Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Monday, July 24, 2006
The apostasy of William Buckley
So starts a column by Chris Reed in Saturday's Sandiego Union Tribune blog:
In recent years, much of the right-wing conservative mainstream has tried to blacklist many of conservatism's leading lights. Blacklistees' sin was disappointment in George W. Bush, whatever the issue, whatever the strength of their case.

So Andrew Sullivan was labeled a liberal (and subjected to some pathetic homophobic taunts) for decrying what he calls the "Christianist" influence on White House policies and the absurd overspending of the Bush 43 years.

So John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and others were labeled as liberals for decrying the use of wedge issues to demonize gays and stir up fake controversies over issues like flag burning.

So the libertarian Cato Institute and Reason Foundation and the many libertarians at the Heritage Foundation, instead of the usual respect accorded small-government devotees, were dismissed as extremists.

Now William F. Buckley, correctly described by as the "father of modern conservatism," has jumped ship...
It is CBS News that details the nature of Buckley's apostasy, while Reed projects that soon, National Review staffers will begin a whispering campaign about Buckley's apparent senility... (interestingly enough, Buckley was called just that -- ideologically senile -- by a caller to the Rush Limbaugh program today...) The rub, from an exclusive sit-down by the house that dumped Dan Rather with the don of the conservative movement:
Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.

"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced [in Iraq] it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says. ...

"Has Mr. Bush found himself in any different circumstances than any of the other presidents you've known in terms of these crises?" Assuras asks.

"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress," Buckley says. "And in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge."

Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable."
Read more of the Buckley interview here, surprisingly free of comment from the NRO senility police.

Tags: Politics, Iraq, News, Republicans, War, neoconservatives, real conservatives, Buckley, Bush
posted by JReid @ 5:53 PM  
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