nipulatcd into being an unconscious toolrnof such a plan?rnFinalK’, we come to my supposed “anti-rnSemitic impulses,” which is actuallyrnwhere Mr. Buckley started out. Since Irnhave met Mr. Buckley only briefly andrnhave never discussed with him Jews, anti-rnSemitism, “Jewish plots,” or relatedrnmatters, and since I almost never writernon such subjects, I do not see how Mr.rnBueklev could possibh’ know what “impulses’rnrelated to them, if anv, bubblernthrough my nervous system, unless hernhas inferred such “impulses” simplyrnfrom the editorial in question throughrnthe fallacious reasoning discussed above.rnMy impulse, in fact, is to suspect thatrnMr. Buckley, his vanity wounded by myrndismissal of his article, is simply bent onrnvengeance. My impulse is to believernthat the clue to his attempt to smearrnme with “anti-Semitism” is betrayed inrnhis phrase that “he [i.e., I] cannot believern. . . that I [i.e., Mr. Buckley] hadrnanything serious to say,” and only onernwho harbors “anti-Semitic impulses”rnwould confess his inability to believernthat William F. Buckley Jr. “had anythingrnserious to say” on the subject ofrnanti-Semitism. My impulse to think sornis invigorated by the fact that last spring,rnas a guest at an editorial luncheon at thernWashington ‘limes, in my absence but inrnthe presence of my editors and colleagues,rnMr. Buckley chose to insinuaterna similar accusation of anti-Semitismrnagainst me, presumably but unsuccessfullyrnintended to harm me professionally.rnMy impulse, in short, is to belieernthat his reckless accusation of anti-rnSemitism against me is simply malicious.rnI guess the editorial got to him arnlittle.rnMr. Buckley’s footnote “exposing” myrn”anti-Semitic impulses” is all of a piecernwith the regular smear tactics of thernneoconservatives with whom he nowrnkeeps company, just as it is all of a piecernwith his flawed and sk attack on Mr.rnSobran and Mr. Buchanan and, morernominously, with his general desertion ofrnany serious conservatism in the last severalrnyears. In that period he has supportedrnthe Panama Canal treatiesrnagainst the opposition of Ronald Reagan,rnadvocated the legalization of marijuanarnand of drugs in general, endorsedrnthe legalization of prostitution, publishedrna book in support of national service,rnpromoted federal gun controlrnthrough the so-called “Brady Bill,” endorsedrn”civil rights” for homosexuals,rnand most recently opposed a proposalrnin Oregon to forbid the state goxcrnmentrnfrom promoting homosexuality.rnMany on the American right may agreernwith one or another of Mr. Buckley’s positionsrnon these issues, but there is norndoubt that the vast majority of Americanrnconservatives would disagree withrnhim strongly on all of them.rnI do not sav this in criticism of Mr.rnBuckley, because the whole concept ofrn”conservatism” in America today is virtuallyrndevoid of meaning, in large partrnbecause eonscr’atives made the seminalrnerror of allowing dilettantes like Mr,rnBuckley to define it for them in the firstrnplace. I say it simply to point out thatrnMr. Buckley’s posturings about anti-rnSemitism are entirely consistent withrnthe posturing he affects on so manyrnother matters and to suggest that whaterner “impulses” may motiate him, thevrnare not what anyone who still regardsrnhimself as a serious conservative shouldrnpay an’ further attention to. Let himrnpose and preen in public all he wants inrnsearch of an answer to the burning questionrnof whether his “close friends,” asrnwell as people he has barely met, are orrnare not anti-Semites in whatever reconditernsense he wishes to deduce. Mostrnof the rest of us have better things torndo.rnLIBERAL ARTSrnMOTHER’S ABUSIVE FRIENDrnIn a recent study at the Univcrsit of Iowa, researcher Leslie Margolin found that “altiiougli mother’s bovfriends perform rekiticly littlernchild care. the’ arc responsible for substantialK more child abuse than other nonparental caregivers.” Almost half (47 percent) ofrnall reported nonparental abuse was committed by mother’s boyfriends, e’en thougli the bovfriends provided less than 2 percent of nonparentalrnchild care.rnMargolin notes that these ho friends tvpically c(jmmit abuse in a setting already known to expose children to risk—the single-parentrnhousehold: “Se’eral characteristics of single-parent families have a vvcll-docunicnted relationship to child abu.se.” The study indicatesrntliat 84 percent of the nonparental abuse analyzed occurred in single-parent ht)nics and tliat the preponderance of nonparentalrnabuse in single-parent households (64 percent) was committed by mother’s boyfriends. The next most common nonparentalrnabusers in single-parent homes were daycare providers and adolescent babysitters, who committed only 15 percent of the reported abusernin this setting.rn.Margolin concludes that “mother’s boyfriends committed 27 times more child abuse than their hours in child care would lead usrnto predict” and that “a young child left alone with a mother’s boyfriend experiences substantialh elevated risk of physical abuse.” Inrnexplaining her findings, Margolin notes “the absence of genetic relationship” between the abusive boyfriends and the children and thernlack of “legitimacy” of the boyfriend’s role in the mother’s household.rnJANUARY 1993/11rnrnrn