Tag Archives: patrick buchanan

The evolution of the Republican Party has shaped America during the past fifty years

The evolution of the Republican Party has been one of the great forces shaping American politics since the 1960’s — an amazing transformation from pro-civil rights, isolationism, and fiscal prudence to advocacy of racism, foreign wars, and massive deficits. 

  • Goldwater’s decision to vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act inaugurated the first (a reversal of his long-standing support for civil rights), followed by Nixon’s southern strategy (crafted by Pat Buchanan and later Kevin Phillips).  Note that Nixon, as the most-liberal President since FDR, probably did more for minorities than any President other than Lincoln and LBJ (America is a complex place).
  • Foreign wars:  adopting Vietnam from the liberals, the Gulf War and the Iraq War (establishing Iran as a potential hegemon in the Middle East), and the Af-Pak War.
  • Massive deficits, the subject of this post.

Unlike the first two changes, the last has a definite origin, one of the most brilliant combinations of political insight and myth-making in our history.  It’s worth reading, to understand why today America’s Federal and many State governments teeter on the brink of bankruptcy:  “Taxes and a Two-Santa Theory“, Jude Wanniski, National Observer, 6 March 1976.  Here is the opening; the remainder establishes the mythology of tax cuts.

 The only thing wrong with the U.S. economy is the failure of the Republican Party to play Santa Claus. The only thing wrong with President Ford is that he is still too much a Hoover Republican when what the country needs is a Coolidge Republican.

 These statements, seemingly absurd, follow naturally from the Two-Santa Claus Theory of the political economy. Simply stated, the Two Santa Claus Theory is this: For the U.S. economy to be healthy and growing, there must be a division of labor between Democrats and Republicans; each must be a different kind of Santa Claus.
 The Democrats, the party of income redistribution, are best suited for the role of Spending Santa Claus. The Republicans, traditionally the party of income growth, should be the Santa Claus of Tax Reduction. It has been the failure of the GOP to stick to this traditional role that has caused much of the nation’s economic misery. Only the shrewdness of the Democrats, who have kindly agreed to play both Santa Clauses during critical periods, has saved the nation from even greater misery.
 It isn’t that Republicans don’t enjoy cutting taxes. They love it. But there is something in the Republican chemistry that causes the GOP to become hypnotized by the prospect of an imbalanced budget. Static analysis tells them taxes can’t be cut or inflation will result. They either argue for a tax hike to dampen inflation when the economy is in a boom or demand spending cuts to balance the budget when the economy is in recession.

Trillions of dollars in debt later, now conservatives spin a different story.  As we see in this excerpt from “Goodbye Supply Side:”, Kevin Williamson, National Review, 3 May 2010:

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One of America’s few wise men tells us about Mexico

Summary:  This is a brief report about Mexico, seen as a problem for the USA.  Analysis of the problem and our government’s idiotic response, plus a possible solution.


  1. La Rubia y La Droga – Notes From an Unknown Planet“, Fred Reed, Fred on Everything, 30 March 2009
  2. U.S. military outreach to Mexico likely to upset … Mexicans, McClatchy Newspapers, 15 March 2009 — Any situation can be made worse by stupidity; our rulers are on the job. 
  3. A User’s Guide to Thoroughly Stupid Foreign Policy“, Fred on Everything, 19 April 2009
  4. Afghanistan south“, Patrick Buchanan, MSNBC, 6 March 2009 — A solution

(1)  About Mexico, the US, and drugs

To find wisdom when crossing the vast intellectual desert of the Internet, go to the website of Fred Reed.  Here he tells us about Mexico, so much in the news lately.  As in this excerpt from “La Rubia y La Droga – Notes From an Unknown Planet“, Fred Reed, Fred on Everything, 30 March 2009:

I read with horror that Hillary Clinton, posing as the Secretary of State, has been in Mexico talking with Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s president, about “the problem of drugs.” Horror is the reasonable response whenever an American official is allowed to pass beyond the beltway. Or stay within it. They never know what they are doing. Oh god.

In fairness, I have to concede that Ms. Clinton is well qualified to talk to Calderon, since he speaks — English. Further, I concede that she does have a grasp of things Latin American, engendered by many years in — Arkansas. Aaagh.

May I suggest that the former First Basilisk had no idea where she was or what she was doing? Oh god, oh god. Oh god.

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Comments on the Georgia-Russia fighting: Buchanan is profound, McCain is nuts

Summary:  Patrick Buchanan is one of our few original political writers.  He often says things of great wisdom, and often things which with I totally disagree.  This is one of the former.  Derbyshire’s comments also match my views (except the ambiguous last sentence).  McCain’s bizarre remarks demonstrate why many regard the prospect of his presidency with fear.

Leadership“, by John Derbyshire, National Review Online, 12 August 2008

I agree with this:

As Chamberlain gave a war guarantee to Poland he could not honor, the United States began to hand out NATO war guarantees to six Warsaw Pact nations, the three Baltic republics, and, soon, Ukraine and Georgia. Should a hostile regime come to power in Moscow and reoccupy these nations, we would have to declare war. Yet no matter how much we treasure the newly free Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, their independence is not a vital U.S. interest, and never has been. And the threatened loss of their independence cannot justify war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

… As Britain threw over Japan and drove Italy into the arms of Hitler, Bush pushes Putin’s Russia into the arms of China by meddling in the politics of Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus, planting U.S. bases in Central Asia, and hectoring him for running an autocratic state that does not pass muster with the National Endowment for Democracy.

– from Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, by Patrick J. Buchanan, pp.421-2.

There are some spectacles that are at once tragic and farcical. One such has been the sight of Georgian troops scuttling back from assisting us in whatever it is we imagine we are doing in Iraq, to help defend their homeland, while Condoleezza Rice stamps her foot, George W. Bush watches a basketball game, and John McCain says that he will do such things, what they are, yet he knows not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth.

We are governed by fools. At least Putin knows what he wants, and how to get it. If only freedom had such leaders!

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