Watergate veteran Pat Buchanan puts the post-Comey chaos in perspective

by WorldTribune Staff, May 18, 2017

While the left has succeeded in moving President Donald Trump’s agenda to the “back-burner,” they in no way have made the case that the firing of former FBI chief James Comey is any way comparable to Watergate, ex-Nixon aide Pat Buchanan said.

Buchanan, author of the newly released book “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made And Broke a President and Divided America Forever” told The Daily Caller on May 17 that “to compare the situation then with the situation now is absurd.

Pat Buchanan: ‘This is not comparable to ’73.’

“I will say there is a valid comparison between the blood-in-the-water atmosphere of this city now and the blood-in-the-water atmosphere of 1973/1974 after March ’73.”

Buchanan said that “we haven’t got a single crime yet or a single indictment yet. By the time of the Saturday Night Massacre – in the middle of the Watergate scandal which lasted 18 months – you had people convicted and imprisoned, you had others who were on trial or facing indictment, you had others who had lawyered up and whose names had been dropped, you had congressional hearings, you had universal cries in the House for impeachment, and the White House was clearly deep in a crisis.”

Another difference is the media, Buchanan said.

“You had The Washington Post, CBS and the networks. You had a morning newspaper and an evening newspaper and three networks. Now you’ve got a new headline, a new revelation every day at least. Sometimes twice a day. It seems like a great deal more activity going on, but I think in terms of the situation, they’re not comparable. This is not comparable to ’73.”

As for Trump’s agenda, there’s no question it “has been put on the back-burner,” Buchanan said.

“At least for the cable networks and the newspapers with all these conflicts. There’s no question that the agenda has suffered. I think the president has been hurt to a degree if his approval rating is around 38 or 40 percent. The Republican Party is sort of mute right now on Capitol Hill. This has been a dramatic four months. The question is, can we sustain this kind of intensity for 44 more months?”

Buchanan added that “Trump was a good salesman” for his ideas, “and these ideas had real currency with the American people. I think the Republican Party will be brought around to these ideas because their previous ideas were unsustainable. Open borders, and refusing to protect the borders, and amnesties like Bush and McCain wanted were going to be a disaster for the country and the party.

“You keep up the same trade policies with China running $400 billion trade surpluses and you won’t have a manufacturing plant left in the country. And you get involved in a couple more wars over there, the American people will rise up against the Republican Party and throw them out the way they did in 2006 and 2008.

“It’s not the persuasiveness of tactics that got these issues elevated in the hearts and minds of millions. It’s what happened. We tried the wars, we tried the free trade globalism, and we tried the open borders and people don’t like the results. And they’re not going to like it better if we go back to the same approach.”

Of the increasing political divisiveness in the country, some of which has resulted in violent confrontations, Buchanan told the Daily Caller:

“If you see more of the cause, you will see more of the effect. How dumb can these people be. Take a look at what’s happening in Europe. You have secessionist movements in more than half a dozen countries. You’ve got nationalism across Europe, you’ve got ethno-nationalism, you’ve got pro-Russian governments rising, autocracy is more attractive to people.

“People got to take a look. This isn’t because a couple of guys have been preaching something for a few years. We’ve been predicting it. It’s the events that matter. They decide things. When we ran with these issues in the ’90s, you had tremendous support, but the thing people said was what we’re doing right now isn’t that bad so let’s stick with this.

“If you don’t address the causes you will get the same results, and I don’t understand people who don’t realize that.”