Reagan was the candidate of 1) Jim Crow Wasn't Really All That Bad, And Should Have Been Allowed To Die Out Naturally, Subject to States' Rights; 2) We Weren't Allowed To Win in Vietnam; 3) Environmentalism is Just Another Name for Godless Communism; 4) Ours is a "Judeo-Christian" Nation, and its twin corollaries, 4a) Jesus says no abortion, and 4b) the modern State of Israel is, in fact, our magical mystical 51st state. That is, the up-to-the-minute trends in right-wing dipshittery, coupled with the usual collection of antifluoridationist nuts and Gilded Age capitalist rapine. And bonus hippie punching. Delivered affably.
Tell me, really, that this isn't essentially the Republican platform of 2012, and all the years in between. Whazzat? I left out No Taxes and National Debt? Yes, because those are to the Republican party what bikini-clad nubiles are to the producers of domestic beer. Got nothin' to do with the product, but they do draw in the rubes. Taxes? Republicans don't pay taxes. Debt? Who raised the debt more than Reagan? Bush II?
So someone tell me why anyone would believe, fall for, or pay any attention whatsoever to Republican make-over talk? What could possibly come of it?
Sure, there's been sufficient amusement in Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio complaining that post-defeat Mitt is unfortunately making the Republican party sound like Republicans. There's wizened mage Ted Cruz claiming Romney "French-kissed" Obama (is he unaware of the True "Conservative" talent that Romney defeated in the primaries?), and Mike Huckabee blaming Republicans for stabbing poor Todd Akin in the back, in defiance of all polling numbers.
Or this, which is the stupidest thing ever published in English.
But the real problem, if you ask me, hasn't been the ~10% of the electorate Reaganism managed to add to the "Conservative" coalition. It's so-called moderates, or centrists, who seem convinced that these people make so much noise they have to be on to something.
Consider Anne Applebaum.
After quickly dismissing, by
Do I hear scoffing? Well, 1) John McCain, Mr. Conservative himself, co-wrote the McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, a piece of pre-campaign compromise he'd be repudiating less than a year later, when he needed actual Republicans to vote for him; 2) Ezra Klein, Mr. Conservative himself, has pointed out the the Heritage Foundation touted the individual mandate back in 1989; and 3) Charles "Merkwürdigeliebe" Krauthammer, Mr. Conservation himself, is for higher gas taxes (to offset eliminating income taxes, but leave us not mar a beautiful dream).
With this historical template in place, with this solid foundation of True "Conservative" values as a jumping-off point, one wonders how the Republican party so suddenly veered off the road into such frankly gauche displays of common yahooiganism. One tries to figure out why Mitt Romney, Mr. Patrician himself, found it necessary to stoop to such things (before righting himself, of course) like a common job applicant.
And one wonders what Republican party Anne Applebaum, born the year Barry Goldwater took over the party, has been looking at the last half century.