Monday, August 23, 2004

Updated August 23, 2004 at 7:30 pm

The Reagan Revolution that missed the Illinois Republican Party: There really aren't any liberal [moderate] Republicans, anymore- claims Peggy Noonan.

Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” is titled, “Ronald Reagan,” In Memoriam. The program airs at its usual time slot, Monday, 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] and it airs through-out the City of Chicago.

The program features a brief discussion of Ronald Reagan’s legacy and an interview with Reagan speechwriter and biographer Peggy Noonan. The interview took place on November 28, 2001 and it focuses, in part, on Peggy Noonan’s book, “When Character was King, a story of Ronald Reagan.” [Partial transcript of the show interview, below].

The program, a bit gushy, is one of my “youthful indiscretions,” at least as a show host. Notwithstanding that, Peggy Noonan is always worth watching and listening to. The discussion covers a variety of topics, including Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, the fall of the Soviet Union, the change in the United States military preparedness during the 80s, Reagan’s role in the Screen Actor’s Guild, Reagan as Governor of California, the “Speech,” Barry Goldwater, whether Ronald Reagan was “out to lunch,” on a number of matters, as Hardball Host Chris Matthews once asserted, Reagan's contribution to winning the Cold War and much, much more.
Jeff Berkowitz: Tell our audience about the difference between Republicans and Conservatives.

Peggy Noonan: …I tell a story at the expense of Republicans. I say that when I was writing my first book, I was very proud. I had left the Reagan White House and I was at home and it was the 1980s and people would say to me when I met them at parties—What are you doing now? And I would say, oh, I am writing a book. I would say that with a real expectation that they would say, “oh- that is fabulous.” But, instead, they would say- oh, but, what else are you doing? What are you really doing-as if writing a book wasn’t enough. And, I said to a friend of mine. Why do they do that? And, he said because they are Republicans. He said, Democrats care about ideas- so they love books. Conservatives care about ideas—so they love books. Republicans are more interested in money. He said, the next time you see those people and they say what are you doing, say, “I got a huge advance for a book and they’ll say, oh, fabulous.” So, I did it and it turned out he was right.

Berkowitz: But, has that changed now? Have the conservatives, in a sense, and I mean this in a healthy way-- taken over the Republican Party [nationally, not in Illinois] and now, Republicans are indeed people of ideas, not people of money.

Noonan: Indeed, I think that is true—and it has happened in the past twenty years and it is Ronald Reagan who did it. The Republican Party itself used to be split in two between moderates and liberals and conservatives. This guy [Ronald Reagan] through the success of his programs and his Presidency changed all of that and the Republican Party became the Conservative Party of the United States of America. There really aren’t any liberal Republicans anymore.
Peggy Noonan, as is being Cablecast tonight on “Public Affairs,” through-out the City of Chicago on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] at 8:30 pm. [Recorded on November 28, 2001].
Jeff Berkowitz, host and producer of “Public Affairs,” can be reached at