Archive for the ‘Reagan’ Category

Cheer Up Conservatives. Life Is Grand!

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/15/2008

Hayek & Reagan smile.jpg

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my apologies for the blog outage

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/14/2008

I hope to be up and running later tonight.

I’m struggling at the moment with the knotty problem of importing a WordPress archive into Movable Type. 

Here’s where I left off last.  Sunday I linked to Mark’s post on “Conservatives” vs. Conservatism — and now it looks like Mike also wrote Rush Limbaugh’s Monday monologue.  I flagged this comment from Mark:

just as a poorly carried out experiment doesn’t discredit science, so is conservatism not discredited by conservative-in-name-only politicians failing to live up to the traditional principles of their party.

And here’s Rush:

conservatism isn’t dead because it cannot be dead.  Conservatism is not
manmade.  Conservatism is a philosophy.  It’s not a scheme.  It’s not a
plan to figure out what the American people need and want, and then
give it to them.  That’s populism!  Conservatism is a philosophy based
on God-given natural rights.  The Declaration of Independence, is that
dead?  Of course not!  What’s dead is leadership on the Republican
side, and because there is a lack of leadership of someone who the
substantive understanding of liberty and the political skills to
advance it, we get all this cockamamie nonsense about the death of our
principles.  Our principles are not dead! Our principles cannot die. 
I’ll tell you, in a lot of ways this reminds me of Jimmy Carter and his
malaise speech.  He blamed the American people for his miserable
failures as president.  Now we have conservatives and conservative
wannabes, many of whom have held high office or hold high office or
speak and write from formerly conservative outposts, who blame
conservatives for their own miserable failures.  What is lacking is not
ideas and principles.  What’s lacking is the right people to speak
those ideas and principles, folks.  Admit it.

Read the whole thing.

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Bob Woodward Lies Exposed

Posted by PrestoPundit on 05/22/2007

And other revelations — new excerpts from the Reagan Diaries.

Posted in Reagan, The Left | Comments Off on Bob Woodward Lies Exposed

The Reagan Diaries

Posted by PrestoPundit on 05/02/2007

Excerpts from The Reagan Diaries in Vanity Fair. Quotable:

Thurs. May 28 • Cabinet meeting. Demos. finally have come up with a counter proposal to our tax program. They want to include a reduction of the inc. tax rate on unearned income from 70% to the 50% top rate on earned inc. We wanted that in the 1st place but were sure they’d attack us as favoring the rich. Several of their other proposals are things we wanted. I’ll hail it as a great bipartisan solution. H—l! It’s more than I thought we could get. I’m delighted to get the 70 down to 50.

Wed. Feb. 11 • Learned this a.m. that a tape has turned up & been revealed to the Tower commission & the Sen. investigation. It is complete fiction. It has Ollie North telling the Iranians he’s held meetings with me at Camp David and that I was willing to go all out with arms deliverys in order to get our hostages back & I wanted Iran to win the war. I OK’d (according to the tape) providing Iran with strategy & intelligence to help them beat Iraq. I’m also said to have wanted Hussein of Iraq to abdicate & because of my support for Khomeini.

Later in morning met with [Special Counselor David] Abshire and told him the tape was complete fiction. There have been no meetings with North at Camp D. He’s never been there while I’ve been President.

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G.E. and the Making of Ronald Reagan

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/10/2007

Thomas W. Evans tells the paper napkin version of his new book The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years And the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism in an article published by the History News Network. Quotable:

Reagan learned more in his GE years than a set of prepared remarks. He became familiar with such diverse thinkers as von Mises, Lenin, Hayek, and the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. He read and reread the practical economics of Henry Hazlitt. He quoted Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton. He observed GE’s vice president Lemuel Boulware, whom many leaders in corporate America regarded as the most successful labor negotiator of all time, and Reagan himself sharpened his negotiating skills during this period when he served another term as president of the Screen Actors Guild. (An intriguing aspect of this process occurred in 1960, when Boulware was urging GE’s workers not to strike at the same time as Reagan, as SAG president again, took his members out on strike against the Hollywood producers. Incredibly, the situation worked out for the benefit of both GE and SAG.)

As one of Reagan’s “traveling aides” pointed out, “This was the period that brought into being Lemuel Ricketts Boulware.” When the nation was paralyzed by a seventeen-week strike in 1946, in which almost all of the country’s corporations were brought to their knees, the 16,000 workers who produced annual revenues of $150 million for the GE subsidiaries which did not use the corporation’s name (e.g. Hotpoint and Carboloy), did not go on strike at all. They were managed by GE vice president Boulware. As a result, Boulware was placed in charge of all of GE’s labor, public and community relations.

In 1947, flushed with success of the national strike, Walter Reuther, leader of the United Auto Workers, proclaimed that “unions can no longer operate as narrow pressure groups concerned with their own selfish interests.” Trade unionism, he maintained, must now “lead the fight for the welfare of the whole community.” The gauntlet was down, and Lemuel Boulware issued a response. He saw a great gulf between the political ambitions of union officials and the economic interests of their members. This was a crucial contest, with “our free market and our free persons” at stake. But before battle could be joined, “every citizen had to go back to school on economics individually … to learn from simple text books … to study until we understand” our democracy and our free market system. In his call to arms, Boulware was describing what became the education of Ronald Reagan.

Boulware believed in “going over the heads of the union leaders” directly to the employees. He did this primarily through four publications and a series of book clubs. He also created a new position, Employee Relations Manager, and 3,000 of them joined with 12,000 supervisors to bring the company’s message home. The ERMs used skills that the company had developed in the manufacture and sale of its products to win the hearts and minds of its workers. Boulware called this “job marketing.”

Two of the publications that emanated from Boulware’s operation were distributed weekly: one went into the local plant papers, side by side with bowling league results and coverage of the Miss GE competition, designed for consumption by GE’s blue collar workers; the other weekly was a newsletter to GE supervisors and to local “thought leaders,” who could influence municipal and state elections. A slick monthly magazine often tied Reagan’s GE Theater news to ideological messages. And a defense quarterly, featuring GE’s efforts in the field, was enhanced by commentary from leading experts (e.g. well-known academics and occasional Cabinet officials) on military and geopolitical matters. The evidence is compelling that Reagan read all of these. The frequent question periods after his talks with GE workers insured that he would be asked about them. They influenced his foreign policy as well as his domestic views. An article in the defense quarterly presaged the Reagan Doctrine and contains the earliest mention of what later became the strategic defense initiative.

The subject matter of the publications ranged from narrow employment issues (“How Big Are General Electric Profits – Are They Too Big?” “Why the company can expect union officials to ‘demand’ a strike from them”) to broader economic concerns (“Let’s Learn from Britain”–which concerned the failures of socialism and a government-run medical profession–and “What is Communism? What is Capitalism? What is the Difference to You?”). The folly of many government programs and the negative consequences of burdensome taxation were frequent topics. The book clubs of employees and their spouses spent thirteen weeks discussing Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt or How You Really Earn Your Living by Lewis Haney and other conservative offerings.

In time, Lemuel Boulware and GE CEO Ralph Cordiner mounted a national grass roots campaign, recruiting major corporate allies, creating schools where GE employees and others could learn the fundamental political skills to win elections, developing shareholder lists for political mailings, and turning GE workers into “communicators” and “mass communicators” (Boulware’s words) who could spread the message of free persons and free markets to a decisive number of local voters. In the course of this Ronald Reagan was taken out of the plants and put on what he called “the mashed potato circuit” of civic forums largely in the south and smaller states, often towns where GE dominated the economy, where he would be most effective. In due course, the “great communicator” was born. In today’s parlance, most of these states turned from blue to red.

John Fund reviews the book here.

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