A break from the road trip for one small quibble with Charles Krauthammer: he has now completely abandoned any intellectual integrity he may have had and joined the cult of Reagan mythmaking. Reagan did some fine things as president, like challenging and then negotiating with the “Evil Empire.” But he did not govern as a “movement” conservative. He cut taxes, then raised them three times–including the 1982 bill that hit businesses and was, by percentage and constant dollars, the largest tax increase in American history. He failed to cut the size of government, but then he didn’t try very hard. He tried to make a deal with Iran. He was a conservative, to be sure, but more in rhetoric than reality.
I’ve always respected Jeb Bush. He thinks hard about policy issues and has reached across the aisle to create charter schools that service poor areas. His recent comments represent a fierce dose of sanity into our national political discussion–a discussion that seems prohibitively weird from the food banks and union halls of Ohio.
Krauthammer used to be an independent thinker, too. Tis a pity he’s a hack, and a smug, reflexive one at that.