Category Archives: Political Commentary

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Yes, they are.

We are very happy that the coup failed because we have now really destroyed the communist empire, the Soviet state, and of course, as
Ronald Reagan said, it was indeed an evil empire and we are glad that it
is gone from the earth.

– Andrei Kozyrev, Yeltsin Foreign Minister, speaking to ABC’s Sam Donaldson, after the communist hard-liners coup attempt failed in 1991.

What If?

I don’t know if people have speculated about this previously, but as an alternate history, what if Reagan had beaten Ford for the nomination in 1976? Would he have beaten Carter then, or did we have to live with him for four years to realize what a lousy president he was?

It’s not clear to what extent Ford lost because of general backlash over Watergate, or because of the Nixon pardon, or because of the debate gaffe, in which he said that Poland wasn’t under the thumb of the Soviets. Reagan would have likely suffered only from the first factor. If he did lose to Carter, would he have gotten the nomination again in 1980 and beaten him then (I suppose the answer to that depends partially on how close the race was in ’76)?

And if he’d won, would the Cold War have ended that much sooner as well? Would we have avoided the stagflation, the sky-high interest rates? Would we have avoided the Iran hostage crisis, which was arguably our first of many acts of irresolution toward Islamic aggression, which ultimately led to September 11?

One more thought–one wonders how much different things might have gone if he hadn’t been shot. That was what gave him the political momentum to get much of his agenda passed in his first term. Ironically, while Reagan didn’t fire a single shot to win the Cold War, perhaps John Hinckley’s single shot was responsible…

Not With A Bang, But A Whimper

Has the anti-globo looniness run its course?

…the demonstrations have been nothing short of a dud, and the 20 or so protesters who quietly rallied yesterday were unable to hide their disappointment at the meager turnout.

“I think we overestimated ourselves,” Sandra Kwak, 22, said with a laugh in a light drizzle in expansive Forsyth Park. “But even if the few people who are here learn something, it’s not a total loss.”

Denied access to Sea Island for security reasons, two groups of around 150 people each gathered in the cities of Savannah and Brunswick on Tuesday to kick off three days of planned protests. But by the second day of the summit, only a fraction remained out in force.

“It’s a victory just to have this event,” protest organizer Kellie Gaznik said Tuesday. “If we didn’t have a place for people to do their art and make their statements, they would just walk around and maybe break things, which doesn’t accomplish anything.”

No, Kellie. No it doesn’t.

No Special Treatment

I concur with the thoughts in this Freeper thread about Kerry’s potential plans to visit the Reagan Library. If he wants to pay his respects (and this isn’t just grandstanding), fine, but he should stand in line for hours with everyone else. None of this “Do you know who I am?” business.

Of course, as another commenter pointed out, he does have a natural face for mourning. I suspect he’ll get many opportunities to use it in the coming months, particularly in early November…

By the way, as I was driving up to Chatsworth this morning, the sign in Sepulveda pass said that there was an eight-hour wait at the library. I usually drive up the 405 to the 118 (the Simi Valley Freeway) and across, then take DeSoto down, but this morning, after hearing traffic reports, I decided to go across on the 101 instead.

[Update a few minutes later]

You know, this actually could be a good political move for him, as long as he does stand in line and take the bus (and that should include having his “family’s” SUV sit out on the 118 for hours as well, just like the rest of us). After all, he claims that he’s taking the week off from campaigning out of respect for President Reagan. What better way to show that he really is than by spending a few hours of his own personal time, on queue with the commoners? It would be all the more admirable, because it can’t be expected to be a friendly crowd to someone like him. It would be an opportunity to show, despite all previous evidence, that he really does have the common touch.

This, of course, is exactly why he won’t do it. I fully expect him to revert to character, and try (and maybe even succeed) to pull a “Do you know who I am?”. But maybe he’ll surprise me.


He met my expectations, and Iowapresidentialwatch isn’t impressed, calling it “indecent exposure.”

At issue: The need for a Kerry visit to the Reagan Library in California. As reported by Rush Limbaugh, a Kerry spokesperson had already announced Kerry would attend the State Funeral for Reagan on Friday in Washington, D.C.

At issue: The photographer accompanying Kerry into the Reagan Library. Clear guidelines (handed out to everyone prior to entering the library to view Reagan


David Brooks has an excellent op-ed in the NYT on partisanship. It’s as balanced a piece as you’ll find anywhere, and it’s backed by real data. This is a pet interest of mine, as it’s a pervasive cognitive phenomenon. People create a model of the world and then select data which reinforces it. Man is a rational animal only occasionally.

A Twofer

Senator Kerry is suspending his election campaign in respect for President Reagan’s passing.

I’m going to channel Mickey Kaus here, and note that this is a good deal for him. It lets him look classy, while minimizing his exposure to the American public for a few days, which should boost his poll ratings.

And in seriousness, his statement today was classy (surprisingly, to me). I didn’t expect him to say anything unclassy, but I thought he might avoid comment, or have minimal comment, so as not to upset his Bush (and Reagan) hating base.