Political musings

I noticed the other day that President Ronald Reagan in Washington is resisting any idea of canceling, trimming, or deferring his 10 percent third round of income tax cuts scheduled to take effect in July.

The prediction of Washington experts is that the cut will survive pressure from moderate Republicans, White House ''pragmatists,'' and others worried about the size of the prospective federal deficit and its possible dampening effect upon America's promising, if still delicate and early, economic revival.

If the cut survives as predicted it will complete Mr. Reagan's 1980 campaign pledge to cut income taxes by 25 percent.

This will please all payers of federal income taxes, more particularly those in the higher tax brackets. This in turn means pleasing and rewarding an important segment of enthusiastic campaign contributors and workers for the 1980 Reagan campaign.

Does it mean anything else? Read just by itself probably not much. But there is a broad context within which it fits.

Back on March 8 Mr. Reagan was in Orlando, Fla., on a speechmaking trip. His audience was a convention of the ''National Association of Evangelicals.'' He told them that the Soviet Union is ''the focus of evil'' in the world and he promised to keep up the fight against communism.

That pleased both the political fundamentalists and the military-industrial complex whose members have been disturbed of late by signs of wavering at the White House on the size of the arms budget.

On March 24 the President made his so-called ''star wars'' speech looking toward the possibility of a protective canopy of new high-technology weapons to protect the US from incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles.

That was good for the ''high-tech'' industry. It implied federal grants for new research.

On April 29, speaking to religious fundamentalists, he declared that ''we cannot survive as a free nation'' as long as legal abortion continues.

On May 4 he praised the counter-revolutionary insurgents in Nicaragua as ''freedom fighters.'' That is music in the ears of right-wing ''hawks.''

On May 5 he flew to San Antonio where he spoke to a rally of Hispanics, mostly of Mexican background. He promised them he would set up a new interagency group in the administration in Washington ''to alleviate some of the hardship caused by economic uncertainty on the other side of the border.'' Nothing was said about tightening immigration controls along the border.

On May 6, in Phoenix, Ariz., Mr. Reagan promised the National Rifle Association that he ''will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear or harm.''

Members of the White House staff claim that they do not know whether Mr. Reagan has decided to run again. They say he has not decided. He says the same. But the above record shows a politician touching base with, and warming the hearts of, the major segments of the constituency which made him, first, the Republican candidate for the presidency, and then the President.

This may not prove that Mr. Reagan will run, but it certainly does prove that in this preliminary campaigning season for the 1984 presidential election Mr. Reagan is doing everything a politician would do were he intending to run.

He is reviving by his speeches the kind of coalition of interest groups which American politicians of today usually regard as essential to the winning of nominations.

The same thing is going on over on the Democratic side of the political fence - with one exception. Most of the hopeful Democrats are out angling for the support of labor, black, ''liberal,'' welfare community, etc., organizations. They want the early commitment of those groups which can provide campaign funds and campaign workers, just as does Mr. Reagan.

The one exception so far seems to be Sen. John Glenn of Ohio who is campaigning not as a champion of special interest groups, but rather as a man who knows and understands that the more a candidate promises to the special interest groups the more he ties his hands if he ever is a president.

Senator Glenn has already offended or been criticized by several of the more important traditional constituencies of the Democrats - blacks, organized labor, Zionists. He refuses to make those promises which would please them and might win their endorsement and early campaign contributions. If he were elected he would have fewer debts.

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