Sean Hannity and Eric Erickson have declared that the Reagan Revolution was NOT about conservative values but Reagan himself. Yep, he’s no longer good enough for them.
“…1. Reagan granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. This is toxic for Republicans in this election cycle. Anything short of “send them all home” is fodder for the party purists. Regardless of ideology, the concept of sending, at a minimum, 12 million people back to country X is impractical and probably not even possible.
As one who believes in pragmatic politics, what Reagan did was right. But where he failed, and where Presidents since have as well, is securing the border. Without a secure border, it’s impossible to prevent illegal immigration.
2. Ronald Reagan raised taxes. True, he also authored one of the largest tax decreases in history, but these days, if you don’t sign Grover Norquist’s no-taxes pledge, you aren’t a real conservative. God forbid we tax fatty food or sodium, things that result in health problems later in life that we all end up paying for through Medicare. That’s a sin in today’s conservative orthodoxy.
3. Ronald Reagan spent us into a deficit. Because of the tax cuts he enacted, coupled with the massive increase in defense spending, our national debt rose from roughly $700 billion to $3 trillion during Reagan’s time in office. We shifted from being the largest creditor in the world to the largest debtor. We also dramatically increased our borrowing from foreign nations, which continues today.
4. Ronald Reagan helped facilitate the Savings and Loan crisis. Not entirely dissimilar from the financial crisis in fall 2008, the savings and loan crisis ended up being costing $125 billion in a taxpayer-funded bailout. Although the bailout itself didn’t take place when he was in office, he bears some responsibility, as the crisis happened during his time and his policies of deregulation contributed to it.
5. Ronald Reagan compromised. Yes, he is the origin of much of modern conservative dogma, from supply-side economics to the culture war (his greatest failure, in my opinion). But as with any good President, Reagan knew the value of compromise. Partly out of necessity, given that he had to work with a Democratic house for the entirety of his Presidency, but partly because he knew that, despite the need to have a political base, that any base of any party or ideology is not representative of a majority of Americans….”
The other day Charles Krauthammer made the following comment:
“….Krauthammer: The Palin endorsement I think, is disruptive and capricious. Bill Buckley had a rule that he always supported the most conservative candidate who was electable, otherwise the vote is simply self-indulgence.”
I found a followup commentary at Media Ite:
I don’t know if O’Donnell is electable. I have the same problems with her as I do with Nikki Haley. They make women in politics look bad. They both whine when confronted with something unpleasant. I think both are extremely flawed candidates. In South Carolina, the GOP is already experiencing buyer’s remorse with Nikki. The Dems in SC are in so disarray her constant mistakes don’t matter. She’s a shoo-in, no matter what. Delaware is a different story. O’Donnell should be held to the same standard as a man. look at Nevada. Angle is giving as good as she is taking. Here in NM, we’re being treated to a hard-ball bitch-fest between Martinez and Denish. They are playing for keeps, as politicians, not as ‘oh don’t make me cry I’m a girl’.
There are any number of us who are saying we are going to need another Reagan. The real problem in today’s extreme political climate there is no way Ronald Reagan would be elected. He would not be conservative enough.
William F. Buckley’s philosophy was to vote for the most conservative Republican who could get elected.