12 Jun 2004 Reagan Commentaries
I’m indulging myself by commenting on some of the things I’m seeing on blogs and elsewhere online regarding coverage of our late President:
Belmont Club praises Reagan, saying:
It’s hard to remember how downbeat, how beaten America was in 1984, nine years out of the fall of Saigon; four years after the shock which took oil prices to $80 a barrel in 2002 terms; four years after Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a US embassy without Washington being able to do a thing about it. Theatergoers anted up to watch Red Dawn, starring a young Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, whose plot featured a Soviet invasion of the Continental United States…
I agree with the conclusions, but not the example. By 1984, we were well on the way up from the pre-Reagan malaise. The movie “Red Dawn” is noteworthy as a cultural/historical benchmark not because it depicts a Soviet attack on American soil, but because its theme was American youth fighting back. Had the same movie been made five years earlier (which it wouldn’t have been), it would have shown American youth too stoned to care.
Elsewhere, the Alphabet City blog has a heckuva story about how the Reagan Administration turned public opinion in Sweden in the Cold War. Hint: They used virtual “remote controls” to trap a Soviet submarine so it would go aground in Sweden. I remember that incident, but I had no idea whatsoever that the U.S. made it happen. Brilliant. There’s more if you follow the link.
Captain’s Quarters has a good piece on the Reagan Administration as a fierce battle of opposing domestic philosophies. He also links to a very worthy Daniel Henninger Opinion Journal piece reminding people that Reaganities suffered a lot of casualties during the war of ideas in the 80s. He points to vicious attacks on Ed Meese by Joe Biden as an example; it’s just one of many and the war’s not over yet.
Charles Krauthammer may be mum, but Milton Friedman is willing to say whom he believes is this century’s greatest president: Reagan. Sean at Everything I Know Is Wrong has written Krauthammer on the matter and promises to tell us if he gets a reply. Krauthammer appears to be begging to be asked; perhaps it is a future column-in-the-making.
In his life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness blog, Jack Rich explains why those who promote the “Reagan was a negotiator not a warrior” and “Reagan wanted to end the Cold War not win it” theories are idiots. If you don’t already know why they are idiots, read it.
Andrew Sullivan thought Brian Mulroney was “a bit of a bore” at the state funeral. It’s funny how different people have different reactions. I thought Mulroney’s tribute to Reagan was extremely moving. Iain Murray agrees with me. He’s another one who remembers that Mulroney was important to more than just Canada. He played a significant role in ending the Cold War himself.