Saturday, January 19, 2008

Obama's Dubious Praise for Reagan

By Robert Parry
January 19, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama prides himself in transcending the old ideological chasms that have divided the American electorate for decades, so much so that he recently cited Republican icon Ronald Reagan as a leader who “changed the trajectory of America.”

Though Obama’s chief point was that Reagan in 1980 “put us on a fundamentally different path” – which may be historically undeniable – the Democratic presidential candidate went further, justifying Reagan's course correction because of “all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s, and government had grown and grown, but there wasn’t much sense of accountability.”

Read on.


Eric Arthur Blair said...

Yes, Reaqan was an "agent of change"; the relative worth of the changes he began have yet to fully unfold (don't forget that it was under Reagan that the US gave arms to Osama bin Laden). Remember that in 1938, Adolf Hitler was named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.

Not all changes are for the better; recognition of the nature of change most often requires hindsight. Most problems start out trying to be solutions to other problems.

big em said...

Too often pandering Democrats -- in an effort to appear 'bi-partisan' and reach middle-of-the-roaders -- insert something like Obama's pro-Reagan statement in a speech. I strongly agree with this Robert Parry article and MANY others like it that paint an ENTIRELY different picture of Reagan's reign. His was that of a leader who took a country & world with moderate problems and exacerbated virtually all of them signficantly. The only exception was the reduction of US inflation, but that was done by draconian measures to the US workers and economy in general.

Anonymous said...

Reagan was an ineffectual president who should have been impeached on medical grounds, since he was shitting-in-his-pants senile for the better part of his second term. His legacy of debt, bombs and pollution plagues us to this day.

neaguy said...

Mr. Parry,

Excellent analysis!

Mick Andersen said...


You quoted again my book, Dossier Secreto, and thank you for that.

However, in your blast against Sen. Obama you neglected to tell your readers that the only Democratic candidate who as late as two years ago supported torture (and by that name) was Hillary Clinton.

(See the story "Hillary backs off support for torture" [])

As a long-time human rights advocate, I am supporting Barack Obama. For me, supporting a candidate who supported torture just two years ago is the moral equivalent of supporting a candidate who supported racial segregation just two years ago.

Best regards,
Mick Andersen

Anonymous said...

Good article - refreshing to see Saint Reagan portrayed accurately, as a disgusting "strong man" with lots of innocent blood on his hands. 1980s U.S. foreign policy was a disgrace.

When Obama made this statement, it made me question my Obama support. Is he in the same "cowardly, pseudo-centrist Democrat" class as the Clintons?

John Edwards said the right thing here in terms of ripping Reagan. It doesn't look good at the moment, but I hope Edwards pulls out a comeback victory - he's not perfect, but he seems to be the only truly progressive candidate still in the race.

Anonymous said...

Great Parry piece but he forgot Angola and Mozambique, two other U.S.-sponsored bloodfests

Anonymous said...

Great Parry piece but he forgot Angola and Moambique, two other U.S.-sponsored bloodfests

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Anonymous said...

I'm glad you said that?