Tuesday, September 20, 2005

C'Mon Pat!

A casual reader of Dow Blog might come away with the impression that I am a Pat Buchanan sycophant. Though I believe Pat is a voice of sanity crying out in the wilderness, I have written about him with a tad of ambivalence in the past.

Some of his recent columns have been fantastic. Here he practically calls for Dubya's impeachment. Pat says:

The question of whether America is going to remain one nation, or whether our Southwest will wind up as a giant Kosovo – separated by language and loyalty from the rest of America – is on the table.

Where is Bush? All wrapped up in the issue of whether women in Najaf will have the same rights in divorce and custody cases as women in Nebraska . His legislative agenda for the fall includes a blanket amnesty for illegals, so they can be exploited by businesses who want to hold wages down as they dump the social costs for their employees – health care, schools, courts, cops, prisons – onto taxpayers.

"Some courageous Republican," Pat says, "should drop into the hopper a bill of impeachment, charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against 'invasion.'"

In his latest lambasting of the president, Pat wonders, "Is George Bush a conservative at all?" Isn't the answer obvious, Pat?

But just a few months ago, Pat endorsed the president from his perch at "The American Conservative." After a brief nod in the direction of the Constitution Party, Pat writes:

This election has come down to Bush or Kerry, and on life, guns, judges, taxes, sovereignty, and defense, Bush is far better. Moreover, inside the Republican Party, a rebellion is stirring. Tom Tancredo is leading the battle for defense of our borders. While only a handful of Republicans stood with us against the war in Iraq, many now concede that we were right. As Franklin Foer writes in the New York Times, our America First foreign policy is now being given a second look by a conservative movement disillusioned with neoconservative warmongering and Wilsonian interventionism.

There is a rumbling of dissent inside the GOP to the free-trade fanaticism of the Wall Street Journal that is denuding the nation of manufacturing and alienating Reagan Democrats. The celebrants of outsourcing in the White House have gone into cloister. The Bush amnesty for illegal aliens has been rejected. Prodigal Republicans now understand that their cohabitation with Big Government has brought their country to the brink of ruin and bought them nothing. But if we wish to be involved in the struggle for the soul of the GOP—and we intend to be there—we cannot be AWOL from the battle where the fate of that party is decided.

There is another reason Bush must win. The liberal establishment that marched us into Vietnam evaded punishment for its loss of nerve and failure of will to win—by dumping LBJ, defecting to the children’s crusade to “give peace a chance,” then sabotaging Nixon every step of the way out of Vietnam until they broke his presidency in Watergate. Ensuring America’s defeat, they covered their tracks by denouncing their own war as “Nixon’s War.”

If Kerry wins, leading a party that detests this war, he will be forced to execute an early withdrawal. Should that bring about a debacle, neocons will indict Democrats for losing Iraq. The cakewalk crowd cannot be permitted to get out from under this disaster that easily. They steered Bush into this war and should be made to see it through to the end and to preside over the withdrawal or retreat. Only thus can they be held accountable. Only thus can this neo-Jacobin ideology be discredited in America’s eyes. It is essential for the country and our cause that it be repudiated by the Republican Party formally and finally. The neocons must clean up the mess they have made, themselves, in full public view.

But this is an awfully lame excuse to break the elephant suit out of the atttic. Where is the evidence that any sizable faction of the GOP or the "conservative movement" is on the verge of hoisting the banner of economic nationalism, limited government, and an America First foreign policy? Since the election, the GOP has passed CAFTA, enacted a budget with a $300+ billion deficit, and is now proposing that unemployed steel workers in Weirton pay to rebuild the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, there is no end in sight in Iraq and the president is likely to make yet another push to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants.

What I wrote in my scintillating review of "Where the Right Went Wrong" stands, "Like so many on the Right, he (Buchanan) fails to reckon with the fact that the time has come for a new strategy. There is precious little of the old republic to conserve, and the sooner we come to that realization, the better. The time has come to challenge the elites rather than accommodate them, negotiating for a few scraps from the imperial table...While it is true that we ought not to abandon politics, conservatives must recognize that political action in a cultural vacuum will ultimately prove fruitless. Thus, the goal of conservatives must be, as Francis says, 'the reclamation of cultural power, the patient elaboration of an alternative culture within but against the regime.'"


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