Ramesh Ponnuru is right on target about Reagan’s legacy.
Republicans and conservatives, too, misrepresent his lessons:
Reagan believed that one reason his immediate predecessors were perceived as failures was that they conveyed a sense of being overwhelmed by the presidency. Only with time has it become clear how much “real discipline, hard work and focus” Reagan kept hidden.
This misimpression about Reagan, says Hayward, leads conservatives to underemphasize the importance of all this hard work — both in drafting policies and honing rhetoric — and to think that good gut instincts are a substitute for it.
When conservatives these days look for presidential and especially VP candidates, they are far too prone to go for the “gut instinct” test rather than the tests of experience, wisdom, proven record, etcetera. Food for thought.