Notre Dame address shows once more how formidable a politician he is--even though he did not go with the draft I posted here a few days ago. Instead of talking about abortion, he referred to his conversion to Christianity. Anyone opposing Obama’s call for civil discussion (even though it ultimately means agreement with him or at least capitulation to his power) is marginalized.
UPDATE: C-SPAN’S coverage of the commencement, including the speech.
In rallying conservatives, especially following hound-dog Huntsman and bail-out Specter, moderation and prudence need to be kept in mind: Reagan remains a rallying point--even though few people under 40 have direct political memory of him. As a leftish student, prepared to mock the gubernatorial candidate, I was charmed by him instead. (A young left-wing student of mine said he was moved to tears when he heard a Reagan speech, despite his loathing for Reagan policies.) I reiterate that Reagan’s own personal background (divorced, Hollywood, California) restrained his opponents from treating him at least initially like, well, like Governor Palin.
The only prominent conservative political figure I know of who has such personal appeal across partisan lines is Justice Clarence Thomas, whose ability to speak out is limited.
One problem with Rush and other conservatives, especially when they defend free markets, is that they argue for Grover’s "leave us alone" coalition yet also want America to be Reagan’s city on a hill. Libertarians as such cannot love any country. Free markets are by definition not patriotic, let alone American.
We are reminded again of Lincoln’s admonition that successful politics requires the combination of
duty and self-interest. See his Springfield speech, on Dred Scott, June 26, 1857, third paragraph from the end.