Friday, June 02, 2017

Indeed …

… The Irreplaceable William F. Buckley Jr. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… The constraints of newsprint no doubt limit Will's ability to go into detail. But I hope he does, because his sudden jab at [Whittaker] Chambers makes little sense. Chambers may have been sentimental and melancholic and pessimistic, his prose may have been tinged with purple, but he was if anything a moderating force on Buckley. Throughout their correspondence, collected in Odyssey of a Friend (1968), Chambers urged Buckley to accept the political reality of the New Deal, to be wary of Joe McCarthy, and to drop his criticisms of Eisenhower and Nixon. He resisted joining National Review because he viewed it as too ideological. He abjured the label conservative and preferred to be described as a "man of the right." He appeared on the NR masthead for just two years, leaving in 1959 because of editorial differences. (Chambers died in 1961.) His conservatism, such as it was, was adaptive. "That is what conservatives must decide," he wrote, "how much to give in order to survive at all; how much to give in order not to give up basic principles."
George Will is much overrated, especially by himself.

See also: Trump’s Paris deal reversal should have conservatives jumping for joy.


  1. But at least he wrote a fine book about baseball. In recent years, Will has become a bloviating BS machine.

  2. Yes. He doesn't believe in God, but he does believe in baseball (as do I).

  3. There a great number of people much overrated by themselves. However, I doubt that Trump will write a fine book about anything, not even golf.

  4. I just finished reading the Matthew Continetti article, and get the impression that he thinks conservatives are made up of a slew of factions, some even being intellectual (as opposed to what, unthinking bigots? feebleminded wahoos? what?), but the intellectuals argue with each other all the time, such as he does with his pedigree. He finishes with an insane paragraph that has nothing to do with anything he previously stated in the article. Okay, on to the other articles, and I have not yet touched Will's . . . now the one I am most looking forward to.

  5. Okay, so Jacob Heilbrunn is calling all Republicans who were aghast that a vile person like Donald Trump would become leader of their party and then the USA, are a "gaggle". Latest polls show this gaggle to be much of the 54% of Americans who want Trump impeached.

    Back in October, Heilbrun wrote: "But the McMullin contretemps does suggest the degree of rot in the GOP. Trump had a real opportunity to force an agonising reappraisal of foreign and domestic policy in the GOP. Instead, he thrashed around wildly, championing unprecedented levels of military spending one day, then playing kissy face with Vladimir Putin the next. A rogue male if there ever was one, he has plunged the GOP into an intellectual and moral abyss."

    Heilbrun wants to lead conservatives from abyss to the chaos.

  6. George Will's point seems to be here:

    "Buckley would change that by infusing conservatism with brio, bringing elegance to its advocacy and altering the nation’s trajectory while having a grand time."

    "Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients. America needs a reminder of conservatism before vulgarians hijacked it, and a hint of how it became susceptible to hijacking."

    To argue anything else is to take a tangent, and the tangents seems to be in intellectual pedigree.

    "Vulgarians" is the word for it, and many of them are Nazis and other hate criminals. Leading into the article, the Post puts a quote from its hate mail labeling Will a liberal. In fact, it has become common that if you go against the present administration in anything it does, or even call the president on his apparent loss of mental faculty (He used to be well spoken), his apparent treasonous actions, his conflicts of interest, you are a "libtard". Recently, someone called even questioning the president's mental faculty which shows itself in poor syntax and loss of subject, which the arguer seemed to agree is waning, a communist conspiracy to undermine our democratic process. These anti-intellectuals, even intellectual haters, are the most vocal of Trump's army of supporters. Sometimes I think of them as the Russian trolls we keep hearing about. Indeed, they will flag each other to come in a flame any thread to exhaustion that opposes the president.

    To want a Buckley or even a Will to step in a bring intellectual sense to the conservative conversation, is honestly and openly a step in wanting to Make Conservatives Great Again. The Conservative is power are not great, but spineless followers on the whole.

  7. Jeff Mauvais10:55 PM

    The Phillies are causing my faith in baseball to falter a bit. It may be time for an emergency default to one of the other teams I've supported during my peripatetic life: the Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles, even the Rockies, who didn't even exist when I lived in Denver. Or maybe the local minor league team will suffice.

  8. Well, Jeff, there's always soccer (or football, as it's known in the UK).

  9. Speaking of football, the American kind, I still wonder about the real reason Tom Brady aligned with others on the Patriots and did not go to the WH -- it got me to find the Patriots less distasteful, easier to watch again. (It's difficult to watch the Red Sox, knowing that they got their championships by cheating with PHDs, so I am trying to be a steady Patriots fan.) But more intriguing than whatever conversation took place in the Brady kitchen (or bedroom) that stopped him from attending, is Patriots owner Robert Kraft sitting at the table with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar a Lago ~~ were they talking defense?, or some kind of trade deal?, Makes me wonder if Kraft thought Trump would be worth anything in trade himself.

  10. One must never lose faith in one's hime team. As for the politics, for those who like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing they like.

  11. The problem with the Red Sox, is that we waited and waited, some great and loyal fans lived and died with no championship. And when they finally won, we all found out that they cheated.

    On the Patriots, it was disheartening that Kraft, Belichick and Brady would back such a vile candidate. It became difficult to watch, knowing that violence was taking place as a direct result of the hate Trump was stirring up in order to get elected.

    The players to be proud of are Tom Brady (after all), LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty.

    America has found itself in such a shameful position electing this president, even though my an 11-million vote minority. That still left 60-something million Americans who were or voted alongside hateful people for a hateful candidate.

    Brady, Blount, Long, Branch, Hightower, Bennett and McCourty acted courageously and made the team and fans proud.