Posts Tagged ‘ronald reagan’

It’s one thing to not know ancient history or even history of the centuries ago. But it is another to not remember the history of just a few decades ago:

There is much debate over President Reagan because we all think of him differently. And over time, history sweetens our memories. But no matter what policy disagreements you may have had with him, you have to admire his style of politics. He embodied a spirit of bipartisanship.

He was a conservative Republican, but he understood that in order to get anything done he had to work across the aisle, which he did very effectively.

Ah yes those halcyon days of yesteryear. Before we get all teary eyed over those days of love and peace let me bring you some numbers:

97th congress:                98th Congress               99th Congress               100th Congress

House 244-191 (D)        House 272-163 (D)    House 253-182 (D)        House 258-177 (D)
Senate 53-47    (R)        Senate 55-45     (R)    Senate 53-47     (R)        Senate 55-45 (D)

 

You might recall in the lame duck session with a new majority only pending the administration felt compelled to make a deal they didn’t like.  Ronald Reagan in eight years never controlled the house and for at least 2 years did not have a majority in the senate to back him up.  Reagan compromised with democrats on spending, tax cuts and treaties not because he loved bipartisanship but because he never had the votes to do anything else.

When Dianne Feinstein wishes for the age of bipartisanship, she is actually pining for the days of democratic control and a cowed conservatism.  She counts on American’s ignorance of history to pull the deception off.

 

At the time Ronald Reagan was elected I was a democrat who was a hawk on defense.

My greatest influence was a professor Ed Thomas. He had a great love of history and of original documents. He used to say about Ronald Reagan. “I’m afraid of Ronald Reagan”. He seemed to think that Reagan would turn the cold war into a hot one. I was more worried about his economic policies myself

Hindsight is 2020 and looking back now it seems clear that such a worry was unfounded but at the time a lot of people didn’t know what would come. The best experts thought the Soviets were a lot stronger than they were. Reagan had a better grasp of both the international and the economic situation than others did.

It took me a long time to figure this out. It wasn’t until the late 80’s and early 90’s that I understood just how great Reagan was.

Yesterday on the phones of talk radio , seminar callers armed with Media Matters Talking points were spinning Reagan on both National shows (such as Rush) and on local shows (Howie Carr) with a “why do conservatives love Reagan when he did xyz” trying to paint him as “not conservative”.

Their attempts to co-op the memory of Reagan are understandable, they have been unable to change our memory of the Reagan years and have also not managed to make us forget what they thought of him, to wit:

It should never be forgotten that the Left hated Reagan just as lustily as they hated George W. Bush, and with some of the same venomous affectations, such as the reductio ad Hitlerum. The key difference is that in Reagan’s years there was no Internet with which to magnify these derangements, and the 24-hour cable-news cycle was in its infancy. But the signs were certainly abundant. In 1982, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London held a vote for the most hated people of all time, with the result being: Hitler, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Dracula. Democratic congressman William Clay of Missouri charged that Reagan was trying to replace “the Bill of Rights with fascist precepts lifted verbatim from Mein Kampf.” A desperate Jimmy Carter charged that Reagan was engaging in “stirrings of hate” in the 1980 campaign. Los Angeles Times cartoonist Paul Conrad drew a panel depicting Reagan plotting a fascist putsch in a darkened Munich beer hall. Harry Stein (now a conservative convert) wrote in Esquire that the voters who supported Reagan were like the “good Germans” in “Hitler’s Germany.” In The Nation, Alan Wolfe wrote: “The United States has embarked on a course so deeply reactionary, so negative and mean-spirited, so chauvinistic and self-deceptive that our times may soon rival the McCarthy era.”

And in discussing Reagan’s greatest acknowledged achievement — ending the Cold War — liberals conveniently omit that they opposed him at every turn. Who can forget the relentless scorn heaped on Reagan for the “evil empire” speech and the Strategic Defense Initiative? Historian Henry Steele Commager said the “evil empire” speech “was the worst presidential speech in American history, and I’ve read them all.” “What is the world to think,” New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis wrote, “when the greatest of powers is led by a man who applies to the most difficult human problem a simplistic theology?”

Or as Jonah Goldberg puts it the only good conservative is a dead one.

While the encomiums to Reagan & Co. are welcome, the reality is that very little has changed. As we saw in the wake of the Tucson shootings, so much of the effort to build up conservatives of the past is little more than a feint to tear down the conservatives of the present. It’s an old game. For instance, in 1980, quirky New Republic writer Henry Fairlie wrote an essay for the Washington Post in which he lamented the rise of Reagan, “the most radical activist of them all.” The title of his essay: “If Reagan Only Were Another Coolidge . . . ”

Even then, the only good conservative was a dead conservative.

Goldberg is spot on. It is a simple attempt to use Reagan to hit the conservatives of today.

I would suggest skipping the tributes from liberals for they come from the same sentiment as this scene from Braveheart (script via corkey.net):

Robert: Does anyone know his politics?

Craig: No, but his weight with the commoners can unbalance everything. The Balliols will kiss his arse so we must.

The American people honor Reagan’s memory so the left which hates him and always has hated him must too or at least seem to honor him. Ignore them and instead concentrate on one like this from No Sheeples here.

Ronald Reagan was a great president, perhaps the greatest in my lifetime, I wish I appreciated him more when he was in power.

Update: Interesting Palin/Reagan note from Byron York

Lee Edwards, a Reagan biographer and fellow at the Heritage Foundation, was in the audience and took note of the fact that Palin was speaking to a strongly conservative group at the Ranch Center. She likely wouldn’t be invited to speak to a more general audience at the Reagan Library, Edwards said, “because she’s not a member of the establishment, and they’re not comfortable with her.”

“The irony,” Edwards continued, “is that neither was Reagan.”

via Sissy Willis:

There’s a whole army of patriotic Davids out there across this great country ready to stand up and to speak out in defense of liberty, and these Davids aren’t afraid to tell Goliath “don’t tread on me.”

That’s just one line (Sissy has more here) but consider.

That is the second time in under a month in a major presentation that she quoted Glenn Reynolds (the other was the blood libel line from his WSJ piece).

Can we assume that Sarah Palin reads Glenn Reynolds? (Some enterprising radio host should have him on his show.)

Glenn Reynolds draws between 250,000 and 500,000 hits a day and gets 30-60 posts up per day EVERY DAY. If Sarah Palin is quoting him them perhaps a wise reporter would get to know him, or a smart producer would have him on the air.

Then again I don’t expect much from the MSM, supposedly the NYT was there and couldn’t even get her meeting people after the speech right

Prospective candidates, particularly if they are courting supporters, routinely sit through dinners and mingle with guests. But in her case, Ms. Palin entered the room only for her speech and left immediately after.

Actually Palin stayed and took photos with attendees as was announced at the start of the speech. If they can’t get that detail right when they were supposedly there why would I expect them to follow-up on this kind of story.

You know there is a reason why Instapundit took down the “NYT of bloggers” comment from his site. The times should work for the day when they can be called the “instapundit of newspapers”.

Update: Conservatives for Palin notices

Having lived through the 80’s I have a distinctive memory of Ronald Reagan. Although I liked his hard line against communism I wasn’t sure about his domestic issues.

What I did know is what every person in media thought of him. They thought of him as a simpleton, an idiot, a warmonger and an actor playing a role. And that’s just the printable opinions.

When Reagan died nothing shook the media more than the public reaction. The outpouring of affection was staggering and the media adapted their coverage accordingly. From that point they have treated the memory of Reagan with kid gloves but they resented the adulation he was given and the necessity of pretending they shared it. (They resented it even more when no similar reaction was forthcoming for Ted Kennedy. The inverse reaction of the public and the media to these two events illustrates the detachment they media has with the public as a whole.

The media as you might recall worshiped Barack Obama, there has never been a president more popular with them, yet he has suffered a major defeat and was forced to compromise on taxes while he still had a democratic Senate and house to prevent a republican house from getting credit

that just about every person in media is now trying to make an Obama Reagan comparison. Gateway pundit notes the Journolist parallel but the most ridiculous thing is the Time Magazine cover story.

Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s diaries and attended the May dinner, left with a clear impression that Obama had found a role model. “There are policies, and there is persona, and a lot can be told by persona,” he says. “Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion.”

That statement is so SO false that it boggles the imagination. American Glob notes something:

If TIME Magazine had a shred of integrity or credibility, they might have featured the keynote speaker of Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration on the cover. Can you guess who it is? I assure you it’s not Obama.

Gee I wonder who it is that IS giving that speech

Former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will give the keynote address in February at the Reagan Ranch Center honoring the 100th anniversary of the former president’s birthday.

And what does the Author of that Obama is Reagan piece think of her? Stacy McCain can tells us.

If there is one thing we can say for sure it is not Reagan that Barack Obama reminds people of, but they were close. On the 9th post that this blog ever had I said this:

You sometimes get a rookie pitcher with a winning season but usually not. I’m hoping for Chester Arthur but I’m expecting Jimmy Carter.

That is Barack Obama as for Sarah Palin, well democrats and liberals don’t know ….um they don’t know….ummm l’m not going to touch …. Um is there any way to put this that doesn’t sound like Charlie Sheen?

Update: Kerry Picket provides details on the civility of Liberals toward Reagan during the 80’s