Lyn Nofziger Dies at 81

Lyn Nofziger died earlier this week, at age 81, of unspecified cancer.

I will miss Lyn’s political observations and pithy poems, mostly published as “Joy Skilmer”, a clever pun on “Joyce Kilmer”, the poet who wrote “Trees”, the poem everyone knows that starts: “I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree.” There’s an annual bad poem contest at Columbia University named after Kilmer. Joy Skilmer was Lyn’s other half.

As a political conservative, Lyn was often quoted in The Federalist, one of the largest distributed political newsletters on the net. Here’s one such poem about the “Dan Rather” flap :

March 10, 2005–

For Dan Rather it’s anchors away,
One more lib has now had his day
He didn’t want to go,
But what can you do
When nobody asks you to stay?

Yeah, yeah, I know he was convicted of arranging some sweetheart deal for Wedtech (a defense contractor) while he was working for Ronald Reagan. So? The conviction was overturned on appeal. Politics as usual. Washington IS a swamp, after all. At least he didn’t sell any Navy bases to China.

After years of working for Reagan, his support for the Bushes (what I saw of it anyway) was rather lukewarm. Distinctly tepid, it seemed to me. In any event, his political insight was pretty biting. Here’s his take on Sandra Day O’Connor:

“I keep thinking about the liberal effort to canonize Sandra Day O’Connor as one of the Supreme Court greats. What a joke. She was appointed by President Reagan at the urging of Barry Goldwater as a political sop to feminists. She was not a great legal mind and was not one of Reagan’s better appointments, mainly because she was ruled by her emotions rather than by logic or any particular knowledge of the Constitution. The best thing she has done is resign. For this she deserves our praise.” –Lyn Nofziger

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