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CONTRAST REAGAN WITH GEORGE W. BUSH and you see the difference immediately, and not only in the obvious contrast of Reagan’s verbal fluency with Bush’s legendary clumsiness. Bush has in fact delivered some magnificent speeches of telling consequence, notably his address to the United States Military Academy in July of 2002, where he announced the change in American foreign policy that embraced preemption of threats, not just proportional response.
Imagine President Reagan having had to implement such a policy change. He would have introduced it to the public and reinforced it with speech after speech. He would have been prepared to elucidate it and defend it in any venue, and he would have done so — preemptively, one might say. By contrast, President Bush made his point once — and then, outside of using the same few phrases over and over again in contentious press conferences, never — it seemed — said it again. He said it once and expected it to work. It doesn’t work that way.
“The Teflon President,” the press used to call Ronald Reagan. Why? Because Reagan used to talk to the American people. He talked all the time. He made his key points over and over again, patiently, like a teacher. He did not make one good speech and then wonder why nobody followed him. People saw him and heard him over and over again. He was near impervious to spin and propaganda.
“Tell me the old, old story,” says the hymn. Ronald Reagan told us the old, old story, over and over again, with a religious intensity and the patience of preacher. He had put in the time and effort to make himself an effective teacher. Most important, he taught what he believed. And what he believed was true.
Jed Babbin’s source thinks John McCain’s use of a Ronald Reagan video at CPAC will backfire. By now, we’ll know if McCain actually had the gall to do it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?