William F. Buckley may have been the architect of the modern conservative movement, but what will it do without him? Evan Thomas even wonders, in Newsweek, if what he created still exists at all. Buckley was “a man who could spar intensely with the late liberal icons…and then have a laugh over a martini.” Rush Limbaugh he was not.
Buckley’s National Review set the stage for the presidency of Ronald Reagan (who joked that he brown-bagged the mag in liberal Hollywood) and a new, intellectual conservatism, but late in life he bemoaned the state of the movement he created. He saw the Iraq war as a failure and conservatives “slothful;” who knows how he felt about Limbaugh calling him “another father”?