Affirmative Action, Buchanan-Style

Rick Perlstein's great book Nixonland.
Rick Perlstein's great book Nixonland.


Pat Buchanan, among other conservatives, has been all arage over the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court justice. Sotomayer, Buchanan argues, is an affirmative action hire, selected not because she’s the best qualified candidate but because she’s a Hispanic woman. (For an example of Buchanan in action see this debate he had with Rachel Maddow). 


It’s worth reminding ourselves that for conservatives like Buchanan, affirmative action is only bad when its beneficiaries are women or non-whites. There are all sorts of affirmative actions programs that Buchanan supports.


In the early 1970s, Buchanan was speechwriter for Richard Nixon. In that capacity he often sent his superiors memos advising them on political strategy. One pet Buchanan idea was that the Republican party should chase after the Catholic vote in a more vigorous way (he also thought that the party was wasting its time trying to get support from blacks and Jews).

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