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William Buckley on Bush

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by hondo, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member


    Some of you more close-minded individuals will reject this out-of-hand. God forbid someone actually try to reason with you. But it is an interesting essay.
  2. MertWindu

    MertWindu Active Member

    So William F. Buckley says Bush isn't as stupid as Slate says? Fine. Not really much of an "essay," as much of a commentary. But I do like the pre-emptive liberal bashing, hondo. That's a new one.

    Edit: By the way, we're "narrow-minded," not "close-minded." I'd point out the irony of you using that bastard term in a post defending Bush's intelligence as regards to his verbal skills, but then I'd have to explain irony, and I'm sure you're not ready for that.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Bush may be the least brightest president in my lifetime. But I don't think he is the absolute idiot his detractors make him out to be. At the least, his political skills have been sharp enough to get himself elected president twice against far more articulate men. That said, Buckley takes issue with the Slate article. Fine. He basically wrote, "I don't think Bush is as stupid as Slate says," but he never actually offers much evidence of Bush being bright. To say, "Well, he just looked dumb compared to the great orators Ann Richards, Al Gore and John Kerry," doesn't exactly make the case that hBush is actually a bright guy. The essay was missing something tangible that said, "He's bright because he did/does X, Y and Z." It's ironic, because he pointed out that Eisenhower stumbled over words, too, and then gave concrete evidence of Eisenhower's intellgence. Where is the concrete evidence of Bush's intelligence?
  4. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Since logical thought is a concept that apparently eludes hondo (as well as some liberals, mind you), my dislike of the Shrub has nothing to do with his education. On that level, I couldn't care less. It's his stance on abortion, homeland security, individual privacy rights, governmental grants to religious groups, the war in Iraq and several other issues that has me steaming.

    So hondo, if you want to take issue with "closed-minded" liberal stances, that's fine, but you're being close-minded yourself if you think the Shrub's education (or apparent lack of) is issue No. 1.
  5. I'm staying out of the political fray but I just wanted to say that this was not a very good piece by Buckley.

    Maybe Buckley is still sensitive to how people do in debates after being ripped apart by Gore Vidal in verbal battle over 30 years ago.

    The central thesis of the article was lacking in support as others have pointed out.
  6. Having watched it in real time, I can say with certainity that Vidal/Buckley was pretty much a draw in over the course of their several debates that covered both the 1968 RNC and DNC. The one people remember is the one where Buckley blew his cool completely although, to be fair, it was an extraordinarily weird night, and Vidal did call Buckley a "crypto-fascist," which meant a whole different thing to WWII vets. In addiition, these were two brilliant men at the top of their powers, a pretty far piece from the organized monkeyhouses that pass for political "debate" shows every night on cable.
    This piece?
    A very lukewarm, halfhearted defense by someone who's more than once wondered publicly whether Fredo and the lads have taken conservatism off the rails.
  7. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Old enough as well to have seen it when it was broadcast.

    Wqtching these two guys debate was like watching two prize fighters go at it.

    Used to be a huge fan of Wm. Buckley's stuff.

    And Fredo and his gang have completely bastardized any concept of "conservatism".
  8. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Don't give Bush too much credit for his re-election. If there were no Karl Rove, there'd be no Fredo.
    Not to mention the rest of Daddy's friends.
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Bill always was a slick, facile debator, but as a long-time NR subscriber, I can tell you his finest hour was as a voice in the
    wilderness against Lyndon and his mid-60s clown show.

    This column is faint praise for #43 . . . and damning, as that.
  10. "The enemy isn't conservatism. The enemy isn't liberalism. The enemy is bullshit."

    The late Lars-Erik Nelson, the last real political columnist.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    . . . and I'm no Kerry guy, but anyone with respect for truth in debate who thinks that Bush broke even or better in the '04 debates
    is off his or her nut.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Too simplistic. Just as easy to say that without James Carville, Sydney Blumenthal, etc. Clinton doesn't get elected. I don't buy that either, by the way. I also think Clinton's political instincts are in a class by themself, so he isn't a comparison I'd make to Bush.

    There was an article in the Atlantic Monthly in 2004 comparing Bush and Kerry's debating styles. I believe it was written by James Fallows. It was interesting. He went back and studied Bush's debates and speeches over time, including how he handled himself against Ann Richards, and the tapes proved that Bush was very adept at working with the fact that he wasn't as eloquent as his opponents and using it against them. It meant changing his style dramtically, actually. His speaking style today is completely different than it was in 1994, which is fascinating. It isn't something most people realize.

    A little bit about the story was thrown to bits when Bush got his ass handed to him by Kerry in one of the debates. The story basically argued that Bush might hold his own. But even though most people watched ithe first debate, in which Bush looked woefully unprepared, and said, "Damn did Bush get his ass beat," they still didn't like Kerry after his performance, so maybe there was even a method to that madness. In any case, it's easy to say Bush has been overly handled. But honestly, you don't get elected to the Senate or as President unless you have the ambition, drive and some political instincts of your own to guide you.
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