NEWS AND OPINION:
Ronald Reagan’s birthday was on Monday. The 40th president was born on Feb. 6, 1911 — and the event has not been forgotten, not even 112 years later.
Consider the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project — which hinges on Reagan’s birthday.
“Is the modern Republican Party still the Reagan Republican Party? The answer is yes, and it will be for the next 50 years. But the question is worth exploring,” wrote Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform — a nonprofit taxpayer advocacy group — in an essay for National Review.
Mr. Norquist, by the way, founded the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project itself in 1997 as a way to persuade governors in every state to issue a proclamation declaring Feb. 6 “Ronald Reagan Day.”
So far, 36 states have done so — and three of those states — California, Colorado and New Jersey — have Democratic governors.
“The Reagan Republican Party is coherent, internally consistent, and low maintenance, and wins elections with an agenda that creates the conditions for future victories. It is sustainable. No right-of-center political tendency with two senators and a think tank can make that claim,” Mr. Norquist said in his essay.
“Reagan built a movement and structures that brought us to parity with the Left. Now we must continue to build our strength. Expand our coalition by increasing choice and competition. Reduce the power of the Left by defunding its government-funded fortresses,” he later noted.
“Ronald Reagan created the modern Republican Party of limited government, low taxes and a strong national defense. He used that party to change the nation. And then he changed the world,” Mr. Norquist said in a separate written statement.
Ronald Reagan is now remembered at 168 sites around the nation — all of them named in his honor. They include schools, parks, roads, community centers, a major trade center and an Air Force missile site, to name just a few. There are also 18 sites in nine foreign countries that bear the Reagan name.
A tough audience
President Biden has a handy prime-time opportunity to share his preferred messages on Tuesday night when he steps before the nation for the State of the Union address. The media is awash with predictions. NPR, for instance, predicts that the speech will “showcase the relationship” between Mr. Biden and the new House speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy. Time magazine said the speech has “unusually low stakes.” At least 10 news organizations offered “how to watch” and “what to watch” guides for the event.
Mr. Biden could have a tough audience.
“About 4 in 10 Americans say the state of the union is strong — although just 7% call it very strong while 32% say it is somewhat strong. Another 32% say the union is not too strong and 26% deem it not at all strong. The number who feel the state of the union is at least somewhat strong has steadily declined over the past five years, from 55% in 2018 to 39%,” a Monmouth University poll released Monday advises.
“Fundamental faith in the American system continues to erode, even when taking into account the fact that partisan views shift depending on who occupies the White House,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
“Most Americans (59%) say the current government in Washington has a negative impact on most people’s lives. Overall, just 16% of the public says Washington has more of a positive impact and 22% say it has little impact either way,” he noted.
The poll of 805 U.S. adults was conducted Jan. 26-30.
State of the states
The Republican National Committee is weighing in on the state of the union.
“Republican policies work, Democrat policies don’t. Just look at our states and cities,” said Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for the Republican National Committee, in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
He has issued a “State of the States” declaration for the nation to consider before Mr. Biden steps before Congress to deliver his speech.
“Republican policies work, Democrat policies don’t. Just look at our states and cities,” Mr. Pigott wrote.
He said that 13 of the top 15 states with the lowest unemployment rates and nine of the top 10 states with the highest percentage of jobs recovered since the pandemic began were led by Republican governors. He added that 27 of the 30 cities with the highest murder rates are led by Democratic mayors.
“19 of the top 20 states for getting kids back for in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year were led by Republicans; 18 of the bottom 20 states were led by Democrats,” Mr. Pigott said, citing “the devastating consequences of Democrat-sponsored lockdowns on children.”
And the result?
“People are moving to Republican-led states and abandoning Democrat-led ones in historic numbers. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors showed that 9 of the top 10 states with the most growth were led by Republicans. The states with the most people leaving — California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey — were led by Democrats. In spite of Joe Biden, the state of GOP-led states is strong because Republican policies work. Americans are taking note,” Mr. Pigott concluded.
Never a dull moment
“Is the sun a node in a gigantic alien space internet?” asked LiveScience.com, an active research and reference website.
“Are aliens using a quirk of the sun’s gravity to transmit information through an interstellar communication network? For the first time ever, astronomers explored this intriguing possibility and scanned for signals coming from hidden nonhuman probes orbiting the sun,” the site said.
Find it at LiveScience.com.
Poll du jour
• 59% of U.S. adults approve of continued U.S. military support for the Ukraine war with Russia.
• 77% of Democrats, 46% of independents and 45% of Republicans agree.
74% of liberals, 55% of moderates and 53% of conservatives also agree.
• 63% of those who live in the Northeast, 62% of those in the West, 62% of those in the Midwest and 55% of those in the South also agree.
Source: A Golden/Tipp poll of 1,358 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 1-3.
Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.