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Reagan? Get Over Him

Over the last few of days, two nearly identical pieces of advice to the GOP have appeared.  From “How to Save the Republican Party,” by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner, in the February issue of Commentary:

And it is no wonder that Republican policies can seem stale; they are very nearly identical to those offered up by the party more than 30 years ago. For Republicans to design an agenda that applies to the conditions of 1980 is as if Ronald Reagan designed his agenda for conditions that existed in the Truman years. 

From “Reaganism After Reagan,” Ramesh Ponnuru’s column in today’s New York Times:

Today’s Republicans are very good at tending the fire of Ronald Reagan’s memory but not nearly as good at learning from his successes. They slavishly adhere to the economic program that Reagan developed to meet the challenges of the late 1970s and early 1980s, ignoring the fact that he largely overcame those challenges, and now we have new ones. It’s because Republicans have not moved on from that time that Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, in their responses to the State of the Union address last week, offered so few new ideas.

Well?

  1. Michael Knudsen
    Joseph Eagar

    Hawkins1701: (cont’d) 

    Give me a GOP nominee who articulates small government as Reagan did, andloses, and then we’ll talk. 

    You know, Marxists say this all the time about communism: “it’s neverreallybeen tried.”

    The problem is that the most appealing part of smaller government, cutting regulations, we can’t do by winning elections.  Most regulations are written by independent unelected bureaucrats, who are deliberately isolated from political pressure.  That means Republican politicians have to argue for other, often unpopular ways to shrink government. · 2 hours ago

    I’m open to suggestions, while standing by my assertion (which I humbly submit has a bit more credibility than the usual Marxist line you mention).

    :-) 

  2. Michael Knudsen
    KeystoneStater

    Mister D: Continually harkening back to a man elected three decades ago, to voters who barely knew him if at all, simply entrenches the image of conservatives as those stuck in the past.

    I’m not “harkening back to a man elected three decades ago” but pushing for an individual who can articulate conservative principles that are truly timeless and even better they work!

    How about those Dems though, so much of there agenda now is straight out of Wilson and Roosevelt which I forget is so hip, now and modern.

    Liberty and tyranny are as old as time and can be personified no matter what era we may happen to find ourselves. · 1 hour ago

    Excellent point. 

    How often does anyone suggest that the Dems forget FDR? 

    Exactly. 

    They know how to exalt their standard bearers, and keep pushing their ideas in the culture. (Not that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly agree with ending said exaltation of the man who opened the entitlement Pandora’s Box that will knock all the Federal dominoes down.) 

  3. BrentB67
    Peter Robinson

    Duane Oyen: Do you really think that that was the message of those pieces, Peter?  · 3 hours ago

    ..

    Where he with us today, I suspect, the Gipper would heartily approve of Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Bobby Jindal of Louisana, and–well, you get the idea. · 4 hours ago

    Agree and think this is important. The difference between the states with republican leaders and what is taking place in Washington cannot be overstated.

    If we can get the federal government out of the states’ business and keep more resources in states and away from DC we will do even better, but there is no appetite for this in DC.

  4. genferei
    Joseph Eager: The problem is that the most appealing part of smaller government, cutting regulations, we can’t do by winning elections.

    Sure we can. Win the election and abolish the DoE, EPA, FDA, NLRB, SEC, etc. etc. and suddenly vast swathes of bureaucrats and their regulations disappear.

  5. BrentB67
    Hawkins1701: (cont’d) 

    Give me a GOP nominee who articulates small government as Reagan did, andloses, and then we’ll talk. 

    Edited 5 hours ago

    Nothing scares republicans more than the lesson learned from the elections of 2010.

  6. Xennady
    Joseph Eagar

    The problem is that the most appealing part of smaller government, cutting regulations, we can’t do by winning elections.  Most regulations are written by independent unelected bureaucrats, who are deliberately isolated from political pressure. 

    If cutting regulations cannot be accomplished by winning elections than it is time for a revolution to overthrow a government already too far gone into tyranny to be salvageable.

    In that case we need another Washington, not another Reagan.

  7. Joseph Eagar
    genferei

    Joseph Eager: The problem is that the most appealing part of smaller government, cutting regulations, we can’t do by winning elections.

    Sure we can. Win the election and abolish the DoE, EPA, FDA, NLRB, SEC, etc. etc. and suddenly vast swathes of bureaucrats and their regulations disappear. · 25 minutes ago

    That’s absurd.  The most we can hope for is that in the future we’ll win presidential races, and o appoint SCOTUS judges who will strike down legislative delegation.  That process could take decades, though.

  8. genferei
    Joseph Eagar

    genferei Sure we can. Win the election and abolish the DoE, EPA, FDA, NLRB, SEC, etc. etc. and suddenly vast swathes of bureaucrats and their regulations disappear. 

    That’s absurd.

    Completing the nationalisation of 1/6 of the economy, running trillion dollar deficits while not passing a budget and ruling by executive decree is absurd. Undoing that which has been done and found to be wanting is common sense.

    If democracy means the size of government inevitably ratchets upwards then I’m joining Xennady’s revolution.

  9. katievs

    It’s not so much “the Reagan Solution” that we’re after, but a Reaganlike response to the evil now confronting us.  

    It is, at bottom, the same evil that confronted him:  an anti-God, anti-individual statistism using lies, fear, and manipulation to overwhelm the American idea.

    What do Islam and the left share?  The impulse to control the masses through fear and power.

    What is our demographic problem?  A loss of reverence for life and the other moral values that underpin America’s greatness.

    It won’t be easy to address our problems through policy.  But we can forget solving them at all unless we address the deeper and more encompassing spiritual problem.  

    That’s what Reagan got right.  That’s what we need to get right now.

    Scott Reusser: What’s the “Reagan Solution” to reforming Medicare and Social Security to endure the retirement of the boomers?

    To the rise of Islamism? (Would he favor democracy in the Middle East?)

    To our demographic challenges, particularly re immigration reform?

    To skyrocketing healthcare costs and the hopelessly mucked-up health insurance industry?

    To coping with our 40-50% illegitimacy rate?

    To nuclear Mullahs?

    To $16.5 trillion in debt?

  10. Joseph Eagar
    genferei

    Joseph Eagar

    genferei Sure we can. Win the election and abolish the DoE, EPA, FDA, NLRB, SEC, etc. etc. and suddenly vast swathes of bureaucrats and their regulations disappear. 

    That’s absurd.

    Completing the nationalisation of 1/6 of the economy, running trillion dollar deficits while not passing a budget and ruling by executive decree is absurd. Undoing that which has been done and found to be wanting is common sense.

    If democracy means the size of government inevitably ratchets upwards then I’m joining Xennady’s revolution. · 22 minutes ago

    Then do so, because what you want is impossible.  We lost our chance to undo ObamaCare last November.  What we need to do is figure out where the demand for bigger government comes from, and attack that (for example, monetary unions need fiscal transfers to survive; what if we found a way to make that unnecessary, or at least less so?).

  11. Xennady
    EThompson

    These are the two most pressing issues of our time that truly require a leader with great fiscal acumen and experience. We had the opportunity to elect one and we failed.

    Pardon me for being so disagreeable as to disagree- but Mitt Romney was no Reagan and it showed, painfully so.

    Reagan was not only a great leader and a statesman- he was also a great politician as well.

    Compare and contrast with poor Mitt. RR was a successful two-term governor, Romney declined to run for re-election after one term fearing defeat. RR brushed aside the establishment candidates, and won election despite the additional hurdle of John Anderson soaking up votes. Mitt was the establishment candidate, yet had real trouble winning the nomination despite his wonderful resume- and then managed to lose to an utter disaster of a president. Reagan famously (and angrily) demanded that his microphone be restored, as he had paid for it. Romney was utterly befuddled by a lie told by Candy Crowley.

    That’s just not great leadership. Romney may have great fiscal acumen- but that just wasn’t enough.

  12. Percival

    People who are upset with the admiration of Coolidge and Reagan need to remember that conservatives, unlike progressives, know and try to learn from history.

  13. Xennady
    Joseph Eagar

    That’s absurd.  The most we can hope for is that in the future we’ll win presidential races, and o appoint SCOTUS judges who will strike down legislative delegation.  That process could take decades, though. ·

    We don’t have decades. Nor do we need them.

    We just need a presidential candidate with actual political skills, competence, and vision. Yeah, Duh. But Mitt Romney just was not that candidate, alas.

    We need someone who can make the political case why the various agencies enumerated by genferei should abolished- and what would be different and better afterwards.

    As far as I can tell the GOP of late has regarded that grubby business as far beneath it, instead relying on those steely principles to sell themselves without anyone in the GOP needing to sully themselves to make that case to the American people.

    The result of that attitude is the last election.

    As I’m old enough- barely- to remember the 1980 campaign this is not a mistake made by Ronald Reagan.

  14. BrentB67
    Xennady

    EThompson

    These are the two most pressing issues of our time that truly require a leader with great fiscal acumen and experience. We had the opportunity to elect one and we failed.

    Pardon me for being so disagreeable as to disagree- but Mitt Romney was no Reagan and it showed, painfully so.

    Reagan was not only a great leader and a statesman- he was also a greatpoliticianas well.

    I was young when Reagan was elected and I remember California having a good reputation under his leadership and his campaign for President benefitting from the same.

    I don’t recall anyone saying ‘yeah – Massachusetts, Romneycare, that is what we want to model the country after’.

    Mitt Romney’s business acumen and integrity are unassailable, but his record as a political executive is that of expanding the welfare state and being a better manager thereof.

  15. BrentB67
    Xennady

    Joseph Eagar

    That’s absurd.  The most we can hope for is that in the future we’ll win presidential races, and o appoint SCOTUS judges who will strike down legislative delegation.  That process could take decades, though. ·

    We don’t have decades. Nor do we need them.

    We just need a presidential candidate with actual political skills, competence, and vision. Yeah, Duh. But Mitt Romney just was not that candidate, alas.

    We need someone who can make thepoliticalcase why the various agencies enumerated by genferei should abolished- and what would be differentand betterafterwards.

    As far as I can tell the GOP of late has regarded that grubby business as far beneath it, instead relying on those steely principles to sell themselves without anyone in the GOP needing to sully themselves to make that case to the American people.

    It wasn’t a mistake made by republicans it was most intentional. There is little desire among federal republicans to eliminate or reduce any portion of the welfare/entitlement state. The majority of members’ goal remains the same as 2006, manage the welfare state better for their constituencies.

  16. Joseph Eagar
    Xennady

    We need someone who can make thepoliticalcase why the various agencies enumerated by genferei should abolished- and what would be differentand betterafterwards.

    Why do you think that will ever happen, though?  We might one day be able to use the courts to abolish the executive bureaucracy, but I don’t see how elections will ever get us there, other than presidential races.  Regulations isn’t within our power to control, at least in the short term; we need to find something else to run on.  Promising the voters the GOP will cut regulations and then failing to do so in office is not good.

  17. Joseph Eagar
    Xennady

    We just need a presidential candidate with actual political skills, competence, and vision. Yeah, Duh. But Mitt Romney just was not that candidate, alas.

    Except such people don’t come along often.  People often compare Obama to Reagan, JFK and FDR, and if that pattern holds it will be quite a while before we get a figure like that.

    On the other hand, we could get a Clinton figure: a political genius who’d drag our party kicking and screaming back to the center.  The problem is I don’t think the American center is a particularly good place to be right now policy-wise; I do think we should be closer to the center, but not that much closer.

  18. Skyler
    Joseph Eagar

  19. Joan of Ark La Tex
    CoveredUp

    Joan, I think you really mistook my posts.  

    CoveredUp, thank you for clarification. I apologize for missing your point. I agree with you to the extent that replaying all day long about cutting taxes knowing it would only be spun into a message of heartlessness is not working. But I disagree that Obama communicate better. Liberals themselves aren’t warm and fuzzy about Obama. We lost because the campaign could not energize our own base. Which is becoming more apparent our base is only united with one single link – fiscal conservatism (not enough trusted Romney). Obama’s coalition tactics work – nevermind if he cannot speak without teleprompters,lies through his teeth and insults the American people. Obama is the President by Fluke. 

    I do however, really like your last question. What did Reagan taught us? For one thing – have some guts ( better described with CoC violation). The most Reaganistic speech I have heard in a while is Dr Carson’s. Speak the truth, draw unshakable examples and  stand firmly on ones’ principles which includes Patriotism. Reagan made the world fall in love with America, not convince them how Apologetic America should be – which has been consistently, Obama’s theme. 

  20. Kofola
    katievs: It’s not so much “the Reagan Solution” that we’re after, but a Reaganlike response to the evil now confronting us. 

    1 hour ago

    I agree. This argument about moving on from Reagan pops up once a year or so. It is nothing but a straw-man that beltway types pursue with the goal of trying to dupe grassroots conservatives into “settling” for candidates we do not like. They shoved Romney down our throats, and they are upset that we did not fall in lockstep. They think that if only grassroots conservatives did not have this slavish nostalgia to Reagan, we would have seen that Romney was the great savior and given him more support. The Republicans should be working to find good candidates, willing and able to fight, firm on their principles, and broadly representative of those who are willing to vote Republican. Instead, it is the same-old of trying to get conservatives to stop being conservatives.

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