From too extreme to mainstream

Pat Buchanan delivering his epic speech at the RNC in 1992.
Pat Buchanan delivering his epic speech at the RNC in 1992.

Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire said last night that President Obama has never run a lemonade stand. Gov. Kasich of Ohio blamed the President for the national debt (though he was part of a Republican congress that inflated it.) Speaker John Boehner said he wanted to throw the president out like a bouncer does to a drunk at a bar.

And then there is Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Governor Haley told the convention that President Obama tried to stop Boeing’s “Mack-Daddy” 787 DreamLiner from being built and that the hardest part of her day is fighting the federal government. (Meanwhile Democrats are accusing her of ignoring Low Country flooding from Isaac  — Charleston is flooded — while she focuses on her political career with Republicans in Tampa.)

Were conventions always this way? Well sometimes they were and sometimes they were worse.

On Monday night’s The Last Word, Jonathan Capehart and Tom Brokaw talked about Pat Buchanan’s fiery speech at the Republican convention in 1992… a speech that was filled with disdain towards women seeking military combat roles, women’s reproductive rights, alleged anti-religious bigotry, gay and lesbians Americans seeking fairness and especially Bill Clinton. Brokaw reminded us on Monday that the late liberal columnist Molly Ivins said about the fervor of the speech at the time that “it probably sounded better in its original German.” 

Brokaw and Capehart aren’t the only two who are reminded of Buchanan’s speech by the tenor and somewhat extreme tone of this week’s RNC Convention in Tampa… so is the New York Times.

“That speech was then, and is now, consistent with the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Mr. Buchanan said. “The country club and the establishment Republicans recoil from the social, cultural and moral issues which many conservatives and evangelicals have embraced.”

Click through to watch Pat Buchanan’s 1992 speech…  it is worth a watch if only to compare what was once deemed too extreme for the Republican party to what you’ll hear tonight at the RNC.