The Presidency: Giving Normalcy a Good Name

Giving Normalcy a Good Name

There were four of them last week from Capitol Hill gathered with Ronald Reagan in the morning brightness of the Oval Office. They were, in the distinctive patois of one participant, "trying to figure out how to keep the Democrats from wrapping a tire iron around our necks" during the budget struggle.

The old grandfather clock by the door set an easy rhythm, and Reagan's husky voice carried the tune, but Wyoming's Senator Alan Simpson noticed something else. Again and again, as the visitors identified obstreperous members of Congress and likely collision points, there came a soft and knowing chuckle from...