Skip to comments.Ron Reagan, Jr. vs. William F. Buckley -- Wayward Son Gets Public Flogging
Posted on 07/13/2004 9:44:17 AM PDT by bimboeruption
Amid the spontaneous outpouring of respect and affection for Ronald Reagan after his death, a discordant note was sounded by his son. In a succession of television and newspaper interviews, Ron Reagan Jr. used the occasion to trash George W. Bush by drawing invidious comparisons between his father and the current president. Nobody knew how to respond in a time of national mourning. Nobody, that is, except William F. Buckley Jr.
The elder statesman of the conservative movement considered Ron Jr.'s remarks a public challenge that ought to be challenged publicly. Buckley wrote Reagan a letter that specifically addressed his claim in an interview with the New York Times that he, as a self-professed atheist, admired the Buddhist teachings of ''mindfulness and loving kindness and compassion.'' Buckley told him: ''You proceed in a single interview to profane/deride the faith of your parents, which is not very mindful.''
There was more than one interview. In his graveside eulogy, the son threw a dart at President Bush by saying his father never wore ''his faith on his sleeve.'' That was just the beginning of attempts to dispel any notion that Bush was another Reagan. ''My father did not know George W. Bush from Adam,'' he said on CNN, adding: ''My father was a man -- that's the difference between him and Bush.'' As far as Republicans using the Reagan heritage, he said on MSNBC, ''This is their war. If they can't stand on their own two feet, they're no Ronald Reagans.''
This fit the desperate effort by Bush-bashers to keep the president from politically benefitting as a result of national grief over Reagan's passing. With publication in the New York Times Magazine of Ron Jr.'s interview with Deborah Solomon, Buckley wrote the son with a point-by-point response.
RR Jr.: The nude picture of his sister Patti in Playboy was ''just something that is not too exciting.''
WFB: ''Why then was there so much excitement about it?''
RR Jr.: As for his father's reaction when he dropped out of Yale to join the ballet, ''That was fine with him.''
WFB: ''It wasn't fine with him and he enlisted my aid in trying to persuade you to stay in college.''
RR Jr.: Having three cats while being childless ''is like having children.''
WFB: ''No, it's not like having children.''
RR Jr.: As to whether his mother helps him out financially, ''Of course not. My father felt that children should make their own way.''
WFB: ''I know, and you know that I know, something about that question. But to say that 'of course' your mother does not help you out suggests she will not do so even if there were a need. Are you saying she would not acknowledge you in her will?''
RR Jr.: As to the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, ''How can Christians tolerate it?''
WFB: ''I don't know of any Christians who 'tolerate it.' The perpetrators are reviled.''
RR Jr.: In an answer to a question, he said he did not vote for Bush in the last election.
WFB: ''Odd that you should permit this invasion of privacy whose only purpose is to remark the political infidelity of the son of Ronald Reagan.''
RR Jr.: His father ''worked hard to impress upon his children the value of kindness.''
WFB: ''If he did, he was manifestly unsuccessful.''
This is more than a wayward son, at age 46 with a career seemingly going nowhere, seeking 15 minutes of fame. He has signed with MSNBC as a ''contributor'' for the 2004 campaign. It is a windfall for Democratic operatives to quote the son of Ronald Reagan saying of Republicans: ''I couldn't join a party that, frankly, tolerates members who are bigots for one thing, homophobes, racists.''
Buckley and his National Review magazine were in the forefront of early Reagan supporters. In his newly published Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography, he paints a picture of a Ronald Reagan who ''was zestfully concerned for the comfort of others.'' Nobody has better credentials than Bill Buckley to deliver a point-by-point rebuttal to the errant offspring. Those who know Nancy Reagan say she fully agrees with her old friend.
Ya sometimes wonder who was actually adopted? LOL
Michael is more Reagan than Reagan's own flesh and blood...
Anyone know yet where Buckley's letter to li'l Ron can be found in full?
This is all I've seen of it.
Actually what's happening is that Ronald Reagan Jr. is seizing the opportunity to show off in public again even more embarassingly than when during his father's presidency he became a ballet dancer, and also when he did a Tom Cruse spoof posing in his undies and singing on TV.
It's sad for Nancy, but her kids are losers and Jane Wyman's daughter and adopted son turned out by far the best of Ronald Reagan's children. And Nancy didn't even get any grandchildren from her two biologicals.
I wish I knew. Ron, Jr. talked about it last night on Hard Ball.
I'd give my Hopilong Cassidy mug to read the whole thing.
Look at the last line of this article; it looks to me like Nancy may have known Novak was going to publish this.
I'd love to hear Michael Reagan speak at the Republican Convention.
"And Nancy didn't even get any grandchildren from her two biologicals."
Many may consider that a BLESSING!
I heard RPR and Pat Buchanan on the radio a couple of years ago, filling in for Hannity, I think, and they were debating gay marriage. RPR was so ignorant, it was impossible to debate. When Buchanan made a reference to "the Kinsey Report," RPR was completely baffled. "Who put that out? What was that?" It was evident that he thought it was some government report that came out last week, and he missed it. There were multiple examples of a lack of basic common knowledge. He is, after all, a dropout.
"Look at the last line of this article; it looks to me like Nancy may have known Novak was going to publish this."
Of course she knew. Her astrologer told her.
I knew Ron (Jr.) in high school. He hasn't changed.
In case you hadn't seen this. What a Grade-A slapdown! And I agree with one of the previous comments that this was done with, at the very least, a wink and a nod from Nancy.
It is one hugh blessing.
What'd he say?
I read that, and that has to be a terrible sadness for her if she had to tacitly agree with the calling down of her Bevis and Butthead-style 46 year-old son for behaving so ridiculously.
All of these references to "Ron JR" aggravate me. He is NOT officially a "junior". If he were, his middle name would be "Wilson" instead of "Prescott". Let's just stop with the "Jr." from now on, since it's incorrect and provides him with tangential legitimacy. "Little Ron" or something similar would be more appropriate.
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