Even if it was due largely to complaints from the Right, I’m pleased that Van Jones– who said and did some stupid things– has resigned from President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality. Obviously it was a mistake to hire him in the first place.
But I wonder if any of the Republicans who led the charge against Jones ever raised objections when the sainted Ronald Reagan hired Pat Buchanan as the White House communications director in 1985 (he served until 1987). When he was hired, Buchanan was on the record with the following remarks:
1977: “Those of us in childhood during the war years were introduced to Hitler only as a caricature…Though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide, he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier’s soldier in the Great War, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him. But Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”
1983: “Perhaps this endless search for Nazi war criminals, these endless re-enactments, on stage and screen, of Hitler’s concentration camps are good for the soul. To what end, however, all this wallowing in the atrocities of a dead regime when there is scarcely a peep of protest over the prison camps, the labor camps, the concentration camps operating now in China and Siberia, in Cuba and Vietnam.”
1983: “Rail as they will against ‘discrimination,’ women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism…The momma bird builds the nest. So it was, so it ever shall be. Ronald Reagan is not responsible for this; God is.”
1983: “The poor homosexuals – they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.”
1984: “Should the United States be a pagan or a Christian country?…America was a Christian country. A quarter of a century ago, without prior consultation with a democratic people, without support in precedent or the Constitution, the Warren Court undertook the systematic de-Christianization of America, beginning, but not stopping, with the public schools…..
“The school prayer crusade, then, is the first great counteroffensive of a badly routed Christian community to recapture their occupied public schools and re-establish their beliefs as the legitimate moral foundation of American society.”
After a controversy erupted over Reagan’s plans to lay a wreath at a German cemetery in Bitburg where 49 SS soldiers were buried, Buchanan argued forcefully for Reagan to stand up to the pressure from “the Jews and the media.”
Despite strong objections from Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel, Reagan went ahead with the cemetery visit— immortalized by the Ramones in “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg.”