The PJ Tatler

The Dance of the Lemons

I have never liked Pat Buchanan. He represents a particular strain of conservatism—Jew-baiting, skeptical of capitalism, overtly racialist—that ought to have withered in the 1950s. His books are all the same boring semi-Spenglerian riff on how the United States is succumbing to the wretched influence of “neocons” and non-white immigrants—as if an influx of white socialist Europeans would do us any good right now.

He also wrote a book the essence of which was that the Second World War was not worth fighting and that, insofar as there was a Holocaust, it was anyone but the Nazis who got the ball rolling on it. And though he is perhaps a few baby steps to the left of the late Sam Francis when it comes to race, Buchanan nurses his own form of racial collectivism even as he (rightly) condemns the same tribalism among minorities.

In other words, he is devoted to a regular schedule of both mediocrity and viciousness. His recent dismissal by MSNBC, however, is a laughable event for very unfunny reasons. Evidently the network was upset that Buchanan included phrases like “the end of white America” in his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower. Since “progressives” are only happy when the word “white” is appended to words like “racism” and “imperialism,” Buchanan has got to go.

Fine. Whatever. But was it not already long obvious to MSNBC that Buchanan held such views? Who is network president Phil Griffin trying to convince when he says that Buchanan’s opinions shouldn’t be a part of that elusive “national dialogue” we’re supposed to be having? MSNBC has in its employ a man, Al Sharpton, who led a pogrom against Brooklyn Jews in the early 1990s, and whose career as a racist, extortionist, and libelist had already been firmly established even before he urged urban blacks to go get those “diamond merchants.”

So I’m afraid there’s not much more to this story than fundamental hypocrisy. Buchanan’s dismissal reveals more about the moral state of “progressive” media (and perhaps cable news in general) than it was intended to. He played a very important role for MSNBC: that of the anti-war, anti-Bush conservative. Now that we have a black Democratic president who has helped invade another Arab-Muslim country, and whose proclivity for unmanned aerial vehicles surpasses Bush’s, the role of the resident white rightist is not only obsolete but dangerous. (He might, for instance, be so bold as to point out the similarities.) It is, never forget, election season. The same people who four years ago were clamoring for “change” are now, it seems, satisfied with the status quo. So not only is MSNBC guilty of knowingly employing at least two racist Jew-baiters, they are guilty of using one, Pat Buchanan, for the most obviously opportunistic purposes, and then discarding him for “liberal” reasons.

It all would be such a shame if Buchanan were someone who deserved our pity. The situation is, instead, a dance of the lemons: a bad network gets rid of a bad pundit. So what? The real shame is that Buchanan is still considered a “conservative” figure at all. If I’m not mistaken, he still has a perch at Human Events. I wouldn’t be against axing him, but this time for the right reasons. Let him become like Paul Craig Roberts and wander the strawberry fields of the lunatic paleo sites for good.