Pat Buchanan: Who Really Imperils the Republic?

Pat Buchanan writes about the January Capitol protests in Who Really Imperils the Republic?

In the “domestic terrorism” at the Capitol, no protester set off a bomb, toppled a statue, or fired a weapon. Of the four who died that day, all were protesters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop as she tried to force her way into the Senate chamber. A rioter and law-breaker, yes, but a terrorist who deserved to die?

“That attack, that siege” of the Capitol, FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress, “was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and it was behavior we at the FBI view as domestic terrorism.”

“Domestic terrorism,” said Wray, echoing his boss.

For what had been President-elect Joe Biden’s reaction to the Capitol riot?

“Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple,” said Biden.

Yet, the phrase domestic terrorism conjures up events from our past far graver than a four-hours occupation of the Capitol. Nat Turner’s rebellion. John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City.

The near assassination of Harry Truman at Blair House by Puerto Rican nationalists, Nov.1, 1950. The shooting and wounding of five congressmen from the House gallery on March 1, 1954.

The 1974 bombing of New York’s Fraunces Tavern — where Gen. George Washington said farewell to his officers — also the work of Puerto Ricans demanding independence. Four died there and 50 were injured.

Yet, in the “domestic terrorism” at the Capitol, no protester set off a bomb, toppled a statue, or fired a weapon. Of the four who died that day, all were protesters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop as she tried to force her way into the Senate chamber.

A rioter and law-breaker, yes, but a terrorist who deserved to die?

Benjamin Phillips, 50, died of a stroke; Kevin Greeson, 55, of a heart attack. Rosanne Boyland, 34, was apparently crushed in the melee.

Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died of a stroke the next day. Media reports that he had been hit with a fire extinguisher proved false. In the two months since Jan. 6, no one has been charged in his death.

Was Wray’s FBI alerted in advance of this impending act of domestic terrorism? Apparently, it was.

Writes The Washington Post: “A… report, prepared by the FBI’s Norfolk field office a day before the riot, … warned of specific appeals for violence, including a call for ‘war’ at the Capitol.”

The report quoted a source urging Donald Trump supporters to go to D.C. “ready to fight.”

“Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent, stop calling this a march or rally or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

What did Wray do with this hair-raising warning? Did he call the D.C. police or Speaker Nancy Pelosi to alert her to what might be coming her way?

No. Wray never saw the Norfolk report. It was not passed up the chain of command to his office until after the riot. It was sent by email to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the D.C. and Capitol Police, posted on a website and mentioned in a command center briefing in D.C.

Nonchalance seems to have been the FBI’s order of the day.

As acting D.C. police chief Robert J. Contee III told Congress, “I would certainly think that something as violent as an insurrection would warrant a phone call.”

One would think so. Explanations are needed.

How can Wray call a breach of the Capitol by a Trump crowd, an “act of domestic terrorism,” when his own subordinates did not regard it as sufficiently serious enough to give him a heads-up?

And is it not hyperbole to use terms like “domestic terrorism,” “armed insurrection,” “coup d’etat,” and “treason” to describe protesters pushing through police lines into the Capitol to disrupt a proceeding?

What is going on here?

The left will not let this go. It is exaggerating and exploiting what happened at the Capitol to paint the right as an ominous threat to American democracy — and itself as the savior of the republic. It seeks to demonize the populist right, cancel its voice, expel it from the public square and redefine it as a conspiracy against America, calling forth new government authority and power to monitor, expose and destroy it.

If assaulting cops and besieging public buildings amounts to domestic terrorism, the rioting, looting, arson and assaults on cops we saw all last summer in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and Louisville from antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors would more than qualify.

Today, Capitol Hill is encircled with high fencing topped by razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops. It looks like the Green Zone in Baghdad. Apparently, the physical barriers and troops are there to protect against attacks by QAnon and white supremacists.

Minneapolis is taking similar precautions to protect the courthouse where ex-cop Derek Chauvin is to be tried for second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

My guess, Minneapolis, not Capitol Hill, is where the action will be this spring, and it will not be Proud Boys keeping the cops busy, but folks who, if they did vote in 2020, voted Democratic.

Pat Buchanan: Is Biden Ceding the Law-and-Order Issue?

From Pat Buchanan, Is Biden Ceding the Law-and-Order Issue?

Eventually, the country is going to go with law and order, for, no matter how the liberals’ recoil from the phrase and its associations with Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, without law and order there is no justice and there is no peace. What Nixon said in ’68 remains true: “The first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence.”

Is Joe Biden forfeiting the law-and-order issue to Donald Trump?

So it would seem.

“Republicans Use Law and Order As Rallying Cry” was the top headline on The New York Times’ front-page story on Vice President Mike Pence’s acceptance speech at Fort McHenry Wednesday night.

The Wall Street Journal Page One headline echoed the Times: “Pence Accepts Nomination as GOP Puts Focus on Police.”

In his address, Pence charged Biden with sinning by silence in failing to denounce the rioters, looters and arsonists who have for months attacked police and pillaged Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Kenosha and other cities.

Said Pence: “Last week, Joe Biden did not say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country.

“Joe Biden says that America is systemically racist, and that law enforcement in America has… ‘implicit bias against minorities.’ When asked whether he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, Joe Biden replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.’

“Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to unsafe streets and violence in American cities. … You will not be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Now, it is inexact to say Biden would “defund” the police. When the big agenda item of Black Lives Matter was first raised, Biden rushed to say he would reform the police and increase spending.

And, late Wednesday afternoon, probably after seeing an advance of Pence’s speech, Biden tweeted from Delaware about the chaos that has engulfed Kenosha since Sunday night’s police shooting of Jacob Blake:

“Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence.”

Biden’s belated and tepid condemnations of the riots and pillaging of America’s cities by “peaceful protesters” gone rogue night after night testifies to the dilemma in which he finds himself.

It is three months since George Floyd ceased to breathe under the knee of that Minneapolis cop. But it is also three months to the election. And the political tide is turning, visibly and hard, against the arsonists and anarchists conducting the nightly rampages against cops across America.

The weariness of the public with the riots is palpable. The claim that these are but the understandable excesses of “peaceful protests” is getting stale. And the reaction against the riots and ruin in the Black communities, for whom they are allegedly being conducted, is growing.

Black leaders in urban areas are saying we want good cops, but we also want more cops to protect our people from gun-toting gangbangers who are running up rising weekly kill rates.

Tuesday, video surfaced of a mob of radicals surrounding, berating, cursing and threatening a woman at a D.C. diner. Her crime? She had refused to submit to demands she raise her fist in a Black Power salute and proclaim, “Black Lives Matter!”

“White silence is violence!” screamed the mob.

It looked like a training exercise for aspiring Nazi Brown Shirts.

We are beginning to see how this all unfolds. And from here, it looks like the Democratic left is going to be the loser on all counts.

First, the big mandate — “Defund the police!” — has backfired.

The Biden media daily testify to its unpopularity by insisting Biden never endorsed it. Where police department budgets have been cut, shooting and homicide rates have soared. And Biden’s refusal to endorse the mandate tells you what Democrats’ polls are telling them.

The police bill passed by Nancy Pelosi’s House featuring restrictions on chokeholds has been ignored by the Senate, and Republicans do not appear to be suffering for having ignored it.

The smashing of statues, which has escalated from Columbus to Catholic missionaries and saints, to Confederate generals and statesmen like Lee, Jackson and Jefferson Davis, to the four presidents on Mount Rushmore — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR — is now seen even by liberal elites as excessive.

Eventually, the country is going to go with law and order, for, no matter how the liberals’ recoil from the phrase and its associations with Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, without law and order there is no justice and there is no peace. What Nixon said in ’68 remains true: “The first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence.”

The mega-demand of BLM and its collaborators — reparations for slavery and segregation — is not wildly popular. Yet, reparations, which ultimately involves trillions in wealth transfers, is an issue on which Biden will have to choose between the Bernie-BLM-AOC wing of his party and the Scranton Democrats among whom he was raised.

The decisive question:

Are the nation’s police forces shot through with systemic racism and overpopulated by white cops who relish using violence on Black folks? Or are our police the first of the first responders, the thin blue line standing between America and anarchy?

The Republicans have chosen. They stand with the cops.

And if and when Biden comes out of the basement again, he is going to have to take a stand. Declaring evenhanded neutrality won’t cut it.

Buchanan: When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

From Pat Buchanan, When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” said Samuel Johnson.

And as it is with men, so it is with nations.

Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, projected some 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, “if we do things almost perfectly.” She agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate that, if we do “nothing,” the American dead could reach 2.2 million.

That 2 million figure would be twice as many dead as have perished in all our wars from the American Revolution to the Civil War, World War I and II, and Korea and Vietnam.

This does indeed concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Now add to this slaughter of our countrymen a market plunge steeper than the 1929 Crash and a 1930s-style Depression. Wall Street analysts are talking of a wipeout of 30% of our GDP and unemployment reaching 35%.

What a difference a month can make.

On March 3, Super Tuesday, we were caught up in the 14 primary contests after Joe Biden’s stunning victory in South Carolina, which broke the momentum of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

What March 2020 produced and what it appears to portend is a sea change in U.S. history, an inflection point, an event after which things never return to what they were.

The coronavirus crisis seems to be one of those epochal events that alter the character of the country and the course of the republic.

Consider what has happened in three weeks.

The Republican Party, the party of small government and balanced budgets, approved with but a single dissent a $2 trillion emergency bill. There is talk now of a second $2 trillion bill, this one for infrastructure.

In a single month then, a Republican Senate and president grew the federal budget by 50% and are looking to double that.

For years, Democrats raised alarms about Trump’s poaching of the powers of the other branches. Now Democrats are demanding to know why Trump has not shut down the economy by presidential decree and not used his latent dictatorial powers to order U.S. companies to produce what the nation’s hospitals demand.

Democrats who long accused Trump of xenophobia and racism for seeking to close the borders to migrants entering the country illegally are now silent as Trump closes America to the world.

First Amendment free press champions are calling for Trump’s White House briefings not to be carried on TV because the president is spouting propaganda and lies. The problem: The people are watching and approving of what the media think the people ought not see.

If people in a crisis will jettison lifelong beliefs like this readily, how enduring will their professed belief in democracy itself prove?

The president thinks this will be a V-shaped recession, that once the economy hits bottom and turns up, it will soar, as in 1946 when pent-up demand from World War II was unleashed and America began to churn out cars and consumer good as rapidly as it had weapons of war.

Perhaps. But put me down as a skeptic. You can’t go home again. The shattering events of March, followed by what is coming in April and May, will have lasting impacts on the hearts and minds of this generation.

That once-insatiable appetite for Chinese-made goods at the mall — will it really return? Will Americans, after having “socially distanced” for months from family and friends, be reassured of their safety and pack into restaurants in July?

Observing the carrier Theodore Roosevelt in Guam offloading scores of sailors infected with coronavirus, will Americans be up for a clash with a China that is even today asserting its claims to the South China Sea?

Will Americans who survive this crisis care whether Iranian-backed Shiites dominate Iraq or Saudi-backed Sunni prevail in Yemen?

If March shocked this nation as severely as 9/11, what is coming may be even more sobering.

Are millions of unemployed workers without the cash to pay for or to find medicine and groceries likely to stay indoors for weeks or months?

All those criminals being given early release from virus-infested jails and prisons without the means to provide for themselves and their families, how will they react to weeks of mandatory sheltering in place?

Will MS-13 and its thousands of members, and its rival gangs that live off narcotics sales, comply?

Americans have done well in staying home in March. Will they do so through April, May and perhaps June? Or will the system gradually break down just as the second wave of the virus in the fall appears?

In times of crisis in America, there is a tradition of self-sacrifice.

But there have also almost always been not a few whose mindset is that of the Fort Lauderdale spring-breakers.

Business Insider has a more rosy view, 10 ways the coronavirus pandemic could change American life as we know it

The Federalist: What Will America Look Like After The Wuhan Coronavirus?

Politico: Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently

Pat Buchanan: Culture War Comes to Virginia

Pat Buchanan writes this short article on some of the divisions growing in the state of Virginia – The Culture War Comes to the Old Dominion.

…Charlottesville, home to Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, has become famous as the site of a 2017 Klan-Nazi clash with antifa over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a municipal park. During the clash, protester Heather Heyer was run over and killed.

There followed the inauguration of a new Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, in 2018 and a new attorney general. Both, it was learned, had masqueraded in blackface in their college days. And two women accused their colleague, new Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, with rape.

Resignations were demanded. But all three hunkered down, and the crisis abated. Now a new cultural issue has emerged…

Let me go out on a limb: If the Virginia General Assembly votes to replace Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Nat Turner, it will not be the unifying event Wexton imagines…

As the Washington Post writes,

“Virginia is a former Confederate State with strong rural traditions and lax gun laws. Guns represent the strongest, reddest line against the demographic changes that have seen Old Dominion voters usher in a new era of Democratic leadership in recent elections.

“A Nevada-based group called the Oath Keepers said it is sending training teams to help form posses and militia in Virginia. The leader of a Georgia militia called Three Percent Security Force has posted videos and calls to arms on Facebook, urging ‘patriots’ to converge on Richmond.”

Still, the divisions among Virginians are not only over history, heroes and guns, they are also moral and religious…

A year ago, Northam said he supported abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and beyond, if an abortion were unsuccessful…

..the state of Virginia seceded from the Union as the colony of Virginia had seceded from Great Britain at Philadelphia 84 years before.

Today, it appears a new secession is underway. Virginians are separating from each other over issues as deep and divisive — such as who can take innocent life and when — as those that divided us in 1861.

As are the rest of their countrymen in this time of Trump.

Click here to read the entire article at Buchanan.org.