February 27, 2008

Requiescat In Pace, Bill Buckley


Oh, dear. William F. Buckley, Jr. dead at 82.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, Bill Buckley has always been one of my heroes. Apart from his worldview, he was a true gentleman. When I was in college, I wrote him a letter containing a little joke having to do with my subscription to National Review. He immediately wrote back himself, thanking me for the joke.

More, as you might expect, over at NRO.

YIPS from Steve-O: Greatness.

Posted by Robert at February 27, 2008 12:10 PM | TrackBack

A real hero of mine, too.

I had the pleasure of hearing him speak back in 1980; he was one of those speakers who could range far and wide in his ideas, analogies, metaphors, and sources. I also remember a debate he had (I believe it was at Harvard)against John Kenneth Galbraith about the same time that was one of the most brilliant intellectual events I ever saw on TV -- it was like Gladiator for intellectuals, and he was like Maximus.

I think I might be the only person in America who also read all of his Blackford Oakes spy novels.

I remember being a conservative as a kid and him being the only conservative editorial writer in my local paper, back in the pre-internet days. I remember thinking that the only two sane men in public life in America were Bill Buckley and Justice Rehnquist (I was an odd kid). He eventually spawned a generation of imitators who were good, but never were quite as good -- Joseph Sobran, Pat Buchanan, George Will, Krauthammer (who comes pretty close)).

I used to wait with eager anticipation for his weekly column, and used to be bitterly disappointed if it was on his recurring hobbyhorse, which was the Pinochet regime (long story short -- Allende was a communist, and overthrowing him was in our righteous self-interest). Seriously -- I don't know how many damn columns he wrote about Pinochet, but it had to be at least 50. Got you the first time, Bill -- Allende was a commie. No need to belabor the point.

Firing Line, too -- what a great show that used to be. He could really put a guest on the spot and just gut their ideas, but usually he was pretty polite about it.

His letters to the editor section in National Review was also a thing of legend.

A great man. I admired him greatly.

Posted by: The Abbot at February 27, 2008 12:53 PM

My favorite WFB speech was his address to the West Point Class of 1971...

Posted by: kmr at February 27, 2008 01:40 PM

Truly a Man for All Seasons.

Posted by: LMC at February 27, 2008 03:40 PM