40 There didn't seem to be anything new to add to
the agenda, just a continuance of past policies and goals. This
scenario enabled the Reagan administration to drift without having to acknowledge the lack of direction, and thus kept Reagan's
reputation reasonably protected.
Reagan has thus designed a specific scenario, one that is consistent throughout his foreign policy rhetoric, and one upon
which the teflon nature of his presidency was built. As long as
that scenario is unchallenged by events, it is stable and safe. But
once the integrity of Reagan's scenario is challenged, challenges
to his personal integrity and that of his administration are not
Paul D. Erickson, Reagan Speaks: The Making of an American Myth
( New York: New York University Press, 1985), p. 100.
Erickson, Reagan Speaks, p. 5; Lou Cannon, Reagan ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1982), p. 372.
Larry Speakes with
Robert Pack, Speaking Out: Inside the Reagan
White House ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988), p. 122.
Thomas P. O'Neill with
William Novak, Man of the House: The Life
and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill ( New York: Random House, 1987), p. 363.
John Tebbel and
Sarah Miles Watts, The Press and the Presidency:
George Washington to Ronald Reagan ( New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 537.
John Orman, Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to
Persuade ( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980), p. 5; Helen Thomas
, "Ronald Reagan and the Management of the News," in The
White House Press on the Presidency, ed.
Kenneth W. Thompson ( Latham: University Press of America, 1983), pp. 37-38.
Speakes, Speaking Out, pp. 158-59.
Lloyd DeMause, Reagan's America ( New York: Creative Books,
Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the
Real World ( New York: Black Rose Books, 1987), pp. 119-28.
Sayre Stevens, "The Star Wars Challenge," in The Reagan Revolution?, eds.
B. B. Kymlicka and
Jean V. Matthews ( Chicago: Dorsey
Press, 1988), p. 176.