MFG 2.0

Pat Buchanan On So-Called Toyota Republicans

...and no, continuous improvers of the world, he doesn't mean it as a compliment.

Republican MSNBC host (yes, such a creature does exist, although I think he's probably on the endangered species list by now) and founder of The American Conservative Pat Buchanan recently wrote an interesting editorial in his magazine.

Called "The Toyota Republicans," the commentary asks:

"What are Republicans thinking of, pulling the plug, at Christmas, on GM, risking swift death for the greatest manufacturing company in American history, a strategic asset and pillar of the U.S. economy?"


Buchanan then goes on to make this point:

In a good year, Americans buy 17 million cars. A more populous EU probably buys as many. Three billion people in India, Southeast Asia and China, four times as many people as there are in the EU and United States, are moving toward the middle class. They, too, will be wanting cars. And millions of them love American cars.

He then veers off (somewhat predictably, if you know anything about the guy) on a quick globalization-bashing rant that contradicts his glorifying of the bounties of free trade:

Do the Republicans not yet understand how they lost the New Majority coalition that gave them three landslides and five victories in six presidential races from 1968 to 1988? Do they not know why the Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan are going home?

The Republican Party gave their jobs away!

How? By telling U.S. manufacturers they could shut plants here, get rid of their U.S. workers, build factories in Mexico, Asia or China, and ship their products back, free of charge.

Republican globalists gave U.S. manufacturers every incentive to go abroad and take their jobs with them, the jobs of Middle America.

And, for 30 years, that is what U.S. manufacturers have done, have been forced to do, as their competitors closed down and moved their plants abroad in search of low-wage Third World labor ...

In today’s world, America faces nationalistic trade rivals who manipulate currencies, employ nontariff barriers, subsidize their manufacturers, rebate value-added taxes on exports to us and impose value-added taxes on imports from us, all to capture our markets and kill our great companies. And we have a Republican Party blissfully ignorant that we live in a world of us or them. It doesn’t even know who “us” is.

Of course, it's Pat Buchanan, so the "Toyota Republicans" column is basically incoherent and inconsistent logically (I mean, if the Republicans were Toyota, wouldn't they be winning elections?), incomplete factually (a Democratic President, Bill Clinton, basically shoehorned China into the WTO and signed NAFTA, after all) but nonetheless viscerally appealing argument in favor of an "us versus them" mentality that, in my opinion, is as outdated as his tired "culture warrior" schtick.

What do you think?

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