Angry Democrats, biased news media, plus strategically manufactured outrage and “chaos” make for shrill politics these days. The political narrative appears to be constantly mutating from one thing to the next, willy-nilly. Luckily, there are still historians who pluck out valuable insights from those stalwarts who navigated difficult terrain in times past. Such is the case of Craig Shirley, whose fourth book on Ronald Reagan arrives Tuesday. Titled “Reagan Rising,” it covers the pivotal events leading up to The Gipper’s victory in the 1980 presidential election following a failed bid four years earlier.
“We have much to learn and continue to learn from the life and times of Reagan,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway, noting that during his acceptance speech almost 37 years ago, Reagan used the words ‘we,” “us” and “our” over 200 times. “I” was not so much on the president’s mind.
“This book shows that, for Reagan, his time was fast approaching in the late 1970s as the country was moving toward him, moving toward a more conservative posture and rejecting the New Deal and Great Society. In the 1970s a new conservative enlightenment was in full flower, much of it encouraged and brought about by Reagan,” Mr. Shirley continues, citing the emergence of The Heritage Foundation, the pro-life and pro-family movements and anti-Soviet organizations like the Committee on the Present Danger.
“American conservatism was seizing the day and giving responses to those questions liberals could no longer answer. The 1970s’ answer to the age-old question, ‘Does the man make the times or do the times make the man?,’ Reagan in so many ways made the times,” Mr. Shirley adds.
“As American conservatives seek to redefine their identity and their party, ‘Reagan Rising’ offers fresh insight into the development of Reagan’s optimistic and unifying philosophy, and provides timely lessons for both established Republican leaders as well as emerging hopefuls,” says publisher Broadside Books, the conservative imprint of HarperCollins.
Is the Democratic Party slouching toward extinction? Some think so.
“The Democratic Party will die by hollowing itself out to progressive ideology and leaving moderate and historically liberal voters behind,” predicts Dominic Lynch, a contributor to The Federalist.
“Democrats are learning the hard way that coalitions are not built on identity but on ideology. The further left the party moves, the more voters are up for grabs by Republicans. If the party moves far left enough, it might continue to call itself Democratic — but in reality it will be the Progressive Party of America. What 2016 showed is that the Democratic Party as we know it is going extinct,” Mr. Lynch concludes.
LET’S CLEAR THIS UP
“Various media outlets have published articles claiming that the Trump administration’s federal budget will eliminate funding for the Meals on Wheels program, whose volunteer drivers deliver hot meals to senior Americans across the country,” writes Washington Free Beacon analyst Andrew Kugle. “But the federal budget is cutting funds to a federal grant program that provides just 3 percent of the Meals on Wheels revenue budget, and the program will still receive significant federal funding.”
GIVE THEM GORSUCH
Multiple editorials from 58 news organizations in 30 states praising the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court is pretty impressive. Ever methodical, the Republican National Committee has gathered together these fierce missives as evidence that the Colorado jurist has fans around the nation.
“Editorial boards, columnists, and other observers have commended Judge Gorsuch’s qualifications in state media, calling him a ‘legal superstar’ who is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court — among other compliments,” the GOP says. “While praising Judge Gorsuch, these people have also encouraged Democrats in the Senate to give Judge Gorsuch a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote, asking that they set politics aside and approve Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”
In addition, 60 national and state pro-life groups have banded together and sent a feisty letter to all members of the U.S. Senate, advising that “Judge Gorsuch is made for such a time as this.” The big coalition includes National Right for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Live Action, Judicial Crisis Network, Priests for Life, March for Life, American Principles Project, American Values — and 50 more.
The U.S. is set to dole out $42.4 billion in foreign aid this year. And that’s too much, according to 57 percent of likely voters, reports a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which also reveals 6 percent say the amount is “not enough,” while 27 percent rate the level of foreign aid as “about right.”
On a semirelated issue, a new report by CNSNews.com analyst Patrick Goodenough finds that America is also footing much of NATO’s annual $1.4 billion operational bill, something that President Trump has repeatedly alluded to.
“The U.S. contributes 22.14 percent of the NATO budget, followed by Germany (14.65 percent), France (10.63 percent) and Britain (9.84 percent). Thirteen allies, mostly smaller former communist countries that joined the alliance after the fall of the Soviet Union and disintegration of Yugoslavia, pay less than 1 percent each,” he notes.
OUT TO WOO THE RIGHT
The Libertarian Party is eager to scoop up disaffected voters, particularly Republicans. That is why the organization is staging a conference call to its membership on Tuesday, and this is the topic: “Outreach to the Right: How can we better communicate libertarian values?”
On the call: Matt Kibbe, founder of FreedomWorks and Free the People — an educational organization “turning millennials on to the values of liberty.” He was also a point man on two political action committees that supported the presidential aspirations of both Gary Johnson and Sen. Rand Paul.
POLL DU JOUR
• 69 percent of Canadians consider illegal “migrants crossing from the U.S. to Canada” a top priority for Canadian officials.
• 48 percent say the migrants should be sent back to the U.S.
• 46 percent say the migrants have no impact on Canada’s safety; 41 percent say they make Canada “less safe.”
• 45 percent disapprove of the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dealing with the migrant issue.
• 36 percent say Canada should accept the migrants and allow them to remain.
Source: An Ipsos/Reuters poll of 1,001 Canadian adults conducted March 8-9 and released Monday.
• Optimism and naysaying to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on Twitter at @HarperBulletin
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