The End of Reaganism

How the Feelgood Era that dawned in 1980 foundered on recession, mean-spiritedness and missed opportunities

It ended not with a bang but a whimper -- Dan Quayle whimpering about Murphy Brown, Hollywood and family values. It began with Hollywood values installed on the Potomac -- Frank Sinatra, that champion of family virtue, staging an Inauguration for his old friends Ronald, Jane Wyman's ex-husband, and Nancy, the goddaughter of a famous lesbian (the silent-screen star Alla Nazimova). We have all heard that revolutions devour their own, but how could the Reagan Revolution, of all things, end in a war against Hollywood?

Why, for that matter, after Reagan's Feelgood Era, did the Republicans feel so terrible? It was...

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