Last week, many conservative pundits and bloggers criticized Pat Buchanan for calling Israel’s military actions against Hezbollah “un-Christian.” John Podhoretz called the one-time Nixon aide’s comments “anti-Semitism” while the more diplomatic Glenn Reynolds declined to say what he’d “call Pat Buchanan.”
Although Buchanan still styles himself a conservative, in the years since working for the greatest Republican president of the last century, has turned from nearly every cause his one-time boss championed, including the Gipper’s strong support for Israel.
While there was a time when a number of prominent American conservatives opposed U.S. support for Israel, today, nearly every sensible conservative stands with the Jewish State. And this not merely due to the decline of anti-Semitism on the Right. Today, serious conservatives recognize that, in fighting Hezbollah, Israel is defending Western Civilization against terrorism. These conservatives see Israel’s battle as one front in the War on Terror.
Perhaps, were Mr. Buchanan not obsessed with Jews (as he is with gays), he would understand that Lebanese Christians (many Catholic like he) are also eager to see Hezbollah defeated.
I would say that Pat Buchanan represents the last of the conservative anti-Semites. Except that in 1992, Pat Buchanan made clear that he was no longer a Reagan conservative. As you may recall, in his celebrated speech to the Republican National Convention that summer, not only did he make angry statements, but he spoke far longer than the time allotted to him, thus, delaying the speech of the man who was to speak later that evening, a man whose ideas Buchanan once claimed to have championed — Ronald Wilson Reagan.
By going over his time limit, Pat Buchanan bumped that great American’s speech out of prime time. It would be Ronald Reagan’s last address to a Republican National Convention. Any true Republican, knowing that he was speaking before Ronald Reagan, would, instead of extending his remarks (as Buchanan did), have cut them short, out of respect for the then-octogenarian Gipper. And acknowledged how humbled he was to be on the same platform as that great man.
But, apparently indifferent to delaying Reagan’s speech, Buchanan, in his arrogance, rambled on and on, his angry remarks hurting his party. On that day in 1992, Pat Buchanan, in deed if not in word, abandoned contemporary conservatism and cast his lot with those on the extreme fringe, his hateful words contrasting so clearly with Ronald Reagan’s optimistic vision.
So, this month, when Pat Buchanan criticizes Israel, he does so not as a representative of contemporary American conservatism, but of a conservatism long past, whose reactionary attitudes were melted away by the velveteen voice of Ronald Wilson Reagan — and that good man’s appeal to our best hopes and the noble ideals on which this great nation was built.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS!!! And I don’t dispute Glenn’s apellation for Buchanan.