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R.I.P, William F, Buckley Jr.

I'm more partial to his son, Christopher, but it's hard to deny Buckley's influence. From the NYT:

William Buckley, with his winningly capricious personality, his use of ten-dollar words and a darting tongue writers loved to compare to an anteater’s, was the popular host of one of television’s longest-running programs, “Firing Line,” and founded and shepherded the influential conservative magazine National Review.

He also found time to write more than 50 books, varying from sailing odysseys to spy novels to dissertations on harpsichord fingering to celebrations of his own dashing daily life. He edited at least five more.

In 2007, he published a history of the magazine called “Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription” and a political novel, “The Rake.” His personal memoir of Senator Barry M. Goldwater is scheduled to be published this spring, and he was working on a similar volume on President Ronald Reagan at his death.

The more than 4.5 million words of his 5,600 newspaper columns, titled “On the Right,” would fill 45 more medium-size books. His collected papers, which were donated to Yale, weigh seven tons.

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal postwar America. He mobilized the young enthusiasts who helped nominate Mr. Goldwater in 1964 and saw his dreams fulfilled when Mr. Reagan and the Bushes captured the Oval Office.

President Bush said Wednesday that Mr. Buckley “brought conservative thought into the political mainstream, and helped lay the intellectual foundation for America’s victory in the Cold War.”

To Mr. Buckley’s enormous delight, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the historian, termed him “the scourge of liberalism.”

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