RUSSERT: "You know someone named Richard
BUCHANAN: "Richard Quinn is the campaign manager for John
McCain down in South Carolina."
"And Pat Robertson and Ronald Reagan, but he has a magazine
called Southern Partisan."
"He does indeed."
"And you're a senior adviser."
"I am an honorary editor, or something like that."
"Well, here, I'll show you on the screen from this
is their Web site."
"You can pull it up right now. Richard Quinn, Southern
" ... meet the staff. Senior adviser: Patrick J. Buchanan.
Do you know what he writes in his magazine and many people
contribute to his magazine?"
"I read Southern Partisan. And in my judgment, it's
a good magazine, it's a fine magazine. And I have seen quotes
from it that were thrown up to Senator McCain that he disagrees
with and I would disagree with, just as I imagine editors
of the New York Times would disagree with those ads
in the New York Times from the head of North Korea
praising the Communist regime."
"But Southern Partisan magazine also sold different
goods to people across the country. Had a catalog which
they urged their readers to buy, so it would help support
the magazine. This is one T-shirt they sold. It's Abraham
Lincoln. You recognize Sic Semper Tyrannis. It's
what John Wilkes Booth said when he assassinated the president."
"I think that's the motto of the state of Virginia, too.
I'm not sure." [Editor's note: Pat
had it right.]
"Well, let me show you some bumper stickers here..."
"... and give you a sense of what else they were selling.
'If I had known this, I would have picked my own cotton.'
'Stop a riot, buy a gun.' 'Clinton's military, a gay at
every porthole, a fag in every foxhole.' That's intemperate
language, at least, Mr. Buchanan."
"Oh, it's more than intemperate. It's very nasty and it's
very crude. It's John
Rocker language, and we ought not to use it in public
"Why be associated with such a magazine?"
"… Look, let me tell you something, Tim. I'm honorary editor
of the Dartmouth
Review. Every two years, I usually get a call from
the New York Times. They say, "Are you an editor
of the Dartmouth Review?" You know what I do? I slam
down the phone, call up my friend [Professor] Jeff[rey]
Hart, who's at Dartmouth, [and] I say, 'What did they do
right along, Russert, following a by-now-all-too-familiar
script, proceeded on to Bob
Jones University. His tone was curt, accusing: "You
mentioned to us that you went to Bob Jones University and
spoke." Pat's proud answer: "Twice." I very much hope that
Ashcroft can stand up to this kind of withering, relentless
interrogation, which is like something out of the Moscow
Trials, but somehow I doubt he will acquit himself as well
as Pat did.
on in that same interview, Russert cited Buchanan's "brothers
on the right, William Bennett, William Safire, William F.
Buckley, George Will" who "have all used very similar terms
to describe you [as] fascist or anti-Semitic." These alleged
conservatives turned on Buchanan when he dared challenge
the old cold war conservative orthodoxy and called for a
noninterventionist foreign policy: they gladly joined in
the left-wing assault on Buchanan, and gleefully echoed
the charge of the Left: that Buchanan is a racist homophobic
hate-monger. But Ashcroft, on matters of domestic policy
at any rate, is closer to Buchanan than he is to Bill Bennett,
and I would go so far as to say that there isn't a dime's
worth of difference between PJB and Bush's would-be AG.
The same interest groups that targeted Buchanan now have
Ashcroft in their sights: the black mis-leadership, the
gays, the militant atheists, the feminists, and the professional
"extremist"-hunters made into instant "experts" by the liberal
media, such as Morris
Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Chip
Berlet of Political Research Associates. Now that the
same methods and even the same recycled "evidence"
are being used against the Bush administration's
appointees, the conservative defenders of Ashcroft are effectively
disarmed. This is why Team Bush has been thrown on the defensive
even before Inauguration Day.
quit your crying, Bill Bennett, and stop whining about the
"unfairness" of the slime now being slung at Ashcroft and
at poor Gale
Norton she, too, it appears, has committed
the hate crime of mentioning the Confederacy without
pronouncing it anathema to all that's good and decent. You
haven't got a leg to stand on, Bill, because you practically
invented this kind of unfairness. You and your neoconservative
buddies thought you could ally with the Left to purge the
conservative movement, maligning
your opponents on the right as little short of neo-Nazis
on the basis of the flimsiest
"evidence" and flat-out
lies, taking quotes out of context, and indulging in
the basest sort of guilt-by-association. You didn't just
remain silent while this lynching was going on, you enthusiastically
cooperated with the Left, egging on and loudly echoing the
same interest groups that are now out for Ashcroft's scalp.
Get off it, Bill, you guys pioneered this kind of
stuff, and now in a remarkable demonstration of the
Hindu concept of karma the shit is blowing
right back in your faces.
OF THE FOUR BILLS
Democrats are following a strategy identical to the one
pursued by Tony Blair and New Labor in Merrie Olde England:
as Antiwar.com columnist Emmanuel
Goldstein has pointed out, the Blair method has been
to smear his opponents as "extremists" and "racists" who
are politically beyond the pale. In a 1999 speech to his
Labor comrades, Blair defined the strategic objective of
his party as an effort to "sweep away those forces of conservatism
to set the people free." Part of this sweeping away process
is to delegitimize anyone and everyone to your right as
"extreme". "The forces of conservatism allied to racism
are why one of the heroes of the 20th century,
Martin Luther King, is dead," declaimed Blair, to thunderous
applause. The Blair strategy might be summed up as the implementation
of the Three D's: delegitimize, demonize, and destroy, That
is what is happening in American politics today, and it
didn't start with John Ashcroft. The neocons
paid a high price for the attempted destruction of Pat Buchanan
unilateral disarmament in the face of a relentless
smear attack. Too bad a nice guy like Ashcroft has to be
sacrificed for the sins of the four Bills Bennett,
Kristol, Safire, and Buckley but if his nomination
comes out of this alive it will be no thanks to them.
BED OF PROCRUSTES
lesson here, paraphrasing
Father Martin Niemoller, is this: "First they came for
the Buchananites, but I did nothing because I'm not a Buchananite.
Then they came for the Christian Coalition, but I did nothing
because I'm not a Christian. Then they came for the pro-lifers,
but I did nothing because I'm a libertarian conservative.
Finally, they came for me, but by then there was no one
left to help me." In short, Bill, what goes around, comes
around. You made Ashcroft's procrustean
bed and now every conservative who aspires to
office, elected or appointed, has to sleep in it.
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