing scorn as a badge of honor, content to play sarcastic second fiddle to the dominant culture of academia and Hollywood with second-rate knock-off institutions. A side effect of this has been a tendency to accept conspiracy nuts as a slightly cranky edge case within the broad continuum of conservatism, rather than as a threat to the movement itself.

Those advocating a tough stand against the Birthers like to point to William F. Buckley and the Birchers. 

In founding National Review, Buckley made a point of casting out the conspiracy nuts and the cranks of his day because he saw them as a fundamental threat to a conservatism that was just emerging as a political force. In doing so, he was able to define conservatism for a generation.

What is interesting about Buckley (and that is so different today) was his ability to align intellectual firepower and a faster march to the Right. Buckley was a man of class and erudition who happened to be more conservative than virtually all of his peers. That's the key point. To the extent we think of intellectuals today, we deride them as creatures of the Left. When they are active within conservative circles, they are discarded as to the left of the movement. The archetypical center-right intellectual today is a guy like Ross Douthat, whose ideas (to be fair) are often outside the conservative mainstream. Most of the party's rising intellectuals are seen as advocating a shift away from social conservative issues, which are still deeply relevant to a critical mass of Americans beyond the two coasts. Back in Buckley's day, it was possible to get 175-proof conservatism in Ivy League flavoring.

Perhaps the intellectual composition of the conservative (or liberal) movement wasn't all that different in Buckley's time, but Buckley provided an ideal -- and set a standard -- for conservatives to position themselves as scholarly thought leaders within the broader culture that simply no longer exists today -- despite numerous conservative academics toiling facelessly in the vineyards. This gave a Buckley the credibility to cast out the movement's lesser lights, and impose a layer of discernment between fact and fiction inside the movement. In politics, symbols matter. Just like there could only be one Reagan, there could only be one Buckley.

The automatic problem that arises when someone who is not a William F. Buckley (and none of us here pretend to be) is that you're instantly tagged a RINO for calling out something that is objectively and demonstrably false. The space between fact and fiction is confused as a litmus test between right and left. But what if the WNDers are not the true conservatives in this argument? What if the actual test of conservatism was not how fervently you oppose Obama, or where you went to school, or where you pray, but how firmly your conservatism is rooted in First Principles and not personalities or conspiracy?

Within my relatively short lifetime, I still remember a time when success and intellectual achievement were more often than not conservative virtues, and I remember WFB looming large in this framework. Recent Democratic gains within the creative and educated classes have eroded this image, creating a media dynamic where intelligence is seen as aligning with the left within the Democratic Party, and the center within the Republican Party.

That is an untenable position for a conservative movement that needs to generate new ideas and groom future leaders who can speak articulately and persuasively to the whole country. (It's true that Ronald Reagan was not a book learner, but under the theory of multiple intelligences, he more than held his own.) Before conservatism was a viable political movement, it was a viable intellectual movement, and it was those on the center and in the left who were seen as intellectually slovenly.

This is why there is a unique urgency now to cast out the obscurantists and the conspiracy nuts. We don't have a Buckley anymore. Our intellectual giants have died off and not being replaced. And preventing the lowest common denominator from filling the void is a constant daily struggle.

In a movement and a party that has largely defined itself outside centers of higher learning in recent years (for good or ill) I believe the time is ripe for a return to Buckleyite elite conservatism.

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The idea that renouncing WorldNetDaily indicates some kind of wobbly tendency [ahem Matt Lewis] is in itself reason enough to join the crusade.  Someone should tell Matt that this sort of thing seems to vindicate David Frum's haughty dismissal.  Maybe that will give him pause.

Looking around the rather pathetic WND website, I don't see a whole lot of leverage that rational people could employ against them.  But, if shaming those who do business with them will work, I'm all for it. 

There are so many rational, logical, and principled arguments to use... why are people drawn to this birther/guillotine nonsense?


Go nuclear

One possible way to regain intellectual respectability is to emphasize nuclear energy. I suspect nuclear energy was one of the reasons for the results on the 1980 election in which pro-nuclear candidates were able to win solid majorities in many of the bluest states. (I recall that John Anderson first became well known as a supporter of nuclear power.) In the late 1970s, most voters in “blue” states knew somebody who could explain in great detail how liberal heroes were selling horsebleep. (On the other hand, in the 1980s and 1990s, oil prices dropped off the public radar and nuclear power was mostly ignored.)

Another reason to emphasize nukes is to undercut other liberal issues. For example, the most important reason to oppose nationalized health care is that it might stop privately-run medical research. The standard leftist reply to that is that the government can do the medical research instead. They'll find thatn point harder to make when people like Joseph Romm use even trivial government investments in nuclear energy as an excuse to suppress nukes. (Slogan: Will you let them do to medicine, what they've already done to energy?)

medical research

How much medical research is currently done (and publicly funded) in state run universities verses the private sector?


Who comes up with new meds that aren't just patent extensions of slightly different older meds?


Is profit the best motive for medical research?

Off Their Meds

Interesting time as the GOP seems to have collectively gone off their meds.. again. This time they're having a meltdown over Obama giving a speech telling eight year olds to study hard and stay in school.

This train is completely off the rails and the Republicans are headed for a serious crash. And that's before some lunatic inevitably takes a potshot at the president as a result of Glenn Beck's off the charts ranting and bile.

This same howling mob was stoked in the 90's until we had Oklahoma City.

You people lit this fire right in the middle of your own bed through thirty years of grievance and resentment, reaching a crescendo after a summer of hyping death panels, concentration camps, communist infiltration, and socialist indoctrination hysteria -- and this is just from elected GOP officials. Articles like this are the equivalent of a smoke alarm going off long after the house is engulfed in flame.

Good luck putting the damn thing out.

Anything is possible

In this great country of ours anything is possible including the notion of conspiracies. There are some who feel this has been going on since the founding of our nation. casino

You guys are a laugh riot

"...a conservative movement that needs to generate new ideas and groom future leaders".  So the old ideas have passed their "sell by" date?  Hayek, Friedman, Locke, et al - the Constitution - are now passe?  And whom do you have in mind for these "future leaders"?  Perhaps you, Conor or others in your merry band just might be pressed into service if your arms were twisted enough?

What's most telling is your obliviousness to the fact that the train has left the station.  There is growing awareness that nothing substantive will be fixed until we restore the Constitutional balance between the states and federal government and the feds are truly constrained to their enumerated powers.  Sure it's going to take some hard work and likely some pretty tense standoffs before it's done.  But anything else leaves Imperial Washington free to continue to hoover up the huge piles of money with which it buys its continued rule.

The time for navel gazing is over.  You folks just continue with your little inbred coffee klatch; while you play with yourselves the ordinary people will get the job done.

How wonderfully ironic...

...that you've use the term "hoover up" when espousing ridiculous ideas about federal/state balance. 

The Republicans tried Hayek's ideas?

Coulda fooled me!! (Besides Ron Paul, I mean...)

I think you might be pretty far off-base there on your recent history. The Republican "leadership" is no fan of Austrian Economics. That's a major part of why they are such a losership these days.

Finally, someone said it.

Kirk's third canon.  Unfortunately, "Who's Kirk?" would be an all too common question these days.


A guy who who used to fight Lefty Klingons?

Well I sure as heck know you aren't referring to the Captain of the Starship Enterprise. 

Unfortunately, though,  your statement is 100% correct. Revisitng Kirk's 10 principles would garner a helluva lot more than a bunch of people cultishly reciting Glenn Beck's 9 principles and 12 values.

Picking up a copy of the Conservative Mind mind would do a lot of Conservatives some good.

Rachel Maddow

Gave this site a plug, and the traffic shot up.  Jon should go on the show, and be better prepared than Tom Ridge was.





That would be great!

I would love to see Jon on Rachel's show, presenting a sane side of conservatism. At times I lose hope that it exists at all.

Yeah well...

I'll take you and Henke more seriosuly when you start disavowing influential voices like Glenn Beck, insetad of fringey small potatoes outfits like WND. 

You both know full well that it's folks like Beck who are adding the paranoid, over-the-top tinge to right-wing criticisms of Obama (a "coup?" the "oligarhy?").  If you want to change the tenor and sanity of the debate, someone like him is your target, not cranks like Chuck Norris and Vox Day and others of the WND stable who already consider themselves outsiders from the Republican party in the first place.

IMO, the GOP elites abandoned us during the 2008 elections

I don't know if you consider them elites, but I did---and I suspect many Republicans did as well.

Peggy Noonan

David Brooks

David Frum,

And, last but certainly not least, Kathleen Parker.

At a time when we were trying to win the 2008 elections, this crew was bashing Sarah Palin full-time.  The time for bashing had past; the time for banding together to win an election was at hand.  And what did this crew of elites do?  Elites, thank you very little. You played no small part in the fact that we now have an administration that has abandoned our ally Honduras and is spending our grandchildren into poverty.

The real way Bill Buckley saved conservatism was by inspiring Ronald Reagan, Tommy Thompson, John Engler, Newt Gingrich and others to enter the political world.  You know---the place where we pick people that actually MAKE LAWS, instead of writing witty op-eds and appearing on Hardball.

Recently, we watched another conservative elite, Charles Krauthammer, tell the world that Sarah Palin was unfit to engage in the healthcare the same time that her "death panels" charge helped sway the tone of debate against Obamacare.

Sorry, but I'm less than impressed with GOP elites.  They stabbed us in the back in 2008. Fool me once...

We didn't abandon you during

We didn't abandon you during the election, you abandoned us by nominating a weak liberal republican and a semi-retarded christian fundy. I'm not going to change my views to "fit in" with the GOP if that's the way they want to represent me.


During 2008, I was bashing McCain and palin ( as well as Obongo ). I will continue to bash these type republicans until they get out of my party.

And Just Who Do You Want in YOUR Party?

There's nothing I like more than self-rightous people who believe they have the right to dictate who can and can't be members of the GOP. I don't know why you don't like Obama. He's a control freak too.


Unfortunately, Palin appeals to the lowest common denominators of the conservative movement.  While most all you say about the present administration is true, remember it took four years of Jimmy Carter to allow Reagan to be seen as mainstream.  Obama serves a very important, if intermediate, purpose.

The GOP holds a smaller place in the country today because conservatism has been dumbed down to xebophobia and racism.  Unless articulate, respected voices appear soon to refute the Palins and Becks, it could stay that way for a while.  Independents need something to move toward, and it sure isn't death panels and calling the President a racist.

The "Death Panels" the Senate Removed?

Are you referring to the "Death Panels" the Senate Committee removed from their version of the bill after Sarah Palin's Facebook comment?

Might I suggest you pay more attention to what Sarah Palin actually says rather than what MSM or intellectually dishonest people like David Frum claim she says.

Yes, Sarah Palin is so racist she married a man who is part Native American.


Are you referring to the "Death Panels" the Senate Committee removed from their version of the bill after Sarah Palin's Facebook comment?

The reference was to "death panels," things that were never in any version of any bill in the first place. They weren't put in. They weren't removed. Claiming otherwise only makes the earlier poster's point about the likes of Palin appealling only to the "lowest common denominator."

Someone needs to cut back on his daily Snobinex dose

Unfortunately, Palin appeals to the lowest common denominators of the conservative movement.

How very Parker-Frum-Noonan of you.


I'm trying to remember who groomed Buckley and Reagan, and I'm afraid their conservative mentors don't immediately spring to mind.  In its own way, even your choice of exemplars is emblematic of those who conflate leadership of a movement and leadership of a party.  

You can deplore the celebrity status of Joe the Plumber, but the fact that even a plumber can recognize a socialist trajectory and call it out by name has a significance you miss entirely. In your Plumberization piece, you say, "Conservatives should not need Joe the Plumber to prove their middle class bona fides." You might as well have said you shouldn't need the middle class to prove your middle class bona fides. It sounds to me like you're really a lot more concerned about your intellectual bona fides -- which is part of what anti-intellectualism is all about.  What Plumberization means to you and the niche you occupy is ultimately less important than what he means to all the other plumbers out there whose votes are just as important as yours when it comes to putting folks in office.  Indeed, I suspect there are a lot more plumbers out there than movement Conservatives. 

The problem with taking on WND, as Jon Henke may be discovering, and Matt Lewis, perhaps inadvertently, confirms is that the risks substantially exceed the rewards.   It's a virtual twofer for detractors on the left!  You don't get many points for trying to distance yourself from the fringe.  You give them more visibility, grant them equal footing as an adversary, and end up being associated with them in the public zeitgeist -- and in the media who like nothing better than a conservative food fight.  That's how they'll report it, of course.  It won't be rational vs. paranoid, it will be covered as conservatives fighting amongst themselves.  

Battling over leadership may be intellectually stimulating, but excercising it takes a very different skill set.  I'd suggest you should be far more worried about whether you're grooming any followers.

"Joe the Plumber"

You can deplore the celebrity status of Joe the Plumber, but the fact that even a plumber can recognize a socialist trajectory and call it out by name has a significance you miss entirely.

"Joe the Plumber" is a wholly fictional character. The real name of the fellow who plays him in public is Sam Wurzelbacher. He isn't a plumber. He doesn't have his own business. He's dumb as a box of rocks, and nothing we were told about him was true. He was adopted as the mascot of the McCain/Palin campaign, and I suppose he worked pretty well in that capacity. A big, loud, windy phony, he's a perfect symbol of what the Republican party has become. Perhaps he will run in 2012.

It's Time to Move Beyond Buckley

Fort Buckley's comments are well stated and I am in agreement.

But, to paraphrase Jeb Bush, conservatives need to move beyond William F. Buckley, Jr. Times today are very different from the 1950s and 1960s. The Internet has changed everything. The rebirth of the conservative movement will not come from intellectuals, but  from the grass roots. It will be a populist movement driven by middle America rather than Beltway and East Coast elitists.

William F. Buckley, Jr. played a major role is developing the modern conservative movement. But, above all, he was an elitist who was born to wealth and never had to worry about paying his monthly bills. He seldom, if ever, mingled with middle America. Today's Republican (I won't use the word conservative) "intellectuals" are much like Buckley in that they have no desire to connect with those attending tea parties and town hall meetings.

The days of "conservative intellectuals" preaching to the base what to think, determining who can or can't be in the movement and expecting the grass roots to go along are over ... thank God.


We are seeing the "conservative grass roots"

And they ask where the birth certificate is and demand that government get out of their Medicare.

Don't Know Where You Are Coming From

"And they ask where the birth certificate is and demand that government get out of their Medicare."

Doesn't make a lot of sense.The "birther" movement is very small (although it seems to be a major issue at The Next Right). As for Medicare, I believe you have it confused with opposition to Obama's health care plan and, yes, the grass roots are definitely involved in the town hall meetings and tea parties.

I saw a poll a month back

That said that 26% of republicans thought Obama wasn't eligible for the presidency, and 23% weren't sure. The vocal people are a small group, sure, but belief in these false claims is a serious issue among the Republican rank and file. The second part of my comment was saying that many of the people who are protesting in the town halls aren't very educated about the issues and don't know specifically what they are protesting. In my humble opinion, they are protesting because they are conservative and dissatisfied, not because they think a public insurance option would be harmful for the well-being of the healthcare market in the long-term. Many don't even know that medicare is a government program!

"Very small," eh?

The "birther" movement is very small (although it seems to be a major issue at The Next Right).

That "very small" group makes up a "minscule" 58% of self-identified Republicans, who, as of the end of July, told pollsters they either didn't believe Obama to be a citizen, or weren't sure he was.


Today's Republican (I won't use the word conservative) "intellectuals" are much like Buckley in that they have no desire to connect with those attending tea parties and town hall meetings.

The days of "conservative intellectuals" preaching to the base what to think, determining who can or can't be in the movement and expecting the grass roots to go along are over ... thank God.

Those two paragraphs are illustrative of the congitive dissonance that so plagues the conservative movement today. "Those attending tea parties and town hall meetings" ARE being told by the conservative elite what to do--that's why they're attending. These aren't "grassroots" anything; they're mega-million-dollar corporate-funded astroturf operations, and that's all they've ever been.

No Hero to Me

It sems to have escaped Patrick's Memoy that at the time he rose to prominence, and for some time thereafter that Buckley filled the pages of National Review with screeds against integration.

Mr. Buckley wasn't ar removed from the bigots of yesterday in practice, he just used a more patracian tone as he denounced Brown vs. Board of Education and wrote in support of the so-called White Citizens Councils.

Buckely is no hero to me in large part because his support for the segregationists carried more weight with mainstream Republicans and gave those of them looking for a genteel reason to continue act as if blacks were no better than animals in law as well as deed.

He acted then as Sam Francis and Peter Brimelow do today, both of whom are now so vile and blatant in their efforts at pushing white supremacy that even the NR can no longer stomach them.

Just as Robert Byrd can't fully escape his racist (past despite his obvious and long ago apology for his membership in the Klan), neither can I forget WFB's shoddy past, even while I forgive.

So which Buckley should we have back? The one of today or the 1955 model?


Buckley also wrote an absolutely disgusting defense of McCarthyism while it was still ongoing. Most of the people here are probably fairly young, and know only the older Buckley, the amiably anachronistic chap on PBS who could wallow in intellectual dishonesty with a twinkle in his eye that made him very difficult not to love, and whose love of language and skillful use of it could make even the most disagreeable column come alive with memorable phrases and turns of same. There is, however, a very dark side to the fellow, a lot of it springing from his younger days, that tends to get shunted aside in most of the evaluations of him.

Still, I miss the guy.



I first met Mr. Buckley as he visited an all girls Catholic College in the midwest talking about political issues that sparked my interest in polictics to a higher degree, despite my family was a very political family.  My Uncle Barney worked tirelessly for the Democrats on my paternal side and my Grandfather worked tirelessly on the GOP side.  Medication does not change people's idea of there ideals it just simply fogs them into submission. That is the medicine our first black President is doing, fogging us into submission, through his economic advisors are telling him to f**ck the people, despite the constitution clearly reads "FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PEOPLE AND WE ARE THE UNITED STATES" THE PEOPLE. COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM. EVEN THE HEALTH CARE SO MANY DESPERATELY NEED IS BEING SADISTICALLY TWISTED TO ITS DEMISE. The dems can argue all they want about constitution not being subterfuged as the dems are obviously doing by calling the people protestors war mongers and worse  You cannot compare the intellectual writings, press appearances and articles  of William F. Buckley,  as racist  or you are setting yourself up for a real run for your libel judical suit.  William F. Buckley had it all brains and common sense and used them wisely not to degrade or harm as the previous commentee just did.  

The Past Bites

You cannot compare the intellectual writings, press appearances and articles of William F. Buckley, as racist or you are setting yourself up for a real run for your libel judical suit.

It's judicial.

And yes, Buckley's positions in 1955 were out an out racist.

There, now sue me.

BTW, the Neo-Nazis at Stormfront miss the old Buckley as well:

The Decline of National Review Here is an excellent commentary of the decline of WFB's National Review from being a principled, defender of the legitimate rights of our people, of our culture, our right to exist now turned into the spineless race-less publication it is now.

I am including the article in full as Jared Taylor allows this to be done as long as the link is included: American Renaissance (Home of Brimelow and Francis these days) National Review is considered the flagship publication of post-World War II conservatism. William F. Buckley started it in 1955, declaring that it “stands athwart history yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” Mr. Buckley was yelling “stop” to the spread of communism abroad and liberalism at home.

That it should now attack Mr. Buchanan for supporting protectionism and market intervention is consistent with founding principles and no surprise. But few would have thought that after 44 years of publication, a senior editor with an Indian surname would condemn a popular white conservative for speaking up for whites. Passages from some back issues could have been lifted right out of American Renaissance.

In fact, the National Review of the 1950s, 60s and even 70s spoke up for white people far more vigorously than Pat Buchanan would ever dare to today. The early National Review heaped criticism on the civil rights movement, Brown v. Board of Education, and people like Adam Clayton Powell and Martin Luther King, whom it considered race hustlers. Some of the greatest names in American conservatism – Russell Kirk, Willmore Kendall, James Kilpatrick, Richard Weaver, and a young Bill Buckley – wrote articles defending the white South and white South Africans in the days of segregation and apartheid. NR attacked the 1965 immigration bill that opened America up to Third-World immigration, and wrote frankly about racial differences in IQ. There were always hints of compromise, but passages from some back issues could have been lifted right out of American Renaissance. Not so today. NR still supports immigration reform and is not afraid of the IQ debate, but Mr. Ponnuru’s article is just one example of its complete abandonment of the interests of whites as a group.

What used to be an important part of the NR message it now dismissed as illegitimate “white identity politics.”

“Why the South Must Prevail” A famous example of the early NR stance on race was an unsigned editorial of August 24, 1957, titled “Why the South Must Prevail.” It was almost certainly written by Mr. Buckley, since he uses similar language in his book Up From Liberalism. The editorial argued against giving blacks the vote because it would undermine civilization in the South: “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 in which it does not prevail numerically?

The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists.”

“National Review believes that the South’s premises are correct. … It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.”

“The South confronts one grave moral challenge. It must not exploit the fact of Negro backwardness to preserve the Negro as a servile class. … Let the South never permit itself to do this. So long as it is merely asserting the right to impose superior mores for whatever period it takes to effect a genuine cultural equality between the races, and so long as it does so by humane and charitable means, the South is in step with civilization, as is the Congress that permits it to function.”

The text quoted above did enlighten me on one thing. I didn't know Buckley opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As that one piece of legislation is the reason that I am a full citizen of this country and no longer denied my rights as a man.

My forgiveness is hereby rescinded, but just for the remainder of today and only because I know Buckley later recanted those views.

These writings are a reminder Mr. Ruffini, that your past can haunt you and the the current ravings of the GOP and its tacit support of the militia nuts, the birthers, and the rest will come back to bite them.

Good Lord...

I had no idea Mr. Buckley's earlier views were this vile:

In a 1969 column called “On Negro Inferiority,”

Mr. Buckley wrote about the furor over race and IQ, and bragged that NR had “brilliantly anticipated the findings of Dr. Jensen and brilliantly coped with their implications.”

The “eminent sociologist” defended IQ testing by citing the work of Hans Eysenck and research on identical twins. He claimed intelligence is largely heritable and that environmental factors cannot improve it by much.

Mr. van den Haag wrote that integrated education impairs whites and “demoralizes” blacks, and advocated separation:

“I am all in favor of improving the quality of education for all. But this can be done only if pupils are separated according to ability (whatever determines it). And this means very largely according to race.” In an April 8, 1969 column called “On Negro Inferiority” Mr. Buckley wrote about the furor caused by Arthur Jensen’s research about race and IQ, calling it “massive, apparently authoritative.”

Mr. Buckley even bragged that “Professor Ernest van den Haag, writing in National Review (Dec. 1, 1964) … brilliantly anticipated the findings of Dr. Jensen and brilliantly coped with their implications.”

Mr. Ruffini, you can stop wishing for WFB's return. I think his views are represented quite nicely these days by any number of today's conservative commentators.

And if you've ever wondered why African-Americans like myself despise the GOP it's probaly because you have such a gauzy, nostalgic view of just wrote members of the party and how they thought up until pretty recent times by historical standards.

Even I forget sometimes why I loathe the GOP so much and then via Google I come upon articles from my youth.

I would have been fourteen at the time of Mr. Buckley's article on Negro Inferiority and if I didn't personally read it, my father certainly would have and had a few hundred words on the subject so I picked up his disgust by osmosis until such time as I began to read about such things myself. Conservatives act as if black disdain for theor arguments sprang from the air fuly birthed. Well no, we read and hear and we know what some fo you really thought back then, and what the birthers and the wak jobs think now.

No, we won't be rushing to the Republican Party in this generation and very likely not in the next as the freshmen congressmen and senators playing footsie with the birthers find their words come back to haunt them down the road when they start eyeing the presidency.



There are several important

There are several important points here, but I think they boil down to this.

 1)     the “Conservative Élites” are out of touch with their base. 2)     The “Conservative Base” is out of touch with their intellectual roots. Personally, I blame Fox News. (Now stay with me on this, it all makes sense in the end.) As I said in a previous post, the inside the beltway Republicans and the inside the beltway Democrats seem to share the same view of the Republican base. The self-appointed Republican “intellectual élites” and the self-appointed Democratic “intellectual élites” have more in common with each other than they do with their base, (or Sarah Palin). In their eyes we are all a bunch of poorly educated, easily manipulable hicks because we do things like go to church, shop at Walmart, and have kids. THEY have gone to The Leadership Institute, (yes I am an alum) or American University's Campaign Management Institute (again, guilty as charged) and graduated from one of those over priced colleges that consider a perennially loosing football team to be a sign of intellectual superiority. They have made the right connections, lived off Daddy’s savings while they took the unpaid internships, and are “political pros”. Unfortunately knowing the mechanics behind Keynesian politics(I love that phrase) is not the same thing as actually knowing the issues (i.e. “policy wonk”) or knowing how to govern. (More on that later). More importantly, like their Democratic brethren Republican intellectual elite’s self appointed intellectual status demands that they look down on anyone “not in the club”. This is totally without a basis in the real world.  The High School dropout that reads Aristotle and Locke in the public library is far better educated than someone who got a Harvard PhD for writing a dissertation on Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”.  Remember it was Colonel de Castries, (and later General Westmorland) that were the professionals, and General Giap that was the self-taught amateur. Because they are out of touch with their base, and the beliefs of their base, the inside the beltway Republicans assume that Glenn Beck and Hannity and Greta Van Susteren are the "Great American Grassroots Spokespeople". THEY ARE NOT. Talk Radio (and Fox News) can educate people (that is where Rush Limbaugh’s true greatness lies), and they can mobilize and drive people; (as you see in the current health care debate)  but push come to shove Beck, Hannity, Michael Savage, Laura Ingram, and even the great Limbaugh himself are ENTERTAINERS. They get paid to deliver an audience to the Viagra commercial, nothing more and nothing less. They do NOT speak for ANYBODY and THEY ARE NOT THE CATO INSTITUTE! They put together their shows based on what will generate ratings, and most often that boils down to sex, and controversy; not  philosophical seminars on policy.  This is why Fox News hired Megyn Kelly to host their morning show and not Judge Bork. The problem is, what makes for “good TV” is normally NOT something that makes for good policy. The best example I can think of for this was the immigration debate of 2007/2008.  Tom Trancedo did NOT have a significant number of followers (as evidenced by the fact he dropped out of the 2008 race in December of 2007). There were excellent moral and economic arguments against his nativist politics. More importantly, there was the shining example of how Prop 187 was the weapon by which the California GOP had committed suicide, and for the historically minded the example of how the “Know Nothing Party” of the 1840s had driven the Catholic Irish into an alliance with the Democratic Party that not even Roe v. Wade has been able to totally break.  It was obvious to any thinking person that adopting anything close to the Hugh Dobbs/Tom Trancedo line was political suicide, so obvious that even President Bush opposed it.  But while it may have been political suicide, it was ratings gold. So talk radio, and Fox, and Hugh Dobbs jumped on the FAIR bandwagon. Remember, television and radio isn’t about educated policy debate; if people wanted that they would have watched C-SPAN (which they don’t). Television and radio are about HYPE, which is why people are panicked that having President Obama tell their kids to study hard and stay in school will turn them into grade school versions of Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw.  It’s not rational, it’s not logical, it’s just HYPE. The problem with the inside the beltway GOP is that they mistook what was important to the programming directors at Clearchannel and Citadel Broadcasting as being what was important to the future of the Republic.  Ironically, some (but far from all) of the GOP base makes the same mistake. Civics classes have been a joke for at least one generation. When I was in school we didn’t study Locke or Hobbes or the Federalist Papers; we had “current events” where the football coach let us read newspaper clippings and discuss them.  No actual teaching was ever involved. Because of this,  the vast majority of Americans today  (including myself) I don’t think “Russell” when you say “Kirk”, I think “James T”.  Except for political junkies like myself, we learn about politics from our TV's and Radio's, not Hobbes, Aristotle, Madison, Burke, and Kirk. This is a tragedy because the  conservative movement has a great and wonderful intellectual heritage; and unlike the Left we don’t have to around constantly re-inventing it, because OURS ACTUALLY WORKS! Your average member of the Republican Base is someone who thinks for themselves, and has come to certain conclusions about life; only to discover later that Ayn Rand or Edmund Burke or Russell Kirk, or Buckley himself had come to the same conclusion first. Rush Limbaugh realized this, and tapped into this, using his show as much to educate as to entertain. Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewett and Michael Medved do much the same thing.  Sadly Hannity, Savage, and their ilk do not.   So Patrick is right. We do NEED a new WFB. We need someone who not only has read and understands the Conservative Canon, but can educate the American public about it as well. The problem is, there is no way Roger  Ailes would ever let one of his networks broadcast something as dull and graphics free as Firing Line.


See you in Court

Past writing dont come back to haunt anyone, if they did, the racist Reverand Wright should have been shut down by the black community as the most perverse threat to the white community enciting violence and oppression on the white communities and authorizing the genocidal slaughter of whites.

We have a black President that is struggling with falling opinion polls and its not that he is a "1955 NEGRO" its because its politics.  Mr William F. Buckley was a political animal and no one was helping the minorities until 1995 as I recall.  It was a struggle many years beyond 1955.

You can take snippets from any Democratic and Republican journal you want and the verbiage Negro was acceptable and the any changes in Mr. William F. Buckley's stance opted with an educational logically stance. William F Buckley was not a racist, he was an American and spoke to the American populist of its time.  Mr. Buckley being derided by a couple of bitter blacks that were not hurt by that period of time but profit from the white wisdom of 1995 and why there is a Black American in the WH that cannot do any more for you than a white President, its a 3 tier govenment and politics and polls rule.  The Health Care Bill is why he is there and President Obama knows it, so now what, the political hammers are beating him because that means the GOP rule in 4 years if not passed. Authors of the bill downgrading Medicaid and Medicare for the underprivileged for cash to pay is not the way to go. Leave those programs alone and create a new growing health bill.




You Sold Your Souls to the Devil

When you brought in the snake-handlers, bible-thumpers and other assorted wack-jobs in order to win elections, you lost your Party.  These people have taken over the Republican Party and take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh.  And, they ain't about to give it back to you pointy-headed professors.  Your base is so dumb they're unable to correctly state the proper name of your opposition party. (It's the Democratic Party, BTW, not the "Democrat" Party.)  You are now a fringe, regional, religious, far-right, mostly male and certainly all-white Party.  You are destined to go the way of the Whigs. 

Republicanism appeals only to those people still dim enough to believe the fairy tale that they will become the next Google millionaire because of the limitless blessings of capitalism.  When the Whigs died, the result was the party of Lincoln.  I have no idea what will come about when you finally implode.  But, I do know one thing, your fringe is playing with fire.  The last time this happened, Oklahoma City was the result.  I think Beck, et. al. will only be satisfied when there is an assassination.  But remember, liberal loonies have guns too.  Your nuts aren't the only ones armed.  Ours are, too.

As Opposed to Van Jones Types?

Barack Obama has assembled the greatest collection of racists, tax cheats, far-left radicals and thugs in any administration in our nation's history.

Compared to Axelrod and Emanuel, Karl Rove looks like an alter boy. Compared to the far-left Democratic Party, the GOP appears to be pretty mainstream., Fortunately, the American public is finally starting to catch on.

Because the Voices Say So


Do the all-caps make the voices go away? There must be a reason so many of you guys use them so much.

This isn't actually the case. Indeed, Buckley has identified his position on civil rights as virtually his only error in years of publishing:

Buckley said he had a few regrets, most notably his magazine's opposition to civil rights legislation in the 1960s. ``I think that the impact of that bill should have been welcomed by us,'' he said.

It well should've. When the obituaries are written, I hope they mention that though Buckley was wrong on one of the greatest issues of our age, that though he tried to stand in front of history and yell "stop!", he had the courage to admit his error after being run over.

Regardless what was in his heart or his head, what Buckley wrote gave aid and comfort to the whites who fought to keep segregation the law of the land. That he came to regret it is what makes him worthy of forgiveness. You can wish away the past sins of that age, but Google is a powerful tool for keeping people accountable for their words.

The Devil Contributed to the "DEMOCRAT IC" CAMPAIGNS

When multiple jobs are in the toilet, "I am trying to speak in NMDEM's level" SEE SPOT RUN=

When the 3 largest Unions are conceding to the government rather than a successful management team, the car industry, and China was the big sell out of 2005 via George W's financial advice team Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, shallow thinking.  If they can have a billion in there pocket then "GOLLY JETHRO" we can have a billion in our pockets, "what was that warren" W asks on the phone, "We just need to sell our souls STOLE LINE FROM PREVIOUS POST I MUST DIGRESS TO MENTION, GO ON, and sell all our crap to them yellow dogs them Chinese Warren your the 2nd richest according to steve forbes were a selling now by warren thanx for the edvice"     


Now President Obama takes Berneke and Buffett and Gates and sinks them in a financial hole in the WH to ask them "PEOPLE ARE PISSED ABOUT ALL OUR CASH GOING TO CHINA AND OUR ECONOMY IS SHIT"  "WARREN WHAT ARE WE TO DO" "print faux cash and put the children whick make me sick into debt they will never forget" " the economy will unravel and the United States Debt will be insurmountable."  "ARE U SURE WARREN" "yes i am sure i paid for you to be in the white house... give them yellow bellied commies asses WHAT THEY WANT WE HAVE NO CHOICE, IT WAS "W' THAT  gave them all our UNITED STATES CURRENCY money"



I rest my case.

No, I think it really is impossible to be too crazy in today's GOP.  Mona, if you line your hat with tinfoil, you won't have all those thoughts.


Which do you work for?


I am not now, or have I ever been.....

But, it is your bizarre obsession with both that is one thing that makes you guys sound crazy.

you are so right. How can you

you are so right. How can you do this.

 orlando clear braces

Everyday Low


Stop shopping at Walmart then. They migh as well be an official Chinese government agency for all the money shopping at the place sends back there.


Getting Buckley Back

You might not really want him back, he didn't believe in censorship like you do!

Getting Buckley Back

You might not really want him back, he didn't believe in censorship like you do!

Reality is tough to swallow

If you follow the money and why the world stock markets are in a flux, it is because of the lack of SEC oversight and financial advisors that were advising in there personal best interest not for the betterment of jobs and the middle class.  Censorship is what MSNBC does and will be corrected.



1st Amendment

You might not really want him back, he didn't believe in censorship like you do!

I see no censorship of WND. I see a denunciation and an economic boycott. The first amendment certainly doesn't apply since it exists so that Obama can't tell WND what to print or forbid them from printing anything. Nothing says it has to be supported either through omission, by staying silent or commission, by paying them for their mailing lists as the GOP has obviously done. Sort of like the Whole Foods boycott actually.

Reynolds Wrap is too expensive I purchase generic

At NMDems thanx for the advice you must be a financial advisor by your ignorant degrading blogs.


But will be taking your advice about tinfoil it worked for the Democrat ic Stimulus plan.  Oh, that sucks, maybe not, why dont you take your tinfoil off your head and take your medication and some psychiatric warren may admit you .


Keep blogging I love it