Buchanan Bashes Bush—But Also Backs Him For Re-Election
How The Right Went Wrong— Pat Buchanan`s New Blockbuster,
by Paul Craig Roberts]
For the first presidential election
since 1988, Pat Buchanan is not
on the ballot this year, but his
soul goes marching on in a new book just released on
the eve of the Republican National Convention.
Where the Right Went Wrong is not, as it is
already being billed, an "attack" on George W.
Bush, but it does try to tell the president and his
party why they are facing an election whose outcome is
far from certain.
The Right went wrong, in
Mr. Buchanan`s view, because of one major problem:
boat people of the McGovern revolution" he calls
the brood of liberals, social democrats and
ex-Trotskyites who invited themselves into the GOP
New Left gave them the heave from the Democrats.
Mr. Buchanan is far from being the
only conservative to propose this explanation, but
his case for it is probably more persuasive than what
some have offered.
"Neoconservatives captured the
foundations, think tanks, and
opinion journals of the Right and were allowed to
redefine conservatism," he writes.
amnesty for illegal aliens,
free trade, an
orderly retreat in the culture wars, `Big Government
Wilsonian intervention to reshape the world in
America`s image—was embraced by Republicans leaders as
the new conservative agenda."
To those who don`t seem to have
heard this before, he offers ample documentation.
Predictably, the book is already
being denounced by those unable to confront its
David Frum sneers that Mr. Buchanan is "a man who
believes in negotiating with terrorists—wooing them,
trying to find what they want and giving it to them."
a New Book, Buchanan Chastises Another Bush, By
David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT, August 22, 2004]
Nowhere in the book or anywhere
else does he suggest that, of course.
What he does offer is not only a
full account of how neoconservatives have undermined
traditional conservatism but also a learned and
impassioned defense of what the Old Right believed—on
the size and scope of
immigration, trade and foreign policy.
As for the war with Iraq, Mr.
Buchanan argues, as he has been doing for years, that it
is our own recklessness in the Middle East that provoked
the attacks of 9/11 and eventually led us into a war
with no obvious exit. He cites his 1999 book
A Republic, Not an Empire, to show how he
himself predicted what would happen: "If we continue
on this course of reflexive interventions," he
wrote, "enemies will one day answer our power with
the weapon of the weak—terror, and eventually
cataclysmic terrorism on U.S. soil."
Mr. Frum and his buddies really
might want to read the book, or even both of them.
What`s a bit odd about Mr.
Buchanan`s new book is that, so far from being an
"attack" on George W. Bush and the Republicans, it`s
Unlike Bill Kristol, who
says he`d prefer John Kerry to
Pat Buchanan and would "make common cause with
the more hawkish liberals and fight the conservatives"
if necessary, Mr. Buchanan offers what comes down to a
strong defense of the president.
His main argument is that the next
occupant of the White House will control the
Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, and it`s
critical that he be Mr. Bush and not Mr. Kerry.
But, as Mr. Buchanan himself
recounts, there`s no guarantee whatsoever Mr. Bush would
nominate justices any better than those his opponent
William Brennan, John Paul Stevens,
Sandra Day O`Connor,
David Souter and Anthony Kennedy are among the most
anti-conservative justices in American history—and each
was a Republican nominee.
Nevertheless, Mr. Buchanan also
civil war is going to break out inside the Republican
Party along the old trench lines of the
Goldwater-Rockefeller wars of the 1960s, a war for
the heart and soul and future of the party for the new
Frankly, I doubt it, especially if
Mr. Bush wins re-election.
The battle for the
soul and heart of the GOP was fought some years ago,
and Mr. Buchanan`s side lost.
His heart and soul do indeed go
marching on, but there are few inside the Republican
Party today inclined to march with him.
If Mr. Bush wins in November, those
who are so inclined will find it`s more like the
Bataan Death March.
Pat Buchanan was right in 2000 when
he tried to build an alternative to the party the
Today, there`s just not that much
left for real conservatives to take back.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American