Essay: Consistency as a Minor Virtue

The fact that the Democrats taped their televised response to President Reagan's State of the Union message several days before the message was delivered suggests that inconsistency has not been one of the President's problems. As it turned out, Reagan, while not changing his tune in the speech, did play it in a lower register; but little he said could be called inconsistent with previous pronouncements. Indeed, the President has succeeded remarkably in projecting the image of the absolutely predictable man, firm to the point of adamancy, a hard, if amiable, Mount Rushmore head beset with frantic, cajoling advisers, crawling in...

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