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GOP War of All Against All?

There still exists a possibility that, come Jan. 20, 2013, we could have a Republican Senate and House, and a Republican president.

But there is also a possibility that a Goldwater-Rockefeller-type family bloodletting could sunder the party and kick it all away.

America is bored with Barack Obama. The young and the minorities are still with him but exhibit none of the excitement or enthusiasm of 2008.

Moreover, we have been through three years of 23-25 million unemployed or underemployed. Our national debt is now larger than the national economy, approaching Italian proportions. The class warfare rhetoric is beginning to grate. A huge majority believes the nation is on the wrong course.

Who wants four more years of this?

Democratic hopes for 2012 hence hinge on that party’s ability to portray the Republican alternative as unacceptable if not intolerable. And the Republicans have begun to play into that script.

The GOP field of candidates suddenly seems headed to a finale that will call to mind the last scene of Hamlet, the dead and dying everywhere, but no Fortinbras to restore order in the house.

In the Sunday debate, Jon Huntsman accused Mitt Romney of virtually questioning his patriotism, when Mitt asked how he could serve as Obama’s man in Beijing and be a credible opponent of Obama.

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“This nation is divided … because of attitudes like that,” said Huntsman.

Newt Gingrich, who promised in Iowa not to go negative, now calls Mitt a liar. A super-PAC supporting Newt is about to paint Mitt as a Bain Capital corporate predator, a Gordon Gecko whose modus operandi was to swoop down on troubled companies, loot them, fire workers, leave a skeleton crew and move on.

Newt’s bitterness is understandable.

A month ago, he was surging. He had opened up a lead in national polls, moved ahead in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, and, with the backing of the Manchester Union-Leader, was closing in on Mitt in New Hampshire.

From his crisp debate performances, Newt had steadily risen from his disastrous debut, while one after another of his rivals — Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain — had taken the lead and lost it.

Newt had engineered a spectacular comeback, seemingly peaking at exactly the right moment, only weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Came then the Iowa blitz, round-the-clock air strikes from a Romney super-PAC. Millions were dumped into attack ads portraying Newt as a Beltway bandit who had exploited his speaker’s ties to enrich himself, pocketing $1.6 million from Freddie Mac and millions more from Big Pharma to promote the Bush prescription drug benefit for seniors, the largest unfunded entitlement program of the century.

After weeks of unreturned fire, Newt’s poll numbers had been cut in half. He finished a distant fourth in Iowa. Having come back from the dead once in this primary season, it is hard to see how he resurrects himself a second time, given the depth of his fall, his seemingly uncontrollable anger and the little time he has left.

Five weeks ago, Newt looked like the GOP nominee. Now, his political career seems about over. Hence the desire for revenge. And with his friend Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson dumping $5 million into a super-PAC for Newt, his allies have the resources to exact retribution on Mitt for what Mitt’s friends did to Newt.

Nor is this the only bad blood.

In Iowa, Ron Paul’s ads charged Newt with “serial hypocrisy” for claiming to be a conservative but leaving Congress to make millions working the system. In New Hampshire, Paul escalated, calling Newt a “chicken hawk” who clamors for war on Iran but ducked service when he could have gone and fought during Vietnam.

Newt has said that, should Paul become the nominee, he, Newt, could neither endorse nor vote for him. Paul’s supporters would reciprocate, were Newt to become the nominee.

Paul’s ads also charge Rick Santorum with being a “corrupt” politician who exploited his 12 years of Senate service to make millions on K Street.

Santorum’s reply: “Ron Paul is disgusting.”

The Republican candidates have gone beyond challenging each other’s records and positions to impugning their character.

Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Romney surrogate, directly questioned Huntsman’s “integrity,” implying he had plotted his presidential campaign against Obama while serving as Obama’s man in Beijing.

He had taken the king’s shilling and then sought to dethrone the king.

Such wounds take time to heal. Some never do, and some will not be closed before the Republican convention opens in Tampa, Fla.

Then there are the policy divides. Paul may well run second to Romney in delegates and demand that his ideas — shutting U.S. military bases overseas, downsizing the American empire, getting a declaration of war from Congress before any attack on Iran — be written into the platform.

How will a hawkish Republican majority finesse that one?

To bring this crowd together at Tampa, the GOP nominee may need the diplomatic skills of a Talleyrand or Metternich.

Copyright 2012 Creators.com

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#1 Comment By David Peterson On January 9, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

“There still exists a possibility that, come Jan. 20, 2013, we could have a Republican Senate and House, and a Republican president.” Be careful what you wish for. I’m not sure exactly what the Neoconservatives would do with a new mandate, but I know it would involve U.S. forces and many dead bodies. Divided government may be a more prudent option.

#2 Comment By Wile E. Quixote On January 9, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

Pat Buchanan wrote:

There still exists a possibility that, come Jan. 20, 2013, we could have a Republican Senate and House, and a Republican president.

Who cares? The last time we had a Republican Senate and House and a Republican president we started a war in the Middle East based upon neocon lies about a non-existent WMD threat from Iraq, ran up massive deficits which the Republican administration kept off the books and let a Wall Street trash the US economy. Face it Pat, the only Republican candidate who isn’t going to be the second coming of George W. Bush is Ron Paul.

#3 Comment By Peter Kirsop On January 9, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

Mr Buchanon;
I’m Australian but from what I read (everything from the Australian which is owned by Murdoch and very similar to his Fox News in your country to TAC and the Huff Post) all the comments in the negative ads are true, are you saying they are not? But what surprises me so much is the public bloodletting. Why does this go on?

Further in relation to your comments about your president, it seems (as Mr Quixote posted above) that the unemployment and the deficits are the result of the last Republican president.

It seems no one listens today to the Republican president of my childhood who balanced the budget by refusing to pander to special interest groups and who kept a relatively high rate of tax and who said
“” In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together”

Perhaps your American readers can enlighten me

#4 Comment By Raymond On January 9, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

Amen, David Peterson.

#5 Comment By William Dalton On January 10, 2012 @ 12:09 am

Ron Paul’s foreign policy written into the Republican Party Platform. All they have to do is assign Pat Buchanan the job of doing it.

Come on, Pat. Ron Paul is the only man out there saying the same things you have for 12 years about the choice between our being a Republic or being swallowed by an Empire. Isn’t it time you personally endorsed and campaigned for the Good Doctor and removed from him the albatross of being just a “fringe libertarian”. The Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul wings of the Republican Party have been consigned to the doghouse long enough. Working together they can get a seat at the Master’s table.

#6 Comment By Mr. Patrick On January 10, 2012 @ 8:52 am

Class warfare rhetoric is starting to grate? Listening to the latest in Romneyphobic GOP rhetoric, it sounds rather like Marxism as adapted for an anticommunist audience. And Romney himself is right there with them, a self-proclaimed NCO in the Reserve Army of The Unemployed.

#7 Comment By Musiel On January 10, 2012 @ 10:25 am

Newt’s fall in the Iowa polls should be attributed as much to his own errors in judgment as to negative adds. His statist-fascist notion of using US Marshals to detain federal judges certainly lost him support from libertarian-leaning (and even centrist) republicans.

#8 Comment By Chick Dante On January 10, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

By way of explanation to Peter Kirsop and the majority of folks throughout Europe and Asia, South America and beyond who wonder the same thing, I can explain it this way: The Republican Party has been driven nuts! Americans know it all except the 32% who sadly continue to register Republican.

A better explanation is John Dean’s excellent book, “Conservatives Withhout Conscience” about how even Barry Goldwater, John Dean’s former mentor, could not tolerate and was sadened by the cruelty, racism, and idiocy of the Newt Gingrich Revolution brand of Republicans that took hold in 1994 and have only gotten worse. Read the book if you are truly interested in why this is happening. And it is poisoning our politics and our country.

The world sees it. Many Americans see it. But, I am afraid that history teaches that only disaster can change a cult when it gets to the cancel stage. And that is where we are now.

#9 Comment By Leon Berton On January 10, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of ‘spurious arguments’ and ‘gratuitous’ allegations against Ron Paul and what he supposedly stands for from many on t.v. to Rush Limbaugh on radio. One can easily find similar clichés bantered about on somewhat influential sites that supposedly encourage liberty of thought, but which do so in name only for American thinkers. Pat Buchanan is one of the few prominent political analysts who has not engaged in similar ‘ad hominems’.

Some of the shallowest attacks against Paul bring up a variety of decontextualized issues, but they would easily be answered if persons would read Paul’s full statements of his positions on his website: Paul, in principle, would have done the same to the Barbary pirates as our Founders, just as he would defend the Stait of Hormuz, since it is a treaty acknowledged international shipping zone.

Paul advocates no addictive drug usage, but rather argues that each state’s citizens should determine whether they want to tolerate this or that, or have their prisons populated for relatively minor offenses and their police forces militarized.

Paul doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear arms, but he doesn’t advocate intrusion into other countries since it’s better to encourage their own citizens to alter their governments. (After all, it isn’t a majority of IRANIANS who want nuclear bombs, but the CURRENT PERSONS IN POWER.)

It’s also worth observing that the ONLY person in the recent debates who constantly referred to the CONSTITUTION and founding documents was Ron Paul. The rest tended to speak about “me, myself, and I”. Nor does Paul seem to lust for the trappings of the Presidency, much less aspire to enhancing imperial ambitions.

Last, Paul does not encourage false generalizations about this or that people or ‘creed’ having a monoply on being good, just, or perfect. Many pertinent historical examples come to mind, but here’s only one: Abd al-Qādir, an Algerian Prince in the 19th century fought (rightly) against colonial intrusions by France into his lands and was betrayed after he surrendered by French officials.

After returning to his homeland, he prevented the slaughter of thousands of Marionite Christians by the Druze peoples, who sought retaliation against Europeans.

Abraham Lincoln expressed his gratitude to al-Qadir, who insisted that “Whatever good we have been able to do for the Christians,we were obliged to do out of fidelity to the Muslim Faith and out of respect for the rights of humanity, because all creatures are the family of God, and those most loved by God are those who are most useful to his family.”

It seems to me that loyalty to the Constitution’s principles, which Paul advocates, encourages the similar objective of promoting peace for all humanity, while stipulating that we (and others) be prepared and willing to battle evils when, and if, they truly violate one’s own sovereignty.

The Constitutiton and its original ammendments, along with the Declaration and other founding documents’s principles epitomize the ‘Golden Rule’. Too bad neither Democrats nor Republicans, for the most part, faithfully adhere to it.

#10 Comment By An Anachronistic Apostle On January 11, 2012 @ 11:04 am

“Ron Paul’s foreign policy written into the Republican Party Platform. All they have to do is assign Pat Buchanan the job of doing it … Working together they can get a seat at the Master’s table.”

Sounds positively dreamy. But this sentimentality has all the indications of one very deep draught from Coleridge’s hookah. Please, gentlemen. The ballyhooed serving of a Republican Party platform plank or two still constitutes a diet of crumbs, until proven otherwise.

I mean, if there is one thing less fully digested than a voluminous health-care bill submitted for a Congressional thumbs-up-or-down, it’s a platform created by conventioneers (this being especially true once the hangover dawns).

Should the beam be removed from the optimist’s eye, it might become apparent that promised planks are invariably, or at least historically, more akin to tossed toothpicks once power is actually assumed by the elite.

#11 Comment By An Anachronistic Apostle On January 11, 2012 @ 11:47 am

“Paul doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear arms, but he doesn’t advocate intrusion into other countries since it’s better to encourage their own citizens to alter their governments. (After all, it isn’t a majority of IRANIANS who want nuclear bombs, but the CURRENT PERSONS IN POWER.)”

The logic is insurmountable.

So go home, Comte de Grasse. And take entrepreneurs Sam Adams and John Hancock with you. After all, it isn’t a majority of us CROWN COLONISTS who want independence, but maybe a third or so, and the CURRENT CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN POWER.

But I must confess to the audience: given the present state of political affairs, I do kind of miss King George (of England, I mean). He was a devout man, and a true traditionalist, who was … and let’s be fair, here … treated somewhat scurrilously, by that attack-ad penned by Mr. Jefferson.

But I know, I know. Given the choice between paying one’s share for the security-granting and enriching outcome of the Seven Years’ War, or speaking French, well, what’s one supposed to do? The answer’s obvious: rebel!

#12 Comment By Andy On January 11, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

“Then there are the policy divides. Paul may well run second to Romney in delegates and demand that his ideas — shutting U.S. military bases overseas, downsizing the American empire, getting a declaration of war from Congress before any attack on Iran — be written into the platform”

That may be doable and bring the party together enough to get through the election with a good shot at victory. It seems to me Romney is a pragmatist willing to blow with most winds, and the Republican establishment knows that they can pick up some independent voters with a less less interventionist foreign policy platform. They won’t need to worry about Republican voters going to Obama. Rand Paul wants a future in the Republican party, so it’s doubtful Ron would run as an independent candidiate. I can understand Newt going after Romney as he was bombarded with unrelenting attacks,but unless he wants to destroy any connection to the party I’d guess he’ll put his rage on the back burner when re realizes he can’t win.

#13 Comment By Leon Berton On January 11, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

If my memory is correct, the Comte de Grasse arrived with French troops to assist the colonials in the War of Independence after there had been established an American-French alliance. It is one thing to request and receive military assistance from an ally, but quite another to have one country utilize machinations to unjustly intrude upon another’s sovereignty.

#14 Comment By McGuinness McGee On January 12, 2012 @ 10:10 am

What right have you to advise anmyone?
In the last election you he[ped damage McCain.
You helped get Obama into the White House.
You are a traitor to conservatism