Former GOP presidential candidate and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan defended Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and blasted the GOP’s “Davos-Doha-[Wall Street] Journal” wing for turning off blue-collar Reagan Democrats by selling out the country to plutocrats who know no borders.
The Wall Street Journal (perhaps conceding that Sessions is effective and succeeding in opposing the permanent political class’s agenda on trade and open borders) has repeatedly attacked Sessions for opposing amnesty and President Barack Obama’s secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. The Journal has denigrated the Alabama Senator for leading the pro-American worker wing of the Republican Party that it referred to as the “Buchanan wing” of the GOP.
“In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats,” the Journal wrote in its most recent anti-Sessions screed. “In the waning days of the Obama Presidency the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback, and in ways that are revealing about its ultimate agenda. The leader of this movement in Congress is Jeff Sessions, who has long railed against illegal immigration but since becoming chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on immigration has taken a more public stance against legal immigration.”
After noting in his column that “while Nixon and Reagan won 49-state landslides and gave the GOP five victories in six presidential contests, the party has fallen upon hard times” because “only once since 1988 has a Republican presidential nominee won the popular vote,” Buchanan asked, “But was this caused by following this writer’s counsel? Or by the GOP listening to the deceptions of its Davos-Doha-Journal wing?”
“In the 1990s, this writer and allies in both parties fought NAFTA, GATT and MFN for China. The Journal and GOP establishment ran with Bill and Hillary and globalization. And the fruits of their victory? Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared,” Buchanan continued. “Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order?”
Buchanan said he warned then that “this economic treason against America’s workers would bring about political retribution. And so it came to pass. Since 1988, a free-trade Republican Party has not once won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin in a presidential election. Ohio, the other great Midwest industrial state, is tipping.”
“The Reagan Democrats are gone,” he added. “Who cast them aside? You or us?”
He attacked the Journal for accusing conservatives who are opposed to secret trade deals that may not be in the national interest for being anti-growth:
The Journal accuses us of being anti-growth. But as trade surpluses add to a nation’s GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?
Fiercely opposing the TPP, Sessions has said that the deal’s “living agreement” gives the commission “the authority to amend the trade agreement that is initially passed if they find that circumstances have changed and they desire to change it.”
“The term ‘living agreement’ should make the hair stand up on the backs of our necks because this is a dangerous thing,” Sessions said on Wednesday.
He added that the “commission has the power to admit new members” and “the process will look similar to that of the World Trade Organization, which would mean that new nations “could be admitted by just 8 of the 12 TPP members” and not by unanimous vote like NATO requires.
Sessions has also fired back at the Journal, arguing that the TPP’s living agreement “contains language that the president could use to advance other agendas and promulgate an array of new executive actions—including to expand foreign-worker programs.”
“Years of rising trade deficits and job losses demand greater scrutiny of new trade deals, not less,” Sessions recently wrote in a rebuttal to the Journal’s editorial. “Fast track will dramatically reduce Congress’s power over the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as any other yet-unseen trade agreements over the next six years. No lawmaker can amend any provision, enforce any violation or apply the 60-vote threshold used for significant legislative matters (let alone the 67 votes for treaties).”
Sessions, the preeminent champion of American workers in the Senate, has also declared that Americans “should not lose one job to a trade deal” and tried to offer an amendment to prevent the country’s immigration laws from being amended through trade deals.
On immigration, Buchanan mentioned that he campaigned on “securing the border in 1991-92 when there were 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States” and also pushed for a moratorium on “legal immigration, such as America had from 1924 to 1965, to assimilate and Americanize the millions who had come.”
Buchanan noted that “Bush Republicans refused to seal the border” while “the Journal Republicans” said an immigration moratorium was “xenophobia.”
“Now there are 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants and the issue is tearing the party apart. Now everybody is for ‘secure borders,'” he continued. “Since then, tens of millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, mostly from the Third World, have arrived. Economically, they consume more in tax dollars than they contribute.”
Echoing Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, whose group has released a report detailing how massive amnesty legislation would lead to the demise of the GOP, Buchanan said embracing amnesty legislation would be suicide for the GOP. Citing the GOP’s futility in California as an example, Buchanan noted that most new immigrants “belong to ethnic groups that vote between 70 and 90 percent Democratic” and “their children will bury the GOP.”
The Journal has been on a rampage against Sessions simply because Sessions has been arguing for an immigration policy that puts American workers first. America already admits more legal immigrants than any other country in the world, and Sessions has suggested there should be a pause in ever-increasing immigration levels to give struggling American workers a better shot at finding good-paying jobs. Sessions simply declared to the Journal recently that “America is a country, not a spreadsheet.”
On Iraq, Buchanan reminded the Journal that conservatives who opposed the Iraq War were called “unpatriotic” by the same establishment Republicans:
Lest we forget, the “Buchanan wing” also opposed the invasion of Iraq while the Journal-War Party wing howled, “Onto Baghdad!” “Unpatriotic Conservatives,” we were called in a cover story by a neocon National Review for saying the war was unnecessary and unwise.
“Our agenda in that decade was — stay out of wars that are not our business, economic patriotism, secure borders, and America first,” Buchanan wrote. “The foreign debt and de-industrialization of America, the trillion-dollar wars and the chaos of the Middle East, the shortened life span of the Party of Reagan, that’s your doing, fellas, not ours.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
When he announced his 1992 presidential candidacy and primary challenge to sitting moderate establishment Republican President George H.W. Bush, Buchanan said then that it is “time to end the routinized annual transfers of national wealth to global bureaucrats, who ship it off to regimes who pay us back with compound ingratitude.” He called on policymakers to look out for “forgotten Americans” and for a new patriotism, demanding that “in every negotiation, be it arms control or trade, the American side seeks advantage and victory for the United States.”
In 1992, Buchanan also called on Americans to “recapture our capital city” from “lobbyists and registered agents of foreign powers… who are hired to look out for everybody and everything except for the national interest of the United States.”