I was there. History was there. The Republicans were there. Where are they now?
What’s distinctive right now isn’t the fact that someone like Greene exists but that no one has emerged to play the role of Buckley. A longtime Republican leader like Mitch McConnell can try — he denounced Greene’s “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer” on the party — but after he served four years as an ally to Donald Trump, his words aren’t worth much.
Buckley played the erudite critic of the conservative through my political adolescence. My hard-left household listened to the positions he presented (PBS, NPR) and moderated our stances because of him. He didn’t change how we voted but moderated positions about g0vernment.
Greene doesn’t know what she’s doing. McConnell probably does, but doesn’t care. Buckley – bless his iron-cold heart – cared.