Pat Buchanan’s White House Battles

President Richard M. Nixon

By James Rosen at The National Interest…

“I DID not understand then, nor do I now, why we did what we did,” writes Patrick J. Buchanan towards the end of Nixon’s White House Wars, the second of two volumes chronicling the decade he spent with the thirty-seventh president as a speechwriter, political adviser and confidant.

In this instance, Buchanan was referencing a tactical blunder committed during Watergate, the denouement of the Nixon presidency. But the author—a pugnacious visionary who believed conservatives could recast the electoral map by peeling off key constituencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition—could just as easily have been summarizing Richard Nixon’s five and a half years in the Oval Office, which repeatedly found Buchanan baffled by the steady leftward drift of a president he knew to be instinctually conservative. “Why we were doing this,” the author complains ninety-three pages earlier, about something else, “I did not know.”

Time and again, as Nixon and his men deliberated the conduct of the Vietnam War and the threats posed by the radical Left, school desegregation and affirmative-action programs, Supreme Court nominations and Great Society funding, Buchanan struggled to understand why the Nixon he knew intimately from 1965 onward, the wily politician whose worldview aligned so squarely with the “Silent Majority” of Americans—a phrase Buchanan himself had coined—had embraced the policy prescriptions of his political opponents.

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“Why did the conservatives, who had so influenced the policy positions that Nixon had adopted during his comeback, fail to play a comparable role in the transition and the administration?” Buchanan asks. At one point, he even plaintively wonders The Greatest Comebackwhether the president and his key aides—principally, Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and domestic policy adviser John Ehrlichman—entertained an “inherent suicidal tendency or death wish.”

This lamentation, exposing the inner workings of the “troubled marriage” between Richard Nixon and conservatism and drawing on a thousand memoranda Buchanan exchanged with the president, many previously unpublished, provides the chief value of Buchanan’s book. Witty and well documented, rich with insights into Nixon, the nation and a cast of colorful characters—from Henry Kissinger to Hunter S. Thompson, Ronald Reagan to Coretta Scott King—White House Wars succeeds simultaneously as history and autobiography, polemic and portraiture, elegy and entertainment. In this and the first installment of his Nixon memoirs, The Greatest Comeback, which chronicled Nixon’s wilderness years and capturing of the presidency in 1968, Buchanan has made an indispensable contribution to the literature of Cold War America.

BUCHANAN’S CONFLICT endures to this day. His dismay over Nixon’s liberal domestic policy is tempered by a reflexive impulse to defend the man, both because he had all the right enemies—virtually all of academia, the news media, and the civil- and foreign-service bureaucracies—and because Nixon was subjected, across three decades on the national stage, to an unrelenting double standard. (Case in point: the same New York Times that in 1962 denounced publication of Cuban Missile Crisis secrets, to preserve “the integrity of the National Security Council,” could, by 1971, when Nixon and Kissinger were running the NSC, spend three months grooming the Pentagon Papers for publication.) Thus, Buchanan today can praise Nixon’s “willingness to set aside political differences and past battles and cross party lines to select the best to serve the nation” while deploring the fact that “there was not an ideological conservative among Nixon’s West Wing assistants or Cabinet officers.”

The nadir of Buchanan’s disaffection was Nixon’s historic trip to China in February 1972. Traveling on Air Force One back from Shanghai, Buchanan read the communiqué drafted, on the U.S. side, by Kissinger, and instantly became “angry, disgusted, and ashamed.” “I was ill,” he writes, over the “sellout of Taiwan.” There in the aisle a shouting match ensued. “Bullshit!” Buchanan screamed at the national security adviser…

Read much more at: The National Interest…

Will Hillary Ditch Black Lives Matter?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After the massacre of five Dallas cops, during a protest of police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, President Obama said, “America is not as divided as some have suggested.”

Former D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, an African-American, says we are “sitting on a powder keg.”

Put me down as agreeing with the president. For when a real powder keg blew in the ’60s, I was there. And this is not it.

In 1965, the Watts area of Los Angeles exploded in the worst racial violence since the New York draft riot of 1863 when Lincoln had to send in veterans of Gettysburg. After six days of looting, shooting and arson in LA, there were 34 dead, 1,000 injured, 4,000 arrested.

In 1967, Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit exploded, bringing out not only the Guard but the 82nd Airborne. After Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, a hundred American cities burst into flame.

Troops defended the White House. Marines mounted machine guns on the Capitol steps. Thousands of soldiers patrolled the city. The 7th and 14th street corridors of my hometown, D.C., were gutted and would not be rebuilt for years. That was a powder keg — that went off.

But only crazed cop-haters applaud that Dallas atrocity by the delusional anti-white racist Micah X. Johnson. As for the shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, almost all agree they must be investigated, and justice done.

Chief Ramsey says he expects trouble at the conventions. But if Black Lives Matter shows up to raise hell in Cleveland, then that is going to be a problem for Hillary Clinton.

This writer was on the 19th floor of the “Comrade Hilton” in August 1968, looking down as Mayor Daley’s finest marched up Balbo to Michigan Avenue, then stormed into Grant Park to deliver street justice to the radicals calling them “pigs.”

“A police riot” liberals raged. The cops beat “our children” up.

Richard Nixon came down on the side of the cops, carried Illinois and won the election. Liberals were still calling “law and order” code words for racism. Most Americans had come to recognize they were the indispensable elements of a decent and civilized society.

“Richard Nixon,” lamented Hunter S. Thompson, “is living in the White House today because of what happened that night in Chicago.”

This weekend, Rudy Giuliani called Black Lives Matter “inherently racist.” Does he not have a point?

After the death of Eric Garner in a police takedown, Black Lives Matter led mobs onto the streets and highways of Manhattan chanting, “What do we Want? Dead Cops! When do we want them? Now!”

In anti-police demonstrations since, another chant has been, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”

This is pure hatred, and as it is directed against white cops, racist.

Obama should tell Black Lives Matter to stop the hate. But though he has shown no reluctance to lecture white America, he has rarely shown the same stern judgment with black America.

Now there is no denying that urban black communities are among the most heavily policed. Why? As Heather Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops,” writes of a city she knows well:

“Black people make up 23 percent of New York’s population, but they commit 75 percent of all shootings. … Whites are 33 percent of the city’s population, but they commit fewer than 2 percent of all shootings…

“These disparities mean that virtually every time that police in New York are called out after a shooting, they are being summoned into minority neighborhoods looking for minority suspects.”

As these percentages are unlikely to change, we are going to have more collisions between black males and white cops. Some will end in the shooting of black criminals and suspects and, on occasion, innocent black men. Some are going to result in the death of cops.

Mistakes are going to be made, and tragedies occur, as with the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, killed in Cleveland while waving a toy pistol.

But if there is to be a social explosion every time an incident occurs, like the deaths of Trayvon Martin, shot while beating a neighborhood watch coordinator, and Michael Brown, shot in Ferguson after trying to grab a cop’s gun, America is going to be permanently polarized.

And there is no doubt where the majority will come down, and who will be the near-term beneficiary.

Monday, Donald Trump declared himself “the law and order candidate,” and added: “America’s police … are what separates civilization from total chaos and destruction of our country as we know it.”

And Clinton? On Friday, she said, “I’m going to be talking to white people. I think we’re the ones who have to start listening.”

Prediction: If Black Lives Matter does not clean up its act, Obama and Clinton will have to throw this crowd over the side, or the BLM will take her down.

Brownshirts & Republican Wimps

Brownshirts & Republican Wimps

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Friday evening’s Donald Trump rally in Chicago was broken up by a foul-mouthed mob that infiltrated the hall and forced the cancelation of the event to prevent violence and bloodshed.

Brownshirt tactics worked. The mob, triumphant, rejoiced.

And the reaction of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich?

All three Republican rivals blamed — Donald Trump.

With his “dangerous style of leadership,” Trump stokes this anger, mewed Rubio, “This is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of bitterness and anger and frustration.”

Rubio implies that if Trump doesn’t tone down his remarks to pacify the rabble, he will be responsible for the violence visited upon him.

Kasich echoed Rubio: “Donald Trump has created a toxic environment (that) has allowed his supporters and those who sometimes seek confrontation to come together in violence.”

But were the thousands of Trump supporters who came out to cheer him that night really looking for a fight? Or were they exercising their right of peaceful assembly?

Cruz charged Trump with “creating an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord,” thus offering absolution to the mob.

Friday night cried out for moral clarity. What we got from Trump’s rivals was moral mush that called to mind JFK’s favorite quote from Dante: The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.

As news outlets have reported, Friday’s disruption at the University of Illinois-Chicago auditorium was a preplanned assault.

Behind it were the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Hispanics hoisting Mexican flags and cop-haters carrying filthy signs to show their contempt for police.

People for Bernie, a pro-Sanders outfit, tweeted, “[This] wasn’t just luck. It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull off. Great work.”

Now, Sanders did not order this assault on the civil rights of Trump supporters. But MoveOn.org has endorsed him and “Bernie” signs and T-shirts were everywhere among the disrupters. Hence, he has a duty to disavow this conduct and those who engaged in it.

If Sanders refuses, he condones it, and is morally complicit.

Can one imagine how the media would pile on Trump if working-class white males in Trump T-shirts invaded a Hillary Clinton rally and shut it down?

Can one imagine how the networks and cable TV channels that host town halls with the candidates would react if hell-raisers snuck into their audiences and shouted obscenities during discussions?

The keening over the First Amendment would not cease for weeks.

Some of us have been here before, and know how this ends.

When the urban riots broke out in the ’60s, Hubert Humphrey declared that, if he lived in a ghetto, “I could lead a pretty good riot myself.”

At his 1968 convention in Chicago, radicals baited and provoked the cops in the front of the Conrad Hilton, and as this writer watched, their patience exhausted after days of abuse, Chicago’s finest tore into the mob and delivered some street justice.

“Richard Nixon,” wrote Hunter S. Thompson, “is living in the White House today because of what happened that night in Chicago.”

Hunter got that one right.

That fall, Humphrey was daily assailed by the kinds of haters now disrupting Trump rallies. Everywhere he went, they chanted, “Dump the Hump!” At times, Humphrey came close to tears.

That fall, Humphrey realized the monster he helped nurture.

My tormentors, he said, are “not just hecklers, but highly disciplined, well-organized agitators … some of them are anarchists, and some of these groups are destroying the Democratic Party and destroying this country.”

In 1970, when President Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia to clean out Viet Cong sanctuaries, and students rioted, Ronald Reagan called them “cowardly fascists,” and declared, “If there’s going to be a bloodbath, let it begin here.”

Not much Cruz-Rubio-Kasich equivocating there.

When radicals stomped down Wall Street desecrating Old Glory, construction workers came down from the building sites they were working and whaled on them.

Union president Peter J. Brennan was soon in the Oval Office — and in Nixon’s Cabinet. “Secretary Bunker,” we called him.

Prediction. Given their “victory” in Chicago, MoveOn.org and its allied nasties will try to replicate it, again and again. And as Americans came to despise the ’60s radicals, they will come to despise them.

And, as in the 1960s, the country will take a turn — to the right.

America has changed from the land we grew up in. But she is not yet ready to allow ugly mobs screaming obscenities at Trump and his folks inside and outside that hall in Chicago, or their paragons like socialist senator Bernie Sanders, to take over the country.

Those raising hell in the street in Chicago and that convention hall are unfit to be citizens of this democratic republic.

For as Edmund Burke reminded us, “Men of intemperate minds can never be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”