Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Mr. Bill: Buckley has earned the right to phone in his columns, which I think he does from time to time; nevermind, though, as even his phoned-in stuff ranks pretty high in the world of commentary. Occasionally, he gives a flash of the brilliant wit that used to sparkle when he was PBS's token barbarian. Today, Buckley quotes a bit of testimony from doomed judicial nominee William Pryor, in which he tells Russ Feingold to request a bit of information from the RNC, and Feingold gets in a typically senatorial snit:
FEINGOLD. Will you provide to the committee a comprehensive list of RAGA's contributors and the amounts and dates of their contribution?

PRYOR. I don't have such a list, Senator.

FEINGOLD. Who does?

PRYOR. The Republican National Committee.

FEINGOLD. Will you urge them to provide that list?

PRYOR. If you need that kind of list, then you really need to seek it from them.

FEINGOLD. You oppose a disclosure of this information?

PRYOR. I'm not saying that I oppose it or I favor it.

FEINGOLD. I'm taking this as a refusal to urge the release of this information.

Then Buckley offers this juicy paraphrase of Pryor's testimony:
In street talk, this would read: You want that? Well, stir ass and get. Don't use me as your research assistant.
God knows in what decade Mr. Buckley's "street talk" was current, or what street it was. It's pithy, anyway.

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