When Mika Brzezinski gushed over Pat Buchanan's knowledge of WWII history today, was she aware that her hero has criticized Britain for coming to the defense of her father's native Poland when Nazi Germany invaded it?
Buchanan has been a member of the Morning Joe panel this week. Much of today's talk has focused, with a Bush-bashing panel of guests, on President Bush's condemnation of appeasement in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. At 8:12 AM ET, the show rolled video from last night's Hardball of Chris Matthews's hectoring of radio talk show host Kevin James over the latter's inability to state precisely what it was that Neville Chamberlain did in attempting to appease Adolf Hitler. As I noted here, Chris managed to stumble on some history of his own during that segment, but MJ didn't deign to discuss that embarrassing fact.
Willie Geist turned to Buchanan to answer the question that James couldn't.
View video here.
WILLIE GEIST: Let's answer the question. What did [Chamberlain] do in '38?
PAT BUCHANAN: He presided over the departure of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Germany, because the Germans were threatening war over it, and France was allied with Czechoslovakia. Six months later, Czechoslovakia fell apart.
It is no overstatement to say that in response to Buchanan's recitation, Mika gushed like a schoolgirl. I invite viewers to see for themselves. Mika's response comes 1:50 into the video clip.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI [clasping her hands over her bosom]: Oh-h-h-h Pat. Is there anything you don't know?
What Mika apparently didn't know is Buchanan's position on the issues, as set forth in his book A Republic, Not an Empire. From the NYT review [written by New Republic editor John Judis] of the Buchanan book [emphasis added].
In a new wrinkle on appeasement, [Buchanan] criticizes Britain for declaring war on Germany after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. Even after Hitler conquered France and began bombing Britain, Buchanan insists, the Nazis were not a threat to American vital interests.
So, yes, Mika, Buchanan might be an expert on appeasement, but perhaps not in quite the way you imagined.