Something I forgot to mention in my write-up of this past weekend's caucus struck me as...well, not so much funny as genuinely confusing. More than one speaker made reference to "restoring the Reagan conservative foreign policy".
This is a serious question, and not one I really had the chance to ask anyone there: what the hell does that mean in 2012?
There is no Soviet Union left to defeat, only one Communist country in our hemisphere to undermine (and short of invading, what else could we do to Cuba that we don't already?) and the other big (nominally) Communist country is one of our most important trading partners. Apartheid is over, eastern Europe is almost uniformly democratic, and Russia itself is a pale shadow of its former empire.
Is this just a nostalgic shorthand for "peace through strength"?
Is it just a way of saying "not Ron Paul"?
Is it just a way to avoid mentioning George W. Bush?
Seriously, I have no idea.
UPDATE (with a further thought): Other than sending troops into Grenada and bombing the Qaddafi compound...Reagan didn't really engage in any "hot" warfare during his term. Bush I, by contrast, went to war with Iraq. Clinton continued bombing Iraq, and sent troops into the Balkans. Bush II...well we all know how that went. Obama has had to manage the commitments he inherited, but his own initiatives have basically been (with the exception of the Afghan surge) small-scale, limited interventions with special forces and flying killer robots.
I mean, I realize you can't make an apples-to-apples comparison here, but it seems to me that the post-Reagan president with the most Reagan-like foreign policy is arguably...Barack Obama.
But I'm certain that's not what my Republican neighbors mean.