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William F. Buckley Interview

From: Lydon McGrath Productions
Length: 18:15

William F. Buckley examines the Bush GOP

Buckley2_small The sound quality of the posted audio is somewhat less than broadcast-quality; a high-quality version can be prepared in short order upon licensing. Thanks, Lydon McGrath William F. Buckley won his spurs as the sharpest tongue on the Republican Right--a provocateur and propagandist of the conservative movement that captured the GOP with Barry Goldwater and the presidency with Ronald Reagan. With interviewer Christopher Lydon on the eve of the Republican convention in New York, Buckley strikes a wistful note on the subdued tensions in his party. President Bush's renomination speaks for "a party that really hasn't found any missionary excitement of the kind that identifies a leader with a body of thought that's either gestating, or received as common wisdom." But what if the Reagan vs. Rockefeller soul struggles of the Republican Party have been misreported, and now covered up? And what does it tell us that stalwart Republicans like Pat Buchanan, Kevin Phillips and Ron Reagan Jr. have sensed in George Bush a taste for Empire--and have renounced the Party of Oil to save the Party of Main Street? Chris Lydon's questions are as keen as Bill Buckley's answers in this searching and surprising telephone conversation about the lineage of President Bush's party leadership.

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Piece Description

The sound quality of the posted audio is somewhat less than broadcast-quality; a high-quality version can be prepared in short order upon licensing. Thanks, Lydon McGrath William F. Buckley won his spurs as the sharpest tongue on the Republican Right--a provocateur and propagandist of the conservative movement that captured the GOP with Barry Goldwater and the presidency with Ronald Reagan. With interviewer Christopher Lydon on the eve of the Republican convention in New York, Buckley strikes a wistful note on the subdued tensions in his party. President Bush's renomination speaks for "a party that really hasn't found any missionary excitement of the kind that identifies a leader with a body of thought that's either gestating, or received as common wisdom." But what if the Reagan vs. Rockefeller soul struggles of the Republican Party have been misreported, and now covered up? And what does it tell us that stalwart Republicans like Pat Buchanan, Kevin Phillips and Ron Reagan Jr. have sensed in George Bush a taste for Empire--and have renounced the Party of Oil to save the Party of Main Street? Chris Lydon's questions are as keen as Bill Buckley's answers in this searching and surprising telephone conversation about the lineage of President Bush's party leadership.

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Review of William F. Buckley Interview

In this pas de deux Lydon and Buckley gracefully step on each other's toes..... Lydon’s imaginative and analytic approach to history yields questions that are met by Buckley's inability to indulge speculation. Lydon invites Buckley to look at Bush from the perspective of Cold War-era-Regan and the Wallstreet/oil culture of Rockefeller --but Buckley won't budge: "We're asking questions that can't be answered for the very simple reason that there was no counterpart to the situation in Iraq." Their conflicting sensibilities and evaluation of history makes this piece effectively discordant. In this interview what isn't said is as impressive and revealing as what IS said. Lydon and Buckley's exploration of Bush, the GOP and US foreign policy is gratifying and thought-provoking. Broadcast this now through Election Day. This would also be a wonderful companion for Lydon's interview with Norman Mailer.

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