With President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan, some conservatives are lamenting the prospect of a United States Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice. But for Pat Buchanan, the corollary is that one religious group is being dangerously overrepresented on the nation's highest court. Given Buchanan's checkered past, including as it does periodic defenses of Adolf Hitler, you'd never guess which one.
For the ardent Catholic, George W. Bush's elevation of Buchanan's fellow churchmen John Roberts and Samuel Alito posed no crisis. But as he wrote this week in "Are Liberals Anti-WASP?," Obama's selection of Kagan revealed "the real targets of liberal bias are white Protestants and Catholics, who still constitute well over half of the U.S. population":
Indeed, of the last seven justices nominated by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one was Puerto Rican, Sonia Sotomayor. The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.
If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.
Is this the Democrats' idea of diversity?
Of course, Pat Buchanan's idea of diversity, as fellow Nixon White House aide John Erlichman put it, their boss characterized Buchanan's views as "segregation forever." And as Jonathan Alter in 1991 and Jake Tapper in 1999 long ago documented, Buchanan's seeming Holocaust denial, admiration for Hitler and defense of Nazi war criminals mean anti-Semite must appear alongside MSNBC regular and former presidential candidate on his resume.
In the run-up to the first Gulf War, Buchanan announced, "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East-the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States." After Buchanan wrote that the war would be fought by "kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales, and Leroy Brown," his hero William F. Buckley lamented, "I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism."
Eight years later in 1999, Jake Tapper writing in Salon was puzzled by the kid-glove treatment afforded by press and politicians alike to the racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism presidential candidate Buchanan displayed in the past. In "Who's Afraid of Pat Buchanan?," Tapper asked:
But, what would happen, say, if it were discovered that George W. Bush had made a pet cause of defending World War II Nazis, often engaged in his own form of Holocaust denial and had once praised no less than Adolf Hitler, calling him "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"?
As it turns out, Pat Buchanan has company among conservatives greeting the Kagan nomination with casual anti-Semitism. Right-wing judicial activist Manuel Miranda, whose previous claim to fame as a Senate Republican aide was stealing documents from the computers of Judiciary Committee Democrats, stated in an interview this week:
"I grew up in New York, she grew up in New York. I'm very familiar with the sort of Jewish socialist culture in New York, which has an enormous pedigree, has done wonderful things in promoting a way of life and developing American society, but at the end of the day is still socialist."
In response to Buchanan's attack on Kagan, the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman declared, "Pat Buchanan is a recidivist anti-Semite who never misses an opportunity to show his fangs." Which is exactly right. As David Weigel noted in the Washington Post, in 1971 Buchanan wrote this in a memo to President Richard Nixon:
Italian Americans, unlike blacks, have never had a Supreme Court member -- they are deeply concerned with their "criminal" image; they do not dislike the President. Give those fellows the "Jewish seat" or the "black seat" on the Court when it becomes available.
Conservatives can stop never stop praising the "Judeo-Christian" heritage of the United States. But when it comes to his religious test for the United States Supreme Court, Pat Buchanan has had enough of the Judeo.