Ronaldus Magnus

I’ll See Your Reagan, and Raise You a Clinton

Featured image A handful of House Democrats, led by the egregious Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, have conducted a stunt of bringing a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan to the House floor to bolster their case for raising the federal gasoline tax, because falling gasoline prices are simply unbearable if you’re a liberal. “All it takes is a little leadership and courage, like Ronald Reagan and [House Speaker] Tip O’Neill did 32 years »

Did the Kennedy Administration Try to Drive Reagan Off the Air?

Featured image Ronald Reagan apparently detested Bobby Kennedy, another sign of Reagan’s good judgment since Kennedy was an awful human being. But this is something I hadn’t heard before: Michael Reagan says that Bobby leaned on General Electric to get Reagan off television: [A] few months after [subpoenaing Reagan before a grand jury], Kennedy tried to get him fired from General Electric Theater. Or, at least, that’s what Reagan believed. “Dad told »

CRB: Bridge to nowhere

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here for $19.95 and get immediate online access thrown in for free) have given us a look at an advance copy of the Fall 2014 issue, scheduled for release later this week. I read my favorite magazines — National Review, the Weekly Standard, Commentary and the New Criterion — front to back, because (next to the books themselves) I most enjoy »

The Berlin Wall @25, Take 2

Featured image FWIW, here are some excerpts of my account of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the larger currents around it from the Epilogue of The Age of Reagan, picking up right in the middle. One part of this at the end—that revolutionary politics are over—is clearly incorrect, though the “crisis on the Left” bit remains more true than ever: The material and structural factors [of the end of the »

The Berlin Wall @25, Take 1

Featured image Today everyone is marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall—the signal event of the end of the Cold War. I find that students today, all born after the demise of the Soviet Union, have a hard time grasping the depth and vividness of the conflict. The Cold War might as well be the Boer War, and the Berlin Wall is as hazy as Hadrian’s Wall. It »

Still “Time for Choosing”

Featured image A very fun day today at the Reagan Library, reviewing the 50th anniversary of Reagan’s “Time for Choosing” speech.  The dean of Reagan-era journalists, Lou Cannon, and his son Carl Cannon, nowadays making his own mark in journalism at RealClearPolitics and elsewhere, joined me for a terrific panel discussion.  Amy Otto of TheFederalist.com tweeted out this photo: I’ll post up the complete text of my lecture, though I shortened down »

Media Alert: Gipperpalooza Tomorrow

Featured image I’ll be a guest on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show tomorrow at 8:05 am eastern time to discuss the 50th anniversary of the “Time for Choosing” speech.  Check the website for a broadcast station nearby or to listen online.  And there’s still time to make your reservation (free) to my lecture and panel discussion about The Speech at the Reagan Library tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. »

“A Time for Choosing” @ 50

Featured image As noted here before by Paul and me, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s famous “extremism in defense of liberty” speech at the GOP convention, which I also wrote about in the Claremont Review of Books. The other more important speech of 1964 was Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing,” whose precise 50th anniversary arrives next Monday. Power Line readers in the LA area may wish to »

The New Normal and Millenial Voters

Featured image The Obama administration is in many respects a more sinister version of the Carter administration. Now, as then, we hear talk of a “new normal.” Pundits and news people who recognize that the economy is lousy, but can’t believe that liberal policies are the cause, conclude that we will just have to get used to slow growth, lower incomes, massive underemployment and a fast-rising cost of living. This “new normal” »

Where The Gipper and Chesterton Meet

Featured image I’m in the throes of doing a close analysis of Reagan’s famous 1964 “Time for Choosing” speech for a lecture I’ll be giving next month on the 50th anniversary.  I rather like this line: “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.” Reminds me »

Poor, Poor Obama: The World Is Just Too Complicated

Featured image What, did Thomas Friedman run out of taxi drivers or pink-haired hipsters to help him with today’s column? Today’s Friedman thumb-sucker, “Who Had It Easier—Reagan or Obama?”, he offers up one of the most ironic and tired out tropes of liberalism—that the Cold War era was so much less complicated than today because it was a binary conflict between two otherwise rational superpowers. Hate to break this to Friedman, but other »

Gipperpalooza, Part 5

Featured image The fifth and final installment of my “American Mind” conversation with Charles Kesler about Ronaldus Magnus, this time lingering on Reagan’s 1989 farewell address, which has been overlooked by most surveys of the Reagan canon, as well as his 1985 call for “a second American revolution,” which was not entirely successful.  About eight minutes long: »

A Walk on the Supply Side

Featured image A third installment of my conversation with CRB editor Charles Kesler about Ronaldus Magnus on the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” is now up, just 6:30 long–perfect for a cup of espresso.  This time we look back on supply-side economics and spending controversies.  (Stand by, incidentally, for several Reagan-related announcements and items in the coming days.) »

Another Falling Bridge

Featured image While we await some new Rick Perlstein news (coming next week, stay tuned), it is worth noting another highly critical review of the book from the left. Jacob Weisberg takes aim in The Invisible Bridge in the Democracy Journal, a smart liberal journal edited by Michael Tomasky. Here are a couple of samples: [T]he reader finishes Perlstein’s very long book with the unsatisfying feeling that the author has not only »

Reaganpalooza, Part 2

Featured image Since I’m going video-heavy this week, might as well flag the second installment of my turn on “The American Mind” with Charles Kesler, talking more about the Gipper, and how the Gipper came to be the Gipper in the first place.  About 12 minutes long.  (Part 1 of this show here.) »

A word from Ronald Reagan

Featured image In his “Extremism and moderation” essay on the 1964 Goldwater campaign, Steve Hayward refers to its unforeseen impact on the rise of Ronald Reagan as a result of Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” speech “in the closing hours of the doomed campaign.” Like Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, for whose continuing relevance Steve argues in the essay, “A Time for Choosing” also remains relevant. See, for example, the excerpt in »

Reaganpalooza, This Week on The American Mind

Featured image Last month I taped an episode of the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” video interview series with Claremont Review of Books editor and professor extraordinaire Charles Kesler.  This first segment describes the writing of The Age of Reagan as well as some observations about how Reagan historiography has evolved.  More to come–stay tuned! »