Decades overdue: GOP bucks Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a desperate man. The former senior staffer to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan finds himself a political pundit without a political party.

For decades the 76-year-old has been an ardent proponent of social conservatism and a vocal opponent of the State of Israel. He is no longer welcome in today’s GOP which quietly subordinates social issues, such as abortion and school prayer, while embracing the Jewish State – making support for Israel and combating anti-Semitism a high priority in the upcoming presidential primary.

{mosads}Put aside his well-known isolationist views. Before common sense labeled Buchanan an anti-Semite, conservative icons such as William F. Buckley, Jr. and Charles Krauthammer called him out on his bigoted rhetoric.

In December of 1991, Buckley wrote a 40,000-word essay in National Review, tackling anti-Semitism among conservative intellectuals. Focusing largely on Buchanan, Buckley concludes, “I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism.”

Krauthammer has rightfully noted, “There’s no doubt he makes subliminal appeals to prejudice.”

But Buchanan doesn’t have to use his code words for Jews such as “neocon” or subliminal messages such as “Goldman Sachs” and “Lehman Brothers” whenever he rips on the banking and financial securities industry. His revisionist history of the Holocaust, making abhorrent claims that diesel exhaust couldn’t have killed 850,000 Jews at the Treblinka concentration camp and urging President Reagan to visit the cemetery in Bitburg, Germany where Nazi SS troopers are buried, reveal a man determined to undermine the horrors of the Holocaust and possibly rewrite history.

In 1983 Buchanan condemned the U.S. government for regretting its postwar protection of Nikolaus ‘Klaus’ Barbie. A member of Hitler’s Gestapo, Barbie was nicknamed the “Butcher of Lyon” for his personal torture tactics.  Two years later, Buchanan argued for the citizenship reinstatement of Nazi scientist Arthur Rudolph who was accused of employing slave labor at a Nazi V-2 rocket facility.

Buchanan has been the United States’ most visible proponent of the anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control.

On “The McLaughlin Group,” Buchannan claimed, “Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory,” adding, “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from 2 percent of the population. That is where real power is at. …”

In 2010, Buchanan didn’t even reference the liberal ideals of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Preferring instead to invoke classic anti-Semitism, he warned, “If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this Democrats’ idea of diversity?”

I won’t pretend to know what is in Buchanan’s heart. But just as William F. Buckley, Jr. couldn’t defend Buchanan from charges of anti-Semitism during the first 25 years of his career, Buchanan’s last 25 years are equally indefensible.

Until 2012, Buchanan was MSNBC’s token conservative when they wanted to appear objective. A voice representing nobody but his own disdain for minorities and gays, he was the far-left network’s personification of the GOP they wished to project.

Buchanan “jumped the shark” last week, appearing on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” show.

Host Sean Hannity, a vigorous proponent of the U.S-Israel relationship and hawkish U.S. defense policies, has featured Buchanan on his show for years. This conversation was more of a shouting match, with perspectives you would expect between Hannity and a representative from the Obama administration.

On the topic of Iran, Buchanan, unsurprisingly, supports the Obama administration’s efforts and believes Iran’s threats to wipe Israel off the map are just “beer talk.” When asked if it should be a “prerequisite” that “Iran stop being the number one state sponsor of terror,” renounce their declaration that Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable, and stop chanting “Death to America” before we even sit down at the table with them, Buchanan answered, “No, no Sean.”

With the GOP primary beginning to heat up, I see Buchanan wanting to throw his support behind Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or even a Democrat such as former Sen. Jim Webb (Va.). Both men tend to hold isolationist perspectives. Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has definitely been popular among Buchanan fans who share his isolationist and Jewish control mentality. The jury is still out on the son.

Buchanan’s old-guard social conservative fans will flock to former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum. Buchanan himself would never stomach backing the staunchly pro-Israel Santorum, and I don’t think any of the aforementioned would want his endorsement.

But with anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe, arguably at 1930s level, Buchanan can always find work. I believe Greece’s Golden Dawn party needs a speechwriter.

Miller is executive director of the Salomon Center. Follow him @pauliespoint.

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