ronald reagan 100. now the truth.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Free Thinker, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. i watched a little of fox news coverage of the reagan 100 celebration. it was sickening. some of these people consider reagan the second coming of jesus. in truth reagan was nothing like the republican of today:

    The resurgent GOP wants a Gipper purity test. Does the party faithful know he raised taxes, grew the federal government, and granted amnesty to illegal immigrants?

    Republicans love hallowing Ronald Reagan’s name. Too bad they know so little about the guy.

    Last week in Hawaii, the Republican National Committee almost passed a resolution named after the Gipper. “Whereas President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies,” it declared, only candidates who complied with eight of 10 “Reaganite” principles would be eligible for party funds.

    And what were those principles, exactly? No. 1—according to the resolution—was “smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes.” Let’s take those from the top. Smaller government: Federal employment grew by 61,000 during Reagan’s presidency—in part because Reagan created a whole new cabinet department, the department of veterans affairs. (Under Bill Clinton, by contrast, federal employment dropped by 373,000). Smaller deficits and debt: Both nearly tripled on Reagan’s watch. Lower taxes: Although Reagan muscled through a major tax cut in 1981, he followed up by raising taxes in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986. In 1983, in fact, he not only raised payroll taxes; he raised them to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Let’s put this in language today’s tea-baggers can understand: Reagan raised taxes to pay for government-run health care.

    Then there’s plank number five: Reaganite candidates must “oppos[e] amnesty for illegal immigrants.” Really? Because if you look up the word “amnesty” in Black’s Law Dictionary, you’ll find a reference to the 1986 bill that Reagan signed, which ended up granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants.

    Then there’s foreign policy. Plank number six demands that candidates back the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what did Reagan do in his biggest confrontation with jihadist terror? When Hezbollah murdered 241 U.S. servicemen in Beirut in 1983, the Gipper didn’t surge; he withdrew the remaining American troops, and fast. Plank number 7 calls for “effective [read military] action to eliminate” Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. But Reagan condemned Israel’s 1981 preventive strike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor. And plank number nine requires steadfast opposition to abortion. Yet two of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees voted to uphold Roe v. Wade. Turns out this Reagan guy wasn’t really that Reaganite after all.

    Why does this Republican amnesia about Reagan matter? Because it shows that the GOP isn’t as close to a political rebirth as its boosters believe. Reagan succeeded because he married a reputation for principle with an instinct for pragmatism. When Republicans lost big in the 1982 midterm elections because Democrats accused them of wanting to privatize Social Security, Reagan abandoned the idea and instead made a deal with Democrats that raised taxes and saved the program. In 1984, when his advisers told him that Americans considered him too warlike, he responded with a series of breathtakingly dovish speeches about his desire to eliminate nuclear weapons that helped ensure his landslide re-election. In 1981, he nominated the socially moderate Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, even though Jerry Falwell and other evangelical leaders cried betrayal.
    That was the real Reagan, the one Republicans need to embrace if they’re to genuinely threaten Barack Obama’s chances of re-election. Instead, they’ve reinvented the Gipper as a Sarah Palin-style zealot. Party activists always want to believe they can win elections without compromising their ideological purity, and the GOP’s recent string of off-year victories has convinced the conservative base that most Americans are tea-baggers at heart. But the tea-bag movement is dominated by graying white Anglos, at a time when the American electorate is growing less white, less Anglo and less gray. Demographically, American politics is being transformed by the dramatic growth of Hispanics, and by the emergence of a vast (and heavily non-white) “millennial” generation, larger in number than the baby boomers. Both groups went heavily for the Democrats in 2004 and 2008. And in their economic and cultural views, both are light years away from the tea-bag GOP.

    These realities will be easy to overlook this year, because minorities and the young turn out in lower numbers in midterm elections, and because when unemployment is at 10 percent, the party in power suffers no matter what. But ultimately, the GOP’s fortunes will rest on its capacity to make inroads in these two groups. The angry white geezer vote alone won’t do it.

    That’s why many of the smartest conservative intellectuals—from David Brooks to David Frum to Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam—believe the GOP must become less ideologically doctrinaire. In this effort, the real Ronald Reagan could be a useful model. Of course, were he around today, he’d have a tough time getting funding from the RNC.
  2. Too funny , you don't like Jesus, Reagan or the RNC contemplating a litmus test for candidate funding, shocking just SHOCKING coming from a lie-bral such as yourself.
  3. America has long been into the mythology of Reagan.

    Top 10 Ronald Reagan Myths
    by: lowkell
    Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 10:44:06 AM EST

    This week, prepare yourself for a barrage of lies, myths, and outright historical revisionism (including by the Missing Village Idiot George Allen) about President Ronald Reagan, all on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Here are my personal Top 10, but it's so easy to come up with these, I'm sure you can add a whole bunch of your own in the comments section.

    1. Ronald Reagan was a tax cutter. Here's former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (WY) on that subject.

    Now, if we're gonna work through the myths, and the misconceptions, and as one president said, the "plain damn lies"...some groups seem to bring up Ronald Reagan with a deserved reference...he was a dear friend and a total realist as to politics...But let's just disengage ourselves from the myth that Ronald Reagan never raised taxes. He did. And here are four big ones...

    Simpson then ran through Reagan's big tax increases in 1982 ("the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act," which "at that time was the largest percentage in peacetime increase ever"); the "1982 gas tax increase;" the 1983 payroll tax increase; the "1984 deficit reduction tax;" the "Railroad Retirement Revenue Act, Consolidated Omnibus Budget of '85;" and on and on. In fact, Reagan raised taxes "even of his eight years in office." So sure, he cut taxes his first year in office, but other than that, he raised them - a lot! How much? "lue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in." So much for that myth.

    2. Ronald Reagan shrunk the government. Uh, no. In fact, "Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president." In addition, "The number of federal employees grew from 2.8 million to 3 million under Reagan, in large part because of his buildup at the Pentagon." Also, Reagan "vastly expanded one of the largest federal domestic programs, Social Security." And, just to top it off, "Reagan also abandoned a campaign pledge to get rid of two Cabinet agencies - Energy and Education - and added a new one, Veterans Affairs." Another Reagan myth bites the dust.
    lowkell :: Top 10 Ronald Reagan Myths
    3. Reagan was consistently "pro-gun." Depends what you mean by "pro-gun," of course. Does that include Reagan writing "Why I'm for the Brady Bill"? Also, does it include signing the Mulford Act (when he was governor of California), "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street?" The point here isn't that Reagan was anti-guns, it's that he favored sensible measures like waiting periods, background checks, and other measures to curb gun violence. Heresy!

    4. Reagan never negotiated with terrorists. Clearly false, as the Reagan Administration traded arms for hostages repeatedly, not just with anyone but with the Iranian mullahs and ayatollahs. This goes beyond "myth" to outright lie.

    5. Reagan was a "hawk". Certainly false, see here for the gory details. Also, I'd add that Reagan offered to eliminate all U.S. ballistic nuclear missiles (to Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik).

    6. Reagan certainly never "cut and run." Well, not exactly. In Lebanon in early 1984, Reagan sent in the U.S. Marines, declaring (on February 3), "As long as there is a chance for peace, the mission remains the same. If we get out, that means the end of Lebanon." Reagan also taunted Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill, saying, "He may be ready to surrender, but I'm not." The next day, Reagan vowed not to "cut and run" from Lebanon, adding that "If we do, we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: They can gain by waging war against innocent people." Four days later, Reagan announced that he was pulling U.S. Marines out of Lebanon." So much for not "cutting and running."

    7. Reagan was a particularly popular president. Actually, according to Gallup numbers, "Reagan's average approval rating during the eight years that he was in office was nothing spectacular - 52.8 percent...the 40th president not just behind Kennedy, Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower, but also Lyndon Johnson and George H.W. Bush." Also, we'll see how it works out, but right now, Barack Obama's at around 50% approval; at the same time in his presidency, Ronald Reagan was at 37% approval. Reagan's popularity then recovered strongly, along with the U.S. economy, as is usually the case with presidents.

    8. Reagan ended the Cold War. Give Reagan some credit, but that's just not true. The fact is, the Cold War ended during the presidency of George HW Bush, with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the breakup of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991. Also, of course, the U.S. policy of "containment" against the Soviet Union lasted from the end of World War II until 1991. What Republicans will argue is that Reagan shifted to a "roll-back" strategy, but other than continuing the CIA's "Operation Cyclone operation -- arming the Afghan mujahideen -- which began during the Carter administration, it's hard to see how the Reagan Administration's policies did much to help push the internally rotting Soviet Union over the edge. Still, let's give the Reagan Administration credit for continuing the pressure on the Soviet Union begun by Harry Truman, and carried on through Republican and Democratic administrations alike during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. How any of that translates into "Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War," just because he dramatically said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", is utterly baffling, except in the minds of the Reagan mythologizers.

    9. Ronald Reagan was a "conservative culture warrior". Actually, as those of us who lived through the Reagan years know, "Reagan's contributions to the culture wars of the 1980s were largely rhetorical and symbolic." For instance, "he never sought a constitutional ban on abortion." Also, he "advocated prayer in public schools in speeches, but never in legislation." And "Reagan unintentionally did more than any other president to prevent the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling from being overturned when he appointed Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court. O'Connor mostly upheld abortion rights during her 25 years as a justice." Also, Reagan was pro-immigration, having signed a law which "legalized 2.8 million undocumented workers." And this is the same Ronald Reagan who referred to the "illegal alien fuss," and who declared, "no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters."

    10. Reagan cut the deficit. Actually, Reagan cranked up the deficits and the debt big time, even with "Congress approv[ing] smaller budgets than he requested on average, and the deviation from what he requested averaged less than half a percent."
  4. i actually liked reagan as a president. i voted for him twice. doesnt stop me from seeing the truth about him.
  5. Reagan was a disaster.

    He is the initiator of the $14TN debt we have right now

    I wish he never became the president, now we have to pay all this debt.
  6. He's dead get over it already.
  7. Lucrum


    "ronald reagan 100. now the truth."

    I'd rather see something infinitely more relevant.

    How about : "Obama, now the truth."
  8. He was functionally brain dead shortly into his second term, and people won't get over thinking that he wasn't.

    #10     Feb 8, 2011