Time for Pat Buchanan to retire, too

Just days after making grossly inappropriate comments about Jews in Israel, Hearst columnist Helen Thomas has retired.

It's time for Pat Buchanan to retire, too.

Despite a decades-long track record of offensive comments about … well, nearly everybody, Buchanan continues to write columns and appear as a commentator on MSNBC.

During his time in public life, Buchanan has defended Adolf Hitler -- repeatedly. He has peddled Holocaust denial claims and compared suspected Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk to Jesus Christ.

Buchanan has reminisced fondly about his childhood in segregated Washington, DC, and complained that “Old heroes like ... Robert E. Lee are replaced by Dr. King.” He wrote that “integration of blacks and whites” was likely to result in “perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed … side by side with the capable.” Buchanan's anti-integration views were so hard-core, even Richard Nixon characterized Buchanan's them as “segregation forever.” When 67 blacks were shot to death by South African police, Buchanan dismissed the massacre as “a few South African whites mistreating a couple of blacks.” In 1989, Buchanan defended Bob Jones University's ban on interracial dating. 1989!

In 1983, Buchanan wrote that “homosexuals ... have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.” (During his 1992 presidential campaign, he stood by that view, insisting “AIDS is nature's retribution for violating the laws of nature.”) He has compared gays to alcoholics.

He has accused David Duke of stealing his ideas, and he has appeared -- just two years ago -- as a guest on a “pro-White” radio show that was streamed live on a self-described “White Nationalist” web site.

Buchanan's comments have been denounced even by conservative leaders like William F. Buckley (who found it "“impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination, the military build-up for the Gulf War, amounted to anti-Semitism,”) Charles Krauthammer (“There's no doubt he makes subliminal appeals to prejudice”) and then-RNC chairman Rich Bond (who said Buchanan was “heading toward a low-road message of anger, hate and race-baiting.”).

It is important to remember that, although Pat Buchanan's nasty comments about a wide variety of minorities are very much of the past, they are not in the past. He has defended Hitler within the past year. His complaint that “Old heros like … Robert W. Lee are replaced by Dr. King” came within the past year. Just last month he was busy counting the Jews on the Supreme Court -- and concluding that there are too many. The month before that, he insisted that “both sides were right” during the Civil War.

The simple fact is that for decades Pat Buchanan has been losing the “culture war” he declared in his infamous 1992 GOP convention speech. During Buchanan's time in public life, America has become much more tolerant, even if he has not. His retirement is long overdue. He could take up a hobby, or maybe move to Florida: I hear he's surprisingly popular in Palm Beach.