Charles Krauthammer does a nice job making the liberal media look a little silly in their attempt to find an appropriate way to cover the week's memorials to President Reagan. He begins his column by noting that:
Krauthammer focusses on Reagan's foreign policy successes in this essay, but he might also have written about how the Gipper healed the nation's sick economy and restored America's confidence in itself after the shattering experiences of Vietnam, Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis and a decade of stagnation and malaise during the seventies. Krauthammer writes:
As usual, Krauthammer has it pretty much right. Reagan wasn't perfect, of course. His tenure was certainly not uniformly glorious. There were black marks, some of them serious, on his presidency. From a conservative perspective he was remiss in choosing justices for the Supreme Court who lacked a commitment to finding a remedy for Roe v. Wade. Sandra Day O'Conner and Anthony Kennedy, both appointed by Reagan, have been disappointing on those issues, dear to conservatives, which bear on the question of how we shall value human life.
He was also negligent, it seems to some, in not insisting on stricter oversight of the Contras in Nicaraugua. The cause of opposing communism in this hemisphere was right and just, and sometimes, if you want to dance, you have to embrace the only lady in the bar, even if she's not very pretty. But some of the Contras were undisciplined and indiscriminate in their tactics and guilty, evidence indicates, of atrocities which simply should not have been tolerated. To the extent that our tax dollars supported murders of innocent people we should weep in repentance.
Even so, Krauthammer is surely correct that what Reagan did for the United States, a nation sliding deep into the economic and psychological doldrums by the late seventies, and what he did for the world by catalyzing the collapse of totalitarian communism in Europe and Central America, at a time when it seemed as if opposition to communism put one on the wrong side of history, warrants far more than an editorial emphasis on sunny dispositions and warm smiles.