So at the revival meeting for St. Ronald of Reagan the other night (otherwise known as one of the first Republican candidate debates), the various Republican candidates were trying to "make like Ronnie" and prove who could out-Gipper the Gipper.
Let's see -- most of the chatter actually seemed to be at cross purposes because you can't channel the Gipper AND claim loyalty to the tea party, which is actually a very small percentage of the Republican party. And "real" Republicans are now - or should be - trying to pour oil on the tea to calm the zealots down. If they ever want to win something, it won't be on the attributes of the screaming wing-nuts. Just because they're noisy doesn't mean they're great in numbers. Luckily, most people are more moderate - we hope!
The Chicago Tribune, never a liberal bastion of journalism (at least in my memory) had an interesting article on September 7, entitled Revisionism at odds with reality. Go figure, the Repubs are re-writing the Gospel of St. Ron...
Here are the facts in the actual Gospel, all of which have been overlooked as the various candidates jockey for position and attempt to re-write history to fit their own purposes:
1. Reagan approved several tax increases to deal with a huge budget deficit. Haven't we been told repeatedly that tax increases don't "create jobs"? And that the only way to balance the budget is to CUT taxes? Hmmmmmm. Math, anyone?
2. Reagan repeatedly boosted the nation's debt limit which is quite the 'no-no' for this current crop of legislators.
3. Reagan signed an amnesty law aiding millions (yes, MILLIONS) of illegal immigrants and you know how Republicans feel about "illegals." Particularly the brown ones.
4. Reagan oversaw an increase in the size and spending of the federal government which is also "against the rules" because any good Republican knows that "big government is bad." Which makes you wonder why Rick Perry is asking for FEDERAL aid for the Texas wildfires. I thought that the poor and unfortunate were supposed to "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps" when they had troubles, and not look to the big government to help 'em out. How's that workin' for ya, Rick??
5. Reagan, as governor of California, enacted the largest (at the time) state tax increase in American history. Almost makes Pat Quinn in Illinois look like a piker.
6. Reagan signed into law one of the most permissive abortion laws of any state. And we all know that to Republicans, a fetus is important. A child? Not so much. But God Save the Fetus!!
The article goes on to state, "Reagan's willingness to compromise also has fallen badly out of favor in a Republican Party fired by its give-no-quarter ranks of tea party loyalists."
I would like to think that, since in his favor he was rather a pragmatist, he wouldn't have fallen prey to the tea party blathering. The final quote in the article says it all:
"I don't think...you should cherry-pick history."
Kinda sums up the entire Republican strategy, doesn't it?