What prompted me to bump this was that I was reading the final pages today of Craig Shirley's marvelous account of Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign: Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America.
In the epilogue, Shirley blasts the modern-day GOP as having completely lost its way from the path that Reagan envisioned for it. He referenced this Manchester Union-Leader interview with Ed Gillespie discussed on this thread and quotes from Ed Crane's 2003 Cato article on the subject, "The Rise and Fall of the GOP". Here is the passage from pgs. 597 and 598 of Shirley's book:
"In 2003 George W. Bush's handpicked chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, attended an editorial meeting of the Manchester Union-Leader. Afterward, the paper wrote that Gillespie 'said in no uncertain terms that the days of Reaganesque Republican railings against the expansion of the federal government are over...Today the Republican Party stands for giving the American people whatever the polls say they want...The people want expanded entitlement programs and a federal government that attends to their every desire, no matter how frivolous? Then that's what the Republican Party wants, too.'The question is still on the table as we approach what is hopefully a watershed election in Nov., 2010.
Was Gillespie right? Is it all over? Reagan populism as a force inside the Republican Party has been replaced by a belief that America needs two big-government parties. Whether the GOP ever returns to its pro-freedom, smaller-government roots is open to question."
BC, FYI. You might find that Cato article interesting. They don't have much use for Bob McConnell's campaign manager.
Ha! Are you trying to make us feel better about Steele?
Thanks, Al. I maintain that we had the White House for 8 years from 1981-89. Reagan, controlling only one hous of Congress, slashed it from 70 to 28% (and revenues poured in from the economic boom). After that it was 20 years of Bush Clinton. Bush 41 hiked taxes from 28 to 31%. Clinton raised them to 39.6%. Bush 43 gave back one half of the Clinton tax hike, cutting the rate to 35%, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY (Bush 43 had control of both houses of Congress for most of his Presidency).
The Bushes (and their allies) were embarassed by Reagan as they are by Palin. They made a complete hash out of things and instead of just going away, they want to give us advice.
Palin needs to sweep them out, for good. This time choose a movement conservative, one who is reliable. No more Bushes, Romneys, Doles, etc. It has taken nearly 30 years to get over the foisting of GHW Bush onto Ronald Reagan. I am sure the Gipper would advise her, “Don’t let them sell you a bill of goods for VP this time.”
So far, Michelle Bachmann looks to me to be the only absolutely foolproof choice. There could be others, but I am leery of Pence, Ryan, Demint and most of the ones who are prominently mentioned.