The WFB card


Every National Review person is used to it, but it can still rankle: the invocation of William F. Buckley Jr. by people who wish to scold the Right in some way.

I was reading the Corner here on NRO last week, and someone said that Arianna Huffington and Joe Scarborough were talking on television — saying that, if Bill were here, he would support the nomination of Chuck Hagel.

This is the kind of thing that makes us tear our hair out, but, as I said, we’re used to it, sort of. It certainly happens a lot, and always will, till the end of time, presumably.

I have a feeling that Bill would oppose the Hagel nomination, because of the nominee’s stance on Iran and his stance on defense spending — what the U.S. military should be. But I don’t know for sure. And I wouldn’t claim to speak for him. (NR is against the Hagel nomination, by the way.)

As we all know, conservatives never get such good press as when they’re planted. I recall an interview I once had with Beverly Sills. She cited Birgit Nilsson — who said, “I never had such good reviews as when I retired.” Before, the critics said, “This shrill Swede, not as good as Flagstad.” After, they said, “Oh, Birgit, where have you gone?”

Very, very human.

I keep reading that we Republicans have to change our view of immigration — that we’re too harsh, that we’re getting killed on the issue. First, I think that politicians and parties should say what they believe, regardless of the popularity of those views. Second, I believe that the general Republican stance on immigration is perfectly reasonable.

Let me summarize my understanding of that general view: Secure the border. Stop illegal immigration, to the extent possible. No amnesty — it’s never the last one, and we should not reward lawbreaking. Work out a generous, sensible policy of legal immigration: a policy that allows for many types of immigrant, from a variety of places.

Obviously, I have been too curt and glib, but I think I have the crux of the matter — the crux of Republican thinking on the subject.

For many years, I’ve read that those Americans who are most opposed to illegal immigration and to amnesty are immigrants — legal immigrants. If this is so, why should Republicans be punished at the polls? The illegals can’t vote (as far as I know).

Anyway, I reject the view that the Republicans’ stance on immigration is harsh and unreasonable. If that stance is unpopular — well, then, we’ll have to do a better job of arguing. And if that doesn’t do the trick — well, in a democracy, the people get to choose, for better or worse.

To be continued . . .

Remember what Rahm Emanuel said about the financial crisis and the Left’s longstanding dreams and plans? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

That is essentially what they’re doing with gun control, after Newtown.

For many years — since the early 1980s, at least — I’ve noted that Arab parents teach their children hatred in the cradle. Right out of the womb. This is probably especially true of the Palestinians. A million times, I’ve written that hatred is their “mother’s milk,” making accommodations extremely hard. The poison never drains out. The dying of one generation doesn’t matter. The poison has been passed on.

It’s one thing if I say it, scribbling in my skivvies in New York. But what about the president of Egypt, the most important Arab state? As we read in this report, he has asked his people to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred.”

There ya go.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that British politicians have an easier time poking fun at themselves than American politicians. I’ve told this story a million times, but I remember Tony Blair at Davos. He was scheduled to give a speech on global warming. And, boy, was it cold — lots of snow too. He began his speech by saying, “Why is it that, whenever I give a speech on global warming, it’s the coldest day of the year?”

I’ve paraphrased, but closely. And I thought at the time, “Al Gore would never, ever say that.”