For the next month libertarians and paleoconservatives will be fairly quiet. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the 1988 Libertarian presidential candidate, is keeping a low profile. He does not want to jeopardize the election of his son Rand (R-KY) to the U.S. Senate. The son is also avoiding the national news media and says he is no longer a libertarian. He publicly disagrees with his father on Israel, Afghanistan and defense spending.
Republicans are now united, but isolationists are promising this lull will soon end. Pat Buchanan’s current column is entitled “The Tea Party vs. The War Party.” It recites many of his past condemnations of the Republican Party:
“We’re all on the same page until the polls close Nov. 2,” Richard Viguerie, the longtime conservative strategist who has allied with the Tea Party, told The New York Times. After that, “a massive, almost historic battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party begins.”
Indeed, such a battle seems unavoidable. . . spending must be slashed. . .Which leaves one place where a bipartisan majority may be found for major spending cuts: defense and the empire, the warfare state. . . Empire security we can no longer afford. The only problem with Sen. George McGovern’s (D-SD) “Come home, America!” slogan was the timing.
Buchanan and his paleoconservative allies are now seeking to claim credit for the upcoming GOP victory. They are once again giving lectures to the party establishment and hoping Republican leaders have a short memory. Some past collusion between anti-war conservatives and liberal Democrats has been erased from their websites. Their promise of an isolationist and anti-military attack on the GOP soon after the November election will undoubtedly be fulfilled. They will claim Republicans are not listening to them. The problem is that many conservatives will well remember what they did.
The editor of Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine endorsed John Kerry over George W. Bush in 2004. In 2006 they endorsed the election of a Democratic Congress. They urged social conservatives to vote for liberal Democrats inorder to send a message to the Republican Party. Below are excepts from the “GOP Must Go” editorial in the November 2006 issue of The American Conservative. It has been removed from their website:
The meaning of this election will be interpreted in one of two ways: the American people endorsed the Bush presidency or they did what they could to repudiate it. It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seen-in America and the world at large — as a decisive “No” vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome. . . . Bush pushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. . .
Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria. All over the world people look at Bush and yearn for this country-which once symbolized hope and justice-to be humbled. . . There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our country’s reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this November 7.
If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seen-in Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpur –as a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq. We have no illusions that a Democratic majority would be able to reverse Bush’s policies, even if they had a plan to. We are aware that on a host of issues the Democrats are further from The American Conservative’s positions than the Republicans are.
The House members who blocked the Bush amnesty initiative are overwhelmingly Republican. But immigration has not played out in an entirely partisan manner this electoral season: in many races the Democrat has been more conservative than the open-borders, Big Business Republican. A Democratic House and Senate is, in our view, a risk immigration reformers should be willing to take. We can’t conceive of a newly elected Democrat in a swing district who would immediately alienate his constituency by voting for amnesty.
We simply don’t believe a Democratic majority would give the Republicans such an easy route to return to power. Indeed, we anticipate that Democratic office holders will follow the polls on immigration just as Republicans have, and all the popular momentum is towards greater border enforcement. On November 7, the world will be watching as we go to the polls, seeking to ascertain whether the American people have the wisdom to try to correct a disastrous course. Posterity will note too if their collective decision is one that captured the attention of historians-that of a people voting, again and again, to endorse a leader taking a country in a catastrophic direction. The choice is in our hands.