Sunday, January 20, 2008

Waiting For Reagan

William Krisol at The Weekly Standard makes an interesting point about the Republican presidential candidates:

"Conservative editorialists, radio hosts, and bloggers are unhappy. They don't like the Republican presidential field, and many of them have been heaping opprobrium on the various GOP candidates with astonishing vigor."

"And it's true the Republican candidates are not unproblematic. But they are so far performing more credibly than much of the conservative commentariat. Beyond the normal human frailties that affect all of us, including undoubtedly the commentators at this journal, there is one error that is distorting much conservative discussion of the presidential race. It's -Reagan nostalgia.

It's foolish to wait for another Ronald Reagan. But not just because his political gifts are rare. There's a particular way in which Reagan was exceptional that many of us fail to appreciate: He was the only president of the last century who came to the office as the leader of an ideological movement."

While Krisol has a valid point I think many conservatives are wary of candidates like John McCain because they have a tendency to go astray on issues, i.e. campaign finance reform, taxes and illegal immigration, which should be decided on basic conservative principles. Without Fred Thompson as the nominee, conservatives will be working overtime to make sure the other candidates stay "on the reservation". I also think the reason the "conservative commentariat" has been so hard on the Republican candidates may have less to do with waiting for another Reagan than Bush fatigue.

No comments: