02 February 2008

Ronald Reagan: Still a Bad President

I am reprinting an old post from 6 April 2007. This current Republican silliness suggesting Ronald Reagan was a great president needs to stop. They are either outright lying, delusional, or drugs are involved. This selection is one of my all-time favorites. Remember folks, Reagan was not a good president, and he never will be. The fact that McCain, Romney, Huckelberry, and those other sad-ass Republicans consider Reagan a hero really tells you something about their knowledge of history and their collective sanity levels.


The unpleasant side-effects of the abysmal and failed Bush presidency are many—too many to be analyzed here. But one that specifically intrigues me is the effort being made by conservatives to shift the historical focus from their current incompetent leader to their past inept leader…..Ronald Reagan.

Granted, conservatives do have an argument—compared to Bush, any past chief executives looks stellar. Hell, William Howard Taft seems like a veritable statesman compared to Bush. This is an opportune time to drag any pariah out of the historical ashes for rehabilitation.

But Ronald Reagan is the one that conservatives place on their political pedestal. While the right has always looked up to Reagan, Bush is now making him look much, much better to conservatives and even to moderate Republicans (if they actually exist).

Two things strike me as paradoxical here. First, if Reagan was a great president (and he wasn’t), conservatives wouldn’t need George W. Bush to draw that distinction. Reagan’s presidency should be able to stand on its own—which it can’t. And second, when Bush was riding high in the polls, the wing-nuts were calling him Reagan’s heir. What happened? It seems Bush is actually the one who has attempted to carry out the radical conservative agenda—why now separate him from their conservative hero when Bush has been doing what the wingers wanted all along?

Well, I won’t try to get into the mind of one of those right-wingers, that would be entirely too difficult and might give me some sort of brain damage. But what is going on is this—Bush’s dismal failures are forcing conservatives to find another champion by which to rally their supporters. I suppose it is a logical move for them—they need their idols and frankly, they don’t have many. Which brings up an interesting question—except for that fellow Jesus, who do the right-wingers look to for inspiration? DeLay….Cheney.....Scalia…..Newt……Mel Gibson????? It is sad isn’t it?

I digress. The point is this—Reagan was not a very good president in spite of the spin that you are going to hear from the GOP for the next few years. He was average at best, and probably a better fit in the below average category.

First, he spent the taxpayer's money like a drunken sailor and incurred huge debts that did not dissolve until Bill Clinton and those big-spending liberals took over. I know the AM talk-show crowd blames Congress for all this—but that just isn't accurate. Reagan showed no inclination to actually cut spending. All he did was talk about it.

Second, please don’t accept the simplistic crap about how Reagan single-handedly ended the Cold War. That is the kind of anti-intellectual drivel that conservatives like to propagate because their constituents need one-dimensional answers. The Cold War must be examined in its entirety, it was never simple. There were numerous factors that contributed to its demise. Americans should know that already—but unfortunately, in the “intelligent design” environment of today, they don’t.

Third—and conservatives should know this but they chose to overlook it—Reagan actually never tried to institute the radical right-wing agenda. He cared about taxes and big government, but seemed uncomfortable with some of the other hot button issues. Yes, he talked about abortion and prayer in school, but never attempted to legislate those issues. They were used basically to fire up the conservative base.

Fourth, and I think this is one of the most important issues…..Reagan made it accepted for conservatives--especially angry white males--to blame the poor and the disadvantaged for the nation's problems. He gave terribly unsophisticated speeches about a welfare queen (always a woman) driving a Cadillac and making $50,000.00 from illegal welfare checks. No one every located that “welfare mom” and it’s clear she was fabricated. But Reagan’s words and encouragement made it fashionable in the 1980s to blame the poor for everything.

Reagan also set race relation back for years. Remember that he launched his 1980 campaign with a states rights speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi—the place where three civil rights workers were murdered in the 1960s. He and his staff knew what they were doing—they didn’t just accidentally stop in that little town. They were sending a message to the racists on the right. Again, making it okay for conservatives to use race to divide the nation.

And his reaction to AIDS was criminal. Why worry about homosexuals—it’s their own fault anyway isn’t it? God is punishing them for their lifestyle. Besides, his constituents didn’t care. This issue alone should have shamed the administration. But once again, those blue-collar, working class “Reagan Democrats" didn’t much care for urban gays anyway—so why do anything? Disgusting.

Scandals like Iran-Contra, massive budget deficits, racism, tax cuts for the rich, blame-the-poor rhetoric, homophobic public policies…..this is what the Reagan administration was all about–and don’t forget it. Just because George Bush is worse doesn’t mean Reagan should climb in the eyes of history. He was who he was—and he was a mediocre president who did great damage to many people on the margins of society. And he didn’t seem to care.

But for the pathetic Republican party, he is about the only national figure they have had in the past 60 years that holds any historical legitimacy (Ike was really the last one!). Isn't it sad being a Republican? At times, I almost feel sorry for them.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

You talk more about Bush than Regan, looser!!!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha... nice spin, you worthless loser! What was the last great Democrat President? Clinton? Oh, he got us out of debt... or was it the .com boom? Nah, I guess it was because Gore invented the internet. Let's see then... the peanut farmer? LBJ? Who? You liberal pieces of garbage are great at pointing fingers, but never present solutions. You're a joke dude.

Anonymous said...

Posted by Greg Morrow on Whiterose.org

1) Iran-Contra. Basically, it involved violating federal law by trading in war materiel with the Iranians and the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

2)President Reagan ignored the health crisis caused by AIDS.

3) SDI. Reagan spent billions on the boondoggle of
an "anti-missile shield". Which, incidentally, violated
the ABM treaty, in addition to wasting a lot of money.

4) Budget deficits grow from about $20B in the late 70s
to about $150B in the mid 80s. Reagan more than tripled
the national debt.

5) Reagan told Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to produce
a report detailing the long-term physical and emotional trauma a woman
suffered as a result of having an abortion. Koop, an abortion
foe, but a good scientist, discovered that, in fact, a woman
did not suffer long-term physical or emotional trauma as a result
of having an abortion. Reagan suppressed the report.

6) Reagan provided Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons.

7) Reagan's tax restructuring (massive cuts in 1981, followed
by tax increases in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987)
transferred tax burden from corporations and the wealthy to
the middle class and, especially, the working class poor.

8) When a Marine barracks was blown up by terrorists in Lebanon, Reagan
responded...by pulling American forces out of Lebanon and invading the
small Caribbean island of Grenada.

9) Reagan's attorney general was Ed Meese, who was investigated
by three different special prosecutors for involvement in three
different scandals. Over 100 Reagan appointees were convicted
of crimes committed while in office.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the fact that he was best buddies with margaret thatcher and established the anti IRA unit of the FBI and assisted in oppressing an entire people for a few more years

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives like to rewrite history so they don't have to get out of their little hate bubble. Thank goodness for the truth! Reagan was an embarrassment. He was an elitist who appealed to the white male and touted "voodoo economics"--that's what Bush I called it! So sad people won't face the truth! Thanks for writing and sharing this important information. He was so enamored with his "Star Wars" weaponry that didn't work and didn't care one bit for poor or disadvantaged Americans. And everyone knows he wasn't all here during the last 4 years of his Presidency. Don't forget Nancy who was actually running the show and her insistence on checking the stars prior to any meetings or discussions with "Ronnie". Oh, boy, what a winner!

Anonymous said...

haha, look at all the conservative pricks coming in and crying about liberals. What a bunch of crybabies

Anonymous said...

whoever said Obama has spent money, true he has, but there's one major difference there between him and Reagan, Obama has actually spent it on useful things. I consider some like health care a hell of a lot more important than an arm's race against a country that had no intentions of harming us to begin with.
Bottom line? fuck Reagan, and fuck you too ya fucking blind ass conservative. So typical, only see what you want to.

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