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It's Pat!

I first experienced Pat Buchanan when he was a regular on the McLaughlin Group, in the 1980s. I thought he was entertaining and pugnacious, making his points with a brutal yet elegant logic and a biting wit. I found myself kind of liking him.

Then I noticed that the more I saw him, the less I liked him. I started to see him more as a bully than an actual debater, one more inclined to use brute force when other approaches might work -- and even work better.

And I noticed that I didn't like a lot of his supporters. Pat seemed to have enormous appeal to thugs, bullies, fascists, punks, and others of that ilk.

I especially noticed this in 1992, when Pat made one of his runs for president. I started debating with a couple of his supporters on the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire, and the debate ended when one of them offered to enlighten me by throwing me through a nearby plate-glass window.

That's when I started listening to some of Pat's critics, and I saw they had a point, One observer noted that Pat was a notorious law-and-order guy, with no sympathies for those convicted -- or accused of crimes. The notable exception was if the person was accused of Nazi war crimes. The only time I've ever seen Pat come to the defense of an accused criminal has been when reputed Nazis living secretly in the West have been apparently exposed and threatened with trial for their alleged deeds.

Then Molly Ivins -- one of the more brilliant political humorists the Left has ever had -- skewered Pat's speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention. Ivins dismissed concerns about the tone of the piece, saying that "it probably sounded better in the original German."

Ouch.

Since then, I've noted that Pat has a tendency to harp on World War II, especially Nazi Germany. It seems whenever something new comes out about that era, Pat has to come out and make sure that there isn't the slightest possible exaggeration about what the Nazis did -- or did not -- do, and even hint that gee, maybe they weren't the most hideous monsters that ever walked the earth.

Case in point: this article,

Buchanan seems to be arguing that the most significant cause of World War II was twofold: first, Poland's refusal to yield the city of Danzig/Gdansk; secondly, England's pledge to fight alongside the Poles should the Germans attack. Had the Poles simply given the city to the Nazis, then Hitler would have been happy and not started World War II.

I guess with Danzig returned to Deutschland, Hitler's idea of "all German-speaking peoples must be part of Germany" would have been sated, and he wouldn't have then turned to areas such as France's Alsace-Lorraine region, or even parts of Pennsylvania and Minnesota where a lot of Germans came to settle.

According to Pat, Hitler didn't want to conquer Poland. He wanted the Poles as allies against the godless Communists of the Soviet Union. It was only when they were too stubborn to give up Gdansk to him that he had absolutely no choice but to ally with the hated and feared commies and divvy up Poland between them.

Maybe Pat has a streak of absolute intellectual integrity in him that demands that whenever the matter of Nazi Germany is brought up, that the facts be presented as accurately and honestly as possible. Maybe he thinks that the absolute truth about the Nazis is so evil and so important that he will not tolerate any misstatement, exaggeration, or lie be uttered about them. He is concerned that the lessons the world learned not be forgotten, and wants to make damned sure that the lesson remains undiluted, unadulterated, and absolutely accurate.

Maybe, but I don't think so.

I think there's a part of Pat that likes riling up people, and flirting with Nazism and Nazi apogeticism really angers those people he likes to anger. Maybe he's not really a neo-Nazi, or even a classical Nazi, but he thrills at flirting with it, running headlong right up to it, then slamming on the brakes and stopping just short of crossing the line. That way, his opponents have to admit no, Pat isn't really a Nazi, and those who like that tendency in him can say "he really is with us, he just can't quite cross that line without the Jews/Neocons/Liberals/Big Media/(insert your own favorite group here) destroying him."

Pat appeals to the ugliest parts of people. And I'm honest enough to admit that there's a part of me that likes seeing him get certain people all bent out of shape. He's damned good at it, he knows it, and he has fun doing it.

But I need to master that part of me. It's the part of all of us that we need to restrain, in the interests of remaining civilized.

It certainly doesn't need to be egged on by the likes of Pat Buchanan.


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Comments (21)

I think it's more about him... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

I think it's more about him being an isolationist, and therefore always wanting to challenge the logic that led to us enter WWII. The idea that the Nazis were pure evil and that we would have had to fight them sooner or later is what he is trying to push back against.

In a way nothing new. Bill... (Below threshold)
David in San Diego:

In a way nothing new. Bill Buckley threw Buchanan out of National Review for his anti-Semitic tendencies and writings.

I like Pat - he's kind of l... (Below threshold)
Puck:

I like Pat - he's kind of like Ann Coulter - but less feisty.

Why don't you be honest JT - you hate him because he defended John Demjanjuk who was on the verge of being hanged by Israel for no crime other than being an Eastern European Catholic older than 65.

I feel even more contempt f... (Below threshold)
Denise:

I feel even more contempt for Botox Bay Buchanan.

Bill Buckley threw... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Bill Buckley threw Buchanan out of National Review for his anti-Semitic tendencies and writings.
Buchanan is no anti-Semite.
I lost all respect for Patp... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

I lost all respect for Patprick Buchanan the day I ran across an old treatise of his that argued we should have stayed out of the war against Nazi Germany, regardless of the facts about Nazi Germany, because Nazi Germany never openly attacked us. Japan did, so the war with Japan was acceptable. But not the European half of WW2.

Sometimes it seems as if Buchanan is two different people. One of his personalities is a pugnacious, strong-willed conservative, somebody worth listening to. The other personality is so eager to avoid international entanglements that he'll willingly hang out with the worst dregs of humanity if their position somehow supports his own isolationism. Thus his association with neonazis, anti-semites, holocaust deniers, and anybody else who can somehow hinder or confuse the moral case for war against Hitler's regime. He may not himself be a neonazi or an anti-semite, but he's been hanging around with those filth long enough that the stink has rubbed off on him.

As an entirely separate matter, I condemn Buchanan because in 2000, his egomaniacal power grab destroyed the Reform Party, perhaps the last opportunity the country will ever have for a viable third party that could threaten the Republicrat stranglehold on political power.

I also liked Pat and maybe ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I also liked Pat and maybe that colors my take on this article. I take Pat as saying that Poland resisted Hitler's "offer you can't refuse" because France and England told them they had Poland's back if Germany attacked. Instead England and Frances opted to appease and Poland was sacrificed. Note that he minces no words in describing the horrific nature of Germany's attack. The lesson appears to be that you are a fool to trust the assurances of an appeaser when they promise to defend you at their cost.

Pat is so close to be ing a... (Below threshold)

Pat is so close to be ing a neo-nazi he might as well be called a neo-neo-nazi. There's yet to be a nazi-related defense he hasn't taken up as a personal crusade. He's the Henry Ford of his generation.

Re: MikeFrance and... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Re: Mike

France and Britain didn't appease Hitler when he invaded Poland, they declared war on Germany as a result. You're thinking of Czechoslovakia. You can get them for general incompetence and timidity on their military "response," but it is hard to spin a declaration of war as appeasement.

And the notion that Germany had a right to invade Poland because of Danzig, that Poland had no grounds to tell Germany to screw off without a battalion of tanks rolling across the border, is repugnant. It's similar reasoning to those who would blame the US for the attack on Pearl Harbor because we refused to arm Japan's war machine by selling Japan scrap metal. Can we deport Pat?

Its typical of Pat Buchanan... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Its typical of Pat Buchanan's writings about history, just enough real facts to make it sound plausible, but not enough to make it true.

YikesGermany would... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Yikes

Germany wouldnt't have attacked Poland if Danzig were ceded to them? They signed a non agression treaty with the Soviets to gobble up Poland and both did. We should have stayed out of a war with Nazi Germany? They declared war on us the day after Pearl Harbor with no provocationon our part to support the Japs. Every one of our ships, civilian or military was a military target whether we declared neutrality or not. How do you delare neutrality when the largest military power has declared war aginst you?

Unfortunately as people age they rewrite history in their minds. His addled mind now says Hitler good, US and GB bad. His mind rearranges history to fit that scenario.

While I laud your effort, C... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

While I laud your effort, Corky, unfortunately this is not correct:

They declared war on us the day after Pearl Harbor with no provocation on our part to support the Japs. There was quite a lot of provocation on the US' part against Germany by December of '41 - military aid to the British in materiel, as well as escorting convoys against German submarines, and attacking German submarines in the Atlantic.

That should have read:<br /... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

That should have read:

They declared war on us the day after Pearl Harbor with no provocation on our part to support the Japs.
There was quite a lot of provocation on the US' part against Germany by December of '41 - military aid to the British in materiel, as well as escorting convoys against German submarines, and attacking German submarines in the Atlantic.

I like Pat even though I di... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

I like Pat even though I disagree with him on some issues. I think it's the (IN YOUR FACE) style...
That kind of style can carry over to supporters and can make civilized conduct...hard to find.
Even though it sucked that JAY was introduced to a plate-glass window, one can not help but smirk at the thought of a Kos kiddie or Berkley jerk taking the plunge.
ok ok.....I know, I haven't mastered MY uncivilized part yet...

Knight, I wasn't clear. He ... (Below threshold)

Knight, I wasn't clear. He offered to toss me through the window; he didn't actually do it. Sorry for the ambiguous wording, but I escaped from my encounter with Pat's buddy unscathed.

J.

He is a difficult man to to... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

He is a difficult man to tolerate. His views are right on in some instances. At the 1992 republican convention he was right on about immigration. It was in Houston, Texas so he took the argument to a city full of illegal aliens. At least he had guts. ww

NO GLASS for you!!..excelle... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

NO GLASS for you!!..excellent...That's good news JAY.

As for not being clear, no worries I went to the Jon Cerry skool of blog communications...
It's ALL me...

Everyone that knows Pat fro... (Below threshold)
ERIC IN LAS VEGAS:

Everyone that knows Pat from the farthest left to the farthest right and in between - loves him personally - and they KNOW him. Its simple, Pat likes to get you mad. He has an intelligent, sarcastic and divisive sense of humor and is not afraid to use it to upset the politically correct crowd. He is a master at the politics of division and has been employed by past administrations to do just that. Its not nearly as deep as you make it seem.

I was one of the original l... (Below threshold)

I was one of the original limited partners who funded Pat Buchanan's conservative newsletter, "From the Right." A group of like-minded conservatives put up the seed money to initiate publication, and the newsletter was published for a little more than a year, by which time it had gotten almost to the point that it would break even and, maybe, make a little money.

At that point, Buchanan jumped into the Presidential campaign of 1992, and unilaterally walked away from the newsletter, and it ceasd publication shortly thereafter. He never once communicated to the limited partners or responded to any suggestion that he make them whole. Most of them didn't care -- they weren't making a financial investment. It wasn't the idea of the money to me either. It was the fact that he would have no feeling of obligation to us.

"I was one of the original ... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"I was one of the original limited partners who funded Pat Buchanan's conservative newsletter, "From the Right." A group of like-minded conservatives"

WOW---Wave your "IMAGE" would be tarnished if too many people read this....lmao

Did you see Patrick Buchana... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Did you see Patrick Buchanan's rendition of world war 2?!?! AHAHAHAHAH. It very cute. Check it out if your intrested here -
Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War




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