Pat Buchanan is an acquired taste. He's sort of like Scotch whiskey…bracing and not for everyone.
Pat's penchant for prostrating himself simultaneously on all of the third rails of American politics (Israel, race, sexual orientation, abortion, and immigration) finally caught up with him. MSNBC finalized a de facto separation. Pat took it like a champ…no whining or complaints.
He recalled that he'd been with MSNBC for ten years, and that it was a good run. He talked about how he had been fired before. That time, it was by Donald Rumsfeld. Pat was working for Nixon, and got the ax when Ford took over. According to Pat, "…with MSNBC, it was a lot more pleasant."
A few colleagues stood up for him: Chris Matthews, Mika Brezinski, and Joe Scarborough. Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire owner of the New York Mirror and major contributor to Jewish charities, still appears with him on the McLaughlin Group.
Pat has spent decades with individuals and interest groups yapping at his heels, trying to get him off TV. He had a major dust-up with Rachel Madow on her show. The subject was affirmative action. You can guess Pat's position. I saw it and thought Pat got the better of it.
On her next program, with Pat absent, she revisited the matter. Sitting in front of a banner that read, "Not true Pat", she read from a teleprompter, a six-minute relitigation of their debate. This was an unfair, classless tactic beneath even the likes of Hannity. Later, she complained that, "…Pat Buchanan is still on TV."
If you're a product of the sixties and you followed politics, Pat was part of your life. When he was on Nixon's staff, I had the privilege of introducing liberal icon Izzy Stone at an Impeach Nixon rally on the Ellipse behind the White House. A friend of mine had the dubious pleasure of boxing with Pat when they were both ten years old. Pat's father had set up a ring in the basement. When he was at Georgetown, he got in a jam with the DC Police that turned physical. According to Pat, "…I was ahead on points until they brought out the night sticks."
Pat lives in upscale McLean, Virginia now. I don't know if he has a ring set up in the basement. If he does, I'd pay good money to see him go a few rounds with an old adversary…say, Alan Dershowitz. I'd take Pat in that one.