Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Reagan v. Obama Day

So, today I’ve got two articles up comparing Reagan and Obama. The first, on Forbes.com, compares Reagan and Obama on basic questions of leadership--especially how they relate to Congress. The second, on American.com, compares media coverage of and elite opinion about the 1982-83 recession with the current downturn, wondering whether the media will become a cheerleader for Obama now that the economy has (probably/hopefully) bottomed out (for now anyway).

Hat tip to the great Peter Robinson, who loaned me his Forbes.com column space this week while he’s on vacation.

P.S. I almost forgot: Have you ordered your copy yet?

Discussions - 5 Comments

Reagan... again???

It's so true, conservatives just won't let go of anything they think is a totem of their essential difference and, ahem, moral superiority.

Or, to be fair, perhaps you're just trying to sell some books. ;)

Hey Craig--we'll let go of Reagan when liberals let go of Roosevelt (you can keep JFK, though). Deal?

Conservatives try to preserve the past and American republican principles. It is perfectly natural for conservatives to look to the traditions of the West, to the Founding, to Lincoln, to Reagan, and to attempt to conserve the best traditions of consensual government.

Although progressives today are still guided by the same utopian ideals of efficiency, rationalization, bureaucratization, government solutions, idealism in the world, and utopian progress as were the Progressives and New Dealers, there is another trend going on. Progressives, by their nature, are forward looking and eschew the tradition and history of the past. Therefore, they do not claim to be continuing a lineage of anything but simply improving on what has come before to realize their utopian, progressive vision of a perfect society.

That is why conservativs celebrate Reagan and lament the fall of the vision of vigorous private enterprise, less government, and more self-government that has occurred under Obama, and sadly, to a lesser degree, the Bushes.

The moral superiority you deride is just a misunderstanding of the principles that we proudly attempt to conserve. There is actually more of a humility than righteousness, but then humility and other cardinal virtues have hardly been a key component of progressivism, while hubris to perfect society and man has.

"The president isn't all that different from the GOP hero...President Barack Obama has rightly been regarded as the liberal equivalent of Ronald Reagan, if not the second coming of Franklin Roosevelt."

I'm a big fan, Mr. Hayward, but I disagree there. For starters, Reagan knew what he believed and why--perhaps that came from going from liberal to conservative. Obama doesn't strike me as having challenged any of his assumptions.

Reagan also had a lifetime of accomplishment, not just the accomplishment of a lifetime. A movie star, military service, running a union and fighting communists. For example, Reagan stood up to communists when it would have been easier to cave. By contrast, Barack Obama let Chicago fixers buy his house and put slumlords on his payroll.

Reagan had two very sucessful terms as a major governor, balancing budgets and getting things done...in California! Obama was handed a Law Review job, he was handed a Foundation job. He wrote almost no laws and probably not even his many autobiographies.

He doesn't write his own stuff. That's why he simply handed off writing the stimulus to Pelosi--and it was supposed to be just the first in a long, long line of trillion-dollar bills. Instead, the dogs stopped eating the dog food. By contrast, Reagan wrote his own stuff in his own hand his entire life.

Yes, they both could turn a phrase. But one of them can only turn a phrase.

It isn't about Reagan, it's about Reagan's conservatism and his ability to articulate conservative principals. Reagan was able to inspire generations of American citizens with his belief in America and his unapologetic defense and love of American exceptionalism. Unlike any other recent American president, Ronald Reagan reminded Americans of the greatness and goodness of America. He reminded American citizens that it is right and proper for citizens to be patriotic and to fight for freedom and liberty. By reminding American citizens that America is the only nation that has routinely spent it's blood and treasure to bring freedom and liberty to oppressed people around the globe for no other reason than to bring them freedom and liberty, he reminded us that America is, indeed, the last best hope on earth.
America needs now, more than ever, to remember the message of Ronald Reagan if we are going to survive the power grabbing, socialist agenda of our current democrat congress and Mr. Obama.

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