VIDEO: Pat Buchanan on President Trump and the Latest Controversies

EWTN – Raymond Arroyo
Patrick J. Buchanan, political commentator and bestselling author joins us to give us his take on the Trump Administration and the ongoing controversies it is facing in the wake of the firing of FBI director James Comey, and his latest book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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After the Confederates, Who’s Next?

After the Confederates, Who's Next?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 1, 1864, Union forces under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, victorious at Jonesborough, burned Atlanta and began the March to the Sea where Sherman’s troops looted and pillaged farms and towns all along the 300-mile road to Savannah.

Captured in the Confederate defeat at Jonesborough was William Martin Buchanan of Okolona, Mississippi, who was transferred by rail to the Union POW stockade at Camp Douglas, Illinois.

By the standards of modernity, my great-grandfather, fighting to prevent the torching of Georgia’s capital, was engaged in a criminal and immoral cause. And “Uncle Billy” Sherman was a liberator.

Under President Grant, Sherman took command of the Union army and ordered Gen. Philip Sheridan, who had burned the Shenandoah Valley to starve Virginia into submission, to corral the Plains Indians on reservations.

It is in dispute as to whether Sheridan said, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” There is no dispute as to the contempt Sheridan had for the Indians, killing their buffalo to deprive them of food.

Today, great statues stand in the nation’s capital, along with a Sherman and a Sheridan circle, to honor these most ruthless of generals in that bloodiest of wars that cost 620,000 American lives.

Yet, across the South and even in border states like Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, one may find statues of Confederate soldiers in town squares to honor the valor and sacrifices of the Southern men and boys who fought and fell in the Lost Cause.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, President McKinley, who as a teenage soldier had fought against “Stonewall” Jackson in the Shenandoah and been at Antietam, bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, removed his hat and stood for the singing of “Dixie,” as Southern volunteers and former Confederate soldiers paraded through Atlanta to fight for their united country. My grandfather was in that army.

For a century, Americans lived comfortably with the honoring, North and South, of the men who fought on both sides.

But today’s America is not the magnanimous country we grew up in.

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Since the ’60s, there has arisen an ideology that holds that the Confederacy was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany and those who fought under its battle flag should be regarded as traitors or worse.

Thus, in New Orleans, statues of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and General Robert E. Lee were just pulled down. And a drive is underway to take down the statue of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and president of the United States, which stands in Jackson Square.

Why? Old Hickory was a slave owner and Indian fighter who used his presidential power to transfer the Indians of Georgia out to the Oklahoma Territory in a tragedy known as the Trail of Tears.

But if Jackson, and James K. Polk, who added the Southwest and California to the United States after the Mexican-American War, were slave owners, so, too, were four of our first five presidents.

The list includes the father of our country, George Washington, the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, and the author of our Constitution, James Madison.

Not only are the likenesses of Washington and Jefferson carved on Mount Rushmore, the two Virginians are honored with two of the most magnificent monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C.

Behind this remorseless drive to blast the greatest names from America’s past off public buildings, and to tear down their statues and monuments, is an egalitarian extremism rooted in envy and hate.

Among its core convictions is that spreading Christianity was a cover story for rapacious Europeans who, after discovering America, came in masses to dispossess and exterminate native peoples. “The white race,” wrote Susan Sontag, “is the cancer of human history.”

Today, the men we were taught to revere as the great captains, explorers, missionaries and nation-builders are seen by many as part of a racist, imperialist, genocidal enterprise, wicked men who betrayed and eradicated the peace-loving natives who had welcomed them.

What they blindly refuse to see is that while its sins are scarlet, as are those of all civilizations, it is the achievements of the West that are unrivaled. The West ended slavery. Christianity and the West gave birth to the idea of inalienable human rights.

As scholar Charles Murray has written, 97 percent of the world’s most significant figures and 97 percent of the world’s greatest achievements in the arts, architecture, literature, astrology, biology, earth sciences, physics, medicine, mathematics and technology came from the West.

What is disheartening is not that there are haters of our civilization out there, but that there seem to be fewer defenders.

Of these icon-smashers it may be said: Like ISIS and Boko Haram, they can tear down statues, but these people could never build a country.

What happens, one wonders, when these Philistines discover that the seated figure in the statue, right in front of D.C.’s Union Station, is the High Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus?

Happy Memorial Day!

VIDEO: 1978 Buchanan, Reagan, Buckley, Debate the Panama Canal Treaty

PJB 1978 Firing Line Debate

Firing Line Debate: Guests: James Burnham, George F. Will, Elmo R. Zumwalt, Ronald Reagan, Patrick J. Buchanan, Roger W. Fontaine, John S. McCain, and Ellsworth Bunker

NOTE: See video below. Pat is introduced at timeline: 46 min / 14 sec and debates Buckley at 19 min / 24 sec.

Also see this excellent 2016 column: Crisis of the Conservative Intellectual – How populism displaced conservatism in the Republican Party by Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon.

“…The debate was between two teams of four. Reagan led the opposition. Alongside him were journalist and presidential aide Patrick J. Buchanan, Latin America specialist Roger Fontaine, and Admiral John McCain Jr. Buckley argued pro. His teammates were National Review senior editor James Burnham, syndicated columnist George F. Will, and Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. Former senator Sam Ervin was the judge.

Within seconds you will be struck at the level of discourse between the future president and his interlocutors. The repartee is spirited, intelligent, respectful, detailed, and humorous. It is hard to imagine a similar intra-conservative dialogue being held today.

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And yet, at some level, a replay of the controversy over the Panama Canal Treaty is exactly what the American right has been experiencing over the last 16 months. The conservative movement is divided over the question of Donald Trump, over his suitability for office, over the issues of nationalism, illegal immigration, criminality, corruption, and elitism he has raised in his campaign. The terms of and parties to this dispute are remarkably similar to those in the debate almost 40 years ago. In some cases they are the very same people. The antagonism between the populism of Buchanan and the conservatism of National Review is remarkably persistent.

What makes that episode of Firing Line significant in retrospect is how it threw into high relief the differences between Buckley and the so-called New Right…

It is noteworthy, for example, that Reagan sided with Buchanan and the populists in the debate over the Panama Canal. If he hadn’t done so he would have alienated an increasingly important Republican constituency….

The alliance between a popular U.S. president and a burgeoning social movement benefited both parties. Support for Reagan legitimized the New Right inside the Republican Party and among the other factions of the movement such as the Buckleyites and neocons.

Once again, however, the goodwill was short lived. The first President Bush was the literal offspring of the Eastern Establishment so detested by the New Right. His embrace of a “New World Order” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, his overseas interventions, his support for free trade, his tax increases, and his environmental and disability regulations alienated Viguerie, Weyrich, Phillips, Buchanan, and their associates, followers, political action committees, foundations, and think tanks. Buchanan ran for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996… Read more at the Washington Free Beacon

VIDEO: Tom Woods: I Couldn’t Stop Reading This Thing!

Pat Buchanans Inside Story of the Nixon Years

Tom Woods – Tom Woods Podcast

When Pat Buchanan was barely 30 years old, a U.S. president would regularly ask, “What does Buchanan think about this?” Pat shares some interesting stories of his years inside the Nixon White House.

“Pat, you know I do the show five days a week and I have a lot of books to read but I can’t read them all. I have to use the press materials, but yours, and I blame you for this, I’ve been up night after night far too late and groggy the next day because I couldn’t stop reading this thing! Well I cannot imagine how exhilarating Pat Buchanan’s life must have been from the mid 60’s up to the early 70s but also extremely exhausting. Can you start by describing what your role and relationship with Nixon was like once you entered the White House…”

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Before Bannon, There Was Buchanan

By Eleanor Clift – The Daily Beast

The old keeper of the GOP’s American First flame considers the man carrying that torch today.

A conservative firebrand, Pat Buchanan worked in the Nixon and Reagan White Houses, filling a role much like the one that Steve Bannon is in today.

They’re the true believers, the keepers of the flame. Two pugilistic Irish Catholics with radical and often objectionable ideas that drive establishment Republicans up the wall.

“I never met the fellow,” Buchanan said when I floated the idea of comparing him to Bannon, the populist avatar in the Trump White House. “We come from different backgrounds and experiences,” he said, perhaps alluding to Bannon’s stint in Hollywood and his messy personal life. But then Buchanan relented, giving the go-ahead to “analogizing his situation to mine in the early seventies, sure.”

Buchanan understood the changing pulse of America, what he called “the silent majority,” when he helped Richard Nixon rebuild his political career after a devastating loss to John F. Kennedy. Once inside the White House, as Nixon’s speechwriter and top advisor, Buchanan had a direct line to the president.

“What do they want now, Buchanan?” Nixon would say when faced with complaints from conservatives. “He (Nixon) said there’s a rule in politics: You give the nuts 20 percent of what they want. I left the room thinking I was one of the 20 percent,” Buchanan says with a laugh.

Nixon relied on Buchanan’s rhetorical firepower to light up the base just as President Trump keeps Bannon close by in the West Wing to keep the Goldman Sachs alumnae at bay and to keep alive the anti-globalization economic nationalism that got him elected.

After a period of media speculation last month that Bannon was on the way out, a casualty of the New York globalists in the West Wing, Bannon has had his resurgence and is evidently back in the good graces of his mercurial boss.

Trump’s 100-day rally in Harrisburg, Penn. was vintage Bannon, hammering hard on the Washington elites and doubling down on jobs and trade and his promise to build a wall on the Mexican border. “They’re doing the right thing keeping Bannon there because he understands the full range of issues, and it’s not just populism—it’s trade and immigration and staying out of foreign wars,” Buchanan says.

Buchanan’s big concern now? “Don’t get us into another war. That’s my real apprehension,” he told the Daily Beast. “A major war would consume the Trump administration, just as it did (George W.) Bush.”

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Nixon was a progressive Republican who looked to Buchanan to navigate the new political reality of Goldwater conservatism taking over the GOP, and the country moving right, with segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace getting up to 21 percent in the polls. Anti-war protesters battled the police and “America love it or leave it” workers in hard hats, exposing a cultural divide in urban America that Buchanan turned into political gold much the way Donald Trump found his sweet spot in blue-collar rural America.

Bringing working class Northern Catholics together with Southern Protestants on a racially charged law-and-order, message carried Nixon to a 49-state reelection victory in 1972 with over 60 percent of the vote. Hard to believe today, but “Tricky Dick” was one of our most popular presidents.

Buchanan dealt with Nixon principally thru memos, all of which he has squirreled away in the basement of his McLean, Virginia home, and which form the basis of his new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars,” in which he repeats his oft-stated belief that, “The Watergate break-in was Mickey Mouse. If he (Nixon) had handled it correctly, he would have rolled right through it.”

There was illegal activity, though, and Nixon didn’t tell the truth about what he knew and, of course, he taped himself. The week before Alexander Butterfield, a White House aide, testified about the existence of the taping system, “I sent him (Nixon) a memo telling him to burn the tapes. Burn them and fire (Special Prosecutor) Archibald Cox before he gets too big. There would have been a firestorm, but it would have been the last firestorm.” Nixon ran Buchanan’s advice by White House chief of staff Al Haig, who told him not to do it. It would have been obstruction of justice.

Today, Bannon is up against what Buchanan calls “Wall Street Journal conservatives. They’re not upset by trade and factories moving out of the country, and those are the things that really catch Middle America by the gut.” The Goldman Sachs alums, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law, “and Ivanka doesn’t look like an economic nationalist,” he adds with a laugh. Buchanan likes Wilbur Ross at Commerce’s hard line on trade, the issue he says elected Trump.

Buchanan was named White House Communications Director after Reagan’s landslide victory in 1984. “Reagan was one of us,” he says, a movement conservative, so the battles were mainly with a State Department headed by George Schultz, a traditionalist and an internationalist. “They were very against me, but I had the President with me,” he recalls.

The only time Reagan got upset with the media is if Human Events or the National Review criticized him, says Buchanan. “He always thought of himself as the great leader of the movement. It was real and natural.”

On Buchanan’s watch, Reagan made the cover of Fortune as the ideal chief executive, a master delegator. Soon after, the Iran-Contra scandal broke, undermining the magazine’s thesis and turning it into a punch line. “I never felt he was a great corporate executive, he was more of an inspirational leader—you get the guy below him to run things,” says Buchanan.

Buchanan left four months into the scandal as a new team headed by former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker took over in the White House. The political needs of a president evolve over time, but for now, Trump needs what Bannon brings, which is a visceral feel for the new politics popping all over the world. That’s what sold voters on Trump, and they’re still hanging onto his words.

These are the same America First issues Buchanan ran on in the nineties—border wall, immigration, and economic nationalism. “That’s what carried him through those industrial states, and if he changes, the old blue wall will be back,” says Buchanan. In the end, Trump has to deliver with factories coming back, jobs coming back, and new jobs in manufacturing—a re-industrialization of America, easy rhetorically and almost certain to prove impossible in reality.

Read more at The Daily Beast…

Patrick Buchanan Reveals Himself to Be the First Trumpist

Pat Buchanan

By Joe Klein – The New York Times

Patrick J. Buchanan is a merry troglodyte, a naughty provocateur. He still calls homosexuality “sodomy,” just to get the goat of a community he will only reluctantly call “gay.” He writes that he wanted to be named ambassador to South Africa by President Ford so he could support the apartheid government. He thinks public television is “an upholstered playpen” for liberals. He considers “The New York Times” an epithet. His stump appearances in his outlaw 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns were a guilty pleasure for the reporters who followed him, a hilariously clever, and prescient, exhibition of right-wing populism. “Buchanan,” Richard Nixon once told him, “you’re the only extremist I know with a sense of humor.”

Nixon's White House WarsAnd it is Buchanan, not Nixon, who emerges as the central — and most intriguing — character in “Nixon’s White House Wars,” an entertaining memoir of that benighted presidency. Buchanan’s Nixon is a familiar figure: distant, awkward, smart, defensive and damaged, caring a bit too much what the Establishment — a word Buchanan uses frequently — thinks of him. The not-so-tricky president is a policy moderate; he has surrounded himself with brilliant, if mainstream, experts like Henry Kissinger and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. There is also a retinue of traditional moderate Republican aides like Ray Price and Leonard Garment, and technocrats like H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Buchanan, the house wing nut, finds all this moderation frustrating; he began as a peripheral figure in the Nixon White House, a political gunslinger perhaps a bit too hot for the high-rent nuances of governance. Over time, however, Nixon realized that the “liberal establishment” was unwilling to cut him a break — even as he created the Environmental Protection Agency and maintained many Great Society programs — and a gunslinger could have his uses. Buchanan’s pen provided the ammunition for Vice President Spiro Agnew’s attacks on the media (which seem downright civilized compared with current presidential standards). But Nixon sensed that Buchanan was onto something much bigger than vitriol, a new grand strategy for the Republican Party, a new majority anchored by the white working class, not just in the South, but also in the Northern ethnic, mostly Catholic, enclaves. This philosophy has been the driving vision of Buchanan’s life. It has made him one of the most consequential conservatives of the past half-century. Indeed, he’s a reactionary who was also an avatar: the first Trumpist.

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Buchanan was born in Washington, D.C., in 1938, although his family’s roots are in Mississippi. He celebrates ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, but his most enduring loyalty is to the conservative Catholic Church of the 1950s — the church schools he attended, the Knights of Columbus, the Legion of Decency, Sodality and the Holy Name Society. His people are the white ethnic “unfashionable minorities,” as opposed to the “media minorities.” He was kicked out of Georgetown University for a year after a drunken fight with the Washington police: “I was ahead on points, until they brought out the sticks.” But he attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism — one of his few Eastern elitist credentials, which he used to become an editorial polemicist for the conservative St. Louis Globe-Democrat. He was astonished by the 1960s. Well-off draft dodgers offended him; the New York construction workers who beat up the protesters were his team. Teddy Kennedy’s ability to “survive” Chappaquiddick was a confirmation of Buchanan’s worldview. Nixon, he believed (correctly), would have been crucified if he’d done something similar. He and Nixon “were like working-class kids in an elite university who, caught smoking pot in the dorm, would be expelled and disgraced for life, while the legacy students would be confined to campus for the weekend.”

It was the “legacy” students in the C.I.A. and on John F. Kennedy’s staff who had started the war in Vietnam — and “legacy” students who opposed it; the children of Irish pipe fitters had to fight it. Despite the war’s provenance, Buchanan was an unabashed hawk who believed Vietnam was necessary to stem the tide of Communism. He continued to believe this even as Nixon proved that Communism wasn’t monolithic by embracing the Russians in détente and going to China — Buchanan was along for the Beijing trip, appalled. Still, Buchanan’s assessment of the impact of the defeat in Vietnam on American society has real power to it: “The American establishment that led us to victory in World War II … would never recover from Vietnam, never regain the confidence of the nation. For Vietnam was not an unwinnable war for a country that had reduced the Japanese empire to smoldering ruins in four years. … The simple truth is the American establishment lost the war in Vietnam because it lacked the will to win it.”

This is where Buchanan’s philosophy begins. The country that Nixon inherited in 1969 was “no longer one nation and one people, but a land divided by war and race and culture and politics.” The Establishment was feckless, guilt-driven, hypocritical. Buchanan saw school busing to achieve racial integration as a domestic Vietnam. It was social engineering imposed by a liberal judiciary upon white ethnic communities — the Irish, Italians, Poles — who had nothing to do with slavery. Once again, the rich kids weren’t drafted to ride the buses. Buchanan advised Nixon that the administration’s position should be: “outlawing all segregation, but not requiring racial balance.” This line extends to affirmative action, which he calls “racial injustice.” These are the opening battles of Buchanan’s culture war. His case is primal and compelling. These issues are not merely about tribal racial prejudices; they are about class.

Buchanan’s political calculus is that the “silent majority” is larger than the “fashionable minorities,” who include violent antiwar protesters — nearly five bombings a day in 1971-72! — racial agitators, limousine and lifestyle liberals. In fact, the only real weapon that the counterculturalists have is the elite media, which he described, in a memo to Nixon, as their true adversary: “The Nixon White House and the national liberal media are as cobra and mongoose.” Does any of this sound familiar?

Nixon won the 1972 election in a historic landslide, using Buchanan’s strategy, but lost the war. Buchanan was boggled by Watergate, which he considered stupid. Why bug the Democrats when Nixon’s new majority is about to win bigly? Somehow he managed to skate through the scandal, compartmentalized, kept out of the loop, but asked for cleanup advice — and famously told Nixon to “burn the tapes.”

It is easy to be horrified by Buchanan’s gleeful excesses, but that is the reaction he’s hoping to elicit. Humorless upper-crust liberalism is the fattest of targets. Beneath the vitriol, though, Buchanan has spent his career raising important questions that our society has never seemed willing to discuss forthrightly. What should be the limits of identity politics? In a democracy, should courts or legislatures decide basic policies like abortion, busing and campaign finance? Should we trade the higher prices that will come from protectionism for the increased stability that might come from keeping more blue-collar jobs at home? These are the issues that Buchanan has been thumping for the past 50 years, and that Donald Trump exploited in 2016. They cannot be dismissed. We are, for the moment, living in Pat Buchanan’s world.

Read more at The New York Times…

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…