The Corner

Nixon & The Conservatives

I posted this back in February, but it seems relevant in the wake of the Gerson column. Bill Rusher wrote in a recent CRB:

But apparently Goldwater’s massive defeat blinded Nixon to the important strengths of the conservative movement. He recognized the attraction it held for many people, but regarded it as a problem for the Republican Party, rather than a solution. In an early and revealing comment that Mason curiously omits to quote, Nixon told a group of reporters in early October 1965 that “the Buckleyites” were “a threat to the Republican Party even more menacing than the Birchers.” That was the report of columnists Evans and Novak in an October 14th column, and it was confirmed a few days later by Scripps-Howard by-liner Bruce Biossat, who stated that Nixon had been “emphatic…in chats with newsmen “that Buckleyites were “the worst threat to the Party’s difficult rebuilding efforts.”

Presumably it was Pat Buchanan (whom Nixon had already hired full-time as his contact with the right wing) who explained to Nixon that his statement had been a blunder. But it took repeated demands for an explanation from various “Buckleyites” (including myself), and an editorial in National Review itself, to elicit almost six months later the following convoluted climb-down from Buchanan to National Review: What Nixon had “invariably” asserted was only that, in Buckley’s 1965 race for the mayoralty of New York City, “Mr. Buckley, by his repudiation of the [John] Birch Society in his magazine and syndicated column, had thereby made himself a much stronger candidate and a greater threat to the Republican candidate, Representative [John] Lindsay.”

The episode seems to have taught Nixon the danger of antagonizing the conservative movement. But it does not seem to have occurred to him to make common cause with it, let alone harness his presidential ambitions to it. Instead, in the run-up to the Republican convention of 1968, Mason describes Nixon as formulating his own recipe for a political realignment that would return the GOP to power: To the “base of traditional Republicans, who emphasized the importance of free enterprise,” he would add “sections of the population whose needs and expectations differed superficially from the Republican core of support, such as ‘new liberals,’ who emphasized participatory democracy; the ‘new South,’ interested in ‘interpreting the old doctrine of states’ rights in new ways’; most surprisingly, black militants, rejecting welfarism in favor of self-help; plus the ‘silent center.’” 

Most Popular

Media

About That ‘Uncoverable’ Biden Story

Journalists claim they can’t cover the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop because the underlying evidence has yet to been verified. Also, they won’t look for any verifying evidence because there isn’t enough evidence. It’s quite the conundrum. Because other than the now-corroborated emails, ... Read More
Media

About That ‘Uncoverable’ Biden Story

Journalists claim they can’t cover the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop because the underlying evidence has yet to been verified. Also, they won’t look for any verifying evidence because there isn’t enough evidence. It’s quite the conundrum. Because other than the now-corroborated emails, ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More
Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More
Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More