Bill O’Reilly is considered a conservative, but he is challenging one of American conservatism’s biggest icons. In his bestselling book Killing Reagan, O’Reilly maintains that the assassination attempt 69 days into his presidency caused Reagan to be mentally impaired for the rest of his terms in office. O’Reilly describes the president being in a state of semi-dementia, with only moments of lucidity, to the point that his staff considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office on the grounds of being unable to perform the powers and duties of his office.
These charges have provoked an out-and-out shouting feud between O’Reilly and columnist George Will, who attacks O’Reilly’s research, says that the memo he used as evidence has been discredited, and says that actual historians and Reagan intimates (including his wife, a Reagan staffer) never witnessed any kind of impairment in the Great Communicator. [Read more…]