Do Not Wait for Orders from Headquarters, Mount Up Everybody and Ride to the Sound of the Guns

Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, has a number of problems in her background. The guy she fired for not firing her ex-brother in law. The fact that she’s been governor of her state for less time than Kid Johnny Mac has been running for president. But the most serious problem for her — and for John McCain — is that she was a staunch supporter of Pat Buchanan’s 2000 presidential campaign.

palin.jpgThis was not Buchanan’s 1992 insurgent campaign against then-President George H.W. Bush, nor his bloodying 1996 campaign against then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan. No, this was Buchanan’s run as the National Socialist Worker’s Party Reform Party candidate, a fourth-party bid that, had history bounced a different way, could have cost Bush the election in 2000. Would that it had.

This is not a trifling problem. Buchanan ran in 2000 on a platform of ugly nativism, isolationism, and social conservatism. As Think Progress notes, Buchanan has come out against free trade, has stated outright that there is a culture war going on in the country, and has a…well, let’s just say it’s a complicated relationship with Judaism. And by complicated, I mean he’s a raving anti-Semitic Holocaust denier, a man who in 1990 said of Archbishop John Cardinal O’Connor:

If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O’Connor of New York seeks to soothe the always irate Elie Wiesel by reassuring him “there are many Catholics who are anti-Semitic”…he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith.

A man who in 1977 said of Adolf Hitler:

[A]n 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.

pat_buchanan.jpgBuchanan is a raving bigot, a homophobe, a sexist, a racist…pretty much everything Pat Buchanan’s for, I’m against, and vice versa, with the exception of the Iraq War — and even there, Buchanan opposes the war because he opposes all foreign entanglements of any kind.

And it is this man, this bigot, that Sarah Palin chose over George W. Bush in 2000, a man Palin chose to abandon her party for, because Bush was insufficiently conservative.

And so to Sarah Palin and John McCain, I have a simple question: why? Why did you support Pat Buchanan in 2000, despite his long history of bigotry and Antisemitism? Why did you support him, even though his positions were considered radical even by the Republican Party? Is Pat Buchanan who you are, Gov. Palin? And if not…well, why should we believe you?

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11 Responses to Do Not Wait for Orders from Headquarters, Mount Up Everybody and Ride to the Sound of the Guns

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    I do hope that she gets questioned hard on her Buchanan association — it seems to me that political commitments should be at least as important an issue as, say, who your minister is. This is something that can be legitimately held against her — and, because McCain chose her, against McCain.

    But I don’t agree that the quote about Hitler, in and of itself, proves anti-semitism. I’d like to see the entire context of the statement; but one could certainly believe that Hitler was politically couragious and brilliant and still believe him to have been an evil monster. Courage and brilliance are both morally indifferent traits, which can be used in service of good or evil.

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    Politico says that she supported Buchanan in 1996, providing as support a quote from Buchanan saying so. In 1999, she wore a Buchanan button, but nobody has produced anything more than that. She doesn’t ever appear to have made a financial contribution.

    I also don’t understand two of the three points you raise as being awful and damning of Buchanan’s 2000 run. He was against free trade; unless I’m badly mistaken, so are you guys. He says there’s a cultural conflict between people favoring the Judeo-Christian moral framework and people seeking a humanistic and non-God-centered framework; again, unless I’m mistaken, that would seem to be pretty much the way you see things.

    The anti-Jewish thing, I’ll grant you.

  3. 3
    RonF says:

    Amp:

    I’d like to see the entire context of the statement; but one could certainly believe that Hitler was politically courageous and brilliant and still believe him to have been an evil monster.

    In 1939, I believe, Adolf Hitler was named as “Man of the Year” by Time. People were outraged. IIRC, Time responded by saying something along the lines of “Love him or hate him, but his impact on the world was not equalled this year.”

  4. 4
    Thene says:

    Remember all the attempts to frame Obama as somehow a bad choice for American Jews? If we don’t hear some hard questions directed towards Palin, right now, I guess we’ve proved IOKIARDI. (Again).

  5. 5
    sylphhead says:

    I also don’t understand two of the three points you raise as being awful and damning of Buchanan’s 2000 run.

    Was 2000 before or after Buchanan’s brownshirt regime in the Reform Party? Because that is not hyperbole; Buchanan’s supporters actually physically stormed an RP convention to prevent another candidate from being nominated. He destroyed the Reform Party, and with it the only hope for a strong third party presence in contemporary America. (I like the Green Party, but there’s no question that their 2000 run was entirely due to Nader and not the party as such, as evidenced by the continuing support Nader gets in current polls even as an unaffiliated candidate. And the Libertarian Party is a joke.)

    As for free trade, I have more on that that I’ll get into when I find the time.

  6. 6
    Jeff Fecke says:

    That was during McCain’s Reform Party days.

  7. 7
    Priss says:

    Palin’s selection could be because she supported Buchanan, and not in spite of it. It’s a way for McCain to thumb his nose at other possible choices who didn’t support him in his Primary races against both Bushes.

  8. 8
    Tom T. says:

    Have you seen the letter she wrote to the Anchorage newspaper at the time, addressing the Buchanan appearance?

  9. 9
    Tom T. says:

    Here it is.

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    For those who didn’t follow Tom’s link, it indicates that in 1999, Palin in effect denied being a Buchanan supporter.

    July 26, 1999, letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News by Sarah Palin:

    As mayor of Wasilla, I am proud to welcome all presidential candidates to our city. This is true regardless of their party, or the latest odds of their winning. When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I’ll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect.

    Though no reporter interviewed me for the Associated Press article on the recent visit by a presidential candidate (Metro, July 17), the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.

    In fact, it appears that Palin was actively involved in Steve Forbes’ presidential campaign:

    August 7, 1999: AP reports on Steve Forbes’ campaign in Alaska. “Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs.”

  11. 11
    George Vreeland Hill says:

    Do Not Wait for Orders from Headquarters, Mount Up Everybody and Ride to the Sound of the Guns.
    It was a good speech even though I do not like Pat Buchanan.
    By the way, Sarah Palin is an idiot.
    I hope she does not run.

    George Vreeland Hill