Principalities & Powersrnbv Samuel FrancisrnSuicide of the RightrnAfter spending several weeks in deeprnhugger-mugger at the Repubhcan Partyrnplatform committee this sunmier, thernleaders of the right wing of the GOPrnemerged triumphant. Their deeplyrnbeloved and totally useless Human LifernAmendment was reaffirmed. The obnoxiousrnstatement of “tolerance” for thernopinions of those who disagree withrnthe amendment was excised. Languagernabout immigration, fair trade, the SecondrnAmendment, and other issues importantrnto the right, religious and otherwise,rnwas approved. The WashingtonrnPost, reporting on the adoption of thernplatform the next day, seemed ready tornbe taken off to a nice quiet place in therncountry to recuperate from its neuroticrnangst over the American right and its victory.rn”The Republican platform committeerntoday approved a statement ofrnparty principles closer in tone and emphasisrnto the nationalism and domesticrnconservatism of Patrick J. Buchanan thanrnthe party’s presumptive nominee RobertrnJ. Dole,” trembled the Posf’s ThomasrnEdsall. And, for once, the general staff ofrnthe legions of the right was in agreement.rn”This is very Buchanan,” beamed BayrnBuchanan, Mr, Buchanan’s sister andrncampaign chairman. “We could not bernmore pleased. This is much more of arnpopulist, conservative Buchananesquernplatform than we ever dreamed, to bernhonest.” Other leaders of the right likernPhyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, and RalphrnReed concurred.rnWell, since we’re being honest, therntruth is that the conservatives got suckered,rnas some of them realized in thernnext few days when speaker after speakerrnascended the podium at the Republicanrnconvention to avoid, contradict, or simplyrnignore the platform that had justrnbeen adopted. By the time Mr. Dole wasrnofficially chosen as the party’s leader, thernNew York Times reported, some foes ofrnabortion were mystified, “A lot of prolifernpeople are saying, ‘What’s going onrnhere?'” whimpered one antiabortion delegate,rnMrs. Elaine Hawkins of San Antonio.rn”It’s like they’ve squished the issuernout of existence. We know it’s there inrnprint, but I don’t hear anybody talkingrnabout it.”rnNor was it only abortion that nobodyrntalked about, “I haven’t read the platformrnand Pm not bound by it anyway,”rnMr, Dole proudly announced to thernpress. The Posf s David Broder reportedrnthe next week that “Dole, Speaker NewtrnGingrich and party chairman Haley Barbourrnwere comicall)’ eager to affirm thatrnthey paid the document so little heedrnthey hadn’t even read it.” As for the centralrnfeature of the platform’s immigrationrnplank, a resolution calling for arnconstitutional amendment or constitutionallyrnvalid legislation to end automaticrncitizenship for the children of illegalrnaliens born on American soil, formerrnRepresentative Vin Weber, a close advisorrnto Mr. Dole, let it be known that Mr,rnDole simply did not support it. Mr. Dolernhimself since said publicl}’ he did notrnsupport it. The Wall Street journal’s AlrnHunt gleefully reported the next weekrnthat the party’s vice presidential nominee.rnJack Kemp, was “horrified by thernplatform’s call to deny citizenship tornchildren born in America of illegal immigrants.”rnBy the end of the convention itrnwas clear to everyone save those whornwrap themselves in illusion that the conservativernefforts to craft the party platformrnmeant nothing. Inevitably, thernlines of poet John Dryden crept into thernmind: “All, all of a piece throughout;rnThy chase had a beast in view; Thy warsrnbrought nothing about; Thy lovers werernall untrue.”rnBut actually something had beenrnbrought about. By engaging in the conflictrnover the meaningless platform, thernconservatives allowed Mr. Dole to quellrnthe incipient rebellion from the rightrnand to unify the party under his leadership.rnThe convention began with Mr.rnDole and the party establishment uncertainrnwhether Pat Buchanan would endorsernthe final ticket or quit the GOPrnand run with Howard Phillips’ TaxpayersrnParty and thereby deny any possibility ofrnvictory in November to a party establishmentrnthat had ignored, insulted, andrnabused him and his three million supportersrnever since he announced his candidacy.rnBy the time the platform hadrnbeen adopted, with considerable inputrnfrom the Buchananites, that option wasrnno longer possible, even if it had beenrndesirable. By working with the platformrncommittee, by writing a platform withrnwhich “we could not be more pleased,”rnthe Buchananites and the Republicanrnright in general signed their own politicalrndeath warrants, binding themselves tornthe party and the ticket, consigningrnthemselves to political irrelevance, andrnensuring that any walkout or rebellionrnthey mounted thereafter would be universallyrnregarded as simply one morernconfirmation of the fanaticism and sournessrnthat their enemies habitually attributernto them.rnIf there was any doubt of the irrelevancernof the right to its own party,rnthe selection of Mr. Kemp removed it.rnNo other neoconservative leader in therncountry commands as much of a politicalrnfollowing (which is not to say that hernnecessarily commands much of a following),rnand no other major Republicanrnleader is as much in thrall to neoconservatismrnas a body of ideas and as an organizedrnfaction, as Mr. Kemp. Unable orrnunwilling to mount a campaign in thernprimaries, Mr. Kemp stayed out of therncontest for the nomination and wasrnwidely regarded as politically defunct.rnHis support for affirmative action in thernface of the growing Republican and conservativernconsensus against it; his supportrnfor NAFTA, the Wodd Trade Organization,rnand unlimited “free trade”rnin general; his foreign policy of globalrndemocratism; his enthusiastic andrnfiscally catastrophic attachment to BigrnGovernment, as evidenced by his enlargementrnof the Housing and UrbanrnDevelopment Department in the Bushrnadministration; his bottomless zeal forrncivil rights laws and policies; and hisrnfierce hostility to any suggestion of immigrationrncontrol in the face of growingrnpopular and intellectual disenchantmentrnwith immigration all placed himrnon the left of the Republican Party andrnin bitter opposition to its Buchananite,rnAmerica First, culture war, nativist, protectionist,rnpopulist, and new nationalistrnright that actually entered the primariesrnand seemed for a while to be on the evernof victory. The choice of Mr. Kemp asrnBob Dole’s running mate and the resur-rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn