Pitchfork Pat Pitches Out a Strange Bedfellow

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Hitler and Stalin teamed up for a while too, but it didn't last.

Last November, when Lenora Fulani, a radical small-government ultra-leftist whose main supporters are blacks, Hispanics and gays, teamed up with Pat Buchanan, whose main supporters are people who wish those people had never been born, they gave even the cliché "strange bedfellows" a gust of fresh air. Now Fulani says Buchanan's promises of making room for her in his conservative tent have been unfulfilled, and so she quit the partnership in a huff Monday.

Buchanan is not shedding any tears. This pact, just like 1939's short-lived non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, was doomed as soon as he didn't need her anymore.

Buchanan, who talks pitchfork but always thinks politics, would have teamed up with the devil himself if the distinguished gentleman from down Dante way could have put him over the top for the 400 delegates he needs to guarantee the Reform party nod at the August convention. Fulani carried with her a passionate fringe vote that might have helped (as well as matching funds from her previous two presidential runs). But Buchanan is close to 300 already, and found that "energizing his base" was a better way to break the hold of the Perotistas than compromising with the likes of Fulani.

"I believe political leaders must defend the moral order rooted in the Old and New Testament and natural law that is under relentless assault," an unapologetic Buchanan said in his response to Fulani's letter of resignation. The Perot crowd, which has plenty of fight left in it but no candidate better than physicist John Hagelin to put up against Buchanan, says that they're the ones under relentless assault — by Buchanan.

"There may be a brawl on the convention floor," said Jim Mangia, the Reform party's national secretary. "It's a real possibility. That's what happens when you let the 'brown shirts' into your party."