Thursday, August 16, 2007

The truth about Denny

American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell has an excellent piece unmasking former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert's real legacy.

The highlights:

His period as Speaker marked the Republican congressional delegation's final decay from Reagan splendor to the provincial Republicanism of an earlier era...

He also opened the floodgates to Congressional spending. He also turned a blind eye to the petty corruption that beset the House during his term. He encouraged mediocrity and held back young principled Republicans of the Reaganite variety. He allowed the Republican Party to return to the era of pork barrel deal making...

The result was the Reagan Administration, an amalgam of the best of the rising right and the old liberal consensus developed at the beginning of the Cold War. It was a politics of ideas. Irving Kristol had pronounced modern politics the domain of ideas and he was right. Hastert, the retired high school wrestling coach, had no appetite for ideas. Until Republicans return to a politics of Reaganite ideas, they will be as antiquated as the Democrats and infinitely less interesting.

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