February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, RIP

Rick Perlstein writes about why WFB, who passed away last night, was a role model to him:

... He did the honor of respecting his ideological adversaries, without covering up the adversarial nature of the relationship in false bonhommie. A remarkable quality, all too rare in an era of the false fetishization of "post-partisanship" and Broderism and go-along-to-get-along. He was friends with those he fought. He fought with friends. These are the highest civic ideals to which an American patriot can aspire. ...

It may seem sort of odd to stack this post on top of the previous one, but I don't think so. Such a thing exists as an adversary in good faith, a person you can fight without hatred. Or, as someone I know likes to repeat often, it's better to have a smart enemy than a stupid friend. Amen to that.

Liberals lost a smart enemy last night. Let's hope we have the rigor to press each other to be as good at our work as an adversary like Buckley did.

Posted by natasha at February 27, 2008 09:52 AM | US News | Technorati links |

Rove tried to smear Siegelman

Posted by: ccoaler at February 27, 2008 02:01 PM

A smart enemy, indeed.

Maybe that's the root of the problem these days: a lack of good adversaries and a lack of appreciation for a good argument.

Limbaugh and Coulter certainly aren't good adversaries. They're just bags of hot air that distill everything down to base, emotional arguments--and do so purely for entertainment value.

That, of course, gets them all over the news.

And we won't even talk about what a mess most of the Democrats and liberals that make the news are.

*sigh* It's quite the world we've slid into, isn't it?

Posted by: Kier at February 27, 2008 09:59 PM

I rarely note passings, even in the outside world, but... While I’ve long held umbrage with his politics, over the forty or so years I’ve read his columns on the writing craft I’ve learned more about the use, or more accurately abuse, as the case routinely be, of the English language than of all others.

Posted by: Ten Bears at February 28, 2008 10:25 AM

An alternative view of Buckley: http://dennisperrin.blogspot.com/2008/02/socked-in-god-damned-face.html

Posted by: me at February 29, 2008 04:11 AM