William F. Buckley, Jr. is certainly not beyond criticism and I think there is a case to be made that the modern American conservative movement did not succeed (or, more optimistically, has not yet succeeded) in accomplishing its policy goals to the same extent as New Deal liberalism. But this Timothy Noah column about Buckley, besides being graceless, overstates the case quite a bit. Noah appears to suggest that rolling back the New Deal and stopping the civil rights movement were bigger conservative/Buckleyite goals than winning the Cold War, ending 1970s stagflation or stopping the postwar slide to European-style social democracy.
Now why would he frame the issue in this manner? Partly because it makes it easier to portray conservatives as racist crypto-fascists. And partly because it downplays conservatism’s biggest successes (“by the time Buckley’s man Ronald Reagan entered the White House… communism was dying of natural causes”).
Or maybe Noah just wrote too fast, as he did when he penned this sentence: “Shortly before he died, David Frum, a National Review writer, published a book that called for a carbon tax and promoted government action to combat obesity.” The “he” must be Buckley, since Frum wrote Dead Right but isn’t dead. Right?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online