There have been many very nice encomiums. Here was my quick take from yesterday’s column on the relevance of his example to today:
He wasn’t afraid to challenge a stale Republican policy consensus (in favor of deficit reduction) with new ideas (supply-side tax cuts) designed to appeal to a key electoral constituency (hard-pressed middle- and working-class voters). Kemp never sounded angry or embattled. His unabashed conservatism was tonally open and fresh, about growth both economically and electorally.
One thing that made Kemp-era conservatism so appealing to conservatives like me who came of age in the 1980s was its hearty–joyful even–embrace of new ideas. We’ll know we’re fully on the mend when we have that spirit back.