Monday, August 13, 2007

Rose peddled Reagan lie before

As noted in the previous item, Steve Rose, chairman of Sun Publiucations, micharacterized Ronald Reagan's record as a social conservative in a August 8 column.

Rose has done this before, this time in a February 22, 2007 column.

"[KRA leaders] claim they are 'Reagan Republicans,' who, in their delusional minds, was one of them."

As shown in the previous item, Reagan considered himself a social conservative and social conservatives in 1980 and 1984 campaigned hard for Reagan because he was one of them.

"Well, tens of millions of us were Reagan Republicans," Rose continued. "We voted for him both times he ran. And it was not because he was a right-wing ideologue. It was because he was a true conservative, but he also was flexible and tolerant. His Supreme Court appointments say it all. He picked Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, two moderates. A third appointment, William Rehnquist, was a mild conservative. Only Antonin Scalia was a true-blue social conservative. The KRA would have a coronary if those appointments were made today."

First, Rehnquist was appointed by President Richard Nixon, not Reagan. Reagan elevated Rehnquist to chief justice. Second, Rose's claim that Rehnquist was merely a "mild conservative" is laughable. Check out the articles after Rehnquist died and try to find one in which he was described as a "mild conservative." Third, Rose has apparently forgotten that the conservative Robert Bork, and not Anthony Kennedy, was Reagan's first choice, after Associate Justice Lewis Powell retired. In fact, Kennedy was Reagan's third choice in a highly partisan atmosphere. O'Connor was a mixed bag. She took some moderate positions. However, upon her retirement, the Christian Science Monitor noted, "On the conservative side, her vote has been critical to the conservative wing's federalism revival."

More from Rose:

"Ronald Reagan talked a good game about social values, but his real priorities were lowering taxes, shrinking government, and bringing down the Soviet Union. That’s why moderates could embrace him, and that’s why Ronald Reagan unified not only his party, but brought millions of Democrats into the fold."

What Rose fails to understand is that "lowering taxes, shrinking government, and bringing down the Soviet Union" were (and are) priorities that had (and have) moral components. For example, the Soviet Empire had to be bring down because Reagan believed it was an "Evil Empire." Rose also fails to understand that evangelical Democrats embraced Reagan in 1980 and 1984 because they believed Carter let them down on, among other things, the abortion issue.

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