Ronaldus Magnus

Hayward unbound

Featured image Below is the complete video of Bill Kristol’s conversation with Steve Hayward about the study of Ronald Reagan and statesmanship. The video is also posted here at Conversations with Bill Kristol. The transcript is posted here. Listen and learn. If you dropped an obnoxious comment about Bill Kristol or Steve Hayward on Steve’s post of the video, I have banned you as a commenter. The same applies here. Quotable quote: »

Your Pre-Election Diversion

Featured image Bill Kristol kindly invited me to sit down recently for one of his “Conversations with Kristol” series to talk about the enduring lessons of Ronald Reagan, and the hows and whys of studying statesmanship. Just the thing to take your mind off the election for a little while, as we don’t talk about Trump or Clinton at all. It’s divided into two segments, each about a half-hour long. Enjoy! And »

Debates Then and Now

Featured image If you want to know just how crazy things are, consider that Hofstra University, host of tonight’s debate, has posted a “trigger warning” outside because some Hofstra students might find the content of the debate traumatizing. And just who do you think will do the triggering? I suppose if Hillary collapses on stage (is Lloyd’s quoting odds, or any Las Vegas bookmakers taking bets?) I suppose liberals will be traumatized, »

My mother declared my bedroom a disaster area

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable column runs a 1984 letter to President Ronald Reagan, and a draft of his reply, as published in the second volume of Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, compiled by Shaun Usher, out next month from Chronicle Books. Usher also has a related Letters of Note site. Reagan letters including the one below are accessible here. »

Reagan Without Nostalgia

Featured image I’m away at a student conference all week with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute so my postings here are pretty light as the conference schedule is very full, but anyone who is interested in helping balance the rot of “higher” education ought to support ISI. I did break away yesterday long enough to go on the Seth Leibsohn show to talk with Seth and his sidekick Chris Buskirk about how Reagan is »

Can Reagan Save Another Clinton Presidency?

Featured image First of all, I’ll pause for a moment to let you get over the shudder at the thought of “another Clinton presidency” in this headline. Take a shot or two of whiskey if necessary. Or deep cleansing breaths. Whatever it takes. Now, to the main topic. I’ve been thinking for a while that there’s not much wrong with this country that a sustained period of 4 percent economic growth wouldn’t »

Media Alert: CNN Preview of the Reagan Revolution Tonight

Featured image For those near a TV set around 3:45 Eastern (about one hour from this post time), I’m scheduled for a short CNN segment to comment on the CNN documentary on the 1980s airing this evening at 9 pm Eastern and Pacific time. Tonight’s segment is about the Reagan Revolution, and CNN taped me for two hours last fall for this installment. I haven’t seen the segment, so I’m not sure »

A Reminder from 1980

Featured image Everyone says Trump can’t win in November. But everyone said he’d fade from contention in the GOP primaries by now. Which I why I am not so sure. A reminder from 1980, from volume 1 of my Age of Reagan: The two Republicans Carter’s political team feared most were Sen. Howard Baker and George Bush. Their favorite opponent: Ronald Reagan. Handling the extremist 69 year-old ex-movie actor would be an »

Vacuous Vox Boxes Itself

Featured image It was only a few days ago that I took note of the sorry Politifact people for jumping on Marco Rubio for supposedly distorting the role Ronald Reagan played in the denouement of the Iranian hostage crisis back in January 1981, and now Vox has weighed in also with the purpose of disputing Rubio and denigrating Ronaldus Magnus. Except that Vox makes a total botch of it. Here’s the lede »

Rallying to Rubio on Iranian Hostage Taking

Featured image Marco Rubio is taking fire from the usual “fact checkers” for his comment over the weekend that Iran released our 52 hostages on January 20, 1981 as soon as Ronald Reagan took office because Iran perceived that America was “no longer under the command of someone weak.” Politifact huffs: We flagged Rubio’s comment as a misleading framing of history. Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 may have coincided with the release of »

The Perils of Leuchtenburg

Featured image When I heard a few weeks ago that there was a new history of the presidency, The American President, by William Leuchtenburg, my first thought was—Leuchtenburg is still alive?? Indeed he is, 92 years old now. It was over 30 years ago that I read one of his best-known books, The Perils of Prosperity: 1914-1932, published in 1958! It was a smug and lazy liberal narrative of entirely typical of »

O’Reilly Versus Will, and Healey’s First Law of Holes

Featured image Regarding the ongoing feud between George Will and Bill O’Reilly, it is evident that O’Reilly has never heard of Healey’s First Law of Holes (coined by the British politician Denis Healey), which runs: “If you’re in one—stop digging.” O’Reilly lost no time in responding to Will’s latest column dismantling Killing Reagan, released yesterday afternoon. It is interesting that, just as he did with his on-air response to the Washington Post »

George Will on O’Reilly: Fire Two

Featured image George Will is just out this afternoon with a second column about Bill O’Reilly’s travesty of  a novel, Killing Reagan. If anything it is even more savage in dismantling O’Reilly than the first one. I wonder if O’Reilly will have Will on again for a second round on TV? I’m betting not. O’Reilly is a typical playground bully who runs from anyone able to stand up to him. You should »

Kondracke replies to the Times

Featured image Peter Robinson writes: Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes have just published a marvelous book, Jack Kemp, the Bleeding Heart Conservative Who Changed America. Reviewing the book today, the New York Times slams it. Not only did the Kemp-Roth tax cut legislation of 1981 fail to do any good, Tim Noah, the reviewer, insists, but the legislation — the centerpiece, you will recall, of Reagan’s first-term economic reforms — proved “a »

Gutter balls with Bill [With comment by Paul]

Featured image Last night I touched on the demented highlights of Bill O’Reilly’s wild interview with George Will in “O’Reilly projects.” I’ve watched the video now a few more times. If you haven’t seen it, you may find it of interest. I’m not entirely sure I understand all his points, but I think each point O’Reilly makes is haywire. O’Reilly begins with Will’s failure to call O’Reilly before publishing his “provocative column.” »

Killing O’Reilly’s Reagan

Featured image A lot of people have been asking me for my opinion about Bill O’Reilly’s latest co-authored potboiler, Killing Reagan. To call it bovine excrement would be an insult to hoofed animals of all species. Today in the Washington Post, Craig Shirley, Kiron Skinner, Paul Kengor, and yours truly have written an article that details some of the massive defects with O’Reilly’s parallel universe. (The four of us have published a »

Timothy Egan, Revisionist

Featured image New York Times op-ed writer Timothy Egan today runs “Ronald Reagan, Heretic,” in which he attempts the same risible liberal revisionism that I dismantled in Commentary four years ago. See “The Liberal Misappropriation of a Conservative President,” October 2011, for the complete case. But let’s just review a few of Egan’s unoriginal revisions: As president, Reagan signed a bill that granted amnesty to nearly three million people who were in »