Is a New GOP Being Born?

Is a New GOP Being Born

By Patrick Buchanan

The first four Republican contests — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — produced record turnouts.

While the prospect of routing Hillary Clinton and recapturing the White House brought out the true believers, it was Donald Trump’s name on the ballot and his calls for economic patriotism, border security, and an end to imperial wars that brought out the throngs.

The crowds that continue to come out for his appearances and the vast audiences he has attracted to GOP debates testify to his drawing power.

Moreover, Trump has now been endorsed by Gov. Chris Christie, ex-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of the most respected conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Yet, with polls pointing to a possible Trump sweep on Super Tuesday, save Texas, his probable nomination, and a chance for the GOP to take it all in the fall, is causing some conservatives and Republicans to threaten to bolt, go third party, stay home, or even vote for Clinton.

They would prefer to lose to Clinton than win with Trump.

A conservative friend told this writer that Trump, unlike, say, Ted Cruz, has never shown an interest in the Supreme Court, which, with Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant, hangs in the balance.

Yet, surely, a President Trump, hearing the clamor of those who elected him to find a Scalia, would be responsive.

With President Clinton, the court is gone for a generation.

We hear wails that the nomination of Trump would mean the end of the conservative movement. But how so?

If Trump won and conducted a conservative government, it would validate the movement. If Trump won and turned left, it would inspire an insurgency like Ronald Reagan’s in 1976, when the Ford-Rockefeller-Kissinger administration moved too far toward detente.

If Trump ran and lost, the conservative movement would have President Clinton to unite and rally the troops against.

One recalls Barry Goldwater’s historic wipeout in 1964. But, in 1966, Republicans made the greatest gains in a generation, and went on to win the presidency for 20 of the next 24 years.

Undeniably, a Trump presidency would mean an end to the Bush and establishment policies on trade, immigration and intervention.

But those policies have already been repudiated in the primaries, as they have proven to be transparent failures for America.

As long ago as the early 1990s, populist conservatives were imploring George H. W. Bush to secure our Mexican border, as tens of thousands poured across in the San Diego-Tijuana corridor. Gov. Pete Wilson turned near-certain defeat into a stunning comeback victory in 1994 by promising to send the National Guard.

Why did the establishment not respond then to the electorate? Why, instead of trashing Wilson for imperiling future party prospects with Hispanics, did the establishment not do what the people had demanded and move decisively to secure our southern border?

What is conservative about uncontrolled borders?

Why, as trade deficits with China and the world rose from the tens of billions to hundreds of billions, did the establishment not wake up and see the shuttering factories, the lost jobs and the ghost towns arising across America — and react?

Could they not see that, as we celebrated globalization, Beijing and Tokyo were practicing ruthless mercantilism and protectionism?

At the end of the Cold War in 1991, many Americans urged that, with the Soviet Empire dissolved and Soviet Union disintegrating, it was time to bring our troops home and let the rich fat nations that had been freeloading for half a century provide the soldiers and pay the cost of their own security.

Instead, the establishment opted for empire, for expanding old alliances, dumping over regimes, crusading for democracy, sending our soldiers out to remake Third World countries in the image of Iowa and Vermont.

Who now thinks all these wars were worth the cost?

Whether Trump wins or loses the nomination, the immigration, trade and foreign policies pursued by the elites since the end of the Cold War are dead letters. The nation has declared them to be so in the primaries.

Who is campaigning, in either party today, for open borders, or passing The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or sending troops back to Iraq or into Syria?

The Bernie Sanders insurgency appears to have been turned back by the vested interests of his party. But like the George McGovern insurgency in ’72, which also relied heavily upon the enthusiasm of the young, Sanders’ socialism may be the ideological future of his party.

The same may be said of the Trump insurgency. Whatever happens at Cleveland, the returns from the primaries look like the passing of the old order, the death rattle of an establishment fighting for its life, and being laughed at and mocked as it goes down.

As in 1964 and 1980, a new Republican Party is taking shape.

Defections are to be expected, and not altogether unwelcome.

America and France Turn Right

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In Sunday’s first-round of regional elections in France, the clear and stunning winner was the National Front of Marine Le Pen.

Her party rolled up 30 percent of the vote, and came in first in 6 of 13 regions. Marine herself won 40 percent of her northeast district.

Despite tremendous and positive publicity from his presidential role in the Charlie Hebdo and Paris massacres and the climate summit, Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party ran third.

What drove the victory of the National Front?

According to The Wall Street Journal’s William Horobin, “Ms. Le Pen, who has combined the party’s anti-immigration stance with calls for hard-line security measures and tighter control of France’s borders, has only bolstered her support in the three weeks since the Paris attacks.”

The rightward shift in French politics is being replicated across Europe, as nations tighten borders and erect new checkpoints against the tsunami of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

Angela Merkel and open borders are yesterday in Europe; Marine Le Pen is tomorrow.

And the rightward shift is occurring here as well, propelled by the terrorist atrocity in San Bernardino. On immigration, terrorism, borders, crime and security, Americans are moving to the right.

Donald Trump has taken the toughest stance. He will send illegal immigrants back and make Mexico pay for his wall. He is the least restrained in what he would do to the Islamic State. And his lead nationally has now reached an unprecedented 20 points.

In Iowa, Sen. Ted Cruz is surging. Cruz would “carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion,” and try to make the sand around Raqqa “glow in the dark.” He charges Marco Rubio with collaborating with Sen. Chuck Schumer in backing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

In return, Rubio tears into Cruz daily, charging him with being soft on national security for having backed the USA Freedom Act that denies the NSA instant access to all phone and computer records of American citizens.

Like most Republicans, Cruz supported keeping NSA’s hands off the metadata of electronic communications of U.S. citizens. But that position seems more suited to the libertarian moment that has passed, not the national security moment we live in today.

Chris Christie says San Bernardino proves his point about keeping refugee wives and even 3-year-old orphans out of New Jersey. As we now know, that female terrorist may have been the radicalizer.

The Clintons have long been reliable weather vanes of national politics. And Hillary Clinton, too, has begun moving to the right. Sunday, she said she was ready to take “military action” if Iran fails to comply with the slightest provision of President Obama’s nuclear agreement.

She wants tech companies to start policing and shutting down Islamist websites that preach hate and may have radicalized the couple that carried out San Bernardino. Clinton added dismissively, “You are going to hear all the familiar complaints: ‘freedom of speech.'”

Monday’s Washington Post reported on how Bernie Sanders, yesterday’s Socialist sensation, received a tepid response when he spoke to a crowd about income equality, but failed to address the Islamist terrorist atrocity and what he would do about it.

Last week, The New York Times ran its first front-page editorial in 95 years, demanding new federal gun laws. America’s response — a stampede to gun stores to buy firearms for self-defense.

Outlawing AK-47s and AR-15s may seem like common sense to the Times. But Americans do not believe such laws would keep terrorists from getting these weapons. And many realize those cops used semi-automatic rifles to turn the terrorists’ SUV into a pile of junk in a single minute — and them into Bonnie and Clyde.

Even the president is signaling a shift to the right.

Sunday, in only his third Oval Office address, Obama said he will intensify bombing in Iraq and Syria. He wants tougher screening of those coming to America. And he concedes that “an extremist ideology has spread among some Muslim communities” and is a “real problem Muslims must confront.”

Tougher on crime, tougher on terrorists, tougher on securing the border — that is the demand of the moment, and probably of 2016.

Americans are coming to realize we cannot prevent all such slaughters as Ford Hood and Virginia Tech, Columbine and Aurora, Tucson and the Navy Yard, Newtown and Umpqua College, and Charleston.

Nor can we prevent all Islamist terrorism if Muslims raised here or living here become radicalized in mosques or by the Internet, and seek revenge and paradise as warriors of ISIS by slaughtering Americans.

Al-Qaida and ISIS now realize the worldwide publicity gains of Paris and San Bernardino in terrorizing the West. And they will surely seek to replicate those massacres.

And every new atrocity, whether of the work place or Islamist variety, will make cops more popular and guns seem more essential.

New horrors are likely ahead — that will continue America’s turn to the right.

Is Putin Our Ally in Syria?

Is Putin Our Ally in Syria?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Among the presidential candidates of the Republican Party and their foreign policy leaders on Capitol Hill the cry is almost universal:

Barack Obama has no strategy for winning the war on ISIS.

This criticism, however, sounds strange coming from a party that controls Congress but has yet to devise its own strategy, or even to authorize the use of U.S. military force in Syria.

Congress has punted. And compared to the cacophony from Republican ranks, Barack Obama sounds like Prince Bismarck.

The President’s strategy is to contain, degrade and defeat ISIS. While no one has provided the troops to defeat ISIS, the U.S. is using Kurdish and Yazidi forces, backed by U.S. air power, to degrade it.

And recent months have seen measured success.

The Kurds have run ISIS out of Kobani, captured much of the Turkish-Syrian border, and moved to within 30 miles of Raqqa, the ISIS capital. Yazidis and Kurds last week recaptured Sinjar in Iraq and cut the highway between Mosul and Raqqa.

The terrorist attacks in Paris, the downing of the Russian airliner in Sinai, the ISIS bomb that exploded in the Shiite sector of Beirut, are ISIS’s payback. But they could also be signs that the ISIS caliphate, imperiled in its base, is growing desperate and lashing out.

Yet consider the Republican strategies being advanced.

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Mitt Romney writes:

“We must wage the war to defeat the enemy. … [Obama] must call in the best military minds from the United States and NATO … and finally construct a comprehensive strategy that integrates our effort with the Kurds, Turks, Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians.”

The Kurds excepted, Gov. Romney ignored all the forces that are actually fighting ISIS: Russians, Hezbollah, Iran, Bashar Assad, the Syrian army.

Mitt urges instead an alliance of countries that have done next to nothing to defeat ISIS.

The Turks are instead hitting the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The Saudis are bombing the Houthis in Yemen, not ISIS in Raqqa. The Egyptians are preoccupied with their own homegrown terrorists.

“Now is the time, not merely to contain the Islamic State,” says Mitt, “but to eradicate it once and for all.” But why did he not mention Russia, Iran, Assad and Hezbollah, all of which also wish to eradicate ISIS?

We partnered with Stalin in WWII.

Is Vladimir Putin an untouchable?

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham want U.S. ground troops sent into Syria and Iraq. But as Turkey has an army of 500,000 next door and Assad’s army would happily help wipe out ISIS, why not let Arab and Turkish boys do the fighting this time?

“America must lead,” is Jeb Bush’s mantra, and he wants U.S. boots on the ground and a no-fly zone over Syria.

“We should declare war,” says Bush.

Why then does Bush not call up Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and dictate the war resolution he wants passed?

And whom does Jeb propose to fight? Why declare a no-fly zone when ISIS has no air force? Does Bush plan to shoot down Syrian planes flying over Syria and Russian planes flying in support of Assad?

Has Jeb, like his brother, not thought this through?

If we declare a no-fly zone over Syria, or establish a “safe zone,” we risk war not only with Syria, but Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

None of these allies of Assad will meekly stand aside while we take military action to deny the Syrian regime and army the right to defend itself and survive in its war against ISIS, al-Nusra and other assorted jihadists and rebels.

Having invested blood and treasure in Assad’s survival, and securing their own interests in Syria, they are not likely to submit to U.S. dictation. Are we prepared for a war against both sides in Syria?

Who would fight Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Syria alongside us?

Yet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is ready to rumble.

“Well, the first thing you do is you set up a no-fly zone in Syria, and you call Putin, and you say to him, ‘Listen, we’re enforcing a no-fly zone, and that means we’re enforcing it against everyone, and that includes you. So, don’t test me.'”

And if Russia violated his no-fly zone? “Then you take him down,” said Christie, meaning we shoot down Russian jets.

But what vital interest of ours has ever been so engaged in Syria as to justify a major war in the Middle East and a military clash with a Russia with a nuclear arsenal as large as our own?

In any war it is usually wise to enlarge the roster of one’s allies and reduce the roster of enemies. If ISIS is the implacable enemy and must be annihilated, we should welcome all volunteers.

As for those who decline to fight, but claim a veto over whom we may ally with, we should tell them to pound sand.

If Putin wants to enlist in the war against ISIS, sign him up.

IMAGE: Original image by Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia – Edited and remixed by Linda Muller @ Buchanan.org

War Party Oligarch

War Party Oligarch

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Is the Republican Party’s Middle East policy up for bid?

For four days ending Sunday, a quartet of presidential hopefuls trooped to Las Vegas to attend the annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Impresario: Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion — 8th richest man on the planet — and who dumped $92 million into the election of 2012.

Adelson kept Newt Gingrich alive with a $15 million infusion of ad money, gutting Romney, and then sank $30 million into Mitt’s campaign.

This time Sheldon wants to buy himself a winner.

Ari Fleischer, press secretary to Bush 43, and a member of Adelson’s RJC fiefdom, put it plain and simple: “The ‘Sheldon Primary’ is an important primary. … anybody running for the Republican nomination would want to have Sheldon at his side.”

One such man is Jeb Bush, son and brother to presidents, who was the prize bull at Sheldon’s cattle show. Daniel Ruth of the Tampa Bay Times speculates on Jeb’s motive in showing up:

“Would you slink into Las Vegas to schmooze gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson who regards GOP presidential nominees as if they were trophy heads mounted in his den, if you had no interest in the White House? Bush is not going to Vegas to catch Meat Loaf’s act at Planet Hollywood.”

The 2016 presidential hopefuls “are falling at his feet,” said a veteran Republican strategist of the 80-year-old oligarch. Each of those who came — Bush, Chris Christie, and Govs. Scott Walker and John Kasich — apparently auditioned, one by one, before the godfather.

In 2016, says Adelson’s top political adviser Andy Abboud, Sheldon’s “bar for support is going to be much higher. … There’s going to be a lot more scrutiny.”

Guess that means no more Newts.

Victor Chaltiel, a major donor and Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, tells us Sheldon “doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee.” Adds Shawn Steel, a big California GOP money man, Sheldon is a “very rational guy.”

Perhaps. But last fall at Yeshiva University, this “very rational guy” gave this response to a question from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on whether he supports U.S. negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program:

“No. What do you mean support negotiations? What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …

You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’

“So, there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.

“And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.

“‘You want to be peaceful. Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.'”

Adelson’s response was recorded by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website who was at Yeshiva and filmed the interview. Weiss says the audience cheered Adelson’s proposed nuclear strike on Iran and no one on the stage, not Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, peeped a word of dissent.

And this is a “very rational guy,” who doesn’t want “a crazy extremist to be the nominee”?

This is someone Republican presidential candidates must appease, if they don’t want tens of millions in attack ads run against them?

This is someone the Republican presidential hopefuls must hearken to now?

Again, so it would seem.

During his talk before the few dozen members of the RJC, Gov. Chris Christie recounted his recent trip to Israel: “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories” and came “to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

Christie’s effort at bonding boomeranged. An angry Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America confronted Christie to demand that he explain just what he meant by “occupied territories.”

For half a century, the United States has considered the West Bank occupied land where Israeli settlements are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Whatever Christie’s response, it did not satisfy the ZOA or Klein who declared: “Either [Christie] doesn’t understand the issue, or he’s hostile to Israel.”

Whereupon Christie, in a private audience with Adelson, apologized.

A source close to Adelson told Politico that Christie made clear “that he misspoke when he referred to the ‘occupied territories.’ And he conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”

The governor is a tough guy, but this sounds like groveling.

Is this what Republican presidential candidates must do now?

Kowtow to this fattest of fat cats who wants to buy himself an American war on Iran?

Is that what has become of the party of Reagan?