Few remember it, but Pat Buchanan's eloquent 1992 convention speech -- compare it to any delivered at this year's festival of ass-covering and breast-beating -- was an enormous popular hit. The convention crowd, which whooped and wept, and the general public (as measured by the overnight polls), were deeply moved by Buchanan's heartfelt, carefully crafted words. It took several days for GOP commentators (like "virtue" addict Bill Bennett) to make the news circuit informing America that our nation had been frightened by Pat's "extremism." That shaped the consensus that Buchanan's speech had spoiled the convention. When George I limped through the rest of the campaign, shrugging and shambling like he didn't actually mean it, and lost to the brilliant demagogue Bill Clinton, the way had been prepared to blame Buchanan (and by extension, his populist supporters) for this defeat. Thus began the purges on the Right.Notice how closely this tracks the Establishment elite consensus of how that awful, angry populist Sarah Palin cost John McCain the election. Now we have the blogosphere to push back against the elite consensus, but we must push very hard and keep pushing. Filthy, ignorant and discordant rabble though we may be, we at least have high-tech pitchforks now.
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