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Reagan’s Democrats

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Posted on Feb 8, 2011

By Eugene Robinson

As we mark the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth, one of our major political parties has become imbued with the Gipper’s political philosophy and governing style. I mean the Democrats, of course.

The Republican Party tries to claim the Reagan mantle but has moved so far to the right that it now inhabits its own parallel universe. On the planet that today’s GOP leaders call home, Reagan would qualify as one of those big-government, tax-and-spend liberals who are trying so hard to destroy the American way of life.

Some Republicans, I suppose, might be so enraptured by the Reagan legend that they are unaware of his actual record. I hate to break it to Sarah Palin, but Reagan raised taxes. Often. Sometimes by a lot.

When he took office as governor of California in 1967, the state faced a huge budget deficit. Reagan promptly raised taxes by $1 billion—at a time when the entire state budget amounted to just $6 billion. It was then the biggest state tax increase in history. During Reagan’s eight years in Sacramento, the top state income tax rate increased from 7 percent to 11 percent. Business and sales taxes also soared.

When Reagan moved into the White House, he brought with him a theory that critics derided as “voodoo economics”—the idea that the way to balance the budget was to lower taxes, not raise them. Reagan quickly pushed through the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, a tax cut of about $264 billion. Republicans seem to rank this event alongside Columbus’ discovery of the New World as one of the great milestones in human history.

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What eludes the GOP’s selective memory is that Reagan subsequently raised taxes 11 times, beginning with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. All told, he took back roughly half of that hallowed 1981 tax cut. Why? Because he realized that the United States needed an effective federal government—and that to be effective, the government needed more money.

Republicans laud Reagan’s unshakable commitment to smaller government. Yet federal employment rolls grew under his watch; they shrank under Bill Clinton. Reagan had promised to eliminate the Departments of Energy and Education, but he didn’t. Instead, he signed legislation that added to the Cabinet a new Department of Veterans Affairs. 

On social issues, Reagan advocated a federal ban on abortions, the legalization of organized prayer in the schools and an end to court-ordered busing to achieve racial balance. He accomplished none of this. In his personal life, by all accounts, Reagan was a live-and-let-live kind of guy. He did, after all, spend much of his adult life as a denizen of—cover your ears, Republicans—evil Hollywood.

None of this is to suggest that the patron saint of modern American conservatism was some sort of flaming liberal, just that he was a pragmatist who respected objective reality. In a big state or a big country, big government was a given. When taxes needed to be raised, the thing to do was raise them.

But even though Reagan knew that ideology had its limits, I don’t doubt that he truly believed the ideology he espoused. His biggest impact on domestic politics was that the center of gravity shifted to the right—enough, in fact, that what once were extreme views have become orthodox.

Democrats sound and act almost like Reaganites. It was Clinton, remember, who balanced the budget and ended welfare “as we know it.” President Obama has pledged not to raise taxes on the middle class, and Democrats couldn’t even manage to reverse tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that might make even Reagan blush. Obama based his health care package on Republican ideas—including the individual mandate, which had been proposed by conservative think tanks and implemented by Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has lost its mind. The GOP argues for deep across-the-board budget cuts of a kind that Reagan ultimately rejected. Party leaders denounce the belief that government can do any good for anybody as “socialism.”

Here’s a quote that might have come from a Democrat during last fall’s tax-cut debate: “We don’t seek to aid the rich, but those lower- and middle-income families who are most strapped by taxes and the recession.” In fact, Ronald Reagan said those words in 1983, when he was arguing for tuition tax credits. Remind me, who are the Gipper’s true heirs?

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Regan Democrats are the Conservatives that protect big business from the left, instead of protecting the populace.  Big business’ protection comes from the Right and the populace’s protection comes from the Left, but since the NEW CLASS has separated the populace and left the majority populace without representation it is now of the utmost importance for the majority populace to have their own representation in Congress, as neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party represent the majority population of the United States.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, February 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

ardee, February 13 at 11:34 pm
“.... but thanks for inquiring after my current mental state.”
Actually, to be quite honest, no one really gives a rat’s ass, and I’m sure that anyone else here who has had the utter misfortune of catching you at the wrong time of the month would say the same thing.

“As to your position on abortion you made it rather plain, and now attempt to say you were only fooling:” and later, “I find your continuing to spread the far right wing mythos of both welfare and abortion to be unworthy of politeness.”
Uh, no, I never said I was fooling about anything, and where did you get this right wing mythos crap? Are you on crack ....... again? I had goosebumps along with the next clown on election night 2008, because I, too, fell for Obama’s drivel. I confess, I voted for him, but I had enough sense to wipe the sleepers out of my eyes and see what he was really up to. Maybe you’re still too googly-eyed over Hope and Change. And I’d already said I despised Reagan. You seem to be unable to connect some very simple dots, but had you read my posts instead of trolling for victims for you vitriolic spew, you might have realized that it isn’t the welfare system that I despise; it’s those who continue to ABUSE it, not unlike those who are also at the very top of that ladder taking credit for putting and keeping that dysfunctional system in place. You made the ASSumption that because I mentioned God, the Republican Party, and a Pro-Life stance in the same thread, that I was a bible thumping, Right Wing, Pro-Lifer, little realizing that I favor spirituality, moderation, and I’m Pro-Choice.

“You post the most egregious and false picture of the unfortunate folks who exist in a welfare system in dire need of reform, and think that having a large family makes that welfare check a luxury.” If some welfare mother has enough sense to either go on the pill or have enough discipline to keep her knees together long enough to find a partner who might actually stay with her for more than a month, I have no problem with helping that person make a new life for herself and her children. Again, did you even bother to READ what I wrote before jumpingto your USUAL erroneous conclusions? No, as usual, you try to pitch your typical pseudo-intellectual psycho-babble before taking the time to develop a cogent thought. Resist that temptation, ..... and take your meds.

Personally, I think any society that is worth its oats would try to care for those less fortunate and yet not also foster abuse of that system, but how would you know? Sulphuric acid comes out of your mouth before you’ve finished reading the first sentence, and you wonder why no one wants to engage you when you get in your moods. If I lit into anyone here, it was the author, Eugene Robinson, who week after week turns out to be nothing more than another lame Obama apologist. I wasn’t slamming into anyone, certainly not before you came to the table with a rag on.

Maybe after all, we found your sensitive nerve and it is you who are in need of defending your welfare check. Is that it? Methinks you dost protest too much.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

I am still amazed that all these right wingers use identical tactics, the same key words and all do so at the exact same time. I think they only fool themselves frankly.
****

Ardee: I have not commented on anything you said in a long time. I hope you will take this kindly.

You have correctly spotted a mechanism.  An issue arises, a question is asked the Right has no answer to.  Then SOMEBODY (and it can be anybody) comes up with an answer.  It may make a little sense (rarely), almost no sense (frequently), or totally bat-shit crazy (99% of the time).  As soon as there is an answer, whatever it is, all, and I mean ALL of the Right picks up that this is NOW the answer and all parrot it, a thousand times, a hundred thousand times, until it becomes “The Truth”, no matter how false it is.

For example, look at the idiocy of questioning Barack Obama’s legal birthright to be President.  It’s a bat-shit crazy idea that spread like wild-fire. Yet nobody questioned John McCain’s right to be President though he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which is no longer US territory (and, under the Constitution, was not reasonably clear if it actually EVER was what the Constitution calls for).  But some crack-pot raised this idea and it spread like swine-flu.

I’m not sure how the mechanism works, or why.  I suppose the Right Wing trolls will have to explain it to us.

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By ardee, February 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

BR549, February 13 at 5:12 pm

I limit myself to one cup of coffee per day,enjoy my bachelor status after raising my children as a single parent but thanks for inquiring after my current mental state. If I appeared agitated it was because of the slime you spread upon this thread, and only that.

Your response is simply another regurgitating of your previous, and unworthy, position. But thank you for the verification of the worms that exist in your head. You post the most egregious and false picture of the unfortunate folks who exist in a welfare system in dire need of reform, and think that having a large family makes that welfare check a luxury. Are you jealous?

As to your position on abortion you made it rather plain, and now attempt to say you were only fooling:

On the abortion issue abuse side, we have self centered people who want to continue pushing the sexual envelope with little regard for the consequences and, on the other side, we have welfare mothers hatching offspring like maggots on a festering corpse and just waiting for some phony saviour like Obama to delude them into thinking their debts will all be taken care of. Not exactly a healthy environment where any child is wanted.

I believe that you got the sort of response that your post and position deserved. I find your continuing to spread the far right wing mythos of both welfare and abortion to be unworthy of politeness.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, February 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

OUCH!

She: ... you show little skill in presenting justification for your beliefs. That is the common modus operandi for the conservatives who troll the halls of Truthdig.

Well put.

I would add that without the trolls, this blog would be not much more than a catharsis for progressives. Yes, they (the conservatives) have lost their William Frank Buckley, Jr. - who would have had a field-day with us here - who would have been a worthy opponent to debate.

His worthiness was the eloquence with which he expressed his ideas - however cockamamie we might think them to be.

Just the sort of Conservative Commentary this site is lacking to raise the level more than a few notches. And America, for that matter. Buckley has been replaced by the pathetically partisan blather on Fox News and elsewhere - wholly typical of its owner, that misguided Australian who should have never left Down Under.

So, let us content ourselves with what we have. Any good debate needs adversarial argument, regardless of its quality of content.

Good debate always attracts good debaters.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

So GRYM, try being as thorough in your partisan attack as I am in
answering your pathetically insufficient accusations.  Your lacking in
detail and subtlety is your foremost impairment.  This will be my last
post to you as you are rather niggardly in your constantly deficient
implications.  The simplicity with which you comment reflects the
simplicity of the mind you offer.  It is easy to attack another, but you
show little skill in presenting justification for your beliefs. That
is the common modus operandi for the conservatives who troll the
halls of Truthdig.

Title II – Of the sections retained and not allowed to sunset in 2006,
Section 203 - the Act fails to discriminate between information
gathered between terrorist and non-terrorist investigations. the Act
should be modified to include some privacy safeguards: before
information is gathered the court should be petitioned to approve the
information transfer to make sure that it is necessary for ongoing
activities by the agencies involved; that information shared should be
limited to information relevant to investigations into terrorism; that only
those people who have access to such information should actually need
it to do their jobs (currently those who are not directly related to the
investigation can gain access to the information); and information
gathered should be marked as confidential and measures put into place
to stop the inappropriate dissemination of such information.

Section 206 - the section lacks two important safeguards that are
present in the parallel legislation for criminal investigations: 1) that
agents actually ascertain the location of the suspect before turning on
their recording devices, and 2) that “some additional changes to FISA
adopted outside of the normal process in the adopted Intelligence
Authorization Act a few months after the PATRIOT Act had the probably
unintended effect of seeming to authorize “John Doe” roving taps, that
is, FISA orders that identify neither the target nor the location of the
interception.”  The law should be changed so that those under
surveillance as per FISA should also be notified after surveillance has
ceased so that those wrongly targeted and placed under surveillance
can challenge the government’s actions.

Sections 209, 212, and 220 show very troublesome actions. Read them
yourself. 

Section 213, is excessive because secrecy was already covered when
FISA was amended in 1994 that allowed the government to carry out
secret searches. The fact that this section is not limited to terrorism
cases.
 

Sections 214 and 215 are excessive and allows access to business
records that applies to anyone, not simply those targeted for suspects
of foreign agents. 

218 involves information gathered could involve defendants in criminal
cases who should be able to have counsel and be able to review the
evidence which may or may not be clearable.

The problem with such sections and forcefulness of The Patriot Act has
to do with the right to privacy about which all Americans ought to be
concerned, even you.  This is not to say that the security of this country
and its citizens ought not to be a government concern or responsibility. 
But we cannot throw away our cherished freedoms because of over
reactive lapses in the law that unnecessarily revokes those freedoms of
privacy.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, February 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, thank you for proving my point, and I think you missed mine.

I have no problem with people who choose to be atheists, only those who feel that the system has to be massaged in their favor and focused solely on THEIR choice to do nothing. So, as a parent, if I wish to have my kids’ education include religion, I must now pay tuition to some OTHER school, on top of taxes that I already pay, that support the atheists kids’ education. Then, the bleeding
hearts bitch and moan about vouchers or tax credits and revert the argument back to not mixing church and state; all in a country that has emblazoned on it’s coinage, “In God we Trust”.

I have no problem using the term “dipshits” where I did. At least a multi-faceted religious approach allows people to believe in whatever they wish (and hopefully to respect other’s beliefs) and it still allows atheists to believe in nothing. Certainly, it’s their choice.

While I personally abhor what has become of religions, they can and sometimes still do serve a purpose when NOT abused. However, look what has happened with our own political system becoming corrupted. The issue of mixing ‘religion’ and ‘schooling’ is no different than mixing ‘influence’ and ‘office’ and we are still seeing rampant corruption, today, IN SPITE of all the precautions the framers took to ensure otherwise. I find barely a smidgeon of the dialogue on the abuses of religion that we have on the abuses of government and yet the Supreme Court felt justified in taking the stance it did, however politically motivated and myopic.  While the framers at least attempted to draft a formula to address the retention of individual and state sovereignties, they seem to have given up on the religious issue and dropped any solution altogether.

===============

Ardee, you’re just too toxic this morning; most likely the result of too much caffeine, unresolved stress, and living alone. As far as your not venturing any further because you thought Lafayette “skewered my reasoning”, it only shows that you were too busy reading your own personal issues into what I was trying to relate BEFORE actually reading what I wrote. Had you done so, you MIGHT have understood that I was actually opposed to Ron Paul’s Pro-Life stance.

If we lived in an ideal society where all the young kids followed their parent’s wisdom and all of them were celibate prior to marriage, and everyone was so comfortable in society that no one would want to commit a rape in the first place, the whole issue would become moot. But we don’t live in that world, at least not yet anyway (one can hope), and until that world emerges, I still support a woman’s right to CHOOSE. I do, however, understand the social and physiologic arguments around Ron Paul’s stance and if I had to make a choice between cleaning up the political issue before the abortion issue, I would bite the bullet and clean up politics first, because the abortion issue could come afterward, but not vice versa.

Consumed with your seething vitriol and passion to rip apart my argument, you obviously found it necessary to lump everything together and failed to grasp that Reagan’s term “welfare queens” was quite accurate, as far it it went. I was NOT talking about the large middle spectrum of abortion clients who felt abortion was certainly the lesser of two evils, or that some kids were too young and promiscuous, good kids didn’t exercise good judgement, there might have been genetic issues involved, or whatever; at that one end I was talking about the cookie cutter baby farm mothers who live on welfare and are STILL pumping the critters out, white and black. If you don’t think THAT is still happening, you’re living in a bubble. My statement in no way suggested that ALL abortions are performed within this sector of the population, as much as you need it to do so.

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By ardee, February 13, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

BR549,

While you regurgitate stale, trite and silly mantras from the far right regarding what may or may not be taught in our public schools I would not take your right of free speech away. Besides,Lafayette skewered your “reasoning” rather aptly I think.

However, when you demean and diminish people as in this citing below:

On the abortion issue abuse side, we have self centered people who want to continue pushing the sexual envelope with little regard for the consequences and, on the other side, we have welfare mothers hatching offspring like maggots on a festering corpse and just waiting for some phony saviour like Obama to delude them into thinking their debts will all be taken care of. Not exactly a healthy environment where any child is wanted.

I feel it necessary to stand up and point the finger back at you. This comment is hateful, and worse, an outright lie. Just as Ronald Wilson Reagan’s stupid “welfare queen” remark was exposed as a lie so should this hate filled and highly inaccurate little screed be subjected to the light soas to make you scurry back into your dark place like a cockroach.

Abortions are performed across a broad spectrum of societies women, many upon the young teenagers who, because of immaturity, biological imperatives poorly understood , and parents unwilling to stand up and educate their girls. Some are done due to medical necessities and very ,very few fail to have far reaching consequences. You diminish yourself rather than those upon whom you vent your wrath.

In your “good old days” when such procedures were “illegal” they were still being performed. The wealthy shipped their daughters off to obtain safe and professional procedures in places where they were legal. The poor had “back alley” abortions and many suffered, some died.

As to your rather supercilious statement regarding those trapped in a welfare system that fails them and society in general, well, I only note that your prejudice and bigotry are showing.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, February 13, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

THE WISDOM OF SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE

BR549: God has all but been legislated out of the classroom and instead of studying the different religions, we can’t study any, for fear of upsetting some atheist dipshits who have no concept of why populations still need to cling to one, whatever it turns out to be.

I’d be careful of using the word “dipshit”, if I were you. You don’t seem to understand why religion should not be taught in public schools. Private schools, yes, but let’s keep public schools free of inculcated religious beliefs that are founded in an historical reference lost in the mists of time.

European history is a long-lesson in how religion, when confused with the state in any way, corrupts the political system and warps it totally. Both Franklin and Jefferson spent years in France, at the time run by a French king who ruled by “divine right”. Meaning that since he was crowned in a Church, his authority was direct from God.

This sort of nonsense is no more reasoned than a Muslim suicide-bomber believing that his reward for blowing up people will be 70 virgins.

Faith is faith - it does not require reason to substantiate itself. It does exact however adherence or it would not be a religion. And if adherence requires that one be prepared to kill for their beliefs, then one contravenes the reason of Civil Law intended to protect the lives of believers, non-believers and the indifferent.

Besides, where is the convincing evidence that one must believe in God to be a morally responsible person?

POST SCRIPTUM

You have also evidently forgot modern history, BR, where the Christian faith condoned both inter-faith and intra-faith killing as it did in Northern Ireland or in the Basque country of Spain or in Serbia or Nazi Germany.

The list is much longer, but the point, I submit, has been made: Let’s keep separated the church and the state – but insist upon mutual respect between both.

NOTA BENE

Or, as Christ said, “Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar”. Which, to my mind as a Christian, was his support for having the church and the state clearly separated.

Though there are other reasons attributed as to why Jesus answered the question as he did (which was put in an attempt to trap him) regarding paying Roman taxes.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Bonito,
I confess, having come from a long time dyed in the wool Republican family, I too, was caught up in that old belief system and had voted for Ronnie. When I had occasion to testify before a congressional subcommittee in 1986, I think my disgust for the whole political system showed it to be riddled with liars and prostitutes and I disaffiliated right after that. Not that the system was
corrupted by Reagan, himself, or Republicans only, because the level of corruption had been brewing for a   g o o d   l o n g   time, before I ever got there, but I could see what Perot was talking about when he came on the scene. 

So many people just want to be able to “believe” in something or someone. God has all but been legislated out of the classroom and instead of studying the different religions, we can’t study any, for fear of upsetting some atheist dipshits who have no concept of why populations still need to cling to one, whatever it turns out to be. Any reference to Him on our coinage is hypocrisy, flat and simple, and only because those we had expected to come up with some meaningful solution, only made the problem worse.

When we look back at that disgusting syrupy speech of Bush Sr., as he looked toward the heavens, as through some divine guidance, and tried to lead all us sheep down his New World Order path, it makes me want to puke, that someone elected to such a high office would become such a traitor to his own countrymen. If he was an American, he ceased being one a long time ago.

And ever since then, it has been a massive race to the cash drawer by the politicians .... no matter what side of the aisle they’re on. I liked Alan Grayson, although he wasn’t from my state, but I really trust Ron Paul. He and I differ on abortion rights and while we may disagree, I respect why he feels the way he does about it. While I may be a pro-choice person, I personally feel that we haven’t evolved enough as a culture to allow people to bring children into this world without a good reason.

On the abortion issue abuse side, we have self centered people who want to continue pushing the sexual envelope with little regard for the consequences and, on the other side, we have welfare mothers hatching offspring like maggots on a festering corpse and just waiting for some phony saviour like Obama to delude them into thinking their debts will all be taken care of. Not exactly a healthy environment where any child is wanted.

Until we get to the point where our courts understand the need for religion in unevolved societies, or at least don’t try to condemn it by default, we will have lost the moral structure, the discipline necessary to help guide people into making more socially positive decisions. And the thing is, you can’t FORCE someone to believe in something; they either choose to or they don’t. You can’t legislate morality, but you can show people how morality has a long term positive benefit for everyone, and that has to be through example, by politicians’ behavior being a part of that guidance. As long as they treat the opportunity to serve in Washington as free, all expense paid trip to Sodom and Gomorrah, the toilet will continue to overflow on the rest of us.

But I digress. Even in spite of our different beliefs on the topic, I would still vote for Ron Paul in a heartbeat. I had voted for Hagelin in 2000 (a brilliant particle physicist) but he and Paul are of the same heart.

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, February 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Whenever Democrats and Republicans speak of Ronnie
the Raygun, they always refer to what he had done or
said. Do these people really think that Raygun ever
did anything, or uttered a single word that was not
first cleared by his handlers.

There was a CIA agent on a talk show that I recall, a
few years after Raygun left office, that said that he
wore two hearing aids, one so he could hear,and one
so they could tell him what to do and say. On a
number of occasions he was actually caught on camera
being prompted by either his wife, and/or one of his
aids. This was also shown on the three networks at
the time. After that all questions reporters had for
Ronnie had to be submitted in writing before hand, I
would suppose so that he could spend whatever time
necessary to memorize the answers. After all he was
an actor, and certainly adept at learning his lines.
Even members of his cabinet, and those most closely
associated with him have admitted that he delegated
most of his decisions to subordinates.

After the reign of Ronnie, during which he had almost
destroyed the labor movement in this country, the
Republicans became so emboldened that lowering the
wages of the working people became the most important
objective of their agenda. Now it seems that with all
of the anti-labor rhetoric in this country, it is not
only the CORPS, The Chamber of Commerce,and the Rich
and Greedy bad-mouthing organized labor, but also
those whom have the most to loose,(the working
stiffs)that without a viable labor movement would
still be working for starvation wages. Guess what
folks, the latter will soon find out how little they
will be paid when the Republicans like Ron Paul pass
their Contract on America, also known as the national
right to work for less.

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By knute, February 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There appears little difference when you compare the democrats to the republicans. Niether seem to give a damn about the american people. Both are selling the people out to the same lobbyists and corporations that write them checks. The pox on both ....If ever there were a time for a 3rd party showing this is it. The last time anyone even got close was Ross Perot..and it turns out he was right on on alot of issues that both parties saddled onto, like globilization / NAFTA. Since we obviously aren’t looking for real statesman anymore within our politics, were not looking for answers, hell , we relected an idiot after he lied us into wars..we deserve what we have. We have politicians thumbing their collective nses at us all, right there on TV - in our faces refusing to do anything but further enabling the status quo at ours and ours kid’s future expense.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 10, 2011 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

So I’m not telling the whole truth if I fail to give a complete breakdown on the voting record of the House and Senate on the Patriot Act?  Particularly in light of the fact that the democrat controlled 110th Congress both strengthened and extended the Patriot Act and, it was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid which both argued in support of the current democrat president that the Patriot Act had to be extended?  That’s a weak accusation on your part.

Let me recap.  President Obama, Harry Ried, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry (Senate Foreign Intelligence Chairman) all argued in favor of extending and strengthening the Patriot Act, however, it’s the evil republicans who are fault. - Interesting partisan point of view you hold.

Title II

So you believe that an criminal investigation of a burglary that uncovers strong evidence of covert intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power should not be shared with the FBI or U.S. intelligence agencies.  Do I understand you correctly?

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By ardee, February 10, 2011 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 9 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Try telling all of the truth GRYM instead of your usual slacking off
in your feeble attempt to make a case for your own political bias

Your post reminded me of the current edition of ‘Real Time’. Bill Maher says exactly the same thing about Bill O’Reilly and Faux Snooze that you do about our resident liar, and backs it up with film clips proving his point.

I am still amazed that all these right wingers use identical tactics, the same key words and all do so at the exact same time. I think they only fool themselves frankly.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Try telling all of the truth GRYM instead of your usual slacking off
in your feeble attempt to make a case for your own political bias. 

George W. Bush, Republican, was the President. The USA PATRIOT
Act aka The Patriot Act, is a contrived three letter initialism (USA)
preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination
stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing
Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism
Act of 2001.  All but two Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted for
the ‘original’ USA PATRIOT Act legislation.  After voicing concerns
over the “invasion of privacy” and other civil liberty restrictions of
the Act, the Democrats split on the renewal in 2006. Most Republican
Senators voted to renew it, and the Democrat Senators split in their
numbers (50/50) while most Democratic Representatives voted
against renewal124 with 66 for it
; Republican Reps voted 214 for
to 13 against. Renewal was allowed after many of the most invasive
clauses in the Act were removed or curbed.  The two Democratic
exceptions were Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, who voted against it,
and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who abstained.  Yesterday it was a
different story:  251 Democrats along with 26 Republicans upset the
mostly festering stinking anti-libertarian barrel.  Now the Republicans
are scrambling to recover. 

Personally I resent the acryonym because there are millions of
patriots who would not have supported this act if they had been made
more aware of the contents and the ramifications of its enforcement. 
Also the Democratic politicians, and I think theirs is a lame excuse,
claim they had not “read” the original text of the Act, whereupon
criticism from the filmmaker Michael Moore drove around Washington,
D.C. in an ice cream truck reading the act to the public at large. Which
in retrospect, appears to have been a uselessly futile exercise except to
get Moore some publicity.  He should have pursued his views in other
ways until action to repeal the act happened.  The Act is supported by
the most hypocritical of authoritarian Republicans who stamp and
scream like babies who are having a tantrum who created the Patriot
Act while at the same time stamping and screaming for freedom and
liberty.  They are ideological schizophrenics. 

Where you weasel out of being specific, thus fallaciously thinking you
cover your ass, you might discuss what parts of the Act you disagree
with.  Here I will demonstrate:

Some of the Titles do seem prudently necessary such as Title I that
authorizes steps to intensify the ability of domestic security services to
prevent terrorism in view of the acts of terrorism that has taken place
both here and US locations abroad. 

I do not like Title II at all and I believe most Americans would not
either.  I have no survey data however, it is just my opinion.

Title III seems needed.

Title IV seems needed but I think needs to be revised to include judicial
review for groups designated as terrorist and length of detention time
before a hearing granted.  Sections that mandate study of potential
future legislative enhancements rather than enforcement action also
seems seriously flawed to resolve whatever are the violations of the
enhancements.

Titles VI and IX I think are needed. But Title VIII that allows intimidation
and coercion of the civilian population is outrageous.

Some parts of Title X that has to do with surveillance needs to be
rewritten to preserve the privacy and freedom of the individual.

Reference:  Look up The US Patriot Act on the Internet.  There are
764,000 entries on the subject.

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By Lafayette, February 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

ac/ Before, the Republicans were suspicious of foreign wars and other adventures, whereas the Democrats were generally ready to go

The history of the national budget deficit is here .

You will note that, in fact, before Reckless Ronnie it was fairly flat in total amount and actually descending as a percentage of GDP. This trend continued under Billy-boy (ie., the Dems).

Which, after a brief respite at the end of the 1990s, simply inflected upward at Lead-heads ascension to the Oval Office.

So, both parties are at fault. The Dems were simply continuing a trend started by the grade-B movie actor who promised that he would “get government off our backs”.

Will you (plural) please try to look at the facts before you spout fabricated nonsense in a forum. Which is why there is so much bullsh*t appearing in blogs across America. 

MY POINT

It is imperative that we couple forthcoming economic growth with the ability to master the budget deficit, which means arresting its growth.

More so, however, we must learn to keep the budget in balance and get Federal/State Expenditures in line with imperative American goals - which, of course, to my mind will be in line with achieving Social Justice.

And I am convinced that Federal/State expenditures spent on Public Services will create more and better jobs than wasting the funds on state-of-the-art war-craft. With the overarching imperative that both state and Federal budgets remained either balanced, or with deficits resulting from expenditures not more than 3% beyond revenues.

This will require, yes, sacrifices initially, but we, the people, will be better off for it.

And the plutocrats - they can go to hell - where they belong.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You can try to blame “republicans” all day long concerning the Patriot Act, however, watch as the U.S. President and the democrat leaders of the House and Senate, all of whom voted for the Patriot Act, argue to keep those provisions. - I write that while I’m against many provisions of the mandate.

I say this with sincerity; you truly need to end this bigoted attitude you hold so tight.

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By samosamo, February 9, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

*****************

 

One of the worst fools to hold the white house and definitely the
jump starter of the terrorist attack on this country’s economy in
all its shapes, forms and fashion and there is a movement(bowel
movement) to ‘celebrate’ this miscreant’s 100th birthday. Rather
makes me want to watch ‘american idol’ to give me a sense of
how hollow old ‘howdydoody reagan was. Thank goodness I
don’t have t.v.

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By Shenonymous, February 9, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Only proof most of the elected Democrats in power need a complete
transfusion with real blood to replace the authoritarian conservative
sludge. 

“People think the Democrats are different from the Republicans.”

Yeah, I’m one of them. Some of the Democrat politicians are rising
from the dead, they did do in some important features of the Patriot
Act.  So we will have a tribe of xombies (zombies) smelling like
Republicans for at least until 2012, but there is serious effort to
replace the mealymouthed clones.  But I remain hopeful enough to
keep working for that grail irrational as some may think I am.

It is a delusion for anyone to think independents can be wooed back
into the liberal Democrat column with this recent flurry of fake
admiration for Ronald Reagan.  Since 2007 painting Reagan as a liberal
in the biography by John Patrick Diggins has been the exertion of some. 
Also said by some that today’s Tea Party would consider Reagan as a
socialist is ludicrous, and how can his record budget deficits, economic
pressure on the middle class, human rights abuses in Central America,
and the Iran-Contra scandal be forgotten?  Dead presidents often look
better when criticizing current presidents.  Don’t forget how that
criminal Nixon is sentimentalized these days.  So quickly it is forgotten
Reagan backed governments that systematically raped and tortured
those who opposed them.  That his supply-side economics that
insisted tax cuts for the rich would lead them to save and invest their
money which would lead to an expansion of production and lower
unemployment never materialized.  Nothing has changed for
conservative Republicans.  Drip-down voodoo economics is exactly like
what is happening today! 

Consistent with my maxim that getting rid of as many Republicans as
possible is what will turn this country around to liberal values also
getting rid of those Democrats that have been varnished with
Republican muck and mire as we witness the Republican to again put
continuation of the Patriot Act up for another vote in the near future. 
They must be stopped.

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By MK Ultra, February 9, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since the article is supposed to be about Ronald Reagan’s legacy, I will comment in that spirit and by sharing an article on the subject published today by Ha’aretz which illustrates even more blowback from Raygun’s ill-fated policies.  The man truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

================

“Friends of Israel should thank Ronald Reagan”

Reagan made the Republican Party into the unambiguously pro-Israel party that it is today, after years of hesitant U.S. stances regarding Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/friends-of-israel-should-thank-ronald-reagan-1.342026

As America marks the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, we will be remembering one of our country’s greatest leaders with speeches, tributes and television specials. Friends of Israel will have a special reason to celebrate: Reagan made the Republican Party into the unambiguously pro-Israel party that it is today.

Indeed, before the Reagan era, the Republican Party had a decidedly mixed record on Israel. In the 1940s and early 1950s, the conservative movement had strong isolationist and even anti-Semitic tendencies. Later, Republican presidents, such as Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon — while by no means isolationists — had complicated relations with the Jewish state. Eisenhower forced Israel to return the Sinai to Egypt after capturing it in 1956.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Nixon wasted precious days before finally re-supplying a tapped out Israel with arms.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 9, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “Democrats are the nation’s conservatives (in the real sense of the word)”

-

Only if one’s ideology is left of Ernesto Guevara and Margaret Sanger does that statement makes sense.

You keep repeating yourself in saying the terms “democrat” and “republican” are, in your mind, incoherent. 

Your failure to comprehend these widely used and understood terms is not the failure of the American public.

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By BR549, February 9, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,
Gene doesn’t understand any of this. The poor guy is still wiping away the tears of
joy from election night 2008.

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By Anarcissie, February 9, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Actually, Reagan Democratified the Republican Party—or maybe it would be more accurate to say he finished the task, begun under Nixon.  Before them, the Republican Party didn’t believe in big Federal spending and deficits; after, they were quite happy to throw money around.  Before, the Republicans were suspicious of foreign wars and other adventures, whereas the Democrats were generally ready to go; after, the Republicans were even more adventurous than the Democrats.  Between Nixon and Reagan, the Republicans also took the Bible-beaters off the Democrats’ plantation and put them on their own, along with the not-quite-post-racist South.

The resulting Republican Party is pretty incoherent now, containing as it does religious fanatics, neo-con military adventurers, old-time business-interest Republicans, libertarians, and racists.  An aggressive Democratic Party could probably break them up, but as the Democrats are the nation’s conservatives (in the real sense of the word) they don’t seem prepared to do anything.

All right, back to your ritual clichés.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 9, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

-When Reagan took office the top income earners, those in the 70% tax bracket, were paying an effective tax rate of 7% after tax loopholes were applied.

-After Reagan and the democratic House and Senate lowered the top marginal income tax rate, and closed several dozen tax loopholes, the wealthiest income earners tax liabilities doubled to 14%.

Yes, lowering the top income tax bracket and closing loopholes doubled the real mean income-tax for the wealthiest Americans.

President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

The share of income taxes paid by the top 10 percent of earners jumped significantly, climbing from 48.0 percent in 1981 to 57.2 percent in 1988. The top 1 percent saw their share of the income tax bill climb even more dramatically, from 17.6 percent in 1981 to 27.5 percent in 1988.

Sorry to be so blunt: Suggesting that Ronald Reagan cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans is a mythical fantasy born of ignorance.

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By Lafayette, February 9, 2011 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

RECKLESS RONNIE

FF: When the income tax was enacted in 1913, there were 7 brackets, the lowest was 1% and the highest was 7%. We’ve come a long way, baby.

And what lamebrain excuse might you have for low tax rates?

We’ve come a long way down, you mean. Your reading of tax-rate history is selective. Look again at the history of marginal rates here

The highest marginal income tax rate (around 90%) were applied from 1950 to 1961. Who was PotUS during that period? A Republican called Eisenhower. Who’s subsequent administration brought them down (foolishly, I maintain)? Kennedy’s, that’s who - he brought them down to around 70%.

It was Reckless Ronnie who finished the job by bringing them down to a meager 27% (from which they have recovered to 35%.)

We can date Bankster Rapaciousness from that period of time of the Reagan administration. Later, when then Secretary of the Treasury Rubin convinced Billy-boy to repeal the Glass-Steagal Act separating Commercial from Investment Banking, the scene for the Perfect Economic Storm was set.

Which all began with grabbing for the Golden Ring on the Greedy-go-round combined with America’s Toxic Waste debt - both of which brought this country’s economy to its knees (and almost stopped it all together).

Two years later, we still haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, what did Americans do in the midterm elections? They stupidly voted the principle culprits of the Great Recession back into control of the House. Dumber than that dumb is harder to get.

MY POINT

Low taxes benefit only the elite. They do not create jobs at the bottom of the economic ladder. They do not serve the public benefit one iota. They are anathema to any development of Social Justice in America.

They serve only one purpose: To encrust a highly select group within their privileges - that is, in the money that these plutocrats employ lavishly to reelect politicians who are favourable to their cause.

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By Lafayette, February 9, 2011 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

BRT: If’in we ‘mericuns know how ta du anythin’ it’s ‘lecting gud people inta office.

Gud stuf, BRT.

This blog really needs some comic relief!

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By MarthaA, February 9, 2011 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

The Conservative REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST Alzheimer’s Reaganomics administration was the beginning of the “Borrow, SPEND, Squander and Free Trade Bubble” that burst on September 15, 2008 under the Conservative Bush II REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST “Borrow, SPEND, Squander, and Free Trade Bubble” administration see following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/business/15lehman.html

Reagan Democrats are the Conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the DLC, the PPI, the New Democrats as recorded as the Right Web http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Democratic_Leadership_Council  the following is an excerpt:

“The DLC and its close associate, the PPI, receive grants from many Fortune 500 companies and various right-wing foundations such as the Bradley Foundation. According to the a 2002 study by the Capital Research Center, corporate contributors to the PPI have included the AT&T Foundation, Eastman Kodak Charitable Trust, Prudential Foundation, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Chevron, and Amoco Foundation. The Third Way Foundation, an umbrella group of the New Democrats in the DLC, receives funding from the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Ameritech Foundation, and General Mills Foundation. According to John Nichols in the Progressive, the DLC has had funding from Bank One, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, Health Insurance Corporation, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Occidental Petroleum, and Raytheon (Progressive, October 2000).”

http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Progressive_Policy_Institute

A PPI excerpt:

” The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI)—together with its related web-based project the Progressive Fix—is a Democratic Party-aligned policy shop that promotes a “liberal hawk” line on foreign affairs similar in many respects to that pushed by neoconservatives. PPI’s website states that its “mission is to define and promote a new progressive politics for America in the 21st century. Through its research, policies, and perspectives, the Institute is fashioning a new governing philosophy and an agenda for public innovation geared to the Information Age.”[1] The organization claims to have “a distinctly progressive point of view grounded in a spirit of radical pragmatism.”[2]

PPI was founded in 1989 by Will Marshall and Al From as a project of the Third Way Foundation.[3] Closely associated with the Democratic Leadership Council (DCL), a prominent supporter of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), PPI says its mission “arises from the belief that America is ill-served by an obsolete left-right debate that is out of step with the powerful forces reshaping our society and economy.” PPI claims to advocate “a philosophy that adapts the progressive tradition in American politics to the realities of the information age and points to a ‘third way’ beyond the liberal impulse to defend the bureaucratic status quo and the conservative bid to simply dismantle government.”[4]

Marshall and From are both long-standing proponents of “third way” policies that include free-market reforms and get-tough foreign policies. One of PPI’s five strategies includes “confronting global disorder by building enduring new international structures of economic and political freedom.”[5]”

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By MarthaA, February 9, 2011 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

The Conservative REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST Alzheimer’s Reaganomics administration was the beginning of the “Borrow, SPEND, and Squander Bubble” that burst on September 15, 2008 under the Conservative Bush II REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST “Borrow, SPEND and Squander Bubble” administration

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/business/15lehman.html.

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By Fat Freddy, February 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

ardee

Further the top tax rate on the wealthiest dropped from a high of 70% when Reagan first occupied the White House to about 28% ( from memory so it may be off a bit).

Reagan gave us the closest thing to a “flat tax” in modern history. There were only two tax brackets: 28% and 15%. The cutoff was $17,500 for a single filer in 1988, which was about the median income, maybe a little less.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/fed_individual_rate_history-20101220.pdf

When the income tax was enacted in 1913, there were 7 brackets, the lowest was 1% and the highest was 7%. We’ve come a long way, baby.

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By ReaganDem, February 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes! In 1961 Reagan put out the Operation Coffee Cup Campaign. An LP recording that echo’s the sentiment of this article. You must here it in his own words and listen carefully. He is a die hard liberal to the core. google for it. here is a link to the short version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs

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By Bobby Ray Tom, February 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If’in we ‘mericuns know how ta du anythin’ it’s ‘lecting gud people inta office.  Now take that acter guy we’d almost fergot about…. you know th’ one that co-starred width th’ chimp.  Now that there guy cud fill up a suit an’ fire off a one-liner like nobody.  An’ his ol’ lady was bright too…. practically won th’ war on drugs wid jus’ one werd.  His har never even tuk ta bein’ gray an’ some uns even still thanks he might be God’s firs’ cusin.  An that thar teleprompter rig wus nutin til he showed how ta use it.  An that Gorby Ruskie guy…. all he had ta do wus tell ‘em ta “tare down that wall” an that wus it…. we didn’t even haf ta march around it like that Joshua guy an’ his troops in th’ gud book… it jus come on down…. pretty convincin’ ‘bout that firs’ cusin bidniss, huh?  An’ run a cuntry…. I never seen so many a’ dem high priced Germen cars on th’ road in my life afterin he tuk over.  Yeah,  he showed me that them Democrats didn’t care fer nuttin’ but yankin babies outta their mothers aferin they wus borned.  My Daddy always voted fer them Dems but I jus can’t no more since Mr. Ragun showed me th’ light.  God knew that some folk wus jus meant ta be rich an Mr. Ragun wus jus doin’ his part helpin’ out his buddy.

Well since th’ truck done broke down I ain’t been able ta make it ta church but Mr. Beck’s chalk talks been a keepin me on th’ strait-n-narra.  It’s ‘bout time ferin him ta come on th’ box so I gotta go.

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By Big B, February 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Main stream democrats keep Ronny’s legacy alive every time they use the word “progressive” to describe themselves, instead of “liberal”. The abandonment of the word “liberal” was the begining of the end of the democratic party. And now, Barry and his ilk have not only abandoned anything remotely liberal, they have actually become Bob Dole republicans.

It’s funny that the third party that people on the left are pining for is actually the party of McGovern and Bobby Kennedy that was abandoned after the brutal thug Daley had the enthusiasm of the youth movement beaten out of the democratic party at the 1968 convention.

Oh, and you nailed it, Tobysgirl. Too many progressives voted for Barry not because of his policy stance, but to make themselves feel good by voting for a black man. I used to think that democrats weren’t that shallow, but they proved me wrong again!

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By Textynn, February 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People think the Democrats are different from the Republicans. They are not. Just because the Dems will allow a *certain number* of soft lefties among their ranks. This is only for a little cover to get some of the working peoples’ vote spread out among them. Not everyone is fooled by their lukewarm efforts to vote against the lockstep gridlock of the corporate right.

The Dems remind me of the coy southern bell type who protests attempts to bed her, but only for a little show of being a lady. At which time, she feigns passive reluctant agreement by default.  Sickening and obvious in the Dems, case.

The Left has the moral high ground in spades. They should be spitting mad.  The corporatocracy is conducting itself in open fraud where bankers are concerned.  Ooops , my bad, the bankers are running the Dem White House.

Where are the conversations about the cost to taxpayers by conducting business in a way that impoverishes the masses that generate those taxes? All the while the right wants to cut every safety net with one hand and outsource jobs and protect offshore banking with the other. All with the approval and help of the Dem. party that never makes the effort to point out any of this heinous disregard for the people they are sucking off of.

Only IDIOTS think that this is anything but a no win situation for the people or that the Dems don’t know they’re playing straight man/supporting actor to the Righties. If they don’t know it, they are stupid people. Anyone who is still waiting for change deserves everything they get. 

This is like the joke of keeping an imbecile busy by sending them to the corner in a round room. We need to break from this illusion that is controlling us year after year after year.

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By ardee, February 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

FiftyGigs, February 8 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Even when the topic is Republicans, it’s all about Dems, right?

Got much of an agenda?

Screw loose much? The name atop this article reads
‘Reagan’s Democrats’ thus you gotta be seriously defective.


Progressives are so screwed up. The Democratic position has always been based on common sense and practicality—Need more money? Raise taxes. Need less money? Lower taxes. But common sense and practicality doesn’t market well. Better to say, down with taxes, and listen to the cheers.

Speaking of agendas you seem totally wrappd up in your own. Further who the hell said anything positive or negative about taxes, not I certainly. I believe that taxes are one’s obligation, but want them spent to better purpose. What you want should be a reading comprehension course followed by a lesson in polite debate.

Reagan ultimately embraced modern day conservative marketing. I’d argue he was the father of that. Promise people the world, then do whatever you want. Raise taxes, lower taxes, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stand by the position that taxes are horrid. Why? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO BELIEVE.

Again, your opinion raised to the level of golden words painted on the sky. Think much of yourslf?

Progressives get none of this, which is why progressivism is essentially irrelevant today.

Thus you show plainly that you start with a conclusion and twist the words of others to reach said result. Nice going. Not much relevance in your post at all.

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By TDoff, February 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

The republicans have, however, retained several of the main characteristics of Reagan. En masse, they   function as if divorced from reality (could alzheimer’s be caused by the GOP gene?), and the Palinics, for example, revel in oblivious ignorance, while the old right-guard-segregationists suffer from amnesia. Reagan may be dead, but his evil spirits live on among gopers.

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By prisnersdilema, February 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

There is no more Democratic party to speak of. At some point, if there is a strong third party challenge to the plutocracy, I expect that the Democratic Party and the Repbulican party will mate.

Their already in bed with each other, defending the plutocracy, and begging on K street for money.

The Democrats love to hide their betrayls, with talk of bi-partisanship, code for double cross.

Kissing, Rayguns ass, is not going to help them. No Rethuglican is going to vote for them, and independents are looking elsewhere of a voice.

American’s are tired of eating baloney sandwiches, dished out by Ojama.

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By mrfreeze, February 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Shortly after R. Reagan became president, I went to Germany on a college foreign exchange program. To be in Europe at that time, and to see the “newly elected actor” on the world stage left an indelible mark on my perspective. The Europeans saw through him (and America) immediately….too bad there have been decades of “think-tank” revisionist history manufactured around Reagan AND 30 years of an increasingly dummified public who think the guy was a god. Anyone with half-a-wit knows that Reagan was the beginning of the end for this soon-to-be-short-lived-empire we call the U.S..

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By Go Right Young Man, February 8, 2011 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Democrats, nearing the end of the 2007-08 primaries, were falling all over themselves to line-up with Ronald Reagan.  Not much has changed as we’re moving into yet another election cycle.

President Obama recently made a point of being seen carrying a book on Reagan.  White House aids have been mentioning Reagan repeatedly of late.  Leave it to Mr. Robinson to take his cues from the White House and the party.

The comments on this and other threads regarding President Reagan’s wide-spread popularity is evidence that the opinions here on TruthDig represent the minuscule minority.

The more things change…..

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By Inherit The Wind, February 8, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

“Voodoo Economics” was ACTUALLY coined by Reagan’s leading opponent in the 1980 primary debates: George H. W. Bush, later Reagan’s Vice-President and successor.

Daddy Bush may be a lot of things, but neither stupid nor ignorant were ever among them.

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By Lafayette, February 8, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

THE “I’VE GOT MINE” GENERATION

JD: Democrats have always been terrified of Reagan’s popularity

“Terrified” by a Grade-B movie actor and a Grade-F PotUS? A wild exaggeration, I’d say.

His popularity was an indication of how simple-minded Americans were in the 1980s to have gobbled hook, line and sinker his pathetic nations of patriotism. The cowboy who promised to “get government off our backs” shoveled a sh*t-load of contracts to his M-I-C campaign donors.

Check out the history of Defense Spending in the US here. Notice what happened to spending from the date of his inauguration in 1981.

We are still paying the price of that Pied Piper and the extravagant Bush II administrations after him. Both in the name of Freedom Fighters ...

The Reagan administration’s reductions of both Income and Capital Gains taxes set us upon (1) the Financial Greedy-go-round that (2) got us into the SubPrime Mess that (3) provoked the Great Recession of 2009 - in which (4) we have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

His constituency was of this kind: “I’ve got mine and F-You!” - a mentality that reigns still today on both Main and Wall Streets.

POST SCRIPTUM

The next time a Replicant candidate for PotUS shakes your hand ... count your fingers. You will need all of them to add-up the debt they’ll put us into by increasing DOD expenditures whilst stupidly cutting taxes on the richest.

Been there, done that ... ouch, it’s still hurting!

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By Tobysgirl, February 8, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

I think Obama is the heir to Reagan, celebrity politics. He just can’t let his anger show as Reagan did quite palpably when questioned about anything. I never could understand people’s fondness for Reagan’s “grandfatherliness,” except to think their grandfathers must have been mean bastards.

Obama is smarter than Reagan but as empty and devoid of ethics, becoming president by pandering to people’s fantasies, in this case by making liberals feel good about themselves for voting for a black man. Reagan founded his career by pandering to the witchhunt.

Do you really think, ardee, that this is supposed to make the Democratic Party look good? It’s just another deserved smear in my view.

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By Lafayette, February 8, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

THE BE ALL YA WANNABE GENERATION

Unfortunately, as I recall, it was Hillary who told American youth the above during Billy-boy’s administration. And that was a long time ago.

There is a condition in life that is called Too Much Freedom that brings about not only Obesity of the Body but that of the Mind (and Soul). The TMF parameter becomes particularly detrimental when humans try to outreach their elders to prove that they can succeed better.

When success and achievement become not just important factors but the sole goals in life. That is, if our milestones on the Highway of Life are just money and status, then we have inadequate metrics.

Our youth have gone binging on its own track to an Hedonistic Affluent Lifestyle - so amply displayed on banal Boob-Tube Reality Shows that constitute Prime Time fare for our impressionable youth.

Is it a mystery to understand how apathetic and mundane our youth has become?  Apart from the media, what are the influences driving them down a dangerously rocky-road of self-indulgence.

History has its lessons, lest we forget them only to repeat them all over again. Which is what generation after generation after generation has a tendency to do - since it is not born with the memory imprint of the previous generation, except that with which their parents may educate.

And what if children are having children? Are we bringing them up with baseless values? All for the common principle of “What’s New?”, “What’s Trendy?”, “What is it that everybody wants to show they have that determines what I need to have and show in life?”

Have adults erred by not teaching youth that these are useless questions and, in terms of personal fulfillment, following the crowd like lemmings of a cliff is certainly not in their Best Interests?

Meaning what? Meaning what are the values with which they have been inculcated in their upbringing? An example: Go to church on Sunday, then knock-off a cool megabuck on Monday by selling a SubPrime-derivatives to some yokels in Timbuktu? Without the slightest interconnection between the two days?

MY POINT

What’s gone wrong in America is not shown in the Economic Deck of Cards. It is a matter of human morality the lack of which prompts certain behavioural patterns for which economic theory does not have predictable answers.

Our most recent missteps (Toxic Waste Mess) show what happens when human motivation (incentive) is warped by personal aggrandizement (greed) at the expense of Ethical Values (morality).

And we think that God will show us the way? What if God, in the manner of a Divine Joke, didn’t give a damn?

What if he thinks, “Hey, what do you want from me? I gave you Innate Freedom with which to chose your destiny. Don’t look at me if you selected the wrong options!”

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By entropy2, February 8, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

So, Mr. Robinson…your point is that Obama is the true heir to Reagan’s legacy.

Well, lucky us.

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By JDmysticDJ, February 8, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Send your complaints to the Washington Post. Eugene could care less about truthdig comments. Eugene is trying to reel in a bigger fish; you’ll be thrown back into the water without the least bit of consideration.

Its common practice now, rehabilitating lunatics from the past, in order to discredit the current group of lunatics. Democrats have always been terrified of Reagan’s popularity; Eugene appears to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Anxiety, either that, or he is trying to blunt the hype.

The Republicans would like to make Reagan’s birthday a National Holiday, and with the help of the Main Stream Media, they seem to be having some success in that endeavor.

Somebody needs to tell Eugene, we need more loathing, and less fear.

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By FiftyGigs, February 8, 2011 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Even when the topic is Republicans, it’s all about Dems, right?

Got much of an agenda?

Progressives are so screwed up. The Democratic position has always been based on common sense and practicality—Need more money? Raise taxes. Need less money? Lower taxes. But common sense and practicality doesn’t market well. Better to say, down with taxes, and listen to the cheers.

Reagan ultimately embraced modern day conservative marketing. I’d argue he was the father of that. Promise people the world, then do whatever you want. Raise taxes, lower taxes, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stand by the position that taxes are horrid. Why? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO BELIEVE.

So. Get on their side, even if you aren’t.

Want to befriend a kid? Preach about the evils of a 9 p.m. bedtime. How awful! Then, send him to bed at 8:30. But keep preaching how nice it would be to stay up a little later. That’s how it works. Simple. Get a big television network to echo your message and spin your transgressions into accomplishments, and you have a very effective machine.

Progressives get none of this, which is why progressivism is essentially irrelevant today.

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By ardee, February 8, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

In his endless attempts to find good in the Democratic Party this author has made some incredible leaps of intellect. This particular one makes me fear for his physical health.

A paean to Reagan and an attempt to link his “heritage” to the current leanings of the Dems. Calling Reagan a pragmatist may hold a drop of water because he did indeed raise taxes eleven times in his eight years in office. But the deficit went from one trillion to over twelve trillion by the time Ronnie doddered out of the oval Office. The interest on that debt load went from 2.5% of GDP to 5%....Further the top tax rate on the wealthiest dropped from a high of 70% when Reagan first occupied the White House to about 28% ( from memory so it may be off a bit).

We in California are still recovering from the Reagan Governorship and the nation still struggles to escape from his Presidency, mythos not withstanding. So, in general, I agree with Mr. Robinson in that I see the current state of the Democratic Party as much like Reagan, very harmful to us all.

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