Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation, author of the standard biography of Barry Goldwater (and of a new book about William F. Buckley Jr.) argues that Buckley would have endorsed it:

Some of you may be saying, “But wait, wasn’t Bill Buckley an elitist, the ultimate patrician, the man with a New York City maisonette and a limousine and driver? Wouldn’t he dismiss the tea party people as a bunch of ignorant emotional backwoods yahoos?”

Well, according to a New York Times/CBS survey, supporters of the tea party are wealthier and better educated than the general public. More than 90 percent of them think the country is heading in the wrong direction. An overwhelming majority say that President Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and does not understand their problems.

Bill Buckley would be very comfortable with such yahoos. After all, it was he who said in a debate at Harvard University: “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than the Harvard faculty.”