"Unlike Bush, Reagan was a man of ideas, an intellectual, a man who had thought long and hard about the world and developed keen ideas about what was needed to fix its problems," writes Andrew Sullivan:
So he was able to argue, to make a case, to concede a point, to embrace a synthesis. President Bush, alas, can only make a case -- in words given him by others. I have never witnessed him in public acknowledge an opposing argument or think on his feet. Those aren't his strengths. But they sure were Reagan's.
Yes. We agree. While we're not going wobbly on GW as Andrew seems to be -- early and often -- we find ourselves nodding in agreement at much that he has to say:
If Reagan has an inheritor, it isn't George W. Bush, but, in a limited sense, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a self-deprecating, theatrical Californian who combines faith in freedom with stunning pragmatism in politics . . . But he also, unlike Bush, had a real sense of the Midwest and West -- and had a vernacular that could speak to all Americans, not just a few. He embraced life and pleasure and humor and fun.
Reagan made me laugh often and well; he made me hope more than was warranted; I trusted him and saw the growth of freedom under his benign, chuckling steeliness. It is a long road from there to the dour cynicism of Karl Rove and joyless puritanism of John Ashcroft.
Yes, yes . . . But we are still inclined to believe that George W -- uniquely faced with the awesome and unprecedented threat of Islamicist jihad -- is to be compared not with our own beloved Ronnie but with Winston Churchill. In the case of all three leaders, the opposition was/is shrill and self-serving and short-sighted. Are we strong enough to stay the course?