In today's Washington Post, author Steven F. Hayward explores what he considers the critical ideological differences between the Ronald Reagan and today's leading Republicans — and why the Gipper would probably vote for the Tea Party if he were alive today:
"Sarah Palin invokes him. Mitt Romney glorifies him. The 'tea party' movement hopes to recapture him. And the Republican Party still can't get over him.
"Six years after his death, and almost a century since his birth, conservatives are more transfixed than ever by Ronald Reagan, so much so that I fully expect a Gipper anxiety disorder to appear in the next edition of the psychiatrists' diagnostic manual.
"What would Reagan Do?" is a leading motto for the right. You can get the slogan — or its WWRD acronym — on a bumper sticker, a T-shirt, a coffee mug, a thong. There's even an iReagan app for your phone. And having renamed Washington National Airport for Reagan in the 1990s, last week congressional Republicans started agitating to have the Gipper replace poor Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill."