What Buckley thought of Rush

Jay Nordlinger reflects on the attention devoted to Rush Limbaugh in recent days. For reasons that are self-evident, Jay offers a useful perspective on a tired controversy:

There are many things wrong with the Republican party today, and Rush Limbaugh, in my opinion, is not one of them. Donald Rumsfeld (another pet bogey) used to say, “America is not what’s wrong with the world.” That is true. And Rush Limbaugh is not what is wrong with the Republican party.

Frankly, Secretary Powell is more like what’s wrong: If he can’t discern the superiority of John McCain to Barack Obama, where the presidency is concerned, who needs him?

And even if you think Limbaugh is harmful, what’s he supposed to do? Give up his show? Kill himself? Can he help it if people are drawn to him? What’s he supposed to do, be less appealing so as to depress his ratings?

One thing that has pained me is that some people have used Bill Buckley against him. They say, “Rush Limbaugh is no Bill Buckley.” Yeah, so? Who is? Bill Buckley was unique, and Rush Limbaugh is unique. Both are their own men. They are individuals. Campaigning in 1976, the president used to say, “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.” There was only one Lincoln.

Until now, that is, in the eyes of some of Obama’s more fervent admirers.

As it happens, WFB loved Rush Limbaugh — I know, I was there. And Rush loved him back. Bill does his thing, Rush does his. I try to do my thing, we all put in an oar. I’m sure Rush makes mistakes, and I’m sure I make mistakes. You may make mistakes, too. And we keep going, doing our best.

Rush Limbaugh is a Reagan conservative who thinks that what a united Democratic Washington is now doing is wrong and alarming. I agree. And conservatives would be a lot better off if they stopped spitting at Rush and stood up strong against Obamism.

Jay has much more of interest to say in the linked column.

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