Friday, February 01, 2008
The Republicans and the Myth of Ronald Reagan
As Republicans continue to wrap themselves in the shroud of Ronald Reagan... and fight over who the dead Gipper would have endorsed ...or fall over themselves trying to see who can mention his name the most.
My advice to those losers is: don't BOTHER.
Because first of all.....when you're dealing with a collapsing economy....
Gipper Economics is the LAST thing you need.
The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.
Especially when you are already spending billions on the military industrial complex...you're already drowning in an ocean of debt.... and nobody wants to lend you money anymore.
And not only that. Reagan never submitted a balanced budget to Congress. The national debt tripled during his presidency. The only thing he ever achieved in economic terms was to "spiritualize" capitalism. And make it OK to be GREEDY.
And then there's the other ugly stuff....like his racism.
Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile and an avuncular delivery, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.
Or Ronnie's genocidal adventures in Central America. Where he enthusiastically supported the Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.
The 14 months of Ríos Montt's rule will become the bloodiest in Guatemala's history since the invasion of the country by the Spanish some 400 years earlier. Mayans suspected of sympathising with the guerillas are killed en mass or subjected to atrocities. Women and girls are raped. The use of torture is widespread. Over 400 Mayan villages are razed. Crops and livestock are destroyed. The insurgency is contained but with a tragic human cost
A butcher who believed a true Christian should carry a Bible in one hand and a machine gun in the other.
But who Ronald Reagan described as a man of "great personal integrity." Who just got a "bum wrap."
And then there was the Iran Contra affair which should have led to his impeachment for acting like the Criminal-in Chief. When they didn't impeach him ....but impeached Clinton instead for lying about a blowjob ... it should have been obvious that America was in deep trouble.
Of course none of the above is probably enough to stop the Republican thugs of today from gagging on the Gipper. So maybe I should also point out that it doesn't seem to be working.
The political power of the Reagan name, like the broad coalition of social, political and economic conservatives he built, may be crumbling
You see what Ronald Reagan did have going him was an ability to communicate...honed by his days as an actor and flak for General Electric. And an ability to make Americans HOPE for something better after the tough economic times of the Carter years and the Iranian hostage crisis.
But unfortunately for the Republicans .....this year the ones carrying the banner of hope are the DEMOCRATS.
So the Republicans...and some Democrats...would be wise to remember that Ronald Reagan's famous Morning in America was a long time ago.
That it ended badly....
And of course that Ronald Reagan is STILL dead.
And nothing is going to save them...