Here's the thing about Pat Buchanan: No matter what outrageous statement he makes, you should have seen it coming. He's done it before.
So when he recently argued that Hitler has gotten a bum rap and didn't really want war, that was bad. But he's said it before -- and suggested the Holocaust was Churchill's fault.
Now Buchanan is whining that “Old heroes like ... Robert E. Lee are replaced by Dr. King.”
Wow! That's flat-out crazy!
But ... It isn't surprising. After all:
Buchanan urged Nixon not to visit Rev. Martin Luther King's widow, warning that such a visit would “outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue and perhaps worse. ... Others consider him the Devil incarnate. Dr. King is one of the most divisive men in contemporary history.”
In his 1990 book, Right From the Beginning, Buchanan reminisced fondly about his childhood in segregated Washington, D.C.: “In the late 1940's and 1950's ... race was never a preoccupation with us, we rarely thought about it. ... There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The 'Negroes' of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”
Last year, Buchanan suggested that slavery worked out pretty well for “black folks”:
Again, that was just last year. And Buchanan went on to argue that “no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans,” an assertion he supported with a laundry list of government programs that, though he didn't mention this part, he spent his career opposing. Nor did he mention the inconvenient fact of his opposition to integration.
Instead, the man who once wrote in a memo to Richard Nixon that “integration of blacks and whites ... is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable,” now argues that African-Americans are insufficiently grateful for the gifts white America has given them, starting with slavery.
I don't mean to suggest that Buchanan's views are old news and should be ignored. No, they should be denounced, loudly, and consistently. I mean only to make clear that the sponsors of Buchanan's virulent screeds (MSNBC/NBC/General Electric) cannot claim ignorance of his views. Not after five decades.