Jewish World Review Nov. 12, 1999/3 Kislev, 5760
NOW THAT PAT BUCHANAN has quickly slipped into obscurity—not literally,
of course, but as an active participant in the 2000 election, whether or
not he receives the Reform Party nod—it’s once again humorous to read
his many screeds and appreciate them for his unparalleled ability to
turn a phrase. No one on the political scene comes close to his oratory;
Jesse Jackson had the booming voice but his words were nursery-rhyme
dumb, and Alan Keyes, also a gifted speaker, has wandered too far off
this planet’s reservation to hear without cringing.
But my favorite part of the letter is the conclusion: “‘Good riddance to bad rubbish,’ Mr. Podhoretz says of my leaving the GOP. Decades ago, I was among those conservatives who urged that we throw open our doors and welcome to our ranks the ‘neo-conservatives’ fleeing the party of George McGovern. Now they have become our inquisitors, hurling anathemas at any who decline to embrace their revised dogmas. Non serviam, Norman.
“All my life I have labored in the vineyards of the Republican Party, and fought in more campaigns than ever did Mr. Podhoretz and his cohorts. But, today, I look upon that party the way a man looks on a beloved home in the old neighborhood where he grew up, as he sees squatters convert it into a crack house. You don’t know whether to burn it down in rage, or just drive away and never look back. I have decided to leave; and the sentiment I feel most on reading such as Norman’s 3,000-word rant against me, is liberation. Free at last.”
Now that the Buke’s take Lenora Fulani as a full-fledged campain bigwig, Heavens knows what other political zealot for the laughingstock Reform Party, it’s not so odd to read him evoking Martin Luther King. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if next week Buchanan opens a speech on the prairie, or in a DC crack house, with the words of Al Sharpton. He’s gone that loony.
First, Horowitz knocks off the easy target, the hysterical witch Maxine Waters, congresswoman from California: “The left-wing caucus in the Democratic Party is more protected than its Republican cousin and consequently even more aggressive. The lopsided bias of the nation’s media guarantees that a left-wing fanatic and all-weather race-hater like Rep. Maxine Waters…will have few restraints on her poison tongue... Waters, of course, lacks the innate good manners that have made Buchanan an effective combatant in the political wars and the potential leader of a third party.”
Horowitz is correct that not enough media attention has been paid to the racial demagoguery of Clinton and Daschle, and that Republicans must be prepared for the dirtiest kind of politics in the 2000 election, in every contest in every state with minority voters, from dogcatcher to president. The thought that the GOP could actually retain Congress and win the White House has aligned a man like Senate Minority Leader Daschle, who’s never displayed a liking for extreme dirty tricks and distortion (Clinton, of course, is another story), with a racist like Waters. This is going to be one hell of an ugly election.
One more word on Reform Party kooks. I’m not a fan of Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe’s stand-in for Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, but she had an hilarious line in her column of Nov. 7. She describes Donald Trump as “The egotist with the comb-over who reminds every woman of the ghastly first date she had after getting divorced.” I don’t imagine Trump will be seeing Goodman’s piece; no doubt the messenger would be ordered to clear out his (or, most likely, her) desk in 10 minutes