Ronaldus Magnus

“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! »

Perlstein, Plagiarism, and Originality

Featured image I’ve been holding back on commenting on Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan because I’m hard at work on an epic review for the Claremont Review of Books.  But the controversy over Perlstein’s treatment of Craig Shirley’s material, discussed in this New York Times article and many other places this week, deserves some separate and timely consideration, chiefly because my CRB review will concentrate on »

The Evil Empire Is Back

Featured image So Obama, ever the bright and prompt one when it comes to foreign affairs, has declared the Soviet Union Russia to be in violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—Ronald Reagan’s famous “zero option.”  The violation occurred in 2009.  Guess it would have got in the way of that whole “reset” thing to have brought it up at the time. As it happens, I’m working on a new »

Reaganpalooza

Featured image The Reagan Library and Foundation has posted online a complete video of the panel discussion I was kindly invited to be part of on June 5, the 10th anniversary of Reagan’s passing, chaired by Peggy Noonan and including journalist/biographer extraordinaire Lou Cannon, Michael Duffy of Time magazine, and fellow Reagan biographer Craig Shirley.  (James Baker was in the audience and spoke at lunch; at one or two places you’ll see »

Strictly for Gluttons: The “Maymester” Lectures

Featured image Last month I presented three informal, non-credit evening lectures here at Boulder for the “Maymester” session, and a few of you (well, okay, one person, with initials T.O.) wondered whether they could be videotaped and posted here.  And so here they are–but only if you really have a lot of spare time on your hands, since each one is more than an hour long, and conducted in my somewhat stream-of-consciousness »

Tomorrow @ The Reagan Library

Featured image It has been ten years since the passing of Ronald Reagan, nearly 20 years since he withdrew from public life altogether following the announcement of his Alzheimer’s disease, 25 years since he left the White House, and 50 years since his famous “Time for Choosing” speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater that launched his political career.  (I’ll have a long article about that when the time comes in October.) Tomorrow »

Peace, they say: Nordlinger vs. Lundestad

Featured image The Nobel Peace Prize Forum was held in Minneapolis on the campus of the University of Minnesota over the weekend. Yesterday was Global Day. I’m not sure what made it Global Day, but it was. However, I am sure what the highlight of the day was. It was previewed in the Star Tribune here. At noon Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, debated National Review senior »

Getting Reagan Nostalgia Right and Wrong

Featured image I should have come yesterday—on Reagan’s birthday—to Jim Antle’s American Conservative article “Five Ways Reagan Nostalgia Misleads Conservatives.”  From the title, I expected another unsound approach to Reagan that we’ve seen from people like Jeb Bush, or the usually spectacular Jennifer Rubin who urged us to “get over Reagan.”  The Reagan critics emphasize that times have changed since 1980, so there’s not much use in invoking the Reagan legacy. So I »