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Conservative Victory tour debuts at Reagan Library as Obama damage mounts.
Somewhere Ronald Reagan is smiling.
one can almost see and hear the former President. Eyes twinkling, a nod of the head and a smile, the voice like soft velvet:
With shocked Americans watching the damage to the American free-market system and their fellow citizens surface less than a week after ObamaCare has been signed into law, Hannity’s book tour and the spotlight he brings to Reagan’s principles could not have come at a better moment. So too does Hannity’s tour remind of the furious battle Reagan himself had to wage for an earlier conservative victory, a fight to return time-tested and very American conservative principles to the center of American life after they had been targeted by the liberalism of his own day.
It is worth remembering as Hannity takes the library stage that there was a time when there was no Reagan presidential library. That the man who has become an American icon, along with the case he was making for free-market economics and peace through strength, was once mocked and scorned. Ridiculed as a not-very-bright extremist well outside the mainstream parameters of American political acceptability.
“He’s an actor,” sniped Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown as he confidently squared off against Reagan in Brown’s 1966 race for re-election as governor of California. “And you know who shot Lincoln, don’t you?” Brown went on to lose to Reagan by almost a million votes.
You would think there was a lesson in that for liberals, but, alas, no. This kind of venom towards both Reagan and the cause he was representing grew exponentially as Reagan became an ever-larger figure in American life. At one point in his presidency, over a million and a half leftists massed in capitals around the world while 140 anti-Reagan rallies in the US were held, all protesting Reagan’s decision to challenge the Soviets by deploying Pershing missiles in Europe. Signs and rally speakers depicted the President determined to vanquish the “evil empire” once and for all as a crazed, bloodthirsty warmonger intent on bringing violent mass death to millions. His domestic opponents insisted his other objective was throwing old ladies into the snow to pay off the rich.
This irrational reaction was then — and very much is now— a seemingly intractable part of what Whittaker Chambers once called “the fierce vindictiveness” of the liberal temperament. While today it is Hannity himself — along with his friends Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and other figures of what we refer to here as the Virtual Newsroom (not to mention political figures like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin) — who are targeted for so much fury, initially it was Reagan upon whom this kind of vitriol was poured.
The question, the obvious question: is this new? What is it that elicits such irrational anger from the left? And why?
Here’s a Reagan story.
It’s the late 1940s. Reagan, a self-described “near hopeless hemophilic” of a bleeding-heart liberal is in the beginning of his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is stunned to quickly find himself in the middle of an intense battle by Communists to take over the Hollywood film industry. One fine day Reagan and his friend Edward Arnold, the great character actor famous for roles like that of Jimmy Stewart’s antagonist Boss Jim Taylor in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, are on their way to a SAG Board meeting. Walking along the street in Hollywood, they see two fellow actors they both know approaching from the other direction. Always the friendliest of men, Reagan smiles.
Let’s let Reagan tell the story:
My smile was already forming and I had just started to greet them when one of the two thrust his face close to mine, his eyes burning with hatred. “Fascist!” he hissed, literally spitting the word at me.
“Communists hate,” Reagan would reflect years later, recalling the incident, as well as a threat to throw acid in his face. “Light was beginning to dawn in my head. I was seeing the seamy side of liberalism.” William F. Buckley would later say of such moments: “Cross a liberal on duty, and he becomes a man of hurtling irrationality.”
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?