In statements that were reminiscent of Walter Cronkite’s admission that Vietnam was an unwinnable mistake, a statement that prompted Pres. Lyndon Johnson to to remark, “if we’ve lost Walter Cronkite, then we’ve lost the American people,” legendary conservative spokesman William F. Buckley, Jr. blasted Pres. Bush’s foreign policy by saying that the entire Bush administration was engulfed by Iraq
to the detriment of every other issue.
To all those who question, in light of the inane and purposely outrageous comments from such GOP talking head mainstays at Ann Coulter, Joe Scarborough and Bill O’Reilly, whether there can actually possibly be such a thing as a truly intelligent and incisive conservative I suggest they listen to or read the writings of William F. Buckley, Jr.. Though Buckley certainly is misguided on a variety of topics, he speaks eloquently in defense of them. To listen to Buckley and then to listen to Ann Coulter one would never guess that they share a common starting point for their beliefs. Where Ann Coulter quickly diverges into fascist neo-Nazi insanity, however, William F. Buckley, Jr. has in the past broken with the conservative ilk who stick like glue to outdated and outmoded ideology.
During the interview, Buckley said that if a European leader experienced the difficulties in foreign policy that Bush has, that it would be commonly expected he would either retire or resign. He also blasted Bush for being “extravagant on domestic spending.” He said the Pres. Bush was “incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge.” Later on, when asked what Pres. Bush’s foreign policy legacy will be Buckley said, “There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush…his foreign policy is indecipherable.”
These must be quite chilling words to Republican strategists. As Buckley goes, so goes many of the new conservatives. Buckley’s conservatism is far more in line with the majority of conservative-minded swing voters than the extreme, hardcore conservatism represented by Coulter and O’Reilly. If Bush has lost Buckley, then the GOP is in far more trouble than they think. They are in so much trouble that even Karl Rove’s underhanded strategies may not be enough to save them.