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

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