The Corner

David Corn…

is baiting me to denounce Bill Buckley. I was unaware that a few months ago David had written an incredibly tendentious account of a debate we had at Eastern Connecticut State University. Supposedly I labeled David an “enem[y] of democracy and freedom.” This would have been a very ill-considered charge, and although these debates can get heated, I don’t remember saying it. I do remember complaining that in all our debates David had never once expressed the slightest pleasure at Saddam’s ouster or the Iraqi elections. Never once. I do remember complaining that the Left has suddenly lost a lot of its foreign-policy idealism, and elements of it had basically sided with the Iraqi insurgency. (I noted that Code Pink and other left-wing groups had issued a statement in support of the insurgency, something David promised to rush back to his key-board and denounce–not sure whether he ever did.) I do remember arguing it is an odd thing to say you are honoring the troops when you can never bring yourself to acknowledge that they have done any good. Finally, I remember an exchange at the end when I thought David spoke with a sneering, sarcastic voice about democracy, and took umbrage (he, in turn, denied his voice had been sneering and saracastic, and I said it had been, and so on–we’re not talking Lincoln-Douglas here, I’m afraid). For the record: I don’t think David is an enemy of democracy, just a partisan blinded by Bush hatred. And I see no connection between the crowd-pleasing bile he sometimes spews at our debates, and Buckley’s prudential doubts about nation-building in Iraq (this was NR’s take on WFB’s column from last week, in case anyone missed it).

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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