Grover, Reagan, an angry GOP base, and a demand for Fiscal Cliff TV negotiations.
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The Soviets had the backing of the European peace movement, not so-slyly financed by the Kremlin. In October, as the November deployment date approached, some 2 million people had protested Reagan in massive two-day demonstrations across Europe.
In America, not only were protesters in the streets depicting Reagan as a warmonger, the media was on Reagan’s case, filling the airwaves and print media with the fear of nuclear war. The issue of a “nuclear freeze” was initiated by liberal activists and politicians (including then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden) to try and halt Reagan’s deployment in its tracks. Right on cue, a group of liberal scientists held a much publicized meeting in Washington to focus on the terrors of a “nuclear winter” — which is to say the end of life on earth that would result in the aftermath of a nuclear attack.
ABC television jumped into the fray, airing a documentary-style drama called The Day After, about a nuclear attack on the heartland of America — Lawrence, Kansas, where several American nuclear missile silos were presumably located. Over 100 million people watched the show, which aired literally days before Reagan’s real-life deployment of missiles to Europe. The mainstream media of the day went crazy.
Reagan never blinked. He had his own leverage — and he knew it.
The first Tomahawk cruise missiles had already arrived in Margaret Thatcher’s Great Britain on November 14 — and the Iron Lady was pleased, even as a group of British peace activists had camped out at Greenham Common to much media fanfare. Greenham Common being, of course, the site of the Tomahawk deployment.
On November 23, the Pershing II missiles arrived in West Germany.
With that, on the very same day, the Soviet delegation of arms negotiators gathered their papers and, with intense, dramatic media coverage , ostentatiously walked out of the Geneva talks.
In Washington, the alarmed White House press corps demanded an answer from Reagan.
Who responded politely and simply: “They’ll come back.”
They did, of course. And the rest, as they say, was history.
What does any of this have to do with the fiscal cliff?
With Grover Norquist? With wobbly Capitol Hill Republicans? With Brent Bozell?
And with a House GOP leadership that seems more determined to punish conservative members than stand up for conservative principle? (As noted here by Erick Erickson over at Red State and here in Politico.)
Plenty and everything.
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?