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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Larry Eastland
In a memo to the White House in July 1981, advisers in the Ronald Reagan administration urged opposition to a new pipeline from Russia's oil- and gas-rich regions to Europe, warning that it would weaken the West's bargaining hand.
The number of Americans shedding the Republican label to become independents is exploding. The solution, political strategists suggest, may lie in party leaders' ability to return to core values that distinguish Republicans from Democrats on everything from spending to personal freedom.
Once again attempting to achieve the impossible for a single party in a two-party system, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did his best at the RNC's summer meeting here to show respect for the many competing strains of thought in his party.
President Obama has been busy in recent weeks with legacy-burnishing announcements, including Tuesday's $100 million initiative to map the human brain, and some in the GOP say it's just the kind of inspiring idea their party used to be known for.
"President Reagan clearly understood at the time that Russia was not interested in being part of the family of nations," said Larry Eastland, a State Department official in the Reagan administration. "Anytime you allow someone to have their hand on the spigot, you've not only given them economic power, you've given them military power as well."
"This president opened the door to Putin, and Putin knew he had the power when this president made the decision not to follow on his red line on Syria. Putin knew he had him then," Mr. Eastland said.