a conspiracy theory involving Pat Buchanan

I find this… intriguing… but terribly unconvincing.  From a chapter in Dave Neiwert’s “The Eliminationists“, pulled together from items he posted online…

The result was that white supremacists and other right-wing extremists came to identify politically with George W. Bush more than any other mainstream Republican politician in memory. This was embodied by the endorsement of Bush’s candidacy by a range of white supremacists, including David Duke, Don Black and Matthew Hale of the World Church of the Creator. This identification even cropped up in odd places like the bizarre neo-Nazi flyers that passed around in Elma, Washington, in November 2000 that proclaimed Bush their group’s “supreme commander.”26

However, the signal event of 2000 that went under everyone’s radar was Patrick Buchanan’s bid for the presidency on the Reform Party ticket. It was this move which drove everyone from the Patriot movement firmly into the arms of George W. Bush and the Republican Party.

Right-wing extremists, for the most part, are only a tiny portion of the electorate; they usually represent at best about 3 or maybe 4 percent of the vote. During the 1990s, these voters gave Ross Perot’s Reform Party nearly half its total base. This was critical in the 1992 election, when George H.W. Bush saw much of his conservative base go to Perot. It didn’t matter quite so much in 1996 — Clinton defeated the GOP’s Bob Dole quite handily, with or without Perot’s help — but the lesson was clear. That 3-4 percent was killing the GOP.

So in 2000 came the Buchanan takeover of the Reform Party. He managed to do this with a maximum of acrimony, so that the party became split into its Buchananite wing — which largely was the white-nationalist faction — and its Perotite wing. Buchanan’s side won the war and got to carry the party’s banner in the national election.

And then Buchanan selected a black woman as his running mate.

The white nationalists who had been Buchanan’s footsoldiers abandoned him immediately. And where did they flee? The GOP, of course. As David Duke’s manager explained it to a reporter: “[A]fter Buchanan chose a black woman as his veep he now thinks that ‘Pat is a moron’ and ‘there is no way we can support him at this point.'” The Democrats — with a Jew as the running mate — were threatening at the time to win the race outright. The combination of all these factors herded the far right handily into voting Republican.

If someone had intended to sabotage the Reform Party and drive its voters back to the GOP, they couldn’t have done a more perfect job of this than Buchanan did. While no one can say whether Buchanan’s moves were made with this end in mind — it certainly is feasible he believed his own bullshit — neither does it seem beyond the pale for an old Nixon hand to take a political bullet for the home team.

In any case, what we’ve been seeing in the field since 2000 is that much of the dissipation of the energy in the Patriot movement is directly related to the identification by right-wing extremists with George W. Bush. The announced reason (according to the New York Times) for the disbanding of Norm Olson’s Michigan Militia, for instance, was the belief among members that Bush had the country headed back in the right direction, as it were:

Yes, but a better way to let the Reform Party die out, to dissipate it into the fraction of a percentage point the party line received in 2000…
… is to not get involved.  This is the fate of third parties whose popularity hinges off of a big personality — Ross Perot.  Sure, Donald Trump was at the time floating over the contraption, but that wasn’t getting anywhere either.

What is being suggested here is that Pat Buchanan, coming off of disrupting George Bush the Elder’s 1992 campaign by gnabbing a third of the vote in New Hampshire, and then scaring the moderate vote at the party convention with a Hellfire and Brimstone  speech… and sending the party into apoplexy by winning the New Hampshire primary in 1996.

… and just barely endorsing Bob Dole.

And, yes, Pat Buchanan believed his own rhetoric.  And he found himself a black women who, I recall telling someone with incredulous “She’s further to the right than Buchanan.”  From wikipedia.

Pat Buchanan selected Foster as his running-mate after several other candidates such as Jim Traficant and James P. Hoffa declined his offer. Foster, who had supported Buchanan’s campaigns in 1992 and 1996, quit her speaking tour to join the race.
To believe Neiwert, I would have to believe this factoid came from nowhere.

In the 1980s, she became an outspoken opponent of pornography, the civil rights movement, sex education, AIDS education and gay rights and founded “Black Americans for Family Values.” She was arrested in 1987 with several other women while disrupting the state Republican convention to protest its recognition of the Log Cabin Club, an organization of gay Republicans. In 1992, she was a staunch defender of the police officers in the Rodney King beating case and organized a testimonial dinner for Laurence Powell, one of the convicted officers, in 1995.

In 1994, while teaching at Bell High School in Bell, California, Foster was a public advocate of Proposition 187, a California ballot initiative to deny government programs of social services, health care, and public education to illegal immigrants. Her position was extremely unpopular at the school where she taught, which was 90 percent Hispanic. In 1996, after she argued on PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour that illegal immigration was responsible for the low quality of Los Angeles schools, some of her colleagues at the school condemned her in an open letter. Two days later, she attended an anti-illegal-immigration rally where several of her supporters were attacked by members of the Progressive Labor Party, who allegedly wanted to harm Foster herself. Shortly thereafter, she left her job, which she calls a necessity resulting from her treatment at work. She went on speaking tours for the John Birch Society and took workers’ compensation for an undisclosed mental disorder — which she describes as “stress” and “anxiety” — until her official retirement as a teacher in 1998.

Foster has appeared on The Political Cesspool, a white nationalist radio talk show based in Memphis, Tennessee. She has also been a guest on Larry King Live, CBS This Morning, CNN & CO., Nightline, NewsTalk Television, CNN Live, MSNBC, Politically Incorrect, and various CBS, NBC, and ABC newscasts.

“The Political Cesspool”, huh?

Notwithstanding my dismissal of the “Buchanan sabotaged his third party bid” theory, I do want to see it fleshed out… because… I do think those things can be done sometimes.

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