Pat Buchanan: Is the American Century over for good?
“Politics stops at the water’s edge” was a tradition that, not so long ago, was observed by both parties, particularly when a president was abroad, speaking for the nation.
The tradition was enunciated by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan in 1947, as many of the Republicans in the 80th Congress moved to back Truman’s leadership in the Cold War against Stalin’s empire.
The tradition lasted until the mid-1960s, when the left wing of the Democratic Party turned viscerally, and even violently, against the war in Vietnam and President Lyndon Johnson.
Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush I, with the support of conservative Democrats, led America to final victory in the Cold War
Yet except for brief intervals, like the rallying around George H.W. Bush after the triumphant Gulf War of 1991 and George W. Bush after 9/11, true national unity has never been restored.
Were proof needed, last week provided it.
President Trump flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, to meet North Korea’s dictator. Subject of negotiations: Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons, including his missiles that may be able to reach our homeland.
How did the Democratic Party wish the commander in chief well on his mission for America?
During his first full day in Hanoi, a committee of Nancy Pelosi’s House held a public hearing featuring ex-Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen.
The city loved it. TV coverage went gavel to gavel. Cohen’s testimony crowded out the Trump-Kim summit.
What were the headlines Trump came home to after refusing to lift sanctions on North Korea, in return for meager concessions Kim offered?
“Cohen Paints Trump as Crooked” was the banner atop page one of The Washington Post.
“Cohen Accuses Trump of Lies and Cover-ups” ran the page-one headline in The New York Times.
“Cohen Declares Trump a Racist, Cheat and Conman” read the huge headline in the Financial Times.
Indulging its hatred of Trump is an obsession of this capital city. Those headlines reveal not only the news judgment of the editors but the agenda of the elite who turn to them first every morning.
That agenda is the breaking of this president; and, if impeachment proves not possible, his crushing defeat in 2020 and subsequent indictment.
In the play unfolding, Cohen’s testimony to the House committee was scene one of act one.
Next comes the Mueller report, though it appears Robert Mueller and his team, after investigating for two years, have found no collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Hence, the hopes of Trump haters are being redirected to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Subjects of investigation: the Trump Organization, the Trump Inaugural Committee, the Trump Foundation, the Trump family and any entity with which Trump has been associated in 40 years.
As the president is chief of state and head of government, he cannot be indicted. He must first be removed from the presidency. But to remove him, Democrats have to impeach him in the House and convict him in a Republican Senate.
If they cannot, they will have to defeat him at the polls.
Today, a watching world is asking: If you Americans are at war with yourselves over race, religion, morality, culture and politics, if you cannot unite yourselves, how can you unite the world? And around what?
Maybe the American Century is really over.
Pat Buchanan is author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”