Monday, September 28, 2009

William Safire

I will miss William Safire.

The "On Language" column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, of course, will never be the same — if the Times keeps it. Who can replace Safire? Certainly not any of the lightweights who caught the column while Bill was "on vacation." The secret of "On Language" was that it continued to be Safire's editorial page column, but with greater subtlety.

I felt our national dialogue suffered when William F. Buckley died — and, while I didn't mention it last week, I thought it was sad to lose Irving Kristol. (His son, William Kristol, should have been a disappointment to Irving — but who knows? Jewish fathers are not all that different from Jewish mothers.)

Anyway, conservative America is being whittled down to the likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin — or, more to the point, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. It's a damned shame. Without an intellectual right, there's nobody for the intellectual left to talk to — not that anybody is listening.

Okay, I'm listening.

Bye, Bill.

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