Seeing Stars

by Jay Nordlinger

Over the years, I have often said, “It’s not that William F. Buckley Jr. taught me what to think, it’s that he helped teach me how to think.” When I’ve mentioned this to audiences, people have sometimes said, “Could you explain what you mean? Could you give some examples?”

Well, I thought of Bill this morning. Something popped into my head, and I thought, “Sheer Bill.” This is what I mean by a thought process.

The president’s press secretary said to a reporter, “I think that, if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that’s something highly inappropriate.”

Here’s the Buckley thought that popped into my head: “Would it be less highly inappropriate to question a three-star general? Less inappropriate still to question a two-star? Approaching acceptability to question a mere one-star?”

Furthermore: Is this America? Or as Chevy Chase says to Danny in Caddyshack, “Is this Russia?” (WFB would not have cited Caddyshack.)

P.S. John Kelly is a retired general. So is Wesley Clark. He was an Army general, with four stars. I saw him on the street last night (New York). In 2004, he ran for the Democratic nomination for president. I knocked him six ways to Sunday. I would again.

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