The stunning results of last week's Iowa caucuses prove that Republicans are in deep trouble and it's nobody's fault but their own, says columnist and two-time presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.
In his latest syndicated column, "Last Hurrah For Reagan Coalition?" Buchanan, a top White House aide in both the Nixon and Reagan White Houses, warned that the huge Democratic turnout in Iowa Caucuses, more than double that of the Republicans, coupled with what he called "the stampede by independents to vote in the Democratic precincts,” could mean that that Iowa, "a swing state carried by President Bush in 2004, may be lost irretrievably to the GOP in 2008."
Asking why Iowa is walking away from the GOP and why Barack Obama won almost as many votes as all the Republicans put together, Buchanan explained that the GOP lost Iowa "because of its persistent failure to recognize, and its refusal to address, the anxiety and insecurity of the middle class."
Wrote historian Buchanan "The Party of Reagan is losing the country because it is no longer the party of the principles, policies and persona of Reagan, as applied to the problems of our time. "
Turning to conservative yearnings for another Reagan, Buchanan wrote that the GOP "is mired in the past, looking back to the time of Reagan." Reagan, he wrote, “was a good man and a great president, but our time is no more his time than the Eisenhower 1950s were like the 1920s.”
Buchanan, one of the keenest political observers of our times, blamed the decline of Republican party on a series of departures from the GOP's basic principals which formed the foundation of the Reagan revolution and the long held convictions of his party.
Among the factors he writes which have led to the GOP's impending downfall: Iraq. "Parties that march nations into what the people come to see as unnecessary or unwinnable wars face the inevitable consequences."
Truman suffered those consequences as a result of the Korean conflict as did Lyndon Johnson because of Viet Nam.Globalism. “With the sole exception of Mike Huckabee” he wrote, “the GOP seems unable to comprehend how throwing U.S. Workers into Darwinian competition with foreigners earning one-fifth or one-tenth their wages impacts the Reagan Democrats now deserting the GOP. A party that used to admonish one and all, ‘There is no free lunch,’ cannot see that free trade is no free lunch.”
None of this means that the GOP is in grave trouble, or that defeat in 2008 is not foreordained, Buchanan admonishes, observing that the Democrats are winning “not because of the superiority of their candidates or ideas but because the Republicans are perceived as failing.”
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, he writes “has the answer to what ails America. Both, and Barack especially, have moved far outside the mainstream of the nation.
"‘I am the change agent,’ each of the Democrats proclaims. He asks if it is not madness to promise 50 million people, half of them immigrants, legal and illegal, national health insurance when America is facing an entitlements crisis with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- unfunded liabilities adding up to scores of trillions of dollars?
Who, he asks, “is going to pay for this when the states are heading back toward bankruptcy, the economy is slowly sinking, U.S. Companies are being taxed up to 40 percent and the most successful Americans are already paying half their income to local, state and federal governments?”
Do Democrats “have an answer to the immigration crisis that now grips every great American city?”, he asks, adding that “the amnesty, the ‘path to citizenship’ they favor, will mean the next invasion will be the last and decisive invasion that makes America unrecognizable.”
Could the Democrats, which he calls “the Party of Government that depends on government workers and unions at election time make government more efficient? Does anyone think that a party that depends on teachers unions and the NEA can reform the social Katrina that is inner-city education in America? Was it not Democrats who ran the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana in the time of Katrina? But the American people want change, and Democrats represent change.”
If, the Republican Party, “on issue after issue … stood true to its beliefs and purged the twin heresies of neoconservatism in foreign policy and Wall Street Journal ideology in trade and immigration policy, it would still stand well with Middle America.”
Most Americans, he explains remain “traditionalist on right to life, homosexual marriage, a polluted culture and Hollywood values. Most Americans believe in a defense second to none, while staying out of wars that are not our quarrels.”
Buchanan insists that Republicans “believe in conservative judges and strict-constructionists justices like Antonin Scalia, who he says do not write the laws, but interpret the laws we have written through our elected representatives.”
He writes that Democrats know this and are thus not promising us any new [leftist Supreme Court judge] Ruth Bader Ginsburgs.
“What has alienated America is the Bush bellicosity, the my-way-or-the-highway free-trade ideology, the refusal to defend the border with the implication that anyone who wants to preserve the country he grew up in is some kind of bigot”, Buchanan concludes.
“The Party of Reagan is losing the country because it is no longer the party of the principles, policies and persona of Reagan, as applied to the problems of our time.”
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