January 7, 2008


A Reagan Heir: McCain is closer to the spirit of Reaganism than his critics realize (Frank Cannon, 1/07/08, National Review)

Much conservative resistance to the presidential candidacy of John McCain is based on a fear that the conservative movement, as shaped by Ronald Reagan, is in danger of breaking up. It’s argued that McCain lacks a commitment to one or more of the three foundations of the Reaganite political castle — economics, foreign policy, and social issues.

But John McCain, a down-the-line backer of Reagan and Reaganism in the 1980 nomination fight and in the House and Senate of the 1980s, is much closer to the spirit of Reaganism than many of his critics.

More than three decades after Reagan’s first presidential primary victories and nearly two decades after the end of his presidency, it’s understandable that Reaganism is often remembered in conventional terms, as a linear descendant of such previous conservative leaders as Barry Goldwater and Robert Taft. But this greatly underrates the creativity and originality of the issue package Reagan put together in the 1970s and 1980s. In pivotal areas, Reagan went directly against the grain of conventional wisdom as defined by the Republican establishment of his day.

If you put Reagan and Clinton's records side-by-side on sheets of paper that didn't indicate which was which, most movement conservatives would prefer Bill.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2008 2:12 PM

Good article, thanks for posting. What's "the rate" you have in the post title?


Posted by: Jorge Curioso at January 7, 2008 3:44 PM
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