Ronaldus Magnus

The Power Line Show. Ep. 145: Reagan in the 1960s, and the Lessons for Today

Featured image Last week I was honored once again to be the after dinner speaker for the fall meeting of the Friends of Ronald Reagan, a local civic group in Los Angeles that meets at the California Club to celebrate the enduring greatness and example of the Gipper. It’s always a fun evening, usually capped off with brandy and cigars out on the patio when dinner concludes. I decided to talk about »

Smearing Reagan, Again

Featured image Normally I don’t ever jump to the step-and-fetchit demands of our many lefty trolls, but I’ll make an exception for the story rocketing around right now that way back in 1971 Governor Reagan made a crude racist comment in a private conversation with (checks notes). . . Richard Nixon.  You can listen to the audio here (about the halfway mark). Here’s how Timothy Naftali (a nasty piece of work whom »

Edmund Morris, RIP

Featured image When I interviewed Michael Deaver, one of Ronald Reagan’s senior aides from his days as governor and into his second presidential term, in the course of writing my two-volume Age of Reagan book project, he confessed that recommending Edmund Morris be Reagan’s official biographer was the second-biggest mistake he ever made in Reagan’s service. Immediately your mind will run to the obvious question, which I duly asked: What was your biggest »

What’s Happening With Trump?

Featured image I stayed up late last night because I couldn’t reconcile myself to Stanford’s bizarre loss to San Diego State, and decided to tune in to Boob Tube News—I mean, CNN—which was running a documentary called “The Reagan Show,” described thus: “Made up entirely of archival news and White House footage, this documentary captures the pageantry, absurdity, and mastery of the made-for-TV politics of Ronald Reagan.” Supposedly we were going to »

Tear Down This Wall @ 30

Featured image Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of President Reagan’s famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin that culminated in the famous line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” I began the second volume of my Age of Reagan political biography with an account of it, and it seems worth repeating today: Most of his senior aides didn’t want him to say it.  Indeed, they tried repeatedly to talk him out of »

Remembering Rickles

Featured image The death of Don Rickles last week brought back a flood of memories for me. My father loved seeing him in Las Vegas before Rickles really hit it big, when he was playing in the lounge at the Sahara Hotel. I saw him several times with my dad. Indeed, I saw him several times one night with my dad. Visiting family over Christmas in December 1969, I think, one night »

The M-E-C Freakout Continues

Featured image The Media Entertainment Complex (MEC) is going all in to destroy Trump on behalf of the Democratic Party. I wonder how liberals would react if Saturday Night Live did a sexist sketch like the one last night about Elizabeth Warren (preferably in full native American regalia) instead of Kelly Anne Conway: Paul has already noted the ruckus over the supposed ethics violation of Kelly Anne suggesting on air that people »

Attention Austin Readers

Featured image For Power Line readers in the Austin, Texas, area, I’ll be giving a lecture about Ronald Reagan at the University of Texas at Austin on Friday at lunch time (one hour into the Trump Administration!!), as a guest of the Clements Center for National Security at UT. It’s part of a three-day conference the Clements Center is hosting on “Ronald Reagan and the Transformation of Global Politics in the 1980s.” »

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 »