Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

How to Go on Offense

Over at National Review Online, I have an article up this morning suggesting the concrete program the Tea Party movement should adopt if it wants to have a serious political impact. In one sentence, I argue that the Tea Parties should champion what I call "Reagan’s Unfinished Agenda" as a way of going on offense against Obama, and getting out of the defensive crouch which is the dominant posture of the Right at the moment.

While I’m at it, and on a related subject, volume 1 of The Age of Reagan comes out in paperback next week, a prelude to the August launch of the second and final volume. Get your pre-orders in now!

Discussions - 8 Comments

Good. I ordered and also told them it should be on Kindle.

Conservatives are dismayed and baffled at the sight of Obama’s Latin American-style personality cult and at poll results showing astonishing erosion in public support for free markets and limited government.

I don't see anything baffling about this, considering the fashion in which capitalists have conducted themselves these last twenty years or so. In fairness to Reagan, he usually was able to understand that the worst enemies of capitalism are capitalists. That's something the current right is clueless about.

As for "free markets", the GOP and the NROniks seem to think that this means support for our trade policy with China. Given what is passed off as capitalism and free trade, who can blame the public for turning against them?

Reagan promoted capitalism by attempting to curtail it?

With all due respect I just don't see how calling on the image of Reagan would not be a co-opting with the republican party. I am just not convinved that the tea party thing is about conservatives as much as it is people saying were are mad as hell and not going to take it did not take just a few months for them to get that way. You mentioned Reagan's unpassed legislation, but what of his deficits and growth of government? I really think his legacy is a mixed bag, and no one person from the near past should become the symbol of movement that could become something great. In other words, I think by taking on Reagan mythology the tea party would begin compromising before it even has a chance to grow into a real movement and if it becomes a half hearted thing it won't due any good and what would be the point?

Reagan promoted capitalism by attempting to curtail it?


The Tea Party crowd I observed would go for a return to the Constitution, especially to those ideas of further limits to government power in the economic realm. Brutus, you are correct that they are mad as hell and disinclined to take "it" anymore; assuming "it" means government extending itself into their financial affairs and telling them they have no right to prosper if there are any Americans who are not equally prospering. The only problem that I can see is that the rhetoric was about a return to the Constitution, which they think already protects their right to property and individual liberty. The may not like the implication that it does not.

How does the constitution not protect the right to property and liberty? I have heard that it does not protect the right to arms, but that argument is new to me.

Kate - "The Tea Party crowd I observed..."????

What was the matter, why were you only observing them, rather than participating with them in whatever it was they were trying to do?

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