Craig Shirley, Laura Ingraham on Reagan's Time for Choosing - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Craig Shirley, Laura Ingraham on Reagan’s Time for Choosing

Craig Shirley and Laura Ingraham have written a superb piece in the Los Angeles Times on the Reagan Time for Choosing speech 

Among the important points the two made was this:

… Yet in the face of the failed big-government Republicanism of recent history and the failed collectivism of the Democratic Party, men like Jeb Bush say the country and the GOP need to move past the “nostalgia” for Reaganism’s heyday. A top Republican consultant, Ford O’Connell, recently wrote: “Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it. The Reagan fixation is a drag on the future.”

So what are the Bush Republicans missing? Reagan’s New Federalism was the most successful governing philosophy of the 20th century, and that includes the New Deal, which never did solve the Depression. Only the Lend-Lease program and our entry into World War II did that. New Federalism was certainly more successful than the Great Society.

Reaganism is not about Reagan, who often said,“Don’t trust me, trust yourself.” He believed in the individual over the state.

An examination of Reagan’s speech for Goldwater shows the continuing relevance of his revolutionary, populist approach to government.

The uncomfortable fact for the GOP Establishment is that liberal or moderate Republicanism is the politics of troglodytes. A long and abysmal attempt to at “me tooism” that has failed miserably as both a governing philosophy not to mention as a political winner on the electoral battlefield. As mentioned from time to time in this space (here just this week) moderate, Establishment Republicanism is repeated loser. From Romney and McCain on back to moderate champions with names like Dole, Ford, Dewey (twice), Willkie, Landon and Hoover the history here is dismal. After running on the Reagan record in 1988 and winning in a landslide over liberal Michael Dukakis, the Bush 41 White House went the moderate GOP route once elected — and wound up losing re-election with 37% of the vote. Bush 43, again as often noted here, needed the Supreme Court to get “compassionate conservatism” in the door of the White House, barely hanging on in 2004 and being rejected totally in 2008. Reagan left office with a 63% approval rating, Bush 43 with a 22% rating.

Not for nothing did Reagan disdain moderate Republicanism as “fraternal order” Republicanism.

Craig and Laura have done an outstanding job in this piece.

And memo to, as quoted in the Shirley/Ingraham article, “A top Republican consultant, Ford O’Connell, (who) recently wrote: ‘Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it. The Reagan fixation is a drag on the future.’”

Sorry, Mr. O’Connell. What’s dead as a duck are the politics of GOP moderation. From Tom Dewey to Jeb Bush’s Common Core, no matter how you try to put lipstick on this mummy, it as dead as a doornail — and, I made add, deservedly so. Stop living in the past, Tom Dewey lost, the Age of Rockefeller never happened, and “compassionate conservatism,” being neither, was a massive political failure. It’s over for GOP moderates. 

Bravo to Craig Shirley and Laura Ingraham for saying it.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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