Monday, February 7, 2011

Ronald Reagan, unelectable RINO

Well, Ronald Reagan, Esq. would have been 100 this week if he hadn't died from Alzheimers already. You're probably thinking "everyone else is blogging about it so why bother?" Fuck it, I'm going to post something anyway.

If you haven't already noticed the inevitable whitewash of Reagan's "legacy" then you're in for a surprise—it's been underway for years. Conveniently, it's all been summed up for me—I'll just pass it along:

On Sunday, Americans will mark the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan. But for the conservative movement, the now-decades long hagiography project is reaching a crescendo. While the Gipper's former speechwriter Peggy Noonan today lauded his goodness in the Wall Street Journal Friday, Sarah Palin will kick-off the Young Americans for Freedom three day extravaganza at the Reagan Library in California.
But while this weekend's anniversary will rightly celebrate Ronald Reagan's Cold War resolve, boundless optimism, and deep, abiding faith in the American people, the true legacy of President Reagan will nowhere be on display. The father of the Republican Party's fiscal irresponsibility, Ronald Reagan made skyrocketing national debt, a dangerously reflexive aversion to taxes and a corrosive distrust of the people's government a permanent fixture of American politics.

This weekend, Republicans marked the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan with speeches celebrating his small government philosophy, anti-tax fervor and hard-line foreign policy. But if Reagan was a GOP candidate today, he would doubtless fall victim to violations of his own 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Because despite all of the right-wing hagiography, Ronald Reagan ballooned the national debt, repeatedly raised taxes, signed abortion rights legislation and negotiated with terrorists in Iran. For those and so many other perceived offenses, the GOP rank and file - and especially its purity-demanding Tea Partiers - would today brand a reanimated Ronald Reagan a Republican in Name Only.
Yes, good old saint Ronnie. What a model Republican. He'd still be electable today if only he hadn't...
  1. Tripled the national debt
  2. Raised taxes 11 times
  3. Expanded the size of government
  4. Supported the "socialist" Earned Income Tax Credit
  5. Negotiated with terrorists in Tehran
  6. Sought to eliminate nuclear weapons
  7. Given amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants
  8. Approved protectionist trade barriers
  9. Signed an abortion rights law in California
  10. Eventually debunked AIDS myths Republicans continued to perpetuate

"You glance out the window and the people are walking around Pennsylvania Avenue and you say, 'I could never say I am going to run down to the drugstore and get some magazines.' I can't do that anymore." -- President Reagan, 8/11/82, to Time's Hugh Sidey that he sometimes feels trapped in the White House.

"Sometimes I look out there at Pennsylvania Avenue and see people bustling along, and it suddenly dawns on me that probably never again can I just say 'Hey, I'm going down to the drugstore to look at the magazines,'" -- President Reagan, 12/09/82, discussing his feelings of confinement with a People reporter.

"Sometimes I look out the window at Pennsylvania Avenue and wonder what it would be like to be able to just walk down the street to the corner drugstore and look at the magazines. I can't do that anymore." - President Reagan, 12/16/82, conveying one of his regrets to The Washington Post.

"You find yourself remembering what it was like when on the spur of the moment you could just yell to your wife that you were going down to the drugstore and get a magazine. You can't do that anymore." -- President Reagan, 1/27/84, telling Time magazine about being President.

After Reagan I thought things could never get "that bad" again. Well...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The joke will ultimately be on the rich Republicans. They'll probably end up decamping to Switzerland or South Africa, while the country collapses behind them (starving and killing us, but hey, we're nobodies).