June 7, 2004

Raise The Flags On Friday!

The Internet is brimming with all things Reagan, but I'm compelled to add to it, instead of just immersing myself in it. I was listening to Drudge interviewing Peggy Noonan on his radio show last night. She was spinning yarns about her days in the Reagan White House, recalling that you could always tell that the Boss was approaching from down the hall by the raucous laughter of his entourage. Later on I thought she hit on a terrific idea, a spur of the moment thing, but I do hope that people are following through on it. (Here's one)

After flying our flags at half-mast all week, when Friday rolls around and the funeral is over, we should coordinate a simultaneous national raising of every American flag, back to the top of the pole, in tribute to Ronald Wilson Reagan. What a beautiful sentiment. It would be inspiring, inexpensive and fitting. Maybe some kids would get a clue. I get a buzz just thinking about it.

Noonan also talked to Drudge about the respectful treatment given Reagan by Democrats and most of the left...so far. She thinks by Friday, they'll be ready to explode, and someone probably will. She notes that the "spin" of the Democrats is to acknowledge the personal charisma of Reagan, appreciate the political art, even admit the "Great Communicator" thing, but they avoid like the plague any admission of the triumph of the man's ideas. The fact that he was so demonstrably right intellectually, on a variety of issues from economics to geopolitics to entitlement reform, is something the Left doesn't want people to notice.

Taranto is on the same case today in BOTW.

"Of course Carter and Mondale are right: Reagan was a great communicator, a politician who was very good at politics. But to leave it at that--to portray Reagan's triumph as one of form over substance--misses his real import. Reagan leaves an enduring legacy because of what he was communicating, namely a belief in the American ideal of freedom, an ideal that looked far less robust in the 1970s, the era of Vietnam, Watergate, stagflation and 70% tax rates, than it does in the post-Reagan era.

Reagan didn't accomplish everything he set out to do; in particular, he failed to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. Even so, the GOP of today is unmistakably a Reaganite party: unalterably opposed to higher taxes, committed to promoting American ideals--which are really universal ideals--abroad.

Of the inevitable comparisons to George W. Bush, a half-hearted warning from Democrats, (also from BOTW):

(Times writer) Adam Nagourney tries to find hope for the Democrats: "Some Republicans said the images of a forceful Mr. Reagan giving dramatic speeches on television provided a less-than-welcome contrast with Mr. Bush's own appearances these days, and that it was not in Mr. Bush's interest to encourage such comparisons."

Well, maybe. Certainly Bush isn't as eloquent as Reagan was. Then again, neither is John Kerry. When Bush speaks, you often imagine Reagan might have said the same thing better. When Kerry speaks, you imagine Reagan would disagree--assuming he could even figure out what Kerry was saying.

Posted by dan at June 7, 2004 9:50 PM