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Control of VA Senate Rests On One Race, With Democrat Ahead By 124 Votes
November 08, 2011

Reaganesque

In an email thread, these videos popped up.

It is interesting that, from where I stand, a lot of the conservative movement has bought into the left's take on Reagan as an amiable empty-head. That sort of conservative may credit him as having good instincts and good general idea of what government and America and freedom were about, but that he was largely unencumbered by facts.

In fact, he was pretty damn sharp and fluent. He had clearly spent a lot of time thinking about these issues, and writing about them, and speaking about them.

In the first clip, he defends the Diem regime in Vietnam, which is tough to do (despite that being US policy), because the Diem regime was marked, like most governments throughout history have been marked, by corruption and oppression. But he clearly knows what he's talking about, and knocks down the British snot asking questions.

RDBrewer notes that this is an edited clip-- Senator Robert Kennedy made a mess of several questions and Reagan had to ride in to rescue him and clean up for him. He writes further:

Kennedy was beaten so badly and he was so upset about it, he immediately fired the staffer who put that debate together.

IIRC, he referred to it as, to paraphrase, "that debate with that governor from California."

Yes, this is a Cain-bashing post. But this idea that "authenticity" means "lack of detailed policy knowledge" is risible.

And watching Reagan here, I am reminded, again, that I do not want an amiable Everyman as President.

I'd much prefer an amiable Extraordinary man.

No, we won't likely see another Reagan. But let's not denigrate what "Reaganesque" meant. It meant the power to communicate clearly, and forcefully -- sure, it meant that. But implicit in that was the power to communicate ideas and, yes, details of policy, and details of history.

I do not see how we're to have all these changes in policy with a leader who is so uninterested in policy he doesn't know the basics of it.

Reagan understood policy -- perhaps not down to the wonkish detail of Paul Ryan, but more than just the basics.


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posted by Ace at 08:57 PM

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