Pat Buchanan

I think this is a debate and not an IMHO. It may drift between the two.

What think ye of Pat Buchanan?

He comes from a long line of cave dwellers (natives of DC who are not political), I like that. He worked as Nixon’s speechwriter. That’s got to be a black mark.

I gave him full snaps when he stood up to defend John Demjanjuk, an American sent to Israel to stand trial for WWII war crimes. When Demjanjuk was acquitted, I was impressed that one guy had the balls to stand up for what is right. But now I read new evidence indicates Demjanjuk is in fact a war criminal.

Buchanan has been a doctrinaire Conservative. He opposed Bush’s war and torture. He has his beliefs and sticks to them.

This evening he is on TV arguing that guy from Illinois out to be seated in the Senate.

Sometimes he is wrong, but he seem honest in his beliefs. What do you think?

I think he’s an unrepentant racist and anti-semite who has openly printed holocaust denial nonsense in his columns. I do think he should not be on the air at all.


I just read your cite, but I do not see a quote of Buchanan saying anything anti-Semitic. I do not see a direct quote of him denying the Holocaust.

I am willing to be convinced.

I think he’s a fair representative and fitting leader of the paleoconservative movement – populists, traditionalist, nativist, anti-immigrant, anti-big-business, anti-big-government, isolationist, anti-foreign-wars; distinguishable from the religious right (see the Constitution Party) mainly in emphasis (and in differing positions on support for Israel – Buchanan’s against it, Christian Zionists are for it). Ideological descendants of the Know-Nothings (who would have shunned Buchanan because he’s Irish Catholic), the Populists, and the WWII-era America Firsters – for whom Buchanan named the political party he formed out of his faction from the Reform Party split. And of the John Birch Society, I shouldn’t wonder. :rolleyes:

Yes, I would say he is a Paleoconservative. In fact, he may be the last of the breed. But an anti-Semitic? News to me.

Not that this is conclusive, but he picked a black woman (and a socialist at that!) as his running mate one of the times he ran for President.

Translation: if anyone does not ascribe to the opinions of the most strident jews regarding everything nazi, he or she is nazi sympathizer and apologist.:rolleyes:

Judge for yourself. And, “last?” Paleocons form a mass-based constituency, I should think. Not a majority or plurality, but significant.

William F. Buckley rather famously wrote a long and fairly pompous (but hey, it’s WFB) piece (no one really had asked him to do so) weighing all the evidence and concluding that PJB was in fact guilty of anti-Semitism. Not everyone who read it was convinced, but it didn’t do Pat’s reputation any favors.

In his own words:

That’s holocaust denial right there plain and simple. Mocking holocaust survivors is disgusting.

He’s written a lot of profoundly ugly things for a very long time.

In defense of segregation in the 1950’s era Washington DC where he grew up:

William F. Buckley wrote a long essay reproduced in a book in which, “he reached the pained conclusion that his fellow conservative Patrick Buchanan, the reactionary former presidential candidate, is anti-Semitic.”

He is interesting and I always pay attention when I hear him speak. Most specially, he is very incisive in examining topics wherein he has no particular stake.

And his avuncular crush on Rachel Maddow is perfectly adorable!

(Reference Paleoconservatives)
Never meet any at Lodge.

===If Bill Buckley says he is an Anti-Semite, I am convinced. Thank you all.===

Did you read the article before commenting on it?

George F. Will is hardly (as you so quaintly put it) a, “strident Jew.”

Just read it. Don’t see it. Do you? Anyone?

One thing you should not mistake him for is a stupid or uneducated man. He is neither. But I gotta say, he makes my skin crawl sometimes. He isn’t overtly racist (who is these days?), but much of what he says about race is tinged with racism.

Buchanan has a soft spot for Hitler that just seems bizarre in that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in the early 20s and it just got worse from there. There doesn’t seem to be any room to argue that a Hitler apologist isn’t nuts.

However, Buchanan will say some things that nobody else will say that are not so nearly offensive. Somebody mentioned Demjanjuk. Everyone is presumed innocent. Blagojevich, Libby, Nixon, Eichman, etc. Very few in the press will stand up for this principle. Even if Buchanan did it only for Demjanjuk (and even if he was guilty) that deserves some recognition, even if he didn’t do it for the right reasons. Somebody gives Buchanan a platform to say these things. And he doesn’t lie about what his opinions are to suit the party talking points of the day. He says what he really thinks.

He doesn’t think America should be an Empire. I agree. He is willing to be critical of Israeli policy. I agree (but I can also agree with Israeli policy when it is right.)

But we get back to that blind spot about Hitler. Hitler was arguably the most evil man in human history. He is unarguably the second choice for most people if they happen to hate Stalin or Mao or Vald the Impaler or whoever more. There is no getting around the fact that anyone who paid close attention to Hitler (Churchill was one) knew he was evil as soon as they started paying attention. To not know it after the fact, in hindsight, is almost to completely deny the existence of causation as a concept. Pat Buchanan is not enough of a philosophical thinker to even try to go down that road.

Ultimately, I don’t reject a position based on what side Buchanan comes down on, I just wish there was someone else with less baggage (like the late Buckley?) spouting it. That Buchanan is the leading figure on the right for US non-interventionism is an unfortunate state of affairs for those of us on the left.

Especially in this book. He never says it in so many words but it’s clear enough he’s not just concerned about the decline of Western “culture.”

What is he concerned with, in your estimation?

Take your pick. There is hardly a group in America that Pat Buchanan has not exhibited bigoted views about, excepting white Christian males:

*"Buchanan, who opposed virtually every civil rights law and court decision of the last 30 years, published FBI smears of Martin Luther King Jr. as his own editorials in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in the mid-1960s. “We were among Hoover’s conduits to the American people,” he boasted (Right from the Beginning, p. 283)…In a memo to President Nixon, Buchanan suggested that “integration of blacks and whites – but even more so, poor and well-to-do – is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable.” (Washington Post, 1/5/92)…

Buchanan was vehement in pushing President Reagan – despite protests – to visit Germany’s Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi SS troops were buried. At a White House meeting, Buchanan reportedly reminded Jewish leaders that they were “Americans first” – and repeatedly scrawled the phrase “Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews” in his notebook. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan’s line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were “victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps.” (New York Times, 5/16/85; New Republic, 1/22/96)

After Cardinal O’Connor criticized anti-Semitism during the controversy over construction of a convent near Auschwitz, Buchanan wrote: “If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken…
…the Buchanan '96 campaign’s World Wide Web site included an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad – and alleging that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies…The campaign removed the article after its existence was reported by a Jewish on-line news service; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/21/96.)”*

His views on gays and women are similarly loathsome. Put these attitudes together with his extreme political philosophy and it’s amazing he has crawled into some vestige of respectability among right-wingers.

Hunter S Thompson liked the man just fine, and that’s good enough for me. He’s actually come out against neo-cons, saying they hijacked what was in the 1970s actually a decent Republican agenda; this has been linked to before in other threads, but I believe his Wikipedia entry mentions this.