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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 24, 2008 17 Shevat 5768

Looking for Mr. Perfect

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama is on to something with his praise of Ronald Reagan as "a transformational president." A lot of Democrats screamed, and even a lot of Republicans complained that a Democrat was trying to steal their hero. Ronald Reagan symbolized something else to the rest of us, a man from a time when both Democrats and Republicans could honor a dead president for his actual deeds. He reminded us that it could still be "Morning in America," not "Mourning in America."


The mean characterization of Reagan as an "amiable dunce" has evaporated as his keen intelligence has been revealed in his letters and journals. The man accused of intemperance in his characterization of the Soviet Union as "the evil empire" was vindicated the year after he left office, when the wall he told Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down finally came down. The West had won, just as he said it would.


But Ronald Reagan was not a hero of myth — he was a man, after all — and he shouldn't be idealized as the "pure conservative." When the Conservative Digest surveyed 350 conservative opinion leaders two decades ago, nearly two-thirds scoffed that President Reagan was not carrying out the conservative agenda. He had appointed men and women to his administration who were not only moderates, but worse, "pragmatists." These critics liked his tax cuts, but deplored the tax increases that followed. He failed to cut big-government entitlement programs so beloved by proponents of the welfare state. His commitment to social issues — the restoration of school prayers and opposition to abortion, pornography and homosexuality — was discounted as only lukewarm.


But these critics could stand apart from reality, as well as having to deal with Tip O'Neill and the Democratic partisans in Congress. The Gipper knew he had to hold on to the moderates, so despised by movement conservatives. They had been crucial to his victory in 1980. The moderates in the fractured coalition are crucial to keeping the White House this year, too. It's easy to identify the flaws of candidates who don't live up to a conservative ideal, but Ronald Reagan had flaws, too. "I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages," he said, as that episode unraveled in 1987." My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."


In the primaries, every Republican candidate is measured against an ideal "Mr. Conservative," much as women of the court once measured men against the ideal of a knight in shining armor (and as Democrats measure their candidates against a standard of total contempt for George W. Bush). Hence every flaw is identified as lethal.


John McCain was an authentic war hero, whose heroism was refined in the torture chambers of the Hanoi Hilton. Independents like him, but he enrages "pure" conservatives for his compromises on campaign finance reform and immigration. "Straight talk" is never "pure." Mitt Romney sounds good on the social issues, but his views arrived a little too late to be fully trusted. His attempts at humor sound forced against the spontaneous wit of the Gipper. Rudy Giuliani's tough stance on the Islamist terror threat reassures conservatives, but three wives (and the manner of his second divorce), and his views on social issues make him difficult for many conservatives to take. Mike Huckabee is steadfast on most social issues, but can't decide whether he wants to be the national leader or the national pastor; he didn't earn many converts with his pitch from the pulpit to amend the Constitution to make it more "godly." The leading Republican candidates offer big talk on fiscal conservatism, but their records are mixed.


Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal says the Republican Party is searching for its soul, but no savior has emerged. That's probably a good thing. Secular saviors are never credible. A conservative is someone who looks at the world as it is, not as he wishes it to be. What's important is to look for the best person to deliver what's best for the nation with toughness, leadership, smarts and experience, who's grounded in conservative values and determined to keep the nation safe and the economy strong. A tall order, but the Republican who shows such mettle could restore the Reagan coalition of conservatives, independents and "Reagan Democrats."


It's ironic that the conventional wisdom — the conventional wisdom is not always wrong — finds the likeliest figure to restore the conservative coalition is not a Republican conservative, but Hillary Clinton. Like the prospect of hanging, in Dr. Johnson's famous formulation, Hillary concentrates the conservative mind.


To be continued.

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