Pat Buchanan is a polarizing political figure. A speechwriter, special advisor, and longtime Nixon confidante, he rose to prominence as a political pundit in the 1970s and 1980s. Buchanan is the brand of conservative that doesn’t often trust immigrants, truly despises government regulations, and reminiscent of the party that found the civil rights reforms of the 1960s too liberal. Still, it’s a good time to be a conservative firebrand and for Buchanan, business is good.
In a column on the extremely right-wing site World Net Daily, Buchanan urges the Republican party to maintain their hardline stance “the polls be damned.” His essay has earned criticism, such as from The Raw Story, who say that Buchanan is advocating “destoy[ing] America’s standing in the world rather than giv[ing] in to…Obamacare.”
However, this is perhaps an unfair characterization of what he’s saying in the article. Remember, as a speechwriter and pundit, Buchanan does not really think in terms of policy but in terms of politics. Despite all of his odd accusations and near-bigoted positions, Buchanan is something of a genius in terms of political knowledge. And he has the scorecard to back it up.
Working for Presidents Nixon and Reagan, Buchanan was part of the team that, as he puts it, “would go on to win four of the next five GOP nominations and presidential elections.” It was a team that took the big game anytime it made the playoffs.
Of course what Buchanan suggests of the GOP is what he sees as the best political gamble, good governance be damned. If anything, the column is a chance to regale readers with stories of the good ol’ days. The implication in this essay is that Buchanan thinks the Obama Administration and Democrats would blink first in a staring contest that has global stakes.