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Paleo-wolves in the Republican Party

I was preparing a little piece on what - or rather "whom" seems to attemping a coup of sorts on the Republican Party, yet Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard beat me to it, and does a better job of explaining what is really going on.

"PATRICK BUCHANAN, COMMENTATOR AND former presidential candidate, looked over the issues on the political agenda in 2006 and liked what he saw. It was a paleoconservative's delight. There was the Dubai ports deal, rejected by a congressional uprising part nationalistic, part isolationist. There's immigration, soon to be debated on the Senate floor and always high on the paleocon list of concerns. Excessive government spending, a worry of all conservatives but especially paleocons, is a major topic this year. And the intervention in Iraq and President Bush's crusade for democracy face sharp criticism, with paleocons in the lead among the critics.

It's a paleo moment in America. "It's a little bit late," Buchanan says. He'd rather it had occurred in 1992 or 1996, when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, or in 2000, when he ran as the Reform party candidate. Chances are, the moment won't last. But it's a moment that could be politically painful for the president and harmful to Republicans in the midterm election in November. The paleocon message is not an electoral winner--unless you believe voters are eager to hear ideas that are gloomy, negative, defeatist, isolationist, nativist, and protectionist.

Buchanan is the big dog among paleocons. His message, were he to run again for president, he told me, would be: "Secure the borders, stop exporting jobs, and bring the troops home" from Iraq. I'm afraid many would interpret that message: Keep Mexicans out, forget free markets and free trade, and shrink America's role in the world. That's not an optimistic message."

And it's not a message many of us conservatives want as a part of our party message in 2006 and 2008. Buchanan has a lot of cheerleaders and followers and "soul mates" in the party. Many of these as Fred said were the major opponents in the Dubai deal. But even more so on the immigration issue where their ideas are both childish and in many ways - never thought I use this expression - facist.

"In the immigration bill passed by the House last December, there was a distinct nativist streak. It calls for the raising of a 700-mile fence along America's southwest border with Mexico and for stepped-up border security in general. It was Buchanan who popularized the fence idea, and now a Republican senator intends to propose a fence along the entire border, from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

How would such a fence play politically? Well, it's a horrible symbol, one that clashes with the welcome mat laid out by the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. More important, it says to Mexican-Americans: We don't want any more people like you coming into our country."

Again, "The us four and no more"....

Which is - regardless of the protestations to the contrary - exactly what took place in the Dubai deal. They call it a healthy concern. It was racism in all it's ugly forms - pure and simple. If it walks like a duck....etc.

Moreover, and I find this especially curious that the message of the Paleocons is no different than what comes out of the mouth of the hard left at times - specifically in the criticisms they have of Bush and his policies.

Fred writes: "It's not that these (their) views are illegitimate. They're part--a small part--of the broad conservative coalition in America. And paleocons themselves are easily gathered under the big tent of the Republican party. The problem comes when they influence the party in ways that threaten the narrow Republican majority.

And they do this in several ways. One is to attack Bush on issue after issue. This weakens the Republican base and, potentially at least, reduces voter turnout. Republican voters dismiss criticism by Democrats or the media, but they pay attention when other Republicans zing Bush, or when they attack congressional Republicans, for that matter."

In fact one of the funniest things I witnessed in the Dubai deal was when you found them on one side condeming DP World and on the other side Chuch Schumer and Hillary Clinton who were saying the exact same thing they were saying. Hilarious.

Buchanan ran for President before and was soundly rejected by the core of our party. He and the others of his ilk do NOT speak for our party. Morever, their fruits are beginning to be exposed them for what they really are - wolves in sheeps clothing.

UPDATE: McCain get's nailed.


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