Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Channeling Ronald Reagan: It Took Bush to Make Reagan Look Good

Ronald Reagan feeds George bush his baby bottle

As we saw during the Republican debate, Republican presidential candidates are all playing a little game of "let's leapfrog backwards in time to a Republican president that the American people actually liked." So now they are trying to ride on the coattails of the late president Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately for them, the Reagan glass slipper just doesn't fit them very well.

To be fair, Reagan was not without his own scandals and stupidities. His administration brought us "supply-side economics" (tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy), and with it the horrors of huge deficit spending. So present day republicans can certainly wear that Reagan T-Shirt with pride.

You could say that Reagan's testimony during the Iran Contra hearings is being echoed by Alberto Gonzales when he testified before the Senate recently. Reagan also loved military spending, so the Republicans can wear that Reagan T-Shirt as well.

But Reagan was not all bad. World leaders respected Reagan, and by proxy - they respected America. He carried on the legacy of SALT, and created START. Present day neocons don't like arms control, and right now the world hates America - especially it's president.

Reagan also appointed the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, against his own reservations about abortion. And damn what the critics say, "Bedtime for Bonzo" was a great movie! I've seen it several times.

President Reagan's death in June 2004 ended what Charlton Heston called "the greatest love affair in the history of the American Presidency." (wikipedia)

The term "neoconservative" used to mean a former Democrat who supported Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies against the Soviets. The agenda of present day neocons is very clearly defined in this little video. Present day neocons don't sound at all like Reagan or anybody from that era. (Except perhaps the most bloodthirsty and bewildered of the decade.)

And gosh darn it, even if you didn't like Reagan's politics, at least he was funny. He had a sense of humor. He could take a joke as well as he could make one. He had his own kind of teflon gravatas, with his quirky smile, his jelly beans and his misguided "Reaganomics."

I never thought that I would live to see the day that I would say that I miss Ronald Reagan. I used to think that Reagan was just incredibly stupid and evil. As it stands, I would love to have another Reagan in office now, if the only other choice was the present administration. And the presidential candidates running for the Republican ticket for '08 can't begin to hold a candle to Ronald Reagan.

Original photo from Mock, Paper, Scissors.

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At Thu May 10, 05:02:00 PM, Blogger SamuraiFrog said...

I know what you mean. But it's tempered by my fervent belief that Reagan, after going to Hell, won the election over Satan and is now ruling the realm he deserved to in the first place.

At Thu May 10, 09:04:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

Dr. Z - I was just thinking a similar thought, and it scared the crap outta me. Who would think I would ever be nostalgic for RR's bizarre form of fascism, except that it now seems so much better by comparison to Chimpy McStagger's fascism.

That and I liked the music better.



At Thu May 10, 10:15:00 PM, Blogger DCup said...

Dr. Z - after I posted about the Republican debate/Reagan lovefest last week, I kept thinking that I should do a post about Reagan. Then, my inferior human brain let the thought escape. Now you've done my work for me. I can now do a "What Dr. Zaius Said" post.

A million thanks.

At Fri May 11, 05:08:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

SamuraiFrog: Jeepers! I sure hope that Peter Cook [ 2 ] is still in charge. I always thought that he was the coolest Satan.

Tengrain: It is very strange. It seems so childish. Reagan's fascism was better than Bush's fascism! Get your piping hot fascism here! Hurry, while supplies last! And you know, the music was much better. At least some of it. (disco - BAD!) Most of the stuff nowadays leaves me bored.

DCup: Yay! I loved to quoted! It helps inflate my over-exaggerated sense of self-importance! And with global warming and all, it's very important to recycle. ;o)

At Fri May 11, 05:32:00 AM, Anonymous Infidel753 said...

One might also note that when Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, he carried 49 states. Talk about "a uniter, not a divider"! With today's extreme political polarization, it may be a long time before we get a President with such broad appeal.

At Fri May 11, 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Infidel753: That is a good point! Reagan was incredibly popular. And his strengths did not rest with being inflexible, unlike Bush. Reagan actually negotiated with the world, as well as the Democrats. I have to give him credit, even though I did not like his policies.


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