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May 12, 2005

Comments

Hilzoy,

A few of points.

1. Buchanan has said enough weird and dumb things about "the Jews" that it isn't the least bit surprising that the Holocaust wouldn't find its way into his calculus.
2. Buchanan has a constituency of one… and that guy is an idiot.
3. On the bright side, this is not the stupidest thing he's ever said. Not even close.

"On the bright side, this is not the stupidest thing he's ever said. Not even close."

Exactly why is this on the bright side?

Nowhere in the entire article, whose title is "Was World War II Worth It?", does Buchanan mention, or even allude to, the Holocaust, which one might have thought would figure in any list of the pros and cons.

But which side of the ledger would Buchanan have put it on?

Exactly why is this on the bright side?

I said something similar at Tacitus.org and my favorite response was "Cite Please!".

IIRC, when Buchanan mentioned the "bongo-playing people" he passed on the street, he also mentioned a holocaust.

But I don't think he was speaking of Jews.

"Exactly why is this on the bright side?

I said something similar at Tacitus.org and my favorite response was "Cite Please!"."

It was a serious question. What do you think is the bright side of having someone who took roughly 1/3 of Republican primary votes in 1992 say things even stupider than this?

It was a serious question. What do you think is the bright side of having someone who took roughly 1/3 of Republican primary votes in 1992 say things even stupider than this?

Besides the fact that he got shoved out of the party in 2000 and then went and messed up the reform party?

Which history books/journals have these right-wing folks been reading? Even the histories written in the 50's knew better. Do they just grab words & phrases out of thin air or have they abusing illicit substances? Or do they just look at what happened and then believe the opposite? I can understand differences of opinion & theological beliefs but ignoring facts & creating new unrealities is a whole 'nother matter

but ignoring facts & creating new unrealities is a whole 'nother matter

specifically, it's the matter of tearing down FDR's legacy.

"It was a serious question. What do you think is the bright side of having someone who took roughly 1/3 of Republican primary votes in 1992 say things even stupider than this?

Besides the fact that he got shoved out of the party in 2000 and then went and messed up the reform party?"

No, that's the bright side of the Republican Party finally kicking him out. What's the bright side of Buchanan having said stupider things?

Not to speak for Macallan, but I guess I would say that the bright side of Buchanan's (paleo-conservatism? jurraso-conservatism?) precambrio-conservatism is that when he got around to saying some of the deeply wacky s**t he apparently believes but kept quiet about because he wanted to be president, it finally got enough Republicans to say "Ugh! Who is this nutjob?"

That said, I've never personally heard him say anything this crazy before. Hitler was provoked? He had no designs on Western Europe before the evil imperialist British took unjustified umbrage at his local dispute with Poland? Whaaa....?

Which history books/journals have these right-wing folks been reading?

Does "these right-wing folks" translate as "Pat Buchanan" always for you, or just this once?

One of the most astonishing facts of this screed by Buchanan is that he neglects to mention the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact by which Hitler and Stalin agreed to invade and divide Poland together. The fact is, Poland was lost before France and Britain declared war, and since the rest of Eastern Europe was already under defacto German or Soviet hegemony already, his entire argument is just a stinking pile of manure. He's either really dumb or assumes (safely, I suspect) that his readers are.

Well, there are some perfectly good arguments that post-WWI Germany was backed into a corner, economically, and that Hitler was in some way a result of that. This is not to say that Germany's response to said corner-backing by going on a continent-wide killing spree was in any way justified by any sane reckoning, though.

That last was in response to the Hitler was provoked? question, and no, I don't consider an answer of "yes" to be supportable in any way. That said, IANAH.

slart -
I don't have a problem with those arguments - France, at least, was trying to enforce a state of permanent vassalage on Germany with massive extractions of land and money. As you point out, though, quite a jump from there to saying Britain caused WWII by coming to the defense (even if it was just a nominal defense at first) of Poland.

after they're done with FDR, i suppose Dr Seuss will be next...

after they're done with FDR, i suppose Dr Seuss will be next...

Actually, I've had related thoughts. If one were a suspicious type, one might imagine that there is a move on the right to broadly discredit FDR and all his works.

Attack Social Security, revive the claims about Yalta, talk about the "1937 Socialist Revolution," etc.

The destruction of FDR's reputation would probably have great symbolic value for a conservative movement that wants to consolidate its hold on power in the US. Before you fit me for a tinfoil hat, let me say that this is just some musing at this point - I make no claim that the orders have been issued. But interesting (to me) musing nonetheless.

st: what have you got against trilobites?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
1. In 1939 France and Britain had a treaty obligation to Poland. I know that probably sounds a bit quaint to Robinson, but there you go.
2. Germany and the USSR were on the *same side*. There was no way of predicting that Hitler would turn on his ally when he did. European Communists were instructed by Moscow to oppose the war. Which side would Pat have been on?
3. It was Hitler, with suicidal stupidity, who declared war on the US in 1941. What was FDR supposed to do, surrender?

This really shouldn't even have to be said once, but Buchanan's wacky POV doesn't represent the collective Right. Or even a small minority thereof.

"This really shouldn't even have to be said once, but Buchanan's wacky POV doesn't represent the collective Right. Or even a small minority thereof."

It also shouldn't have to be said that Michael Moore's POV doesn't represent the collective Left. (I won't go so far as to say a small minority thereof). Nonetheless, it is a common staple of even this site.

...and gets whacked as hard as it deserves to. See how that works?

Germany and the USSR were on the *same side*.

No they weren't. They were never on the same side. They simply weren't actively trying to kill each other at that point in time.

"...and gets whacked as hard as it deserves to. See how that works?"

Actually no, but I'll be sure to make a citation to this exchange next time there is a reference to "Lord Pork-Pork" and his placement next to Jimmy Carter at the DNC around here. Which seems to occur about once a week.

Not that you ever needed precedent or permission, Dantheman. It seems like roughly half of all posts here deal with one side reprimanding the other for the commission of some crime of fallacious association or another.

But recognize that Michael Moore being given recognition of any sort by the DNC is valid fodder for criticising the DNC. It doesn't necessarily imply that Moore speaks for all Democrats, which is similar to what's being represented in this thread.

Slarti said: No they weren't. They were never on the same side. They simply weren't actively trying to kill each other at that point in time.

Not true. They had an active treaty and were sending supplies and food back and forth. They weren't quite allies but damn close. One thing that lulled Stalin into not believing Hitler was going to attack was that the trains, both passenger and goods, kept running and in fact were en route when Barbarossa launched.

Slarti said: No they weren't.

I'm sure I did at some point in time, but not on this thread. You'd do better to contradict chris, who's the originator of that comment.

"Germany and the USSR were on the *same side*.

No they weren't. They were never on the same side. They simply weren't actively trying to kill each other at that point in time."

The Poles may have a different view.

Arguably the Finns, as well, come to think of it, albeit more indirectly, and the three Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania), as well. Molotov's visit to Berlin in 1940 was most friendly. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to say that the entire Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Agression Pact was a "friendly" pact for a while. It was rather earth-shattering geopolitically while it lasted (until Barbarossa). The colloborative nature of Soviet and German endeavors during that period don't require either the peoples or leaders of their dictatorships to slobber over each other with True Inner Friendship for it to be truthfully noted that there the Treaty, and the passes they gave each other for preferred invasions in Europe, were, nonetheless, absolutely critical to letting what happened happen.

slarti -
Recognizing and confirming that the GOP has largely/entirely turned its back on Buchanan, and that he no longer has anything like his old influence in GOP circles or elsewhere, it must be said:

There was a moment, 1992, in fact, where Pat Buchanan did speak for all Republicans, or damn close to it - presenting the face of the party to the cameras from the keynote speaker's podium at the Republican National Convention.

Just for the record.

There was a moment, 1992, in fact, where Pat Buchanan did speak for all Republicans, or damn close to it - presenting the face of the party to the cameras from the keynote speaker's podium at the Republican National Convention.

And, just for the record, Buchanan was much less public of a wacko back then. We keep hearing how Robert Byrd is no longer a Klan Kleagle, and how he regrets all that, etc, but there's a total blindspot for the irony of Buchanan doing something analogous, only in reverse.

Buchanan was much less public of a wacko back then
True that. As for the Byrd thing, well, what can I say? I'd rather have 'em climbing up towards me than climbing down away from me. A great many Republicans greatly welcomed the kind of message that he was sending in 1992, unapologetic and unabashedly conservative. That he has become so radically nuts is...uncomfortable for many people who once defended him as a necessary, if brash, part of the discourse. For us, it would be like if Ralph Nader went off and started to...hmmm. Wait a minute...


Slarti: "But recognize that Michael Moore being given recognition of any sort by the DNC is valid fodder for criticising the DNC."

-- Actually (and I'm completely serious about this, I genuinely don't know), can anyone tell me whether (a) Jimmy Carter asked Moore to sit next to him, or (b) the DNC did? If the former, I don't think it's grounds for criticizing the DNC at all.

Not to mention the hyperbole involved in putting Moore and Buchanan on the same level. One's a demagogic rabble-rouser who's selective with the facts -- basically equivalent to a large swath of "respectable" right-wing punditry -- while the other's completely nuts, like the other Pat (Robertson) but in a different direction.

"And, just for the record, Buchanan was much less public of a wacko back then."

Politesse tempts me to say "if you say so," but I can't honestly say it. I can only, somewhat more impolitely,alas, suggest that this is only true for people paying little attention to his writings and speeches. I don't see any evidence that Buchanan's views on anything have changed since any time in his teens. His proto-fascist views are a matter of public record beginning in at least the Nixon Administration. (I grant that your use of "public" suggests a bit of weasel room, but I'm not privy to anything about Buchanan that hasn't been in the public record, so I'm brought back to what I said about attention paying.)

"...while the other's completely nuts, like the other Pat (Robertson) but in a different direction."

Buchanan isn't at all nuts in the slightest, and thinking he is will cause one to miss the fact that he's absolutely in the mainstream of the Father Coughlin heritage of a certain, now diminished, but hardly gone (ask Mel Gibson and his father) American Catholic Republican tradition. (No offense intended to the majority of Catholics and Republicans who are not in that tradition today.) He speaks for views that were once deeply widespread in this country -- there's imply no contesting this -- and that remain present, albeit in considerably diminished and somewhat necessarily mutated, form, today . Neither he nor Bay are out their on their own. It's really really really misleading to suggest or believe that he is (note that he remains one of the most famous political voices in this country, with a significant political column, and a regular, respected, mainstream, weekly broadcast tv slot [on the McLaughlin Group]).

Italics off.

The destruction of FDR's reputation would probably have great symbolic value for a conservative movement that wants to consolidate its hold on power in the US. Before you fit me for a tinfoil hat, let me say that this is just some musing at this point - I make no claim that the orders have been issued.

Google "FDR myth" and "discredit FDR" . no foil required.

for example, this person even paid for a URL: rooseveltmyth.com.

i'm not sure that it's a coordinated effort, but numerous and varied individuals and organizations defintely have taken it upon themselves to tell "the truth" about that crypto-fascist commie-symp and all his dastardly deeds. and The New Deal is definitely the Beginning of The End for many of the righties I've talked to.

It's quite possible that I wasn't paying attention at the time, Gary, but for whatever reason I don't recall Buchanan indulging in quite this sort of idiocy. Since I've never been a big fan of Buchanan to start with, I pay roughly as much attention to him as I do to, say, Kucinich.

One's a demagogic rabble-rouser who's selective with the facts -- basically equivalent to a large swath of "respectable" right-wing punditry -- while the other's completely nuts, like the other Pat (Robertson) but in a different direction.

I'm not sure which one you have in mind for the former and which for the latter. I could seen Buchanan as a rabble-rouser and Moore as "nuts" (if he's being at all genuine, that is).

And, just for the record, Buchanan was much less public of a wacko back then.

Maybe, but I'm not convinced. You might want to look at some selections from Buchanan's writings.

Lots of this sewage was pre-1992.

Slarti,

I missed your 4:57 post. Sorry.

But you still might find the link interesting.

(And pardon my ignorance, but why does your name, among others, appear in blue, while most are in red? And the same for links, whether I've clicked them or not.)

hilzoy: ... whether (a) Jimmy Carter asked Moore to sit next to him, or (b) the DNC did? If the former, I don't think it's grounds for criticizing the DNC at all.

As I recall it, the report at the time was that he was invited by President Carter's family. I don't know exactly whom that indicates but it seemed to have been a personal rather than any official invitation.

And pardon my ignorance, but why does your name, among others, appear in blue, while most are in red? And the same for links, whether I've clicked them or not.

I think it is because Slarti uses a webpage and (maybe?) doesn't leave an email address, so and your browser is set to highlight them differently.

I could seen Buchanan as a rabble-rouser and Moore as "nuts" (if he's being at all genuine, that is).

Can you? I can't. You're contrasting someone who can look at WWII with a Holocaust-sized blind spot, and -- well, whatever Moore is. What has Moore said or done that shows an equivalent level of disconnect from reality?

I understand that conservatives don'tlike Moore. He's kind of a jackass, and not really concerned with being fair -- but I don't see what makes him worse than a couple of dozen popular right-wing pundits, from Malkin to Limbaugh and so on. I don't get this painting of him as a beyond-the-pale monster, though.

If it isn't obvious, Bernard Yomtov's link covered many of Patrick Buchanan's beliefs and statements I had in mind, Slart. (Not for the first time.) There are a few more I'm aware of, but they're all in the same line, and all consistent with his lifelong statements and beliefs; one thing I'd never accuse Buchanan of is inconsistency, or changing over the years. He was a Father Coughlin follower from his teens until now. (Ditto Bay, so far as I know, and, of course, his parents.) Comment?

ral: "As I recall it, the report at the time was that he was invited by President Carter's family. I don't know exactly whom that indicates but it seemed to have been a personal rather than any official invitation. "

In that case, I don't see what the DNC would have had to do with it. The DNC would have had to give him convention credentials if he wasn't working as a journalist, but normal practice is to give convention credentials of one sort or another to loads of people, out of politeness. I don't think it's really worthwhile to run down the list of people credentialled at both conventions, or to take credentialling itself as indicating much of anything.

Likewise, normal practice is for an ex-President in the party in question to have his reasonable requests met. (He doesn't get to demand e.g. a primetime speaking slot, but he would certainly be able to ask to have someone sitting with him; the DNC would have to be incredibly rude to say no. That's why I initially wondered about this -- "initially" meaning the first time I heard that this was somehow objectionable, not at the time of the convention, when it didn't strike me one way or the other.)

"Buchanan isn't at all nuts in the slightest, and thinking he is will cause one to miss the fact that he's absolutely in the mainstream of the Father Coughlin heritage of a certain, now diminished, but hardly gone (ask Mel Gibson and his father) American Catholic Republican tradition."

I'm not so sure. Maybe I just didn't notice his outrageous stuff in the mid-1980s, but I would almost swear that he seemed like a normal thoughtful speaker and writer. But at some point (1990? 1991?) he seemed to go off the deep end in a big way. Maybe this was some sort of cynical calculation, but it doesn't seem like it.

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to say that the entire Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Agression Pact was a "friendly" pact for a while.

I think it is, actually, and the Poles would be wrong. [Understandly so, but wrong nonetheless]. It was an agreement of mutual convenience that was, AFAIK, a temporizing move in the inevitable war that both Hitler and Stalin anticipated, expected and prepared for. Barbarossa caught Stalin by surprise only because he was unprepared for treachery that soon; he was anticipating the war in about five to ten years down the line IIRC.

In fact, if memory serves even more tenuously, Stalin was convinced that Hitler had been duped by the Nazi-Soviet Pact and therefore that he would be the one to betray it and crush the upstart fascists -- if they didn't shatter themselves on the other capitalists first. He was constitutionally incapable (at least until the Wehrmacht crossed into the Ukraine) of understanding that Hitler was an even more devious, untrustworthy little sh** than he, which led to the collapse of the Red Army in June '41.

I'll grant you that it was as "friendly" as either Stalin or Hitler knew how to be, but that's setting the bar far below anything I'd be comfortable using in quotidian life (or historical analysis).

Maybe I just didn't notice his outrageous stuff in the mid-1980s, but I would almost swear that he seemed like a normal thoughtful speaker and writer.

Take a look at the link, Sebastian.

Remember that Buchanan planned to challenge Bush for the Republican nomination in 1992. (He got about a third of the primary vote, and was endorsed by National Review). Is it likely that he would suddenly adopt dramatic and extreme views in 1990-1?

But you still might find the link interesting.

Ach. Ok, he's always been about the same breed of nutball. I knew that he'd been isolationist and a racist to some minor degree, but that was...I think I need a shower. Some of those quotes, stripped of context, could concievably be portrayed as saying something they're not, but others are indications of nuttery.

And I suggested last fall that perhaps my Uncle Bob was a "Pat Buchanan Republican". I feel now that an apology is in order.

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