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View Diary: BREAKING: Safire dead at 79 (81 comments)

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  •  Safire's generation of Republicans (3+ / 0-)

    They were the steak, Scotch, and cigars generation. Yes, they had a reactionary streak and were cold-hearted, but they appreciated the good life, valued ideas, and took pleasure in the give-and-take of debate.

    Compare and contrast with Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

    "You can never guarantee victory, but you can guarantee defeat."--Hall of Fame baseball writer Leonard Koppett.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 12:07:21 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I would argue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sagesource, White Buffalo, carlyle4

      that Safire was worse than Limbaugh, et al.

      He made far more dangerous views palatable to far more people that those nabobs ever will.

      No market, regardless of how 'free,' is more important than the people who compose it.

      by vadasz on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 12:12:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's more nuanced than that (1+ / 0-)

        Limbaugh wouldn't be around without conservative intellectuals, but I miss the conservative intellectuals.

        I think blaming Safire for Limbaugh is rather like blaming Marx for Stalin.

        •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

          more like blaming Lenin for Stalin, which we could do. Safire had plenty to answer for, and think that near the end of his life he, like William F. Buckley Jr., was not so happy with the results of what he'd wrought.

          I don't think they ever thought "their" movement could end up so, well, uncivilized.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 01:26:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't mean to blame Safire (0+ / 0-)

          for Limbaugh,

          only to say that Safire's brand of conservative apologizing was much more insidious than Limbaugh's because of the veneer of intellectual cleverness he lent it - a cleverness that did much more damage for getting many on the left to appreciate it even when not agreeing with it.

          No market, regardless of how 'free,' is more important than the people who compose it.

          by vadasz on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 02:35:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand (0+ / 0-)

            Blame was a poor word choice on my part...

            I think it comes down to the distinction between "would not have occurred unless" and "is responsible for..."

            I guess I view his passing as part of the general death of political debate that is more nuanced than "BIRTH CERTIFICATE! DEATH PANELS!"

            It is true though, that up until Regan and Thatcher conservatism was limping to the grave and that Safire contributed to its reversal of fortunes.

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