A conservative iconoclast who drank whiskey and milk and always wore a tie with Mickey Mouse on it, Nofziger was a fierce Reagan loyalist.
"He was a great big garrulous guy who was very serious about his politics and very serious about Ronald Reagan," Michael Deaver, who was President Reagan's deputy chief of staff, said Monday. "He was sort of the keeper of the flame."
"He was fun to be around," Deaver said. "Reagan would light up when he came into the room."
In 1988, after he'd left the Reagan administration to capitalize on his ties to Washington's ruling elite, Nofziger was convicted of illegally lobbying for two defense contractors and a labor union.
But Nofziger compared the offense to "running a stop sign" and remained unrepentant. He told the judge, "I cannot show remorse because I do not believe I am guilty."
A year later a federal appeals court threw out the conviction, saying prosecutors had failed to show Nofziger had knowingly committed a crime.
In his own words:
In many of his speeches and elsewhere Reagan made that point—that our rights are God-given. That, he insisted, is one of the great differences between the United States and other nations. In most other nations, he noted, rights are granted by government and therefore are at the mercy of government. In the United States rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom to keep and bear arms and many others enunciated in the first ten amendments cannot be taken away by government or repealed legislatively or arbitrarily because they are not granted by government; they are the individual’s as a matter of God-given right.
I would venture to say that most Americans give little thought to this significant difference; they take their rights for granted. something they could not do if they lived in any other country.
Interesting, isn’t it, that the rights of atheists, America-haters and rabble rousers are all protected because the Founding Fathers turned to God for guidance as they sought to give themselves and those who would follow after them a more perfect union.
The last eighteen months of Nofziger's musings can be found here.