Just wanted to post this picture:
Eight years ago yesterday, the greatest domestic policy president of the last century left us. To “mark the eighth anniversary of his death“, his lady visited his grave:
As I blogged earlier today, in writing about the Grenell matter, the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward understood the delicate balance of the conservative coalition. Given that social conservatives, who represent a key part of the Republican base, remained suspect of the presumptive nominee, his “campaign had to tread carefully in defending its hiring of a man who was not only openly gay but who also had agitated publicly for Obama to reverse his opposition to gay marriage.”
This perhaps explains why the campaign was wary of having Grenell speak in a recent conference call on national security. They perhaps wanted to take a cautious (too cautious and counterproductive in my view) approach to rolling out Grenell, fearing they might otherwise antagonize social conservatives.
Yet, no matter what you do, certain social conservative leaders just won’t be satisfied. (A few, but not all, just have this need to feel aggrieved.) In this case, they decided to create an issue where there was none. The Romney team had tapped Grenell as a spokesman on foreign policy and national security matters, not to advise the candidate on social issues. And on such (national security) matters, Grenell had a record entirely in the mainstream of American conservatism.
To that end, a statement might not only have reassured Grenell, but also rank-and-file social conservatives (most, less intransigent than their leaders).
The campaign could have offered that they were delighted to have Grenell on board, given his experience and expertise in national security matters, but understood that the incoming spokesman and the candidate had differences on state recognition of same-sex marriage. “We welcome Republicans of all stripes to our team, even if we do not agree with them on all issues,” adding, “As Ronald Reagan said, ‘The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.‘” [Read more…]
Barack Obama just can’t seem to get Ronald Reagan right.
Well, you can’t accuse Barack Obama of originality. Today, the incumbent President of the United States trotted out that old Democratic talking point that Ronald Reagan “could not get through a Republican primary today.”
The Democrat uses that silly notion as he lambastes his partisan rivals for their supposed unwillingness to compromise:
These are solvable problems if people of good faith came together and were willing to compromise. The challenge we have right now is that we have on one side, a party that will brook no compromise.
. . . .
Think about that. Ronald Reagan, who, as I recall, is not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control, that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases. Did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today.
If the newspaper editors (with whom he conducted the interview) did their homework, they would find that the party unwilling to brook any compromise sits in the White House, with the president, for example, having walked away from a a debt agreement last summer where Republicans has agreed to an $800 billion increase in “revenue.”
Oh yea, and Obama might want to remember that Reagan later regretted signing on the 1982 budget deal as the Democrats got their tax cuts, but the spending cuts never materialized. Seems this guy just can’t get his facts straight about his predecessors.
Not just that, Reagan never ran for president promising to raise taxes. Quite the contrary, in fact; in the 1984 campaign, he used his Democratic opponent’s support for such hikes against him. [Read more…]
Where, I asked in January, “is the conservative candidate at this conservative moment?” “In the current contest, . . . no candidate has emerged to take on Reagan’s mantle.” In their search for a charismatic and principled conservatives who could rally the party faithful, many Republican voters, dissatisfied with the frontrunner and eager to find an alternative, have embraced, at various points during the campaign, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and now Rick Santorum.
Unlike Bachmann, Cain or Gingrich, however, Santorum has never really embraced the libertarian economic policies which defined the Gipper’s domestic policies — and now form the basis for the Tea Party’s agenda. Moreover, as Ace observes, echoing John Podhoretz, Santorum lacks Reagan’s sunny disposition:
Santorum’s problem, again and again, is that he doesn’t want to make apositive uplifting case for things. He might have given a speech encouraging a newfound, recovered respect for the trades. He might have given a speech about the positive virtue of sweat. And it’s importance in America.
Instead he just brands those who wish their kids to go to college “snobs.”
Taking issue not with Santorum’s tone, but with the content of his recent robocall (faulting Romney for supporting TARP while opposing the auto bailouts), Jay Nordlinger seems dumbfounded, “And this is our guy? Santorum is the conservatives’ guy?”
Many conservatives supported the bank bailout and opposed the auto bailout. You can look up arguments within NR editorials. Conservatives all over the country, in all sorts of forums, made arguments for and against — for and against either bailout. Those arguments continue now, retrospectively.
But is there any thinking or respectable conservative who uses Rick Santorum’s language — the bank bailout was for Mitt Romney’s “Wall Street billionaire buddies” while Michigan workers got their faces slapped? (Santorum opposed the auto bailout, too. Was he slapping workers’ faces?) [Read more…]
If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I don’t think the libertarians have it right when it comes to what the Constitution is all about.
Normally, it’s uncanny how much Bruce and I see eye-to-eye. Even though our perspectives differ slightly, we are often struck by the same stories and reach similar conclusions. This campaign cycle seems to have upended things. Bruce mocked Jon Huntsman on twitter; I endorsed him. Bruce voted for Newt Gingrich; I just don’t see my former boss as cut from presidential timber.
That said, we both retain a commitment to the principles on which our nation was built, a reverence for the vision of the Founders and an appreciation for the greatness of Ronald Reagan.
And isn’t it fitting that we post our 9,000th post on the 101st anniversary of his birth? Happy Birthday, Mr. President. We could use a man like you about now.
Every now and again, you’ll run into an Obama supporter who professes to be a fiscal conservative. When you challenge them on the incumbent’s big-spending ways, they’ll reply that he had to do it because they mess that George W. Bush left him was so bad. (Well, during the campaign, Obama did say that, there was “no doubt” that during the Bush era, we’d “been living beyond our means and [were] going to have to make some adjustments“? Oh, yeah, but he made those adjustments would require reductions in spending: “Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.”)
Even though these individuals dub themselves fiscal conservatives, they still contend that we needed the “stimulus” to jumpstart the economy; a couple have asked me, “What else can you do to get the economy going again?”
In such cases, I remind them of the economic booms of the 1980s and 1990s. We didn’t need fiscal stimuli then. It’s as if the 1980s never happened and we’re still taught about Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression — as if the New Deal succeeded in pulling us out of that era’s economic malaise. They seem oblivious to the reasons for the Reagan rebound.
Oh, yeah, one more thing. When your interlocutors start talking about the 1990s, ask them to thank Bob Dole for the success of Bill Clinton’s “stimulus.”