Related Content: Ronald Reagan

Passing the Brady Bill in 1993

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This week, as the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting approaches, the Connecticut State's Attorney in Danbury released a report on the Newtown, CT massacre.  The shooting last December renewed a debate in Congress over gun control, but Congress was unable to pass legislation to prevent similar mass shootings.  Twenty years ago this week President Clinton signed into law the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which mandated background checks for firearms purchases.  Our 1993 Washington Week panel discussed how the bill, named for President Reag

McManus: Wielding wedge issues

Essential Reads

Once upon a time in American politics, there were things called "wedge issues," and they generally terrified Democrats. They were mostly social and cultural issues: abortion, feminism, gay rights, illegal immigration and race. Conservatives wielded them to divide working-class Democrats. Wedge issues helped elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency and dozens of other Republicans to Congress.

‘Are you better off?’ The answer is less clear than it was in 1980

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When Ronald Reagan asked voters a week before the 1980 election whether they were better off than four years earlier, he turned a race that had been nip-and-tuck for months into a landslide victory — and showed how a pointed question can be a lethal political weapon.

The risks of Romneynomics

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It’s not 1981 in America. Three decades after the Reagan Revolution, the country’s economic problems have evolved. Economic data show this clearly — and so do polling data.

PBS NewsHour: The Decorum, Skullduggery and Rivalries of the Presidents Club

Web content

Time magazine editors Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy explore how current and former American presidents interact with one another in their new book, "The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity." The authors spoke with Gwen Ifill about cross-party mentoring and the infighting that can occur.

Clinton and Reagan Draw Praise (but Not From Whom You’d Think)

Essential Reads

It says something about American politics that it has come to this: For the record, Bill Clinton does not actually support Mitt Romney for president no matter how many times Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, cites him in his speeches. And for that matter, just for clarity, Ronald Reagan certainly would not be supporting President Obama, either.

Will the Nominee Shape the GOP, or Will the GOP Shape the Nominee?

On The Radar

As Republicans begin choosing a general-election candidate here Tuesday night, one question could shape the destiny of the eventual winner: Will the nominee define the party, or will the party define the nominee? Successful presidential nominees often have helped redefine their parties. Ronald Reagan’s conservatism changed the Republican Party when he became its nominee in 1980.
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Hey, Remember the ’80s?

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich’s economic plan is not Reaganesque. It is not, as so many of his Republican presidential rivals’ claim their plans to be, inspired by Reaganomics. It is Reaganomics, cryogenically frozen in 1981, thawed 30 years later, and pumped full of Newt-style steroids in order to save the American people from slow growth. The plan features massive tax cuts (which would largely benefit businesses and the wealthy), less government spending (through the privatization of entitlement programs), interest-rate hikes, and rampant deregulation.

Tough Guys on Illegal Immigration

On The Radar

"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally." That was Ronald Reagan speaking during his 1984 reelection campaign. After that election, he stuck to his guns, signing an immigration reform law that allowed illegal immigrants to apply for residency if they could prove they'd lived in the country for five years, held jobs and committed no crimes.

Fantasies of a Debt Deal From a Convivial Congress

On The Radar

Let’s play Congressional supercommittee! — the fantasy football version. Democratic members, whose forebears created the entitlement programs that senior citizens cherish, really don’t want to cut them. But they fear that fiscal sanity requires it.