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Pat Buchanan the voice of reason?
June 5, 2002 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Pat Buchanan the voice of reason? in times of insane government decree's of "with us or against us" and "shoot first ask questions later." Its amusing that wackos like Buchanan's viewpoints start making sense. So what is the price of the american empire?
posted by vincentmeanie (36 comments total)

 
Wow, I really could not agree more. I wish I had been so concise when trying to say the same thing in an earlier thread.
posted by thirteen at 11:31 AM on June 5, 2002


His townhall column today was a real mindbender.
posted by revbrian at 11:50 AM on June 5, 2002


Terror on American soil, and eventual cataclysmic and atomic terror on American soil, is the price of American empire.

Couldn't agree more.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:58 AM on June 5, 2002


"They hate us, we are told, because we are democratic and free and good, and we have low tax rates."

I think I could begin to like this Pat. He's quite cutting.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:58 AM on June 5, 2002


Damn, that's the most lucid and sensible thing I've ever seen come from him. Imagine that, looking for root causes rather than placating the masses and reacting with arms. Thanks for the link vincent - always nice to see fresh thinking, especially from those you may have written off long ago.
posted by kokogiak at 12:00 PM on June 5, 2002


Out of the two columns, the one RevBrian linked was more interesting to me. Thanks Rev and Vince for the links, I would definitely not have seen them otherwise.
posted by cell divide at 12:01 PM on June 5, 2002


Today I [X] love [ ] hate Pat Buchanan.
posted by laz-e-boy at 12:07 PM on June 5, 2002


The problem with guys like Buchanan is that they make more sense to "normal" or even generally opposed thinkers the further the govenment strays from rational behavior. It's clear that things in Washington are WAY out of hand: the Secretary of Defense and head of the CIA are acting as diplomates and the State Department is nowhere to be found. We are engaged in an undeclared "war" that nobody understands anymore. Asia is on the brink of nuclear exchange. Buchanan is looking downright centrist.
posted by shagoth at 12:10 PM on June 5, 2002


He launched this on the McLaughlin Group two weeks ago. It was a short but interesting exchange.

Here's a bit:

"I am talking about an interventionist policy in every darn country in the world that is Islamic, where crazies are, so they turn all their attention right to the United States of America. What is there over there that is worth a nuclear weapon in my hometown?"
posted by mblandi at 12:33 PM on June 5, 2002


"Homosexuals have declared war upon nature and nature is exacting an awful retribution. I believe that homosexuality, like other vices, is an assault upon the nature of the individual as God made him."

"How, then, can the feds justify favoring sons of Hispanics over sons of white Americans who fought in World War II or Vietnam?"

"...an individual of great courage...Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path."

These and more winning political philosophies of Mr. Buchanan available here. It's amazing what level people will sink to in their hatred of the current administration. Buchanan is our LePen, and many of you seem ready to run out and vote for him. For me, this is clarifying: The political universe is doughnut-shaped; wander far enough to the left and you find yourself at rallies in Berlin chanting the same chants as Neo Nazis, or setting fire to the Israeli embassy in Paris, or marching with Pat Buchanan against the 'fags' and the 'negros' and the 'spics'. All in the name of social justice, mind you. Go, Pat, Go...to Hell.
posted by evanizer at 12:37 PM on June 5, 2002


Isn't Pat quotable evanizer? :)

Damn, that's the most lucid and sensible thing I've ever seen come from him.

I can think of at least one more. Remember in November 2000 when Pat said "There's no way all those Jews in South Florida intended to vote for me."
posted by nofundy at 12:43 PM on June 5, 2002


The political universe is doughnut-shaped; wander far enough to the left and you find yourself at rallies in Berlin chanting the same chants as Neo Nazis,

why travel that far, when you can just go slightly to the right and be at those same rallies?

I think Pat, despite himself, does make sense from time to time, hell i think the same of George W. Bush. I agree that Pat is the U.S.'s Le Pen, but I think it's important to judge what he says on its own merits.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:48 PM on June 5, 2002


I mean, I still wouldn't vote for him...he's way too weird for my tastes...but you gotta give him props for making sense in this article. (Which is kinda spooky...when I agree with something Pat says, it may be a sign of the apocalypse...anyone seen horse riders about anywhere?)
posted by dejah420 at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2002


Even if he had the world's greatest idea, I still couldn't listen to him. He's one baby that deserves to be tossed out with the bath water.
posted by evanizer at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2002


On first blush this looks reasonable, but I thought about what evanizer said, and I agree with him. Buchanan's arguments may *sound* like the same ones made by the left, but it's because such statements are made to frame opposition to Bush & Co., not because there's much common ground between him and the left.

Pass these articles through a finer filter, though, and it still boils down to some basic Republican tenets -- states' rights and isolationism. And Pat still can't tone down his obvious admiration for Hitler in that Town Hall piece.

It's an interesting look into the weird schizophrenia of Republicanism that wants to be both Imperial and populist at the same time. Pat is very solidly a Republican "populist", while the current administration is letting its taste for Nixonian (dare I say Churchillian?) displays of empire show with its rhetoric.
posted by briank at 1:02 PM on June 5, 2002


Relax evanizer! I still think he's a wacko, but even wackos make sense occasionally.

Tossing an opinion out due to it's writer is absurd. Judge it on it's merits, not it's source.
posted by revbrian at 1:30 PM on June 5, 2002


wander far enough to the left and you find yourself at rallies in Berlin chanting the same chants as Neo Nazis

Godwin? ;)
evanizer, seriously, I think too that you should relax a little...
I don't feel that anybody here is claiming that Buchanan's a great guy and he should really be president (even if lots of Florida Jews apparently like him a lot at election time... ;) ).
Fact is, things are so twisted these days that sometimes you find yourself agreeing with the strangest people.
Vincentmeanie wrote in the FPP that "it's amusing that wackos like Buchanan's viewpoints start making sense". Some of those viwepoints certainly do.
Even a man strongly suspected of being an anti-semite like Buchanan (btw, Michael Kinsley denies that Buchanan hates Jews and I trust Kinsley on this and a lot of other matters) can sometimes write an insightful analysis.

In the end, it is nothing new that the extreme right and the extreme left sometimes share the same anti-global, anti-freemarket ideas and stuff like that. Do you hate the man and his ideas? OK. But let somebody else recognize the absurdity of this guy sounding reasonable and telling about it on MeFi
posted by matteo at 1:46 PM on June 5, 2002


Sorry, I just have a hard time listening to a man who would happily see me and my kind dead. I'm funny that way.

There are plenty of other people esposing ideas similar to the one Buchanan is expressing here, indeed, he probably lifted it from somewhere. Buchanan is someone who refuses to allow his ideas to be taken in isolation from one another. Can't we find a more reasonable ideologue with the same ideas? I'm sure it can't be that hard.

Sorry to 'multi-comment', I just feel rather strongly about dim-witted fundy bigots trying anything to get themselves into the press.
posted by evanizer at 2:03 PM on June 5, 2002


Pat would send us all to the gulag if he had his druthers. I think evan is expressing his dislike for Patty B. Pattys more then a wacko, he could be dangerous if given the slightest modicrum of power. But pat can bridle his hatred. Now Lyrouche, thats a man to watch out for.

shoot, my doggie can come up with a good point. point is, they are not his (pattys) they are generally someone elses.
posted by clavdivs at 2:12 PM on June 5, 2002


Leftie isolationists sympathize with rightie isolationists. Film at 11 ... Oh, wait, this isn't actually news.
posted by dhartung at 2:19 PM on June 5, 2002


Congratulations to the person he got the idea from then. The point is, what was written there makes a lot of sense, and I am not seeing anybody else saying it. I am happy to see some ideas I agree with find an audience.
posted by thirteen at 2:20 PM on June 5, 2002


So that's the choice, violent intervention or isolationism. Got it?

Is it true?
posted by mblandi at 2:26 PM on June 5, 2002


"Leftie isolationists sympathize with rightie isolationists. Film at 11 ... Oh, wait, this isn't actually news."

really, what a stellar observation.

fine, PAT MAKES CENTS, er sense.
posted by clavdivs at 2:31 PM on June 5, 2002


Fear the crazies most when they sound most sane, for that is when your neighbors will legitimize and empower them.

That said, I think it is entirely appropriate for us to discuss the interest value of an extremist taking an unusual pose. It's all grist for the filter. I think we're all (mostly) capable of remembering with whom we are dealing and not rushing to hand him the keys to the nation.
posted by rushmc at 3:29 PM on June 5, 2002


It's amazing what level people will sink to in their hatred of the current administration. Buchanan is our LePen, and many of you seem ready to run out and vote for him.

No one is even remotely kidding about that. Pat's views may be insane but its even more insane to believe that a person whom you disagree with, even to a very large degree, will not occasionally come up with something agree with. I guess I can write more about this, but I think everyone understands this, but you might think its more important to keep marginalizing Buchanan no matter what he does. I respect that to an extent, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This reminds me of the Ruby Ridge/Randy Weaver story. Its an important criticism about the powers of law enforcement, accountability, how we view separtists, etc but its been so co-opted by the NWO conspiracy theorists you almost never hear about it from mainstream media outlets as being important and when you do it just will always have that conspiracy theory tinge to it, which forever devalues it as an important event in contemporary american history.

I don't like the co-opting by the craziness and I especially don't like it as PR to push an unrelated agenda. What Pat said is nothing new except now its being said by a nut. I'm sure the conservative pundits are memorizing this little gem for the next time they write about lefty isolationism. Thanks a lot Pat!

Also, if I wanted to I could find a couple dozen lucid Buchanan quotes. They may be diamonds, but their diamonds embedded in a giant fucking turd.
posted by skallas at 5:31 PM on June 5, 2002


im with the majority of the right and left here.... good column, excellent points by pat.


ive been wondering for some time when/if someone is going to step up and talk about a "war on the causes of terrorism"

ill repost this - a real leader .
posted by specialk420 at 11:41 PM on June 5, 2002


Er, the voice of reason, then, is to:

1. Get hit by a terrorist attack.
2. Attempt to discern what the terrorists (might) want.
3. Comply completely with their desires.

Yep. That'll teach 'em that terrorism doesn't work.

And now, for some additional "voices of reason":

1. Always pay kidnappers the full ransom they demand.
2. If someone attempts blackmail or extortion, pay them what they want.
3. If someone commits armed robbery, do not try to imprison them, or punish them. Instead, attempt to figure out what they were trying to steal, and give it to them.

Yeppers ... a real feet-on-the-ground kinda guy, that Pat.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:31 AM on June 6, 2002


Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Heck maybe even a nut job like Hitler got things right every now and then. In fact it's commonly said that Mussolini made the trains run on time - we could probably use his advice in Britain.

Unlike Midas, I don't think the suggestion here is that terrorists should be directly appeased but that a different approach in foreign policy could have many benefits for America and others (but to see those benefits it probably helps if you don't get an erection every time oil is mentioned). The hard cold fact of terrorism is you can say "never give in to terrorists" a million times but people can only stomach so much carnage on their own doorsteps for so long.

Sad to say, but terrorism continues to be used because it works.
posted by dodgygeezer at 6:41 AM on June 6, 2002


1. Get hit by a terrorist attack.
2. Attempt to discern what the terrorists (might) want.
3. Comply completely with their desires.

Yep. That'll teach 'em that terrorism doesn't work.


Looking back on the recent history of terrorist attacks it would seem this is exactly what made suicide bombing popular among the Middle Easterners. As I recall it Raygun did exactly the three steps Midas points out in Lebanon after the barracks bombing and they've been bombing ever since. Why? Because it worked! Thanks a lot Ronald!
posted by nofundy at 7:25 AM on June 6, 2002


1. Get hit by a terrorist attack.
Don't you think it is worth even a little bit of effort to figure out why the attack might be occurring? The US has an imposing traditional army, and I don't think there are many military options left to those that would oppose us. If we are going to intervene, we are going to be attacked like this. The whole thing seems like a double burn to me, the government spends my tax money on concerns that have nothing to do with America, and then the citizens are punished for it. Other than oblique theories about how wasting my money and our soldier's lives will somehow prevent violence here, why are we pursuing this course? It is like putting out rat trap when you don't have rats, in that situation you are only attracting them.
posted by thirteen at 8:34 AM on June 6, 2002


"It is like putting out rat trap when you don't have rats, in that situation you are only attracting them"

operation: 'pied piper'.

"Other than oblique theories about how wasting my money and our soldier's lives will somehow prevent violence here, why are we pursuing this course?"

go look at what used to be the WTC and the big gapping hole in the pentagon and the burnt field in Pennsylvania.

"and I don't think there are many military options left to those that would oppose us"

in opposition to this statement, the operative word is "I".
you don't see any oppostion-the military does. I will go with the military. They don't ask so many "i don't think" questions. No snark 13, you ask good questions, but the answers are there for you.
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2002


go look at what used to be the WTC and the big gapping hole in the pentagon and the burnt field in Pennsylvania.

We have a chicken/egg thing going on here. I say our actions in their part of the world made those plane crashes happen. I don't apologize for their action, but I wish someone would attempt to treat the cause. No one deserved to die on September 11, and is sick that the victims paid for the match that lit the fuse with their taxes.

in opposition to this statement, the operative word is "I".
you don't see any oppostion-the military does. I will go with the military. They don't ask so many "i don't think" questions.


I don't track. Somehow Osama is going to pull an infantry out of nowhere and fight for control of individual chunks of land? They don't have an army capable of dealing with helicopters and tanks and everything else we can land. If they cannot fight our army, they will bring the fight to our civilians. I use the "I" because I do not think to speak for other people. I wish the armed forces would be satisfied with their proper mission, and stay at home where they belong.
posted by thirteen at 10:01 AM on June 6, 2002


Thirteen, nothing 'made those crashes happen,' someone decided to make them happen. I actually used a similar phrasing earlier this year, and Dhartung slapped it down and made me think about the implications of those words. To phrase (or think about) it that way means that the 19 killers who jacked those planes did not act of their own volition, but were compelled to do so by America's foreign policy.

Now you can be against US policy and say it (obviously, IMO) played a role in turning some people against us, but to make it a causal effect is to ignore both the complexity of our policies and the individual choices to turn anger into murder.

You may, like the hero of the new Tom Robbins book, think that "the only logical response to US foreign policy is terrorism," but that places you on the side of monstrosity and inhumanity, which is what you are supposed to be fighting against.
posted by cell divide at 10:20 AM on June 6, 2002


But I do think our policy made it happen. They are responsible for their own actions, and they chose to do what they did, but it was not without reason. To say nothing made those crashes happen is to reduce it to a random act. Why should I care at all about the complexity of our policy, when I believe it to be entirely wrong on principle?

I don't think it is possible to live in the world, and not make people our enemies, but we can do better than this. Why do we have troops in Saudi? What are we getting in return for funding Israel and Egypt? So far the reward has been dead people and a hole in NYC. Can our actions be justified as our own business? Do we have a fundamental right to pick sides and expect not to be drawn into the horror?

"the only logical response to US foreign policy is terrorism," but that places you on the side of monstrosity and inhumanity
I would find this easier to swallow if you told me what you think the logical response is. If I can see it as being even remotely effective, perhaps I will have a change of heart.
posted by thirteen at 10:38 AM on June 6, 2002


oh yes, the chicken analogy (wheres stavs) yes, well, ok Ill play.

"our actions" whoms' actions?
(we need some Voltaire here)
the U.S.?-by itself as...see the criteria gets displaced when personalizing with 'our'

what actions? (we get closer to the speeding train) actions that are personal or business?

you see the list of "actions" could become a list of american wrongs, wars, blunders, malice and greedy self image, a pure vance packard nightmarish world so to say. (kidding on vance)

so ive meandered through just the first few premises of your, well, statement, opinion and see a need to question.

and I don't think there are many military options left to those that would oppose us"

you may not see a threat, the military does, i should have stuck with that. I could have been snarky and quipped lightly "Thank you, now my children wont have bad nightmares about terror". (they are less frequent now)

send you 100$ and my left kidney in gratitude.

If they cannot fight our army
it is called mobility.
posted by clavdivs at 10:40 AM on June 6, 2002


"What is there over there that is worth a nuclear weapon in my hometown?"

I think Pat is abslutely right (!) about this. This is not about appeasment, this is about not provoking more attacks needlessly. Certainly we should not appease the people who attacked us, we should punish them. But once that is done I see no reason to provoke future attacks unnecessarily, especially when the most provocative policies are directly oppossed to our professed ideologies (like supporting a certain crapulent absolute monarchy on a certain sandy peninsula.)
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on June 6, 2002


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