Carol Platt Liebau: Makes No Difference At All

Friday, January 11, 2008

Makes No Difference At All

Some alumni of the Reagan years have endorsed John McCain.

To me, this is interesting but hardly compelling. Everyone acknowledges that John McCain is solid on defense and good on controlling government spending. To the extent that McCain's views on immigration are in line with the 1986 amnesty, well, most Republicans would agree that if Ronald Reagan made a mistake, that's the one.

What's more, it's hard to figure out what Reagan would make of John McCain's eagerness to embrace elite media while shunning conservative talk radio; his open contempt for those who disagree with him, especially when they're conservatives; his support for campaign finance "reform" that muzzles individuals and entities 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election; his opposition to the Bush tax cuts (after all, Reagan clearly believed that cutting taxes was more important than budget-balancing); his support for the "Gang of 14," which implicitly means that McCain thinks the filibuster of judicial nominees is constitutional (hardly an originalist position); and his penchant for "straight talk" that too often is laced with pessimism and anger.

Reagan alumni are entitled to their views, as is everyone else, but no one -- no one -- can speak for the Gipper.


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