February 29, 2008
How appropriate to be reminded that William F. Buckley, for all his charm and intellectual panache, was also an apologist and full-time whitewash artist for some of the sleaziest creeps ever to walk upright. In particular, Brad DeLong reminds us of George C. Marshall, who as the architect of the “Marshall Plan” helped create a better, more stable Europe from the rubble of World War II and thus made the world a significantly better and safer place. He was also relentlessly smeared by Sen. Joe McCarthy, with the shameful acquiescence of President Eisenhower, to the approval of Buckley, who made it part of his life’s work to raise McCarthy’s image from the sewers. That he failed to do so, and that his successors continue to fail at this project, will be one of the benchmarks by which our sanity as a society is confirmed.