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."
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.