Yesterday, Mark Levin fired back at Peter Wehner’s characterization of Ronald Reagan, wherein Wehner suggested that Reagan did not meet the “conservative purity” standards of some of today’s conservatives.
“A few voices on the right, some of them safely ensconced in their underground command post, deep in the bowels of a hidden bunker, are attempting to rewrite history. In this case, after the GOP sweep last week, they want to justify their support for the approach that led to the October 2013 government shutdown. One radio talk show host, Mark Levin, said, ‘The shutdown worked.’”
Wehner then went on to describe why he thinks the government shutdown was “an impossible position to credibly defend,” stating that it “didn’t achieve a single one of its purposes, including its main one: defunding the Affordable Care Act.”
But he did not stop there.
While simultaneously disparaging Levin as one who merely “claim[s] to represent the right, Wehner took his fight to Ronald Reagan, suggesting that many (especially Levin) try to “twist Reagan this way and that, like Stretch Armstrong, to make him appear to match their own dispositions and patters of thought and biases.”
In other words, Wehner contends that Reagan wasn’t as conservative as conservatives think he was.
Wehner, calling out so-called “radicals on the right,” described what he considers to be Reagan’s less-than-conservative actions stating:
“Their absolutist mindset, if applied to the Reagan record–on amnesty (Reagan was for it), on raising taxes (Reagan passed what at the time was the largest tax increase in American history), on abortion (as governor, Reagan liberalized abortion laws), on campaigning for liberal Republicans (he chose Richard Schweiker to be his vice presidential nominee in 1976)–would have drawn their wrath. By their own logic, Reagan would have to have been deemed a RINO (Republican In Name Only).”
Levin, however, would not let Wehner’s statements regarding Reagan’s record stand. “[T]his is the Wehner game, cherry-picking a record, twisting events, and providing incomplete information,” said Levin. “He is neither a scholar nor a historian.”
Continuing his defense of Reagan’s conservatism in a Facebook Note, Levin had this to say:
“Wehner only tells half the story about Dick Schweiker and half the story about Reagan and the California abortion law. I am reminded that Schweiker was pro-labor but also pro-life, anti-communist, pro-Second Amendment, pro-freeing the Captive-Nations. I was not a great Scweiker fan, but he was no crazed leftist. The same can be said of George H. W. Bush.
“Furthermore, Reagan believed deeply that he had been sold a bill of goods on the so-called Family Planning Act. The loophole was the mental health of the mother which abortion doctors drove a truck through after he signed it. Reagan regretted signing it. His pro-life record is unmatched.”
“...We conservatives do not demand purism or perfection, but we do insist on integrity and prudence based on fundamental principles. We also reject the inevitability of America’s decline as a constitutional republic. Wehner attempts to use the nomenclature of conservatism to conceal his progressivism, and degrades Reagan, as do many of his former Bush colleagues, to defend their present-day pusillanimity and intellectual incoherence as they try to level the political field for yet another establishment presidential candidate.”
And as far as his pro-life record is concerned, isn’t it obvious where a man stands when he makes this witty remark in defending the unborn:
“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” – Ronald Reagan