So Rachel Maddow, bless her, allowed Pat Buchanan to display some of his true
ETA 7/20: and now Maddow has a follow-up post-mortem of that discussion, correcting some of his erm creative "facts."
As per the level of his sheer paleolithic racism, the only surprise is why anyone is surprised. Here's a sampling of Unca Pat's most shining moments over the years, okay:
After Sen. Carol Moseley Braun blocked a federal patent for a Confederate flag insignia, Buchanan wrote that she was "putting on an act" by associating the Confederacy with slavery: "The War Between the States was about independence, about self-determination, about the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance," Buchanan asserted. "How long is this endless groveling before every cry of 'racism' going to continue before the whole country collectively throws up?" (syndicated column, 7/28/93)
On race relations in the late 1940s and early 1950s: "There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The 'negroes' of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours." (Right from the Beginning, Buchanan's 1988 autobiography, p. 131)
Buchanan, who opposed virtually every civil rights law and court decision of the last 30 years, published FBI smears of Martin Luther King Jr. as his own editorials in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in the mid-1960s. "We were among Hoover's conduits to the American people," he boasted (Right from the Beginning, p. 283).
...In a memo to President Nixon, Buchanan suggested that "integration of blacks and whites -- but even more so, poor and well-to-do -- is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable." (Washington Post, 1/5/92)
...In a column sympathetic to ex-Klansman David Duke, Buchanan chided the Republican Party for overreacting to Duke and his Nazi "costume": "Take a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles, [such as] reverse discrimination against white folks." (syndicated column, 2/25/89)
Trying to justify apartheid in South Africa, he denounced the notion that "white rule of a black majority is inherently wrong. Where did we get that idea? The Founding Fathers did not believe this." (syndicated column, 2/7/90) He referred admiringly to the apartheid regime as the "Boer Republic": "Why are Americans collaborating in a U.N. conspiracy to ruin her with sanctions?" (syndicated column, 9/17/89)
...In a 1977 column, Buchanan said that despite Hitler's anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was "an individual of great courage.... Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path." (Guardian, 1/14/92) ...
...and so on.
Oh yeah, about that earnest fist pumping for the white working class:
Given his attacks on scapegoated minorities, his sympathy for fascist heroes like Francisco Franco and his striking distaste for democracy as a system of government--he once described "democratism" as an idolatry that "substitutes a false god for the real, a love of process for a love of country" (Patrick J. Buchanan: From the Right newsletter, Spring/90)--Buchanan could justifiably be seen as a descendant of the political tradition of fascism. But that's not a term that was often applied to Buchanan: While supporters frequently complained about people labeling Buchanan a "fascist," no prominent commentator seems to have actually done so.
Instead, the political philosophy that Buchanan was most often associated with was "populism"--a designation that uncritically accepts Buchanan's self-portrayal as the friend of the working class....
On examination, Buchanan's "populist" agenda doesn't go much beyond "It's the Mexicans, stupid." ...
While his economic nationalism and ties to trade- threatened industrialists like Milliken may lead him to oppose trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT, Buchanan has done little to demonstrate any real concern for workers themselves. In fact, back when he was a regular host of CNN's Crossfire, Buchanan used to argue that it was high union wages, not trade pacts, that were weakening U.S. industry (Crossfire, 7/3/91).
As Crossfire co-host (7/3/91), Buchanan vehemently opposed workers' right to strike. "Listen, the job does not belong to the guy who walks out of it," he argued. On the same show he celebrated the 1981 firing of the striking air traffic control workers, gloating that "Ronald Reagan's approval rating soared."
Of course, even if Buchanan did support a broad economic program that would benefit workers, his bigotry would disqualify him as a true representative of all the people. But many of the same elite media who were utterly distressed at the idea that someone like Buchanan might lead a major party seemed quite happy to let him play the role of the leading workers' spokesperson. In many ways, Patrick Buchanan is the perfect "populist" for the corporate press: a charismatic reactionary who channels workers' grievances into the dead end of xenophobia and scapegoating.
There is, of course, a term for this kind of extreme right-wing appeal to the white lumpenproletariat via nationalism and racist scapegoating; and, despite fatuous asses like Jonah Goldberg attempting to Humpty Dumpty the term, it still makes a lot more sense to apply it to a man who praises Franco and apologizes for Nazi war criminals and Klan leaders than to any liberal:
Attacking what he considers the "democratist temptation, the worship of democracy as a form of governance," Buchanan commented: "Like all idolatries, democratism substitutes a false god for the real, a love of process for a love of country." (Patrick J. Buchanan: From the Right, newsletter, Spring/90)
In a January, 1991 column, Buchanan suggested that "quasi-dictatorial rule" might be the solution to the problems of big municipalities and the federal fiscal crisis: "If the people are corrupt, the more democracy, the worse the government." (Washington Times, 1/9/91) He has written disparagingly of the "one man, one vote Earl Warren system."
...Buchanan, shortly before he announced he was running for president in 1995: "You just wait until 1996, then you'll see a real right-wing tyrant." (The Nation, 6/26/95)
So, he didn't make it as a presidential contender. Instead, he's got a comfy position on MSNBC, influential as he's been for at least the past 30 years or so. Lovable old Unca Pat. Yeah. By the way, here's one of several online petitions for MSNBC to at least stop paying him and giving him a soapbox.
ETA: All About Race does a quick debunk of some of Pat's more risible claims from the Maddow clip.
Meanwhile, on the same day Maddow lets him display himself in all his paleolithic but ultimately impotent (at least as regards opposing Sotomayor's inevitable confirmation) splendor in front of a mass audience, the nation's first black president addresses the NAACP:
As Obama noted, there's still work to be done. And no, Obama himself is far from perfect. Still, it is worth looking at the two videos side by side if one needs a reminder of...perspective.