Wednesday, February 27, 2008

George W. Bush's enabler dies

I come not to praise William F. Buckley, who died today at age 82, but to lambast him. They say "speak no evil of the dead", but I wonder if that really applies to a man who has the blood of millions on his hands. Because the blood of millions it is, from the blood of millions killed in Vietnam courtesy of a crusade that William F. Buckley spearheaded, to the blood of millions killed in wars all over the world culminating in the Iraq fiasco that relied implicitly on the methods and mechanisms created by William F. Buckley.

But first, some history. After Harry S. Truman won the 1948 election in an unlikely triumph caused by his ability to communicate to ordinary people, the Republican Party was in a mess. The only way they could win the Presidency was with Dwight D. Eisenhower, a man who wasn't even registered as a Republican on the day he announced his candidacy, and that only because of the Korean War and the desire of the public to have a military man in charge of ending the war. Conservative ideas had been thoroughly repudiated by the Great Depression caused by conservative economic notions and by the post-war economic boom caused by progressive economic notions, all of which directly contradicted the notion that conservatism was the only road to economic prosperity.

It was William F. Buckley who founded the National Review and came up with the idea of the right-wing echo chamber in order to counter the draw of reality-based politics, and William F. Buckley who became its erudite and witty face. To oppose William F. Buckley was to appear to oppose intelligence. I say "appear" because in reality Buckley was pushing the vilest of vile politics. It was a generation-long propaganda effort, he knew, to discredit progressive ideas and bring back the sort of conservatism that predominated in America prior to the Presidency of FDR, the sort of conservatism that culminated in the glorious Presidency of Herbert Hoover at which point it collapsed under the weight of its own evil, but he was up to it. And so, over the course of the next forty years, William F. Buckley managed to convince the majority of Americans, through massive applications of every vile and venal propaganda technique under the sun, that elephants were pink and that conservatism was something other than a scam to loot the wealth of nations for the benefit of an unelected elite.

So go in peace, William F. Buckley. May the Great Penguin flog you forever in Hell, Arizona, where all bad penguins go upon their ultimate demise. Too bad that, as a good Tuxologist, I do not believe in the Christian conception of "Hell". But perhaps that is all for the better. Hell would be too good for a man with so much blood on his hands.

-- Badtux the Rude Penguin


  1. Well, your lambasting is a lot more reasonable and acceptable than that of most of the lefties I've seen nibble gleefully on Buckley's corpse. I guess it's just the way I'm wired up. I have spoken ill of the dead before, and... it just runs against my nature to do that, I don't like the way that feels. So I can't support you on this one.

    My 2 cents...

  2. Who are these lefties? 'Cause at Huffpo they're largely civil and even Tomasky was respectful. If it's commenters, well, that's another story.


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