"The King of Prussia, some time before the death of his father, took it into his head to write a book against the principles of Machiavelli. If Machiavelli had had a prince for disciple, the first thing he would have recommended him do would have been to write a book against Machiavellism."
Not the least of [G. Gordon Liddy’s] manifold talents is for getting caught. He was consultant-in-residence on the set of Will, his autobiographical film. One of the scenes showed him campaigning for Congress in Poughkeepsie. One of the props was a dish of prize cookies. After the shooting had passed through various stages of repetition, a production assistant noticed that some party unknown was pilfering the cookies between takes. A surveillance was set up and the perpetrator detected. He was, of course, G. Gordon Liddy. Some guardian angel of his essential purity protects him from getting away with even the tiniest trespass.
- Murray Kempton, “G. Gordon Liddy: Knight Errant” (1981)
The minimal respect we owe any man is to begin by taking him at his word; and Mencken never presented himself as other than a Tory, contemptuous of democracy and scornful of the masses. But, faithful as he tried to be to that vision of himself in the abstract, he was almost invariably false to it in controntations with the here and now. He had the luck of the disability that afflicts William F. Buckley: His nature was not cold enough to make a good Tory or a good Bolshevik; he was deficient in the high-mindedness the disciplined coldhearted need.
- Murray Kempton, “Saving a Whale” (1981)
At the 1968 Republican Convention:
During the first day of the convention, Tony Dolan, a young Yale undergraduate who had interviewed [William F.] Buckley for the Yale Daily News, visited him at his room at the Eden Roc Hotel, and confidently predicted that Reagan would win the nomination and the election and create a “Roosevelt-like” change in the country. Buckley raised his hand and said no, the conservatives did not have an intelligentsia to run the country. “Where are the assistant professors?” Buckley asked Dolan.
So, one day in 1955, William F. Buckley Jr.’s father has a stroke that leaves him in a coma:
On the fourth day, Will showed his first signs of consciousness. Aloise, sitting at his bedside, was reading to him the Book of Psalms, from the Old Testament, and Will opened his eyes and exclaimed, “Boy, could those Jews write!” He lapsed again into a coma, but soon afterwards he came out of it.
Having recently been to Kamakura, I thought this blog post was pretty cool.