The Conservative Case for Kerry
Jude Wanniski
July 31, 2004


Memo To: Reaganauts
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Foreign and Domestic

There is no way Senator Kerry can be labeled "conservative," but there are now conservatives so distressed by President Bush's performance on foreign and domestic policies that I'm seeing more open expressions of support for the idea of a Democrat in the White House. Paul Craig Roberts, who was assistant secretary of Treasury in the Reagan administration and a key figure in passing the Reagan tax cuts, has been devoting his syndicated column to regime change this year, chiefly over his opposition to the Iraq war. Doug Bandow, a CATO fellow who was a Reagan aide from 1979 through the Gipper's two terms, has also been antiwar, but was among the first to argue for regime change on fiscal grounds in "The Conservative Case for Voting Democratic," which first appeared in Fortune magazine in April.

The most passionate Reaganaut argument against a second Bush term is his son Ron Reagan's "The Case Against George W. Bush," which appears in the September Esquire. He's not really a conservative, but his arguments are circulating among Reaganauts who believe his father would never have been gulled into the war by the neo-cons. (Clearly, former President Bush would not have either.) Ron Reagan of course spoke at the Democratic convention in favor of stem-cell research, which he scarcely mentions in the Esquire diatribe. It's quite lengthy as Ron gets a lot off his chest, but I found myself reading it all and agreeing with much of it. You can see in it why Nancy Reagan has refused an invitation to address the GOP convention and begin to wonder how much more of this is on the way. I don't make up my mind until late in the season, after I've seen all the information available, but I suspect Karl Rove, the president's chief political counselor, will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

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