Jewish World Review May 31, 2013/ 22 Sivan, 5773
Dole takes his turn in political parlor game
By Jonah Goldberg
"Could people like
"I doubt it," Dole replied. "Reagan wouldn't have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn't have made it, because he had ideas and -- We might have made it, but I doubt it."
Let me state up front that I have incredible respect and admiration for Dole. He's an American hero and was a politician of undisputed integrity. I also admire
But it is a silly question and an absolutely ridiculous answer.
I don't blame Wallace for asking it, I guess, because every time a major Republican says Reagan couldn't get nominated today, it gets enormous play. When
This time around, the sirens went off at the
It was arguably their most predictable editorial ever -- or at least since the Times' endorsement(s) of
Never mind that the Times didn't have much use for Dole and viewed Reagan's takeover of the
So why is it a ridiculous question? Well, first of all, it's not a literal question but a figurative one. After all, if Reagan were alive today, he would be 102 years old.
Obviously, what Wallace meant is: "Would a politician with his positions make it in today's
But this, too, has more poetic license than people realize. After all, a candidate who kept insisting that we should roll back the
Even being generous on this point, the simple fact is that no former president of
As for the Democrats, which one, exactly, would have an easy time getting elected today? Forget about the repugnant sexual antics;
No one knows how Nixon, Carter, Clinton or Reagan -- never mind FDR, Lincoln or
Meanwhile, Republicans are subjected to a double standard. On one hand, they are vilified for being too inflexible, too hidebound. On the other hand, they're condemned for not holding the exact same positions other Republicans held 30 or even 60 years ago. (Obama loves to invoke Eisenhower's positions as if they prove
Obama doesn't even hold the same positions he held five years ago. But his ever-changing views are proof of "pragmatism" and "evolution."
Maybe Republicans learned some lessons from the past? Reagan agreed to amnesty before enforcement on immigration and it proved a failure. He agreed to match tax hikes for spending cuts, and Democrats reneged on the cuts while pocketing the hikes. Today's
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