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Monday, June 16, 2008

WFB Should Have "Plastered" Him When He Had The Chance

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During a 1968 joint television appearance at the Democratic National Convention William F. Buckley turned to author/homosexual/lefty gasbag Gore Vidal, who had just called him a "crypto-Nazi, and uttered these now famous words "Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered." Sadly there was no follow-through and the execrable Vidal remained un-plastered. Buckley should have hit him.

In yesterday's NY Times Magazine Vidal was interviewed and had this to say about John McCain's years being held as a POW in Vietnam:
Reporter: And what about Mr. McCain?

Vidal: Disaster. Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp?

Reporter: Everyone knows he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Vidal: That’s what he tells us.

As reprehensible as such suggestions are, they're really very much in keeping with Vidal's personality which, along with his native intellect, viperous nature and the joy he takes in condescending to everyone from kings to kooks made him something of an enfant terrible when young. Sadly the enfant terrible often morphs into the cranky nut-job as he ages and so it has been with Vidal.

Among some of his more intentionally provocative (never discount the use of the vicious bon mot to gain publicity) quotes are:

"When Ronald Reagan's career in show business came to an end, he was hired to impersonate, first, a California governor and then an American president who would reduce taxes for his employers, the Southern and Western New Rich, much of whose money came from the defence industries. There is nothing unusual about this arrangement. All recent presidents have had their price-tags."
Gore Vidal, Armageddon? (essay)

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies." (A little bit of self-revelation which actually explains much about him.)
Gore Vidal, "quoted in Sunday Times Magazine (London)", September 16, 1973

'We still don't know by whom we were struck that infamous Tuesday, or for what true purpose. But it is fairly plain to many civil libertarians that 9/11 put paid not only to much of our fragile Bill of Rights but also to our once-envied system of government which had taken a mortal blow the previous year when the Supreme Court did a little dance in 5/4 time and replaced a popularly elected President with the oil and gas Bush-Cheney junta.'
Gore Vidal - "The Enemy Within" essay

'The truth about Pearl Harbour is obscured to this day. But it has been much studied. 11 September, it is plain, is never going to be investigated if Bush has anything to say about it.'
Gore Vidal - "The Enemy Within" essay

Vidal had spent much of his dotage cultivating his unpleasant, factually dubious rhetoric but the charge against McCain, the facts of which he seems blithely unaware may hopefully hasten his retreat into irrelevance.

McCain's experiences as a POW are briefly summarized here by people far more credible than the conspiracy mongering Vidal.

Hat tip to Hot Air

Commentary Magazine also notes

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