The Right Coast

June 11, 2004
A brilliant tribute
By Tom Smith

Like many of you, I'm sure, I watched President Reagan's funeral and was moved by it. I was one of many, many young people who got into politics because of Reagan. He will always have a special place in my heart.

President Bush gave a wonderful eulogy. Ever seizing on the superficial, of course, the media pundits didn't particularly note it, but it was very, very good. In the terse, Texan sentences that are Bush Jr.'s style, he captured what we loved about RR and what we have to be grateful for. It was unapologetically religious and full of grace notes, like the reference to a scout saying the pledge of allegiance, that signaled to people like me that Bush gets what Reagan got. The paragraph about how there were no doubters in the gulags or the Polish shipyards about the importance of Reagan's actions, was direct, powerful and effective. How telling it is that the New York Times line, that the Soviet empire collasped shortly after Reagan confronted it in a mere coincidence, has so few adherents among the empire's former captives. I'm old enough to remember the shock and horror when RR called the USSR the evil empire. Many a wise head was shaken. Not only did Reagan undermine an empire, he undid the entire Soviet Studies industry.

To Chris Matthews, the younger Bush might as well have been speaking in Latin. Matthews seemed unable to grasp the notion that both Reagan and Bush were and are devout Christians. Is there a title in that series, "Christianity for Complete Idiots"? If not, there should be, and anchor-pundits should have to read it. Apparently, it is culturally acceptable to be utterly tone deaf to Christianity as long as you are sensitive to every other conceivable orientation. Maybe the networks should send their people to sensitivity camps.

Brit Hume and Fox at least had the sense to be quiet most of the time and let the services speak for themselves.

Obviously, Lady Thatcher's remarks were also very good. The texts of all the tributes can be found at