Gipper accused VP of being part of “lynch mob.”
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Biden certainly wasn’t alone. Every liberal senator breathing in the 1980s opposed the Reagan Doctrine. What was it? The Reagan Doctrine, so-named by Charles Krauthammer in a Time magazine column in April of 1985, was a description of Reagan’s determination to mount a global challenge to the Soviet Union. The policy strategy that reflected Reagan’s succinct belief of how to deal with the decades-old Cold War and the Communist Soviet Union:
“We win. They lose.”
Senator Biden vehemently opposed the Reagan Doctrine, and took every opportunity to display that opposition, employing his talents for demagoguery whether the issue at hand was personnel or policy.
Yesterday, Reagan biographer Paul Kengor shared a story about then-Senator Biden’s treatment of William Clark, Reagan’s appointee in 1981 as Deputy Secretary of State. The story is a classic of Biden demagoguery for which Reagan had such disdain. And there’s more to the story.
The humiliation of William Clark was merely the opening round in Biden’s eight-year crusade to oppose Reagan’s strategy of “we win, they lose”.
Senator Biden would go on to oppose Reagan’s successful effort to win the Cold War at every turn, never shy at using the tools of demagoguery to advance his goals. The Reagan Doctrine, Biden thundered, should be summed up as the idea that “we [the United States] will give up something, if they [the Soviets] give up everything.” In other words, Biden saw Reagan as — yes! — being unfair to the heirs of Stalin! Really!
From opposing the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka “Star Wars”) to opposing the Nicaraguan contras to opposing deployment of the MX missile and more, Biden furiously opposed every Reagan effort to bring down the Soviets and end the Cold War. Which Reagan ended, as Margaret Thatcher would later say, “without firing a shot.”
In every single instance Biden would take what might be called the McGovernite, quasi-pacifist stance, which was repeatedly colored by Biden’s own insistence on playing politics with foreign policy (as with everything else).
Biden backed the liberal favorite of a so-called “nuclear freeze,” which Reagan dismissed out of hand as giving the Soviets a “huge advantage” in land-based nuclear missiles with multiple warheads. “Well-meaning or not,” Reagan scoffed, “the nuclear freeze movement had an agenda that could have been written in Moscow.” Biden replied by assailing Reagan for not seeking yet another arms agreement, insisting that if Reagan were serious about arms control “the freeze movement would evaporate tomorrow.” The idea that Reagan wanted the Soviet Union to evaporate was something that simply appalled Biden.
Biden’s demagoguery surfaced again and again and again as he dealt with Reagan foreign policy.
When Secretary of State George Shultz appeared in front of Biden’s Foreign Relations Committee to discuss South Africa, Biden launched again. The Reagan administration staunchly opposed apartheid but was deeply concerned the country could dissolve in bloodshed — a bloodletting related in part to the presence of Cuban troops and a heavy Soviet influence in nearby Angola. Instead of a rational discussion Biden famously played the demagogue, furiously attacking the genteel Shultz by saying Reagan’s policy was “nauseating.” With the cameras running, but of course, Biden dramatically shouted that:
“People are being mugged and shot, imprisoned, killed smothered…. these people are dying… you feel frustration, they’re dying. They are being shot. Children are — They are lining up and shooting children.”
When Shultz persisted in urging caution, Biden exploded:
“Hell, they’ve [South African blacks] tried compromise for 20 years! They’ve tried everything in their power.”
When Reagan’s “we win, they lose” strategy worked and Soviet Union was carted off to the ash heap of history against Biden’s active opposition — wonder of wonders the Cubans left Angola. A mere two years later, apartheid was gone and Nelson Mandela was President of South Africa.
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?
H/T to National Review Online