Still not convinced? Try turning on Fox News and taking a shot of whiskey every time someone invokes Reagan’s name as part of their argument. You’ll be comatose within a very short period of time, I guarantee it.
Now here’s a list of four of the reasons modern, self-proclaimed “conservatives” would crucify President Reagan if he were alive and politically active today:
4. Ronald Reagan negotiated with terrorists: During the recent hoopla over the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, you couldn’t go 5 minutes without someone screaming about how Obama was “negotiating with terrorists.” Well, Reagan actually negotiated with Iranian terrorists in exchange for hostages, and he was really, really bad at it.
In all, there were eight arms shipments to Iran from Aug. 12, 1985 through Oct. 28, 1986. The first two came from Israel, with the promise that the U.S. would replenish them, but thereafter the U.S. sent them directly — and began skimming the profits to send to the Nicaraguan contras, who were themselves something of a terrorist organization, responsible for a pattern “including rape, torture, kidnappings, mutilation and other abuses” against the civilian population. In all, 2,512 TOW anti-tank missiles were sent to Iran, along with 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles and more than 240 Hawk spare parts. These were all vital weapons in Iran’s ongoing war with Iraq. (Source)
3. Ronald Reagan supported gun control: Mention this to anyone, especially the “Obama is trying to take all mah guns” folks over at Open Carry Texas, and they’ll stick their fingers in their ears and go “la la la, I can’t hear you” like a 5-year-old child. Not only did Reagan sign the Mulford Act when he was the governor of California, he also supported the Brady Bill.
In a 1991 New York Times op-ed titled “Why I’m For the Brady Bill,” Reagan detailed his support of a seven-day waiting period for gun buyers. “Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics,” Reagan said in the op-ed. “… If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land.” (Source)
2. Ronald Reagan was not a fiscal conservative: As much as Republicans like to complain about the national debt and the deficit (two things they often can’t tell the difference between) under President Obama, the national debt rose by by 186% while Reagan was in office. While they also like to complain about spending under Obama (something they’re not surprisingly quiet about when a Republican is in the White House), many Republicans tend to overlook the fact that Congress writes the budget, not the President.
1. Ronald Reagan would have been hated by today’s ultra-right GOP: Sure, every time you turn on Fox, everyone is praying at the altar of St. Ronnie and opining on how he would have dealt with the ginned up crisis du jour. But just like Jesus, they would absolutely crucify him if he were alive today for not being conservative enough. By today’s standards, Ronald Reagan would be a “liberal RINO” and he wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in a Republican presidential primary. As much as the likes of the “Caribou Barbie” Palin or Mike Huckabee like to toss his name out there as they angle for more time on Fox and more donations, they would be the first to attack Reagan for being too liberal were he alive today.
In a refreshing turn of events while reading conservative media, I found this column by Daniel Larson over at The American Conservative in which he takes modern Republicans to task for using Ronald Reagan for every single argument.
Harmful Reagan nostalgia among Republicans isn’t limited to foreign policy, but it may be where it does some of its greatest harm. For the most part, the Republicans most invested in claiming the mantle of Reagan are among the successors of those most likely to have denounced Reagan while he was in office as a sell-out, appeaser, or something equally unpleasant. As a result, the caricatured Reagan that they invoke takes the worst, most aggressive aspects of his record–exorbitant military spending, rhetorical excess, arming foreign insurgencies–and treats them as confirmation of the wisdom of their latter-day support for similarly foolish and unnecessary policies. When confronted with objections that their proposals are dangerous, wasteful, and unnecessary, they then declare their fidelity to Reagan in order to halt the debate. (Source)
It would be a great improvement in our political dialogue if more conservatives listened to Mr. Larson. Conservatives would do everyone a favor by not trying to resurrect the ghost of Ronald Reagan every time they want to win an argument with each other, or anyone else who doesn’t agree with them.
Meme via Politically Preposterous
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