Doing what he does best

DOING WHAT HE DOES BEST…. For the better part of a couple of decades, Pat Buchanan has come to embody some of the worst the country has to offer. His style of jingoism is uglier and more divisive than most, predicated on the notion that politics that pits Americans against one another isn’t just acceptable, it’s preferable.

With this in mind, the Sonia Sotomayor nomination is something of an opportunity for Buchanan — it gives him a chance to hit a variety of his favorite hot buttons simultaneously. The judge is, after all, a brilliant, Latino woman, with an apparent center-left ideology, nominated to the high court by a Democratic president.

And after just a week, it’s striking to see just how much Buchanan is enjoying himself, offering some of the most insulting and painful criticisms of Sotomayor of any “mainstream” political/media figure.

Part of the problem, of course, is Buchanan’s narrow-minded, Know-Nothing ideology. The other part, though is the fact that his race-based, misogynistic viciousness doesn’t adversely affect his media bookings.

Jason Linkins added, “[L]et’s be honest, the only thing that separates Buchanan from the racist uncle you long avoided as a child at family get-togethers is that at some point, it was decided that Buchanan should be rewarded for having what Jay Rosen so famously describes as ‘savvy,’ his creepy worldview notwithstanding.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.