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A Gadfly, Not A Leader

The Weekend Interview with R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Right's Happy Warrior - WSJ.com: James Taranto gives good interview here with Bob Tyrrell, longtime writer for and sometime editor of The American Spectator. This interview is especially timely, not just because I happen to be reading the collection of his "The Continuing Crisis" columns from that magazine, but because Tyrrell has another book out, After the Hangover, which is well worth reading, doubly so if you buy it through my links, hint hint.

Down the road a bit, I think Tyrrell is going to be viewed in somewhat the same way we now look back at William F. Buckley Jr.: a theoretician, a man of letters, and a gadfly who kept pushing the Right to be something more than it was when he came on the scene. Unlike Pat Buchanan, whose rage at the New Left's domination of the media turned off a lot of people, Tyrrell's mockery of the Kultursmog made people laugh and realize what fools these talking heads and pontificating pundits were (and are). The Spectator has come to represent a different flavor of conservatism than the (generally) social conservative tack taken by Buckley's National Review; it is more populist in its libertarianism and less Catholic, and perhaps this is why it's less well-known than its older brother. Perhaps it's the often more snarky tone, that some people find off-putting, but it's a magazine worth following nonetheless. I'd subscribe if I could afford to.