“I will never forget the stunning Oct. 7, 1962, Time magazine cover that showed Franklin D. Roosevelt weeping, a shining tear snaking its way down his pale and sunken cheek as he surveyed the destruction wrought by the New Frontier–tax cuts, a Republican running Treasury. What an indictment of the Democratic Party; what a dirge for the New Deal.

“Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

“Well, I do remember the great Time cover of JFK sobbing as he looked down on a cartoon of dope-smoking hippies holding a banner that said “McGovern.” It was the summer of ’72, and the little bubble over JFK’s head said “Amnesty, Acid, Abortion . . . that’s not A-OK!”

“Oh wait, that didn’t happen either.

“Could I be correct that they only front-page weeping Republicans, and only laud conservatives when they’re dead?”

This is Peggy Noonan on Time magazine’s disingenuous weeping Reagan cover. The article, writes Peggy, actually made some good points. A veteran of the revolution, she adds:

“For Republicans especially he should be a reorienting memory. He was modern conservatism. If they are for more government, more spending, a more imposing state, what are they?

“For Democrats he should function as a reminder that ideas and philosophy count, that they give politics meaning.

“Republicans should take heart from his memory but not be sunk in him or spooked by him. Life moves. Reagan’s meaning cannot be forgotten. But where does it get you if it’s 1885, and Republicans are pulling their hair out saying, “Oh no, we’re not doing well. We could win if only we had a Lincoln, but they shot him 20 years ago!” That’s not how serious people talk, and it’s not how serious people think. You face the challenges of your time with the brains and guts you have. You can’t sit around and say, ‘Oh what would Lincoln do?’ For one thing it is an impractical attitude. Lincolns don’t come along every day. What you want to do with the memory of a great man is recognize his greatness, laud it, take succor from it, and keep moving. You can’t be transfixed by a memory. Hold it close and take it into the future with you.”