Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Democrats-Praise-Reagan Game

By Robert Parry
January 23, 2008

As a journalist who investigated Reagan-era scandals – from secret arms deals with Iran and Iraq to drug traffickers protected by the covert wars in Nicaragua and Afghanistan – I always recoiled when Democrats prostrated themselves in praise of Ronald Reagan.

Beyond the pandering component, there was the annoying assumption that the rest of us were too stupid to see what they were up to, as they tried to sound “bipartisan” or buy a measure of protection from Republican attacks.

Read on.


Bob Locke said...

It's infuriating to watch the praise for such an awful leader, and one who was reputed to have made a deal with the Iranians when they held our people hostage.

People who vote Republican are true gulls, or truly immoral, one or the other.

Billy Tucker said...

I think any presidential candidate would be jealous of Reagan's 49 state take in 1984.

And I agree, every word out of a politician's mouth should be analyzed, and they should be held accountable.

But Politicans will always pander for additional votes, policy will always need a majority to be passed as legislation, and bipartisenship, moderation, and compromise ain't such a bad, bad thing.

toney tone said...

I'm tired of the lie that obama praised reagan's ideas. He correctly cited reagan's transformative power, which democrats have lacked- even Clinton, who if anything, partially appropriated Reagan's ideas, i.e. welfare reform and criminal justice.

How is it even in question that the republican party was the party of ideas in the 80s, 90s, and even today? They're the ones who have shifted the discourse in conservative directions, and the democrats have moved towards their positions. They've been more effective politicians! This is indisputable. Obama was saying that the left needs their own ideas to change the debate.

Ace Armstrong said...

The Reagan Era marked the ascendency of the National Security State over the U.S. Constitution. Fear and loathing of the Evil Empire propelled Defense spending to record levels at the expense of social and other domestic programs.
Today the Dept. of Defense is the largest consumer of petroleum products on the planet and has a budget equal to all other militaries combined.
Obama had it right and that's why his words have be subject to maximum media distortion.
Now maybe somebody can explain how the political party of small government and non-intrusion into the life of the individual citizen has created this behemoth? And don't leave out the Country Club Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Stating the facts about Reagan's ability to mobilized support, especially from independents and democrats, is not pandering. Too bad so many americans suffer from the lack of critical thinking skills and thus are inclined to let others do their analysis and thinking for them.

Batocchio said...

Thanks. I was pretty young for most of Reagan's reign, but my take on him was always image over substance, and bad policies.

I still think the Iran-Contra gang got off pretty much scot-free - maybe because they did.

Peter said...

Sure, I too lived through it all. Hell, I even voted for Reagan (only the first time! mea culpa!) And Robert, your historical take is pretty much spot on.

Perhaps, like me, you've seen it so many times that you tend to see it in the same light every time. As soon as I hear that some pol or other mentioned Reagan I *expect* it to be the same old panderous nonsense.

Here's the but: I don't see what Obama did as pandering. He called it like it was, and didn't pull punches. I'd say it was an honest attempt to change the cw, to bring into the light the truth behind the Reagan myth.

Hillary's reaction is pretty disgusting (and completely predictable); she's the one keeping this ridiculous palimpsest-ival going.

And you as well.

AlphaFactor said...

Guys, it's very refreshing to hear others openly prepared to make criticisms of Ronald Reagan.

For too long... and for all the completely wrong reasons... criticizing that man was considered to be a political "3rd-rail".

The only thing that man was good at was getting himself elected. Considering how good of an actor he was (while in office), it's too bad his only real acting role involved a chimpanzee named Bonzo.

For all 8 of his years, he was asleep at the wheel and let his cronies wreck havoc upon the country. That kind of negligence is inexcusable and we're still paying for it -- to the tune of a debt now exceeding $11trillion.

Now with that in mind... http://tinyurl.com/2lq7nk

Anonymous said...

Great Parry piece but he left out Angola, Mozambigue and a few other U.S.-sponsored bloodfests