Ronald Reagan was my first and best vote, no doubt about it.
But into the mounting paeons timed to mark his centennial today, I have to toss some clay if only to slow apotheosis, beatification or whatever celebratory conservatives starved for principled and patriotic politicians end up setting into motion. His fine and unmatched points were many, we were ridiculously lucky to get him, but there were a couple of failures on his watch that deeply plague us to this day.
1) Ronald Reagan let Iran's Hezbollah-aborning get away with every act of war against the United States. We usually call these acts " terrorism," but maybe that's a dodge, an excuse for inaction against paralyzing amorphousness. These acts included attacks on the US Embassy & Marine Barracks in Beirut; the kidnapping/torture murders of CIA station chief William Buckley & Col. Richard Higgins; the murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem and more. (Hezbollah timeline here. )Even as Reagan did battle with the Communist beast, he ignored the Islamic beast. Not that he was alone in that, but since we going retrospective here, this is something to include in the mix.
2) He anointed the non-conservative Bush family. By elevating George the father to VP, he inadvertently gave us Bush 41 -- Reagan's "third term," as they called it. This, in turn, helped along George the son -- and We the People voted in two non-conservatves ill-equipped to deal with morphing Commuism or erupting Islam.
Now, back to the paeons.