Here is the secret of Campaign 2008: Republicans are sick of being patsies, especially when confronted with the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Hillary and John Murtha, and everyone in the MSM. GOP voters don't want any more deals, any more "grand compromises," any more apologies for winning the past two presidential elections and for believing in victory in war. They are looking for a candidate unafraid to defend the idea of winning in Iraq, confronting the nutters running Iran, or of securing the border. They want a spokesman eager to defend the inherent good of America against European elites, a candidate willing to speak boldly on behalf of marriage, children, and faith. They want another Reagan. Thus far that candidate has been Mitt Romney, with Rudy Giuliani in a very close second.
I carry no brief for the Eternal and Undying Greatness of Ronald Reagan, but get real: Romney and Giuliani are about as far from Reaganesque as it's possible to get. I'm with Al Newberry on Giuliani -- he's Gollum, if Gollum had been penciled in for Jack Nicholson's role in The Departed. And Romney? Joe Isuzu, Massachusetts Mormon Edition.
Ronald Reagan saw the light and withdrew US forces from Lebanon after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. He'd never have been stump-stupid enough to get the US into Iraq, and if he had had that kind of brain fart, he'd have brought the troops home within months, if not weeks, of toppling Saddam.
Ronald Reagan's administration worked deals with Iran ("arms for hostages"). Yes, there was also some sabre-rattling, but nothing approaching the level of moronic brinksmanship practiced the last few years by the Busheviks and their Osama-Enablertarian supporters in the GOP.
Immigration? You have got to be shitting me. Reagan proudly and publicly embraced immigration freedom, including the very term that the current crop of little men with big aspirations is running like hell from: Amnesty.
Here's a Ronald Reagan quote on immigration -- hat tip to Patrick Ruffini at Hewitt's own blog for making the find easy:
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.
For Reagan, "the fence" would have been at best a distasteful compromise. It sure as hell wouldn't have been a pander point for use in getting out the Know-Nothing vote.
One reason that Ronald Reagan was able to defend the inherent good of America against European elites was that Reagan didn't bog America down in European-style colonial/imperial/interventionist/adventurist swamp slogs -- said slogs being a defining characteristic of the current administration and, by endorsement, of the "front-runner" Republican campaigns to succeed that administration in office.
Marriage, children and faith? Okay, I'll give up some points there. Giuliani obviously likes marriage -- he's fallen for it damn near as many times as I have. And yes, Romney's faith is centered around marriage ... lots of marriage, even if only in the Celestial Kingdom ever since Wilford Woodruff wussed out to the feds back in 1890.
I did not know Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was not a friend of mine. But I'm not blind ... Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are no Ronald Reagans.