Liberals Just Can’t Write Reagan

A new book by liberal writer Jacob Weisberg gets the Gipper all wrong

In 1964, Ronald Reagan said, “The trouble with our liberal friends isn’t that they are ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Left-wing author and head of the leftist Slate magazine Jacob Weisberg knows a lot of misinformation when it comes to Ronald Reagan.

Weisberg has penned a slim book on Ronald Reagan that should be approached with extreme caution. He’s written this book in conjunction with the History Channel, another liberal outfit.

How bad is Weisberg’s book? Apparently it won’t be selling at any Reagan institutions, and Weisberg won’t be invited to speak to any reputable conservative group. Not Hoover, not The Buckley Center at Yale, not CPAC — not any place in which intellectual conservatism flourishes.

Jacob Weisberg is liberal and wrong. Is there a difference? He is the son of a Chicago community organizer and a left-wing lawyer. He went to the best liberal private schools and the Ivy League. Red-diaper baby? You bet.

Now, in a New York Times piece to promote his book (natch), Weisberg writes that Reagan wasn’t all that hot to trot for the pro-life movement, and that he raised taxes. And then Weisberg eviscerates modern conservatives for writing books and going on television and making money by being public. He attacks conservatives for making “a career as a right-wing celebrity.” And he goes out of his way to gratuitously attack Newt Gingrich, who, last I checked, had more degrees than Weisberg.

Ahem. Before he was president (and after the California governorship) Reagan made money off speeches, his twice-a-week column and his daily radio commentaries. Weisberg cherry picks Reagan in his piece and bends history to satisfy his liberalism.

In fact, Reagan wrote, in the last year of his administration, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” even today one of the most important philosophical tracts making the case for human life and human dignity and individuality.

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To repeat, Reagan did not support blanket amnesty. He supported a tough border and, for those here illegally, heavy penalties. The Bush administration in 1989 failed to enforce Reagan’s strong penalties. Reagan said a nation without borders was doomed to fail.

Everything during Reagan’s eight years must be judged in the shadow of the Cold War. First, a lot of those illegal aliens were in fact political refugees from the communist and murderous dictatorships of Cuba and Nicaragua. Second, Reagan was not about to hand Mikhail Gorbachev a huge PR bonanza by forcibly evicting a couple of hundred thousand people.

Reagan, as he might say, was confronting a difficult problem with simple answers, just not easy ones.

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Yes, Reagan raised taxes, but overall his tax cut in 1981 and his Tax Reform Act of 1986 cut taxes far more than raised them. Also, by cutting away the thicket of federal regulations, he created the conditions that created over 18 million jobs while eradicating inflation and bringing interest rates down to the low single digits.

Oh yeah, and along the way, he restored Americans’ belief in themselves and defeated the Soviet Empire.

Liberals like Rick Perlstein and Jacob Weisberg and Chris Matthews should not be allowed to record conservative history or, at the very least, their writings should be taken with a giant grain of salt. They are too interested in acquiring power for a liberal establishment, so they must rewrite or diminish conservative history.

Certainly they know that to diminish Reagan is to diminish American conservatism, which is the ultimate goal of liberalism.

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