Saturday, October 27, 2007

I remember you, you're the one who made my dreams come true

The current Right-wing position vis-a-vis the crop of Presidential wannabees is that they need another Reagan. Because he was so, you know, big and tough and strong and the Daddy some of them never had.

The continual deification of this flawed man amazes me. While I'm sure he was a nice Daddy (not sure what Patti Davis thinks about this), he was a simple-minded man who saw things as pretty black and white. And while that may be a good trait for a school crossing guard, a President needs more nuanced thinking.

Young Ezra Klein has a pretty good take on this topic:
You can't denigrate Reagan because he no longer exists. There's only Robo-Reagan, the better, stronger, faster, more conservative president that the Right has retroactively constructed and forced into the history books. But Reagan's flaws and shortcomings weren't necessarily his fault: You have to do something about immigration, and that will require some sort of earned amnesty for the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the states. You can't outlaw abortion. You can't outlaw tax increases, of which Reagan passed many. You can't gut Social Security, which he tried, and failed, to do. Hardline conservatism just isn't very popular. Policy problems have their own logic, and their own demands. The Republican Base is demanding fealty to a platform that even Reagan, for all his formidable political gifts and advantages, couldn't hew to. His would-be successors, in office, will do no better.

(Emphasis mine)


Keep in mind that this Champion of Liberty™ spoke in favor of repealing the 22nd Amendment:
Reagan himself seemed to warm up to the idea in 1987, telling an interviewer that he’d support an effort to repeal the 22nd Amendment for his successors so Americans would be free to “vote for someone as often as they want to do.” Though the Iran-Contra scandal had already damaged Reagan’s reputation, and Alzheimer’s symptoms were slowly becoming apparent, a group called Project ‘88 formed to try and change the law to allow for Reagan’s second re-election effort.

Swell. There's some great leadership to remember. The man whose brain was already becoming Swiss cheese by the end of his 2nd term of office supported the ability to run for a 3rd term.

Another case of Right-wing idolatry and revisionist history: If the past wasn't good enough, try it again.