Newt Gingrich criticizes Obama for his handling of ISIS and asks “What would Reagan do?” And by Reagan, he doesn’t mean the actual Ronald Reagan, he means St. Ronald the Magnificent, who exists only in the imaginations of Republicans. He even invents a whole speech he surmises that St. Ronald would have given:
Instead of criticizing President Barack Obama’s lack of an effective national security policy as the terrorist threat of the Islamic State grows in Syria and Iraq, it might be helpful to imagine the speech President Ronald Reagan would have given in response to the videotaped beheading of James Foley.
There are many things a great power can do if it has leadership.
This fictional speech is an effort to describe a Reagan-like grand strategy, clarity of moral purpose and emphasis on effective actions. This is not a speech President Reagan could have delivered in the 1980s.
The real Reagan pulled troops out of Lebanon after the bombing of the Marine barracks and traded weapons to Iran to free hostages held by Hezbollah. Moral purpose and effective actions, indeed.