There's something you should know about Pat Buchanan and his friends.
They'll say (or write) anything to get what they want. That includes
rewriting history (their own and others) in order to succeed at their
power game. Buchanan's current website displays an article that is high
on rhetoric, low on facts and geared to attack his only rival in the
Reform Party presidential primary, John Hagelin.
For the record, Buchanan was dead set on avoiding a primary in the
first place. But after his bullying efforts to remove John Hagelin from
the primary ballot failed, the propaganda machine against him cranked
up. Hagelin, a founder of the Natural Law Party, has been a political
independent for 10 years (Pat's been one for 10 months). Now Pat's
friends, journalist Justin Raimondo and Brigade whip Linda Muller, are
dragging Hagelin through the mud in tactics vulgarly reminiscent of
Democratic and Republican party-style campaigning, where Buchanan
himself was schooled.
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How do I know so much about Buchanan and his "If you can't control
'em, roll 'em" brand of politics? I was co-chair of his campaign for
eight months. During that time I witnessed one of the most venal
political betrayals in independent political history. And when I
resigned from the Buchanan campaign, Pat let his Brigades loose on me.
Whereas Buchanan called me an "authentic leader" who is a "tremendous
force in the Reform Party" while I was supporting him, once I resigned I
became a "leftwing psycho-cultist" and my supporters, whom Buchanan
called "good folks who are extraordinarily effective in politics,"
became, in Justin Raimondo's words, "robotic minions."
John Hagelin, who Buchanan must annihilate in order to complete his
corrupt jihad, is now coming in for the Buchanan treatment, at the hands
of Raimondo and Linda Muller. Here, briefly, is the background. Pat
Buchanan came to the Reform Party to seek our nomination for President.
He asked for my endorsement in his bid for the primary, pledged to
champion the issue of political reform and to work to unify all the
different factions, state organizations and leaders within the party. I
agreed to endorse him and we jointly announced our plans to work
together to reach out to diverse constituencies and to build a new
grass-roots coalition of Americans aimed at rooting out the corruption,
opportunism and hypocrisy in the two parties.
Soon, Buchanan's friends -- like journalist Justin Raimondo of
Antiwar.com -- chimed in to support my alliance with Buchanan. After my appearance at a conference organized by Raimondo entitled -- appropriately enough -- "Beyond Left and Right" -- he lauded and published my speech on his Internet journal. But the Buchanan candidacy turned out to be a far cry from what Pat had promised. Political reform was relegated to a footnote in his campaign message. His pledge to unify the party was supplanted by a provocative and divisive campaign, which drove opponents -- like Gov. Jesse Ventura and hundreds of others -- out. His desertion of our efforts to jointly build a left/right coalition in favor of pandering to his social conservative Brigades combined with his other betrayals caused me to resign as his campaign co-chairman.
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From that point on, Buchanan's friends went to work. Justin Raimondo changed his posture on me in the blink of an eye. I was no longer a "an invaluable asset to the Reform leadership," but someone who "managed to finagle herself into being a factor in Reform Party politics." But the attack machine -- à la George Bush and Al Gore -- was just gearing up.
Raimondo penned a piece, now posted on the Buchanan website entitled,
"John Hagelin and the Giggling Guru." (The version appearing on the Buchanan website is an edited version. The original version contained a section about Hagelin Press Secretary Bob Roth that contained such explicit and outrageous lies as to be legally actionable. Once so informed, Raimondo admitted he was "red-faced" about the error and he and the Buchanan campaign were forced to remove it.)
What remains is a broadside against the Transcendental Meditation movement, out of which Hagelin comes. Added to that, on the Internet Brigade, edited by Buchananite Linda Muller (who circulated the slanderous charges against Roth after Raimondo's apology), are morsels of ridiculously distorted and inflammatory charges about the Natural Law Party and the Transcendental Meditation movement, which are designed to make Hagelin appear some combination of "loopy" and a religious fanatic.
I am not a practitioner of TM. John Hagelin, a Harvard-trained physicist who, together with his colleagues, has pioneered the experimental use of meditation to address a variety of social ills, is. The Buchanan war machine has attempted to use this to malign him and his followers and to prescribe what should be considered acceptable leadership for the independent movement. As a black progressive independent -- who has been maligned within some independent circles for being black and a progressive, and within black and progressive (read: Democratic Party) circles for being independent -- I know firsthand what Hagelin faces. And I believe it violates the fundamental principle of inclusivity on which the broad independent movement is based.
In politics, Buchanan's attack on Hagelin is considered fair game. At least in politics as currently practiced, though presumably the Reform Party came into existence specifically to clean up that kind of corruption. What's more, Buchanan is an ardently devout Roman Catholic who regularly invokes his constitutionally protected right to practice his religion and to allow it to color his social policy views. But he betrays his own hypocrisy in sponsoring the Raimondo and Muller attacks. Whatever Dr. Hagelin's personal spiritual and religious views might be, they are likewise protected by the Constitution. Raimondo and Muller's baiting and bashing of Hagelin is nothing more than Buchanan's startled reaction to the fact that he actually has to win a primary, rather than abscond with the nomination simply by taking over the party he so purposefully ravaged.
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On the subject of the primary itself, one final note. In the course of campaigning for the nomination, John Hagelin requested the Reform Party provide him with access to the complete list of 900,000 eligible voters. At that point it was discovered that Buchanan had forced a secret deal on the Chairman of the Presidential Nominating Committee (PNC) to restrict access to the half of the list provided by the Buchanan campaign. When Mr. Hagelin protested and suggested that the Buchanan restriction was an effort to cover over a fraudulent submission of voters, the party's Executive Committee voted 7 to 2 to provide him with access and to allow a process of verifying the legitimacy of voter lists to proceed. Buchanan immediately threatened to sue the party, members of the Executive Committee and the Chairman of the PNC. The party is ignoring Buchanan's threats and proceeding to comply with the Hagelin request.
Buchanan's message is clear. He believes he can strong-arm the party into submission. The primary challenge by John Hagelin and the subsequent discovery of possible fraud committed by Buchanan has whipped him and his friends into a frenzy. For those of you voting in the Reform Party primary -- either by mail or in the Internet voting period August 7-9 -- keep all this in mind. Buchanan and friends are as fair-weather as they come. And they are no friends to the Reform Party or the reform movement.