William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during the 1968 Democratic convention: “Now listen you queer, stop calling me a crypto-nazi, or I’ll sock you in the goddamn face.”
In a recent post, Andrew Sullivan produced this quote and made this observation:
“Some people say I’m extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too,” – Kelly Khuri, founder, Clark County Tea Party Patriots. And William F Buckley rolls in his grave.
But does he really? Buckley had a notorious reputation for nastiness (just a couple of examples here and here) that seems to be pretty consistent with what now passes for mainstream “conservatism,” as the infamous exchange above demonstrates. What was shocking back then is just business as usual today.