June 19, 2006
. . .[P]aleoconservatism is simply the faith of our fathers before we built that shelter for the neocon homeless booted out of their own house by the McGovernites, who appear, in retrospect, to have been more savvy than we thought.
While a lot of people are quite legitimately worked up about the immigration issue, I have wondered from time to time who might be behind the right-wing anti-Bush movement, and where all of this might be headed.
One possibility is that it's headed for a movement to run Tom Tancredo for president:
Unless a person with charisma, money and convictions – someone like Mel Gibson – arose to the challenge of an independent bid for the presidency in 2008, like it or not, we will be faced with a choice between a Democrat and a Republican.Number one? I guess that means terrorism has moved to number two and no one told me. How did it happen so fast? Were the demonstrations this Spring the Reconquista's equivalent of the attack on the Twin Towers?
I've believed for some time that border problem is a serious one, and it has been that way for a long time. There's just something suspicious about the way this issue has eclipsed the war on terror so suddenly. Might it have something to do with the fact that it's main progenitor, Pat Buchanan, has always been against the Iraq war? In a recent column he seems to be gloating with "I-told-you-so" right wing antiwar isolationism. (Not only did Pat Buchanan write the introduction to Tancredo's book, but his sister/three-time-campaign -chair Bay Buchanan now chairs the Tancredo Team America PAC.)
Candidate Votes PercentAnd according to Human Events' own straw poll, "Tancredo slightly edged out Condi Rice with 18.7% of the vote compared to her 18.3%. This is a huge boost from the month before when he placed third (12.4%) behind Rice (21.5%) and Sen. George Allen (18.6%)."
As Bill Quick says, "It's starting..."
And where will it end?
"Tancredo for President" is certainly thriving on the Internet.
Whether Congressman Tancredo is a single issue candidate is debatable. But a post by former supporter Art Rasputin at RedState.org calls him a Buchananite who puts the immigration issue ahead of everything else -- to the point where he's sabotaging Chris Cannon for not toeing the Tancredo line:
Chris Cannon is a "pro-life, pro-family, NRA-backed, limited government, less taxes" conservative. He also received a 100% rating in 2005 from the American Conservative Union. The smear campaign Tancredo has launched against his fellow conservatives, just because he doesn't like their version of border security and guest worker programs needs to be confronted.More here.
In yesterday's New York Times, Tancredo was quoted as saying he might run, but couldn't win:
TOM TANCREDO is not well known outside of Congress, a few C-Span junkies and the slab of Colorado he represents. But the four-term Republican representative says he might run for president anyway. Could he win? "No way," Mr. Tancredo says, neatly distilling the prevailing wisdom on his chances.But does the specter of a Tom Tancredo candidacy strike fear into the heart of the other side?
Tom Tancredo is the Democratic dream candidate for the GOP to nominate.I don't know whether Tancredo is a serious candidate, but if he is, the extent to which his views are vintage Pat Buchanan isolationism will become highly relevant. That's because Americans take such a dim view of isolationism that Pat Buchanan has never been able to mount more than a Republican insurgency movement (or losing third party strategy).
As to Buchanan isolationism and the rest of his agenda, Tancredo's book (In Mortal Danger -- which I have not read) might offer clues. Then again, it might not.
The Buchanan introduction aside, if the WND writeup is any indication, the book appears to offer vintage Pat Buchanan culture war rhetoric -- in the politically appropriate code language:
Tancredo says America is following in the tragic footsteps of Rome.I've said pretty much the same thing regarding immigration. But is he speaking solely about immigration? I don't think so. Read on:
Living up to his reputation for candor, Tancredo explains how the economic success and historical military prowess of the United States has transformed a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong into an overindulgent, self-deprecating, immoral cesspool of depravity...What is meant by the phrase "Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong?" He can't be talking about aliens from Mexico or the American hemisphere, because, being Catholic, they are at least as Judeo-Christian as Tancredo.
So whose "cesspool" is he talking about? I don't know, as I haven't read the book. But I've been around long enough to recognize code language when I see it. And I might be paranoid, but the phrase "footsteps of Rome" within swimming distance of "Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong" right into the "cesspool of depravity" usually evokes improper penis placement images.
Hey, I'd love to be wrong. If I am, maybe I can be the first libertarian blogger to endorse Congressman Tancredo for Prezzy. If my suspicions are right, I'll just be a what Buchanan calls a homeless neocon -- rejected by both parties.
I'm not sure whether the goal of the Tancredo campaign is really to build a coalition to close the border, though. I think this kind of approach is more likely to prevent it from happening, while helping insure the election of Hillary Clinton.
I guess I shouldn't concern myself with such trifles for now.
I'm more intrigued with the issue of whether Tancredo is a new form of hybrid. Pajamas Media links to the top ten animal hybrids via James Hudnall, but I saw no mention of any such breed as a "neopaleocon."
Can such things be?
UPDATE (06/20/06): Commenting on the firing of Metro Commissioner Robert J. Smith, Pat Buchanan claims his views of Aquinas are "Christian truths" and reissues his vintage remarks about homosexuality that (to my mind) would seem to resonate the "cesspool" meme:
As for homosexuality, where it has been prevalent – in the late Roman Empire, Weimar Germany, San Francisco – it has been regarded as a mark of and a metaphor for moral decadence and societal decline.Homosexuality was prevalent in ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Germany before, during and after the Weimar period. Why characterize it as more prevalent during the "late Roman Empire" than earlier periods (which it was not) unless the goal is to breathe life into the canard that homosexuality led to Rome's decline? True, it was during the "late period" that homosexuality was outlawed, but that was only after the Christians gained power, and shortly before the fall of Rome.
And why single out Weimar Germany when homosexuality has been called the "German vice" since Victorian times? To imply that homosexuality led to Nazism? As to San Francisco, exactly who considers homosexuality to be a "mark of and a metaphor for moral decadence and societal decline" in that city? Pat Buchanan and those who agree with him? Are they speaking for San Francisco? What about New York? Or Key West?
Might as well declare that homosexuality was "prevalent" in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Well, it was, wasn't it?
Pat has more, of course:
In 1983, when the AIDS epidemic first broke onto the national scene, this writer wrote in a column predicting scores of thousands could perish: "The poor homosexuals. They have declared war against nature, and nature is exacting an awful retribution."It did? Can I get the exact quote?
Homosexuality is against nature, contra naturam. It also said what was, by then, obvious to all. Acts that cannot be described in this publication were transmitting a dread and deadly disease that was killing homosexuals in the hundreds, and would soon kill them in the scores of thousands.For what it's worth, I wouldn't have fired Robert Smith. He's just as entitled to his opinion as Pat Buchanan. But that does not mean Pat Buchanan's interpretations of Thomas Aquinas are "Christian truths," and I suspect a lot of Christians would not agree that they are. Consider also his remarks that AIDS -- the "disease that has now killed millions" was spread by homosexuals. Of these millions, a minority are homosexual. Is he implying that they spread this disease to millions of heterosexuals? Unless homosexuals have been having massive amounts of sex with heterosexuals, how did they spread the disease?
T.S. Eliot may have said that humankind cannot stand too much truth, but I say humankind cannot stand too much polemics.
No one has a monopoly on "fabricated and fake faith."
posted by Eric on 06.19.06 at 03:16 PM
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