Will Democratic Rebels Dethrone Nancy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After adding at least 37 seats and taking control of the House by running on change, congressional Democrats appear to be about to elect as their future leaders three of the oldest faces in the party.

Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny Hoyer of Maryland have led the House Democrats for 16 years. For 12 years, they have been joined in the leadership triumvirate by Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

If these three emerge as speaker, majority leader and majority whip, all three Democratic leaders will be older than our oldest president, Ronald Reagan, was when he went home after two terms.

By 2020’s election, all three House leaders would be over 80.

Was this gerontocracy what America voted for when it awarded Democrats control of the U.S. House?

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Hardly. Some Democrats won in 2018 by pledging not to vote for Pelosi as speaker, so unpopular is she in their districts. And if all who said they want new leadership were to vote for new leaders on the House floor Jan. 3 — when the speaker will be chosen — Pelosi would fall short. The race for speaker could then break wide-open.

Some 16 Democrats vowed Monday to oppose Pelosi on the House floor, one shy of being enough to block her return to the speakership after eight years.

In a letter that went public, the 16 declared: “Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington. We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.”

The likelihood of the rebellion succeeding, however, remains slim, for no credible challenger to Pelosi has yet announced.

What explains the timidity in the Democratic caucus?

Pelosi punishes enemies. Democrats calling for new leaders have already been branded as sexists with the hashtag “#FiveWhiteGuys.”

Yet evidence is mounting that a Pelosi speakership would prove to be an unhappy close to her remarkable career.

One week after the election, 150 protesters from the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats blocked Pelosi’s House office to demand action on climate change. They were joined by the youngest member of the incoming Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Pelosi declared herself “inspired” by the protesters, 51 of whom were arrested. She urged police to let them exercise their democratic rights and pledged to revive the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which Republicans abolished.

Dismissing the committee as “toothless,” the protesters demanded that Pelosi’s party commit to bringing an end to the use of all fossil fuels and to accepting no more campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry.

Not going to happen with Pelosi as speaker. For when it comes to the leftist agenda of liberal Democrats from safe districts — Medicare for all, abolish ICE, impeach Trump — Pelosi would pigeonhole such measures to avoid the party’s being dragged too far to the left for 2020.

And if the House were to pass radical measures, the bills would die in the Senate or be vetoed by the president.

Moreover, within Pelosi’s party in the House, the various factions are going to be demanding a new distribution of the seats of power, of which there are only so many to go around.

Democratic women, who won more seats than ever, will want more, as will the Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanics. It will most likely be white male Democrats, that shrinking cohort, who will be the principal losers in the new House.

That adage about Democrats being a collection of warring tribes gathered together in anticipation of common plunder has never seemed truer.

What, then, does the new year promise?

As it becomes apparent that there is little common ground for bipartisan legislation on Capitol Hill — except perhaps on infrastructure, and that would take a long time to enact — the cable news channels will look elsewhere for the type of action that causes ratings to soar. That action will inevitably come in the clashes between Trump and his enemies and the media that sustain them.

Out of the House — with Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, Maxine Waters and Jerrold Nadler as new chairs — will come a blizzard of subpoenas and a series of confrontations with witnesses.

From special counsel Robert Mueller’s office will almost surely come new indictments, trials and the long-anticipated report, which will go to the Justice Department, where Matthew Whitaker is acting attorney general.

Then there is the presidential race of 2020, where the Democratic Party has yet another gerontocracy problem.

By spring, there could be 20 Democrats who will have announced for president. And five of the most prominent mentioned — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg — are also over 70, with Elizabeth Warren turning 70 in June.

While some candidates will be granted airtime because they are famous, the lesser-known will follow the single sure path to the cable studios and the weekend TV shows — the trashing of Trump.

Trading barbs is not Nancy Pelosi’s kind of fight.

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Has Bloomberg Begun the Battle for 2020?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Did former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just take a page out of the playbook of Sen. Ed Muskie from half a century ago?

In his first off-year election in 1970, President Richard Nixon ran a tough attack campaign to hold the 52 House seats the GOP had added in ’66 and ’68, and to pick up a few more seats in the Senate.

The issue: law and order. The targets: the “radical liberals.”

In that campaign’s final hours, Muskie delivered a statesmanlike address from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, excoriating the “unprecedented volume” of “name-calling” and “deceptions” from the “highest offices in the land.”

Nixon picked up a pair of Senate seats, but Democrats gained a dozen House seats, and the press scored it as a victory for Muskie, who was vaulted into the lead position for the 1972 Democratic nomination.

In the final days of this election, Bloomberg just invested $5 million to air, twice nationally, a two-minute ad for the Democratic Party that features Bloomberg himself denouncing the “fear-mongering,” and “shouting and hysterics” coming out of Washington.

“Americans are neither naive nor heartless,” says the mayor. “We can be a nation of immigrants while also securing our borders.”

That $5 million ad buy was only Bloomberg’s latest contribution to the Democratic Party during an election campaign into which he had already plunged $110 million of his own money.

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Contributions of this magnitude support the idea that Bloomberg will seek the presidential nomination as a Democrat. With resources like this at his disposal, and a willingness to spend into the hundreds of millions, he could last in the primaries as long as he wants.

Yet, Bloomberg is no Ed Muskie, who had been Hubert Humphrey’s running mate in 1968 and was widely regarded a top contender for 1972.

The mayor has been a Republican and independent as well as a Democrat. And as The Washington Post’s Robert Costa relates, Bloomberg has drawbacks: “He speaks flatly with the faded Boston accent from his youth, devoid of partisan passion and with a technocratic emphasis.”

With the energy of the Democratic Party coming from militants, minorities and millennials, would these true believers rally to a 76-year-old Manhattan media magnate who wants to make their party more centrist and problem-solving, and to start beavering away at cutting the deficit?

Yet Bloomberg’s opening move may force the pace of the politics of 2020. Should he announce, and start spending on ads, he could force the hand of Vice President Joe Biden, who appears the Democrats’ strongest candidate in taking back Pennsylvania, and the states of the industrial Midwest, from Trump.

On the left wing of the Democratic Party, which seems certain to have a finalist in the run for the 2020 nomination, the competition is stiff and the pressure to move early equally great.

If Socialist Bernie Sanders is not to lock up this wing of the party as he did in 2016, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may have to move soon.

But even before attention can turn to the presidential race, the U.S. House of Representatives seems certain to witness a leadership battle.

Nancy Pelosi is determined to become speaker again if Democrats take the House Tuesday, while the Congressional Black Caucus has entered a demand for one of the two top positions in the House.

Millennials also want new leadership. And to many centrist Democrats in swing districts, Pelosi as the visible voice and face of the national party remains a perpetual problem.

If the Democrats fail to recapture the House, the recriminations will be sweeping and the demand for new leadership overwhelming.

But even if they do capture the House, the rewards may be fleeting.

A Democratic House will be a natural foil for President Trump, an institution with responsibility but without real power.

And should the economy, which has been running splendidly under a Republican Congress and president start to sputter under a divided Congress, there is no doubt that the Democratic House majority, with its anti-capitalist left and socialist ideology, would emerge as the primary suspect.

Also, if Democrats win the House, Maxine Waters could be the new chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, Adam Schiff the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Jerrold Nadler of New York the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the repository for resolutions of impeachment. Does that look like a winning lineup?

2019 is thus shaping up to be a year of gridlock on Capitol Hill, with the Senate attempting to expeditiously move through Trump’s nominated judges, and a Democratic House potentially hassling the White House and Trump administration with a snowstorm of subpoenas.

This could be the kind of battleground Donald Trump relishes.

A victorious Democratic Party on Tuesday could be set up to take the fall, both for gridlock and any major reversal in the progress of the economy.

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Is This Worse Than ’68?

Is This Worse Than '68?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Saturday, in Pittsburgh, a Sabbath celebration at the Tree of Life synagogue became the site of the largest mass murder of Jews in U.S. history. Eleven worshippers were killed by a racist gunman.

Friday, we learned the identity of the crazed criminal who mailed pipe bombs to a dozen leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

From restaurants to Capitol corridors, this campaign season we have seen ugly face-offs between leftist radicals and Republican senators.

Are we more divided than we have ever been? Are our politics more poisoned? Are we living in what Charles Dickens called “the worst of times” in America? Is today worse than 1968?

Certainly, the hatred and hostility, the bile and bitterness of our discourse, seem greater now than 50 years ago. But are the times really worse?

1968 began with one of the greatest humiliations in the history of the American Navy. The U.S. spy ship Pueblo was hijacked in international waters and its crew interned by North Korea.

A week later came the Tet Offensive, where every provincial capital in South Vietnam was attacked. A thousand U.S. troops died in February, 10,000 more through 1968.

On March 14, anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy captured 42 percent of the vote in New Hampshire against President Johnson.

With LBJ wounded, Robert Kennedy leapt into the race, accusing the president who had enacted civil rights of “dividing the country” and removing himself from “the enduring and generous impulses that are the soul of this nation.” Lyndon Johnson, said Kennedy, is “calling upon the darker impulses of the American spirit.”

Today, RFK is remembered as a “uniter.”

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With Gov. George Wallace tearing at Johnson from the right and Kennedy and McCarthy attacking from the left — and Nixon having cleared the Republican field with a landslide in New Hampshire — LBJ announced on March 31 he would not run again.

Four days later, Martin Luther King, leading a strike of garbage workers, was assassinated in Memphis. One hundred U.S. cities exploded in looting, arson and riots. The National Guard was called up everywhere and federal troops rushed to protect Washington, D.C., long corridors of which were gutted, not to be rebuilt for a generation.

Before April’s end, Columbia University had exploded in the worst student uprising of the decade. It was put down only after the NYPD was unleashed on the campus.

Nixon called the Columbia takeover by black and white radicals “the first major skirmish in a revolutionary struggle to seize the universities of this country and transform them into sanctuaries for radicals and vehicles for revolutionary political and social goals.” Which many have since become.

In June, Kennedy, after defeating McCarthy in the crucial primary of California, was mortally wounded in the kitchen of the hotel where he had declared victory. He was buried in Arlington beside JFK.

Nixon, who had swept every primary, was nominated on the first ballot in Miami Beach, and the Democratic Convention was set for late August.

Between the conventions, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev sent his Warsaw Pact armies and hundreds of tanks into Czechoslovakia to crush the peaceful uprising known as “Prague Spring.”

With this bloodiest of military crackdowns since the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Moscow sent a message to the West: There will be no going back in Europe. Once a Communist state, always a Communist state!

At the Democratic convention in Chicago, the thousands of radicals who had come to raise hell congregated nightly in Grant Park, across from the Hilton where the candidates and this writer were staying.

Baited day and night, the Chicago cops defending the hotel, by late in the week, had had enough. Early one evening, platoons of fresh police arrived and charged into the park clubbing and arresting scores of radicals as the TV cameras rolled. It would be called a “police riot.”

When Sen. Abe Ribicoff took the podium that night, he directed his glare at Mayor Richard J. Daley, accusing him of using “Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.” Daley’s reply from the floor was unprintable.

Through September, Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey could not speak at a rally without being cursed and shouted down.

Describing the radicals disrupting his every event, Humphrey said, these people “aren’t just hecklers,” but “highly disciplined, well-organized agitators. … Some are anarchists and some of these groups are dedicated to destroying the Democratic Party and destroying the country.”

After his slim victory, Nixon declared that his government would take as its theme the words on a girl’s placard that he had seen in the Ohio town of Deshler: “Bring us together.”

Nixon tried in his first months, but it was not to be.

According to Bryan Burrough, author of “Days of Rage, America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,” “During an eighteen month period in 1971 and 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings on U.S. soil, nearly 5 a day.”

No, 2018 is not 1968, at least not yet.

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Did Trump Goad and Guide the Pipe Bomber?

Did Trump Goad and Guide the Pipe Bomber?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

By Thursday, the targets of the mailed pipe bombs had risen to nine: George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Biden and Robert De Niro.

That list contains four of the highest-ranking officials of Barack Obama’s administration: the president himself, his vice president, his secretary of state and his attorney general.

Yet, by Thursday morning, there was heartening news.

Not one of the mailed bombs had reached its target. Not one handler of a mailed bomb had been injured. Not one bomb had exploded.

Several of the bombs were said to be deficient. While they contained elements of pipe bombs, with shards of glass and powder, there was no trigger to ignite an explosion.

Were these devices simply poorly made, or did the bomber intend not to wound or kill, but simply to cause a panic?

As of this writing, we don’t know. Moreover there is this oddity: All of the bombs had the same return address — that of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who was ousted as leader of the DNC when hacked DNC emails revealed she had tilted the party machinery to defeat Hillary Clinton’s principal rival in the primaries, Bernie Sanders.

Was putting Wasserman Schultz’s return address on all the bomb packages some kind of joke?

What was going on here?

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Beltway residents, however, did not need to look far to learn who inspired and motivated the would-be mass-murderer of our liberal elite. In a front-page story headlined, “Subjects of Trump’s ire in bomb-maker’s sights,” The Washington Post identified the suspect:

“(A) common theme among the targets was unmistakable. Each has been a recurring subject of Trump attacks.”

The Post elaborated. Trump has called Democrats “evil.” Trump has denounced Obama’s presidency. Trump has “demonized Hillary Clinton, inspiring chants of ‘Lock her up!'” Trump has “used his bully pulpit to taunt Maxine Waters … as a ‘low IQ individual.'”

Trump has impugned ex-CIA Director John Brennan and fanned “conspiracy theories about George Soros.” Trump has called the news media “the enemy of the people.” Trump has singled out CNN’s reporting as “fake news.”

What the Post was implying was that Trump at his rallies had done the target acquisition for the bomber who intended to maim or murder the leading lights of liberalism and enemies of Trumpism.

If one missed the point on Page 1, the headline over the balance of the story inside the Post drove it home: “Amid incendiary rhetoric, targets of Trump’s words become bombs’ targets.”

The correlation between Trump’s targets and the bomber’s targets is no accident, comrade, the Post is saying.

Yet, as of late Thursday, still, no bomb had exploded. And what had been called bombs were being called “suspicious packages.” And the person or persons who made and mailed them had yet to be identified.

But still the attacks on Trump and the calls to hold him morally culpable for the bombs, because of his rhetoric, went on unabated.

Said Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, jointly responding to the president’s call for civility in Wisconsin: Trump’s “words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence.”

This is not the first time a political atrocity has been to exploited to wound political enemies.

Though Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist who had defected to the Soviet Union, the city of Dallas, then a conservative stronghold, was indicted by the media for having “created the atmosphere” in which JFK was assassinated.

In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the media blamed the anti-government rhetoric of conservative talk radio for poisoning the minds of extremists like Timothy McVeigh.

Guilt by association seems a more common recourse of the left.

When members of the Republican Congressional baseball team were shot and wounded at their morning practice, no major GOP figure blamed Bernie Sanders, though the would-be mass murderer was one of Bernie’s volunteers.

“Democracy dies in darkness,” reads the motto of The Washington Post. But democracy dies in other ways as well.

Democracy dies when the divisions in a society become so bitter and rancorous that a segment of that society becomes so estranged it decides that it would rather leave and live apart.

With their endless charges of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia America’s elite has let Trump’s “base” know what it thinks of them.

And at his rallies, where Trump’s mockery of that elite and its media allies evokes hoots and cheers, Middle America is telling our cultural and political establishment what it thinks of them.

Before we were a democracy, we were a republic. And we were always more than just a polity. We were a people and a nation.

Today we seem to be two countries and two peoples.

And if that is true, a political system based on majority rule is not going to be strong enough to hold us together indefinitely.

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No Party for Old White Men

No Party for Old White Men

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Nancy Pelosi, 78, Steny Hoyer, 79, and Joe Biden, 75, the primary results from New York’s 14th congressional district are a fire bell in the night.

All may be swept away in the coming revolution. That is the message of the crushing defeat of 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, who had aspired to succeed Pelosi and become speaker of the House.

The No. 4 House Democrat, Crowley, 56, had not faced primary opposition since 2004. He outspent his opponent, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was tending bar a year ago, by 10 to one.

The son of an Irish immigrant, Crowley was leader of the Queens Democratic Club. He had the unions’ support. So confident was he that he skipped a debate and sent a Latina politician to stand in for him.

First comes Hubris, the god of arrogance. Then comes Nemesis, the goddess of retribution.

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Tossing Crowley’s credentials back in his face, Ocasio-Cortez ran as a Latina, a person of color, a millennial and militant socialist who lived in her district, and painted Crowley as a white male with lots of PAC money who had moved to D.C. and sent his kids to school in Virginia.

“The Democratic Party takes working-class communities for granted; they take people of color for granted,” railed Ocasio-Cortez. The party assumes “that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping (their) proposals are.”

“Bland or half-stepping” are not words her agenda calls to mind.

A Democratic Socialist, endorsed by MoveOn, Black Lives Matter and People for Bernie, Ocasio-Cortez favors Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, free tuition at public colleges, federal jobs for all who want them, and abolishing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that runs “black sites” on the Mexican border where “human rights abuses are happening.”

When tear gas was used in Puerto Rico, whence her family came, Ocasio-Cortez laid it at Crowley’s feet: “You are responsible for this.”

Crowley tried gamely to keep up, declaring that ICE, for which thousands of Americans work to protect our borders, is a “fascist” organization, presumably something like Ernst Rohm’s Brown Shirts.

While the victory of Ocasio-Cortez is bad news for Pelosi and Hoyer, it may also be a harbinger of what is to come. For the Democratic Party appears about to unleash its radical left, its Maxine Waters wing, and give its ideology another run in the yard.

When the party has done this before, however, it did not end well.

After Hubert Humphrey lost narrowly in 1968, an enraged left seized the nomination for George McGovern, who went on to lose 49 states to Richard Nixon.

After Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the left, whose champion, Bernie Sanders, they believe, was robbed by the establishment, seems to be looking to settle scores and seize the nomination for one of its own.

But if an apertura a sinistra, an opening to the left, is what lies ahead for the Democratic Party, then that is better news for the party of Trump than for the party of Pelosi.

Just as Crowley’s congressional district had changed, so, too, has his party in Congress. Columnist Dana Milbank, who sees it as progress, writes, “A majority of House Democrats are … women, people of color or gay.”

These rising forces in the Democratic coalition are looking to bury the Democratic Party of yesterday, where white males and older ethnic groups — Irish, Italians, Poles and Jews — were dominant.

It seems certain now that the summer of 2020 will see a woman, a person of color, or both, on the Democratic ticket. Two whites would likely offend the rising base. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine may have been the last of the all-white Democratic tickets.

However, inside this emerging Democratic majority of peoples of color, fractures and fissures are already visible.

In New York City, the Asian community, which votes Democratic in presidential elections, is in an uproar over efforts by leftist Mayor Bill de Blasio to eliminate the entrance exams that have enabled Asian kids to capture most of the seats in the city’s elite public schools.

De Blasio and his allies want the Asian numbers in these select schools reduced, so the schools mirror the city’s demography, no matter how well the Asian kids are doing on the competitive admissions tests.

Also, the hard left in the Democratic Party, oriented more toward the Third World than the West, is increasingly anti-Israel. And while the Jewish vote is small and largely concentrated in blue states, among donors to the Democratic Party the Jewish contingent looms large.

The new demography of the Democratic Party brought about the defeat of Crowley. A majority white district when he first ran, the Bronx-Queens district he now represents is only one-sixth white.

The Irish and Italians have moved out or passed on. And Archie Bunker? He rests in peace in Calvary Cemetery. Like his party.

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Israel First or America First

Israel First or America First

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Donald Trump has a new best friend.

“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support of Israel,” gushed Bibi Netanyahu, after he berated John Kerry in a fashion that would once have resulted in a rupture of diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu accused Kerry of “colluding” in and “orchestrating” an anti-Israel, stab-in-the-back resolution in the Security Council, then lying about it. He offered to provide evidence of Kerry’s complicity and mendacity to President Trump.

Bibi then called in the U.S. ambassador and read him the riot act for 40 minutes. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer charged that not only did the U.S. not “stand up to and oppose the gang-up” at the U.N., “the United States was actually behind that gang-up.”

When Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council called the charges false, Dermer dismissed President Obama’s man as a “master of fiction.”

Query: Why is Dermer not on a plane back to Tel Aviv?

Some of us can recall how Eisenhower ordered David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai in 1957, or face sanctions.

Ben-Gurion did as told. Had he and his ambassador castigated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, as the Israelis dissed John Kerry, Ike would have called the U.S. ambassador home.

Indeed, Ike’s threat of sanctions against Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s government, which had also invaded Egypt, brought Eden down.

But then Dwight Eisenhower was not Barack Obama, and the America of 1956 was a more self-respecting nation.

Still, this week of rancorous exchanges between two nations that endlessly express their love for each other certainly clears the air.

While Kerry has been denounced for abstaining on the U.N. resolution calling Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem illegal and an impediment to peace, this has been U.S. policy for years.

And Kerry’s warning in his Wednesday speech that at the end of this road of continuous settlement-building lies an Israel that is either a non-Jewish or a non-democratic state is scarcely anti-Semitic.

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Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the most decorated soldier in Israel’s history, has warned his countrymen, “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-Democratic.”

“If the bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote” added Barak, “this will be an apartheid state.” Of John Kerry’s speech, Barak said, “Powerful, lucid … World & majority in Israel think the same.”

Defense Secretary-designate Gen. James Mattis warned in 2013 that Israeli settlements were leading to an “apartheid” state.

After Joe Biden visited Israel in 2010, to learn that Netanyahu just approved 1,600 new units in East Jerusalem, Gen. David Petraeus warned: “Arab anger on the Palestine question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnership with governments and people in the region.”

Yet facts and reality, however unpleasant, cannot be denied.

The two-state solution is almost surely dead. Netanyahu is not going to remove scores of thousands of Jewish settlers from Judea and Samaria to cede the land to a Palestinian state. After all, Bibi opposed Ariel Sharon’s removal of 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza.

How will all this impact the new Trump administration?

Having tweeted, “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching,” and having named a militant Zionist as his ambassador, Trump is certain to tilt U.S. policy heavily toward Israel.

Politically, this will bring rewards in the U.S. Jewish community.

The Republican Party will become the “pro-Israel” party, while the Democrats can be portrayed as divided and conflicted, with a left wing that is pro-Palestine and sympathetic to sanctions on Israel.

And the problem for Trump in a full embrace of Bibi?

Britain and France, which voted for the resolution where the U.S. abstained, are going to go their separate way on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as is the world.

Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Arabs will be pressured by their peoples and by the militant states of the region like Iran, to distance themselves from the Americans or face internal troubles.

And once U.S. pressure ends and settlement building in the West Bank proceeds, Netanyahu, his hawkish Cabinet, the Israeli lobby, the neocons and the congressional Republicans will start beating the drums for Trump to terminate what he himself has called that “horrible Iran deal.”

Calls are already coming for the cancellation of the sale of 80 Boeing jets to Iran. Yet, any U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, or reimposition of sanctions on Iran, will further split us off from our European allies. Not only did Britain and France vote for the Security Council resolution, both are party, as is Germany, to the Iran deal.

Having America publicly reassert herself as Israel’s best friend, with “no daylight” between us, could have us ending up as Israel’s only friend — and Israel as our only friend in the Middle East.

Bibi’s Israel First policy must one day collide with America First.

Is the Spectre of Trump Haunting Davos?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The lights are burning late in Davos tonight.

At the World Economic Forum, keynoter Joe Biden warned global elites that the unraveling of the middle class in America and Europe has provided “fertile terrain for reactionary politicians, demagogues peddling xenophobia, anti-immigration, nationalist, isolationist views.”

Evidence of a nationalist backlash, said Biden, may be seen in the third parties arising across Europe, and in the U.S. primaries.

But set aside Joe’s slurs — demagogues, xenophobia.

Who really belongs in the dock here? Who caused this crisis of political legitimacy now gripping the nations of the West?

Was it Donald Trump, who gives voice to the anger of those who believe themselves to have been betrayed? Or the elites who betrayed them?

Can that crowd at Davos not understand that it is despised because it is seen as having subordinated the interests of the nations and people in whose name it presumes to speak, to advance an agenda that serves, first and foremost, its own naked self-interest?

The political and economic elites of Davos have grow rich, fat and powerful by setting aside patriotism and sacrificing their countries on the altars of globalization and a New World Order.

No more astute essay has been written this political season than that of Michael Brendan Dougherty in “This Week,” where he describes how, 20 years ago, my late friend Sam Francis predicted it all.

In Chronicles, in 1996, Francis, a paleoconservative and proud son of the South, wrote:

“[S]ooner or later, as the globalist elites seek to drag the country into conflicts and global commitments, preside over the economic pastoralization of the United States, manage the delegitimization of our own culture, and the dispossession of our people, and disregard or diminish our national interest and national sovereignty, a nationalist reaction is almost inevitable and will probably assume populist form when it arrives. The sooner it comes, the better.”

What we saw through a glass darkly then, we now see face to face.

Is not Trump the personification of the populist-nationalist revolt Francis predicted?

And was it not presidents and Congresses of both parties who mired us in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and negotiated the trade deals that have gutted American industry?Trump Chronicles Magazine

The bleeding of factories and manufacturing jobs abroad has produced the demoralization and decline of our middle class, along with the wage stagnation and shrinking participation in the labor force.

Is Trump responsible for that? Is Socialist Bernie Sanders, who voted against all those trade deals?

If not, who did this to us?

Was it not the Bush Republicans and Clinton Democrats?

Americans never supported mass immigration.

It was against their will that scores of millions, here legally and illegally, almost all from Third World countries, whose masses have never been fully assimilated into any western nation, have poured into the USA.

Who voted for that?

Religious, racial, cultural diversity has put an end to the “bad” old America we grew up in, as we evolve into the “universal nation” of Ben Wattenberg, who once rhapsodized, “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality.”

James Burnham, the ex-Trotskyite and Cold War geostrategist whose work Francis admired, called liberalism “the ideology of Western suicide.”

If the West embraces, internalizes and operates on the principles of liberalism, Burnham wrote, the West with meet an early death.

Among the dogmas of liberalism is the unproven assumption that peoples of all nationalities, tribes, cultures, creeds can coexist happily in nations, especially in a “creedal” nation like the USA, which has no ethnic core but rather is built upon ideas.

A corollary is that “diversity,” a new America and new Europe where all nations are multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual, is the future of the west and the model for mankind.

Yet, large and growing minorities in every country of Europe, and now in America, believe that not only is this proposition absurd, the end result could be national suicide.

And when one considers the millions who are flocking to Trump and Sanders, it is hard to believe that the establishments of the two parties, even if they defeat these challengers, can return to same old interventionist, trade, immigration and war policies.

For Trump is not the last of the populist-nationalists.

Given his success, other Republicans will emulate him. Already, other candidates are incorporating his message. The day Francis predicted was coming appears to have arrived.

Angela Merkel may have been Time’s Person of the Year in 2016, but she will be lucky to survive in office in 2017, if she does not stop the invasion from Africa and the Middle East.

Yet Joe Biden’s dismissal that it is reactionaries who oppose what the progressives of Davos believe is not entirely wrong. For as Georges Bernanos wrote, when Europe was caught between Bolshevism and fascism:

To be a reactionary means simply to be alive, because only a corpse does not react any more — against the maggots teeming on it.

Hillary: Nominee or Indictee?

Hillary - Nominee or Indictee

By Patrick J. Buchanan

While perhaps too early for Democratic elites to panic and begin bailing out on Hillary Clinton’s campaign as a doomed vessel, they would be well advised not to miss any of the lifeboat drills.

For Hillary’s campaign is taking on water at a rate that will sink her, if the leakage does not stop, and soon.

Initially, the issue of Hillary and the emails she sent and received as secretary of state seemed too wonkish, too complex, too trivial a matter to sink a candidacy as strong as hers.

Her nomination was considered as assured as any since Vice President Richard Nixon ran unopposed in 1960.

But since it was revealed that as secretary of state she used a private server for her emails, located in her home in Chappaqua, the bleeding of public trust has been unabated.

Her tortured explanation as to why she installed her own server only raised suspicions. Her erasure of 30,000 “personal emails,” her initial refusal to turn her server over to State, her denials she ever received confidential information, her wiping of the server clean, her stonewalling, have all ravaged her reputation for truthfulness. And truthfulness was never Bill or Hillary’s long suit.

And the issue of Clintonian entitlement and privilege has arisen again.

For Hillary showed a casualness in handling the nation’s secrets that would have cost a civil servant at State, Defense or CIA his or her security clearance and job. And they would be facing charges and potentially jail time.

Indeed, now that Justice and the FBI have been called in to look at Hillary’s handling of state secrets, it is not impossible that at the end of this road lies a federal indictment.

Should that happen, her campaign and career would be over. And should that indictment come later rather than sooner, the Democratic Party could be headed into the election of 2016 led by a Brooklyn-born septuagenarian Socialist.

Every day that new revelations come about Hillary and her emails, and every week that passes between now and when the filing deadlines for the primaries begin to fall, this becomes a real possibility.

Again, the problem here for Hillary and the Democratic Party is that the investigators at Justice, the FBI, and in a hostile Congress and the media, are far from wrapping this up.

They all have their teeth in it, and they are not going away. And there is nothing Hillary can do to halt the investigations, or plug the leaks, or, it seems, to change the subject.

What, really, is the relevance of her $350 billion plan to get the super-rich to pay off student loans, if Hillary is being lawyered up?

The Democratic Party is approaching the fail-safe point.

If it appears that Hillary is headed for the knacker’s yard, then to whom do the Democratic elites turn, and, equally important, when do they move?

For they cannot wait too long.

Hence, a “Draft Biden” movement has begun, and veterans of President Obama’s campaigns are signing on.

Yet the vice president should think long and hard about whether and when he plunges into the Democratic race. For his announcement of availability would be a signal that Joe Biden thinks Hillary is politically dead, or close to it, and he is coming in to drop the hammer.

This would be seen as act of crass political opportunism, seizing upon Hillary’s travails, shouldering her aside, and seizing a nomination millions of Democrats have long believed was hers by right.

How would the millions of Democratic women who have looked forward to the first woman president respond to Biden’s barreling in and finishing her off? How enthusiastic would those women and feminists be for a Candidate Biden who had delivered the deathblow to Hillary and blocked for another decade any chance of a woman as president?

Joe would certainly be up for Chauvinist of the Year 2015.

And other problems would arise for a Biden candidacy.

Would Bill and Hillary Clinton be out there stumping to help Joe win the presidency, when both had dreamed of her having it?

Joe would have to beat Bernie Sanders and rout the Elizabeth Warren liberals. He would have to woo back the big contributors in the Jewish community who believe Barack Obama and John Kerry threw Israel and Bibi under the bus to cut a deal that empowers the world’s leading “state sponsor of terrorism.”

If Joe is having second thoughts about getting in, who can blame him?

As the old saw goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

But for Democrats, such counsel comes too late. Hillary is carrying their basket of eggs, and slipping all over the sidewalk.

If they procrastinate in designating someone else to catch the basket if it falls, they get Bernie. But if they move too soon, they will be charged with sabotaging the last best chance for America to elect a woman president.

A nice problem for those ubiquitous cable TV talking heads who identify themselves as “Democratic strategists.”

The Obama Doctrine

The Obama Doctrine

By Patrick J. Buchanan

At the Summit of the Americas where he met with Raul Castro, the 83-year-old younger brother of Fidel, President Obama provided an insight into where he is taking us, and why:

“The United States will not be imprisoned by the past — we’re looking to the future. I’m not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.”

Obama was not yet born when Fidel rolled into Havana, Jan. 1, 1959. He was 1 year old during the missile crisis. His mother belonged to a 1960s generation that welcomed the Cuban Revolution. His father came from an African generation that won independence from the European empires.

Churchill’s bust may have resided in the Oval Office of George Bush. Obama sent it back to the British Embassy. His hero is Nelson Mandela, who overthrew centuries of white rule in South Africa.

Obama is as rooted in the Third World as in the West, and his goal is to sweep out the clutter of a Cold War that “has been over a long time.”

He lifted sanctions on Burma, is recognizing Castro’s Cuba, and hopes to seal a nuclear deal with Iran and normalize relations.

Uninhibited by old friendships, untethered to old allies, Barack Obama is grounding his Middle East policy on what he sees as the new realities.

And the policy shifts he is making are unlikely to be reversed, for the discarding of old friends in altered circumstances is an American tradition.

In 1954, Eisenhower refused to intervene to save our French allies going down to defeat in Indochina. In 1956, he ordered the British and French out of Suez. That was the end of Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Ike’s wartime friend, and of the British Empire, alongside which we had fought two world wars.

In 1963, JFK sanctioned a coup against our ally President Diem.

In 1972, Richard Nixon went to Peking to toast Chairman Mao, who was responsible for tens of thousands of U.S. war dead in Korea. Nixon thus began the severing of relations and of treaty ties with our World War II ally, Chiang Kai-shek, and his Republic of China on Taiwan.

What Ike was conceding at Suez was that the British and French empires were history and Arab nationalism was the future in the Middle East. What Nixon was conceding was that Mao’s revolution was irreversible, and America must deal with the new reality.

Obama is in that tradition of ruthless American pragmatism.

Three weeks after the Arab Spring reached Cairo, he pulled the rug out from under Hosni Mubarak, an ally of 30 years. Then he welcomed the electoral triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now he has accepted the coup d’etat and subsequent electoral victory of Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, and his emerging Egyptian dictatorship.

What is the new reality Obama sees across the Middle East?

It is that America’s most dangerous enemies are al-Qaida and its progeny, and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. And in the war against al-Qaida and ISIS, the Ayatollah’s Iran and its allies — Hezbollah, Syria’s Bashar Assad and Iraq’s Shiite militias — are on our side.

However, in this same war, some of our oldest allies appear to be conscientious objectors or collaborators with the enemy.

As Joe Biden said at Harvard a while back, the Turks, the Saudis and the Emiratis provided much of the money and arms that initially fueled the Nusra Front (al-Qaida) and ISIS in Syria. Biden was forced to apologize for having told the truth.

Where ISIS has made Syria’s provincial capital of Raqqa the capital of its caliphate, the Nusra Front has seized Idlib, a second provincial capital. And the Assad regime accuses our NATO ally Turkey of aiding and abetting the terrorist takeover of Idlib.

The Israelis, too, do not share our view of who is the mortal enemy. “Hezbollah and Iran are the major threat to Israel, much more than the radical Sunni Islamists,” says Amos Yadlin, ex-head of Israel’s military intelligence.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren agrees: “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

But if Assad falls, then the Nusra Front or ISIS comes to power, a strategic disaster for the United States, followed by a slaughter of Christians that could drag America back into yet another land war.

Obama is not wrong here. If NATO’s Turkey, Israel, and the Gulf Arabs prefer Sunni Islamists in Damascus to an Alawite regime with which we have coexisted for 40 years, then President Obama is right to move us away from our old allies. U.S. national interests come first.

Yet, a choice between Hezbollah and the Nusra Front, ISIS and the Shiite militias, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Houthi rebels, is a Hobbesian trap that is a conclusive argument for keeping U.S. troops out of this war of all against all in the Middle East.

Whose Job Is It to Kill ISIS?

Whose Job Is It to Kill ISIS

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity?

While the video might firm up the faith of fanatics, would it not evoke rage and revulsion across the Islamic world? After all, this was a Sunni Muslim, in a cage, being burned alive.

As of now, this cruel killing seems to have backfired. Jordan is uniting behind King Abdullah’s determination to exact “earth-shattering” retribution.

Which raises again the questions: Why did ISIS do it? What did they hope to gain? Evil though they may be, they are not stupid.

Surely, they knew the reaction they would get?

Several explanations come to mind.

First, ISIS is hurting. It lost the battle for Kobane on the Turkish border to the Kurds; it is bleeding under U.S. air attacks; and it is stymied in Iraq. It wanted to lash out in the most dramatic and horrific way.

Second, ISIS wants to retain the title of the most resolute and ruthless of the Islamist radicals, a title temporarily lost to al-Qaida, which carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. This horror has put ISIS back in the headlines and on global television.

Third, ISIS wants to pay back King Abdullah, a Sunni and descendant of the Prophet, for joining America in bombing them.

Fourth, this may have been a provocation to cause the king to put his monarchy on the line and plunge Jordan into all out war against the Islamic State.

For history teaches that wars often prove fatal to monarchies. In the Great War of 1914-1918, the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns, the Romanovs and Ottomans, all went down.

The terrorists of ISIS may believe that stampeding Abdullah into fighting on the side of the “Crusaders” may prove destabilizing to his country and imperil the Hashemite throne.

For, though Jordanians may be united today, will they support sending their sons into battle as allies of the Americans and de facto allies of Bashar Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran?

There are reasons why Sunni nations like Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have not committed more openly and decisively to the war on ISIS, and instead prod the Americans to send their troops to eradicate the Islamic State.

To many Sunni nations, Assad and the Shia Crescent of Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut are the greater threat.

Indeed, until recently, as Joe Biden pointed out last October, the Turks, Saudis and United Arab Emirates were providing clandestine aid to ISIS.

Biden was forced to apologize, but he had told the truth.

Which bring us back to the crucial issue here. While King Abdullah is a trusted friend, Jordan has been best able to serve its own and America’s interests by staying out of wars.

Lest we forget, Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, refused to join the coalition of Desert Storm that drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait.

In February 1991, President Bush charged that King Hussein seems “to have moved over, way over, into the Saddam Hussein camp.” In March of 1991, the Senate voted to end all military and economic aid to Jordan. But the king was looking out for his own survival, and rightly so.

Hence, is it wise for Jordan to become a front-line fighting state in a war, which, if it prevails, will mean a new lease on life for the Assad regime and a victory for Iran, the Shia militias in Iraq, and Hezbollah?

Critics argue that after making his commitment to “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State, President Obama has provided neither a war strategy nor the military resources to carry it out. And they are right.

But this is just another case of the president drawing a red line he should never have drawn. While U.S. air power can hold back the advance of ISIS and “degrade,” i.e., contain, ISIS, the destruction of ISIS is going to require scores of thousands of troops.

Though the Iraqi army, Shia militias and Kurds may be able to provide those troops to retake Mosul, neither the Turks nor any other Arab nation has volunteered the troops to defeat ISIS in Syria.

And if the Turks and Sunni Arabs are unwilling to put boots on the ground in Syria, why should we? Why should America, half a world away, have to provide those troops rather than nations that are more immediately threatened and have armies near at hand?

Why is defeating 30,000 ISIS jihadists our job, and not theirs?

With this outrage, ISIS has thrown down the gauntlet to the Sunni Arabs. The new Saudi king calls the burning of Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh an “odious crime” that is “inhuman and contrary to Islam.” The UAE foreign minister calls it a “brutal escalation by the terrorist group.”

Let us see if action follows outrage.

Can America Fight a Thirty Years’ War?

Can America Fight a Thirty Years' War?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.”

With this citation from Madison, Cong. Walter Jones is calling for a debate and decision on whether America should go to war in Syria and Iraq, when Congress reconvenes after Nov. 4.

Last week’s events make Jones’ request a national imperative.

For former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says we are heading into a “30-year war” against the Islamic State and the emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.

He faults Obama for not bombing Syria when Assad crossed his “red line” and used chemical weapons. U.S. credibility was damaged, says Panetta. “There’s a little question mark to, is the United States going to stick this out?” This new war is the opportunity “to repair the damage.”

Yet consider the man Panetta wants to lead the United States into a war to restore America’s credibility.

The president’s “most conspicuous weakness” is “a frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause,” says Panetta. Too often, he “relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.” He “avoids the battle, complains, and misses opportunities.”

But with Hamlet as your commander in chief, why would you start a war?

And consider our allies in this new war.

Joe Biden has been forced to apologize to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates for saying at Harvard that both had been providing huge infusions of money and weapons to the ISIS terrorists who have beheaded Americans.

But what was Joe guilty of, other than blurting out the truth?

The terrorists of ISIS are today closing in on the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani on the Turkish border, having overrun scores of villages. A hundred thousand Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey.

Yet though ISIS warriors are visible right across the border, and Turkey has the second largest army in NATO, with 3,500 tanks and 1,000 aircraft, the Turks are sitting on their hands, awaiting what may be a massacre.

Why? David Stockman quotes Turkish President Erdogan this weekend: “For us, ISIL and the (Kurdish) PKK are the same.”

Erdogan is saying a plague on both their houses. To Istanbul, the PKK are terrorists, as are the ISIS fighters the PKK is trying to keep from overrunning Kobani.

The United States, too, designates both the Islamic State and the PKK as terrorist organizations.

Which terrorist organization do we want to win this battle?

Who do we want to win the war between ISIS and the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra front on one side, and Assad’s regime, which Obama and John Kerry wanted to bomb in August of 2013?

Whose side are we on in Lebanon?

This weekend, al-Qaida’s Syrian wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, lost 16 jihadists in an incursion into the Bekaa Valley. Who defended Lebanon and fought the terrorist intruders?

Hezbollah, which we have declared a terrorist organization.

Whose side are we on in the Hezbollah vs. al-Qaida war?

In Yemen last week, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, whom the United States has been attacking for years, sent a suicide bomber in an explosives-laden car into a hospital used by Houthi rebels, who have taken over the capital of Sanaa.

Are the Houthis America’s allies?

Probably not, as they have plastered Sanaa with their slogans, “Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews, and victory to Islam.”

The Houthis fighting al-Qaida, like Hezbollah fighting al-Qaida, are Shia, supported by Iran, which is on our side against ISIS in Syria and on our side against the Islamic State in Iraq.

But to Bibi Netanyahu, speaking at the U.N. last week, Iran is the great enemy: “[T]o defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war.”

Hence, the neocon war drums have begun to beat for U.S. strikes on Iran if negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program conclude Nov. 24, with no deal satisfactory to the United States.

But no matter how olfactory its regime, why start a war with an Iran that is a de facto, and perhaps indispensable, ally in preventing ISIS from establishing its caliphate in Damascus and Baghdad?

Since 1980, writes Andrew Bacevich, the United States has invaded, occupied or bombed 14 nations in the Greater Middle East — Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan and now Syria.

The cost: Tens of thousands of U.S. dead and wounded, trillions of dollars lost, hundreds of thousands of Muslim dead and wounded, millions of refugees, Christians foremost among them. And for what?

Are we better off now than we were 30 years ago, with the Middle East today on fire with civil, sectarian, tribal and terrorist wars?

Congress should vote no on any new Thirty Years’ War.

Privately, Barack Obama would probably be grateful.