PM Carpenter, who disagrees with Buchanan about almost everything, thinks MSNBC was wrong to fire him:
What I want to hear — what I need to hear — is whatever incisive stuff the other guys are thinking. And Pat Buchanan, on MSNBC, was that lone voice. Now, even he is gone, which only further exacerbates cable networks' mindless polarization and further weakens mutual enlightenment.
Alyssa Rosenberg differs:
Sunlight is the best disinfectant only if the ideas at hand have actual traction and need to be dislodged. Nobody takes seriously the ideas that Jerry Sandusky’s alleged abuse and rape of children has any connection to marriage equality for gay couples, or that Anders Brevik, the Norway terrorist, has the right worldview. Their credibility has nowhere to go but up, and lending someone a seat at the table confers some of that credibility, even if it’s only to acknowledge that the idea has power that’s dangerous.
I hope you got a few e-mails of support regarding Pat Buchanan. I'm with you 100 percent, and I'm a Jewish liberal MSNBC watcher. Buchanan has a coherent worldview, which he sticks to even if it requires him to criticize a Republican. See his relentless criticism of the Iraq war from the very beginning. Further, when asked for his views on the mechanics of a campaign or the quality of a speech, he was relentlessly fair, criticizing conservatives when their rhetoric was weak and praising liberals when their rhetoric was strong.
See the above footage of Buchanan gushing over Obama's 2008 convention speech. Another reader:
In one breath you rant on about "contemporary liberalism" and end it with the rediculous "people are complicated." Yet early on in your post you so quickly write the words: Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton. Jeez, Andrew … so quick to throw out that ad hominem attack against a man who HAS stood up for gays, immigrants, those on death row, and minorities. You are so forgiving to ignore Pat Buchanan's past transgressions against so many, yet so quick to write off Al based on an incident 25 years ago. I guess Pat is "complicated" and Al isn't.
The problem here is you're presenting a false dichotomy – keep odious Pat Buchanan, or replace him with Michael Steele, a lovable goon. Erudite hatred, or lame-brained affability. Dumping Buchanan was the correct move, but it's not enough, as you correctly point out. He should be replaced with a conservative who don't regurgitate revisionist World War II history, endorse bigotry and most dangerously of all, thinly veil it with a "nice old granddad" demeanor. Both Buchanan and Steele lower our political discourse in differing but equally damaging ways. Why doesn't MSNBC bring a David Frum on board, or (no pander, I swear!), an Andrew Sullivan?