« Is it something about France that makes people stupid? | Main | Your World In Charts: Poverty Edition »

April 30, 2007

The Reagan of our Dreams

David Brooks laments, "Conservatives have allowed a simplistic view of Ronald Reagan to define the sacred parameters of thought. Reagan himself was flexible, unorthodox and creative. But conservatives have created a mythical, rigid Reagan, and any deviation from that is considered unholy."

The transmogrification of Reagan into a hardline conservative is a rather impressive bit of PR work. As Josh Green detailed in his seminal Washington Monthly piece, "[f]ederal government expanded on his watch. The conservative desire to outlaw abortion was never seriously pursued. Reagan broke with the hardliners in his administration and compromised with the Soviets on arms control. His assault on entitlements never materialized; instead he saved Social Security in 1983. And he repeatedly ignored the fundamental conservative dogma that taxes should never be raised." The guy was a conservative, sure, but he was a conservative in tension with a Democratic Congress. He didn't touch entitlements, didn't arrest government growth, didn't -- in other words -- actualize any of the policies we associate with Reaganite conservatives.

The leader who did give those approaches a shot was Newt Gingrich. But you rarely hear any Republicans yearning for a leader from the Gingrich school of policy thought. Turns out that when you actually try and cut Medicare, you lose all your seats in Congress. That's the great Republican shell game: Reagan can be idolized because the Democratic Congress helpfully kept him from legislating out his small-government conservatism. When Republicans try, as Newt Gingrich did in the 90s and Bush did with Social Security privatization, they get murdered. So it's back to believing in Reagan, who never really tried, and thus never really failed, but he sure did sound nice talking about it.

April 30, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

If anyone wishes to read the article, but doesn't want to sign up, here is an account that works:

Username: privacyyes
Password: blowme

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2007 10:00:30 AM

Reminds me of how so many contemporary Communists in this country frame things in terms of Trotskyism, which they claim similarly never had a chance to fail.

Anything a true believer can do to shield his favorite theory from falsification....

Posted by: philosopher | Apr 30, 2007 10:13:19 AM

Reminds me of how so many contemporary Communists in this country frame things in terms of Trotskyism, which they claim similarly never had a chance to fail.

How many Communists are there? The only times I ever hear Trotsky mentioned is from conservatives railing against Trotskyites or Trotskyism. Certainly Trotsky or any other flavor of Communism gets no play in campaigns, on TV, in newspapers, radio, magazines or even any of the larger blogs, except the aforementioned use by conservatives, of course.

Posted by: Stephen | Apr 30, 2007 10:19:27 AM

Stephen, I think "philosopher" (now there's a lie right there in the handle) means "Libertarians", not Communists, and "Objectivism", not Trotskyism. If you do the substitution, suddenly its comment makes much more sense.

Posted by: paperwight | Apr 30, 2007 11:04:30 AM


A.N.S.W.E.R.
is a front group organized by Stalinists associated with the Workers World Party. ANSWER has led the anti-war movement around in circles for two years, continuing its practice of organizing safe protests which promote the organization, but do nothing to slow down the war or even bring us one day closer to abolishing the U.S. war machine.



GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION RALLY
, SAN FRANCISCO, MARCH 18, 2006

Take a close look at the pictures. I especially like the lady with the CODE PINK shirt on sporting a Cuban Flag as well as the vendors of communist books and other supplies.

Oh, and don't miss the flying of the hammar and sickle flag proudly displayed. The Communist Workers were there protesting as well as the World Workers party.

The media won't show the true nature of the left and will not show these images on the news. Tens of millions of communists did not diappear., they just like new and softer names.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2007 11:10:57 AM

Tens of millions of communists did not diappear., they just like new and softer names.

That's right Fred, there are tens of millions of communists in America, and they're hiding under your bed. Booga booga booga!

Seriously though, since you do believe that the Democratic party is just a front organization for communism (and Democrats do get tens of millions of votes every year), and if you actually believe all of that, why don't you just shut up and be at peace with the fact that the United States is a de-facto Communist country and stop ranting like a lunatic against it? You can't simultaneously rant and rave that communism is a fringe belief out on the margins of the left yet also claim that it is a movement with tens of millions of people in America using the Democratic party as its engine.

Also, Fred, since the end of the cold war, aren't you supposed to be claiming that the Democrats are a front for the islamofascocommie movement to institute Shari'a? You're like 30 years behind on your paranoid talking points.

Posted by: Tyro | Apr 30, 2007 11:16:19 AM

Ugh. There never were "tens of millions of communists" in America. ANSWER is just a bunch of lame college students who managed to throw a few big anti-war marches because nobody else was doing it.

Posted by: Wells. | Apr 30, 2007 11:16:53 AM

Reminds me of how so many contemporary Communists in this country

What, both of them?

Posted by: August J. Pollak | Apr 30, 2007 11:45:07 AM

By my estimation, there are at least 700 million communists in this country. Many of them are of the dangerous Stalino-fascist variety. We must be vigilant, especially of the borders. Many of the Islamo-communists infiltrate the Southern border everyday.

Posted by: Sam L. | Apr 30, 2007 11:53:20 AM

For those on the hard left wing of the Democrat pary, I see no difference in much of their agendas. Perhaps you could educate me and tell me which points of this agenda that the left wing of the Democrats disagree with.

http://www.cpusa.org/article/static/13/

...why don't you just shut up and be at peace with the fact that the United States is a de-facto Communist country...

Because all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Again, show me the differences with the left wing of the Democrat party.


ANSWER is just a bunch of lame college students...

hehehe...Now *THAT'S* the kind of entertainment that I come here for!

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2007 12:04:39 PM

Fred, evil already triumphed. The Democrats won in 2006. We will now surrender to the terrorists. Bush is going to sign the terms of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri. Also, the means of production will be collectivized, the united States will be adopting Shari'a law, and the war on Christmas have finally been won. I hope you enjoyed celebrating Christmas last year, because it was your last. Also, the corruption of the purity of essence of your precious bodily fluids will now commence.

For those on the hard left wing of the Democratic pary, I see no difference in much of their agendas.

Fred, if there are "tens of millions" of Communists in the country, then that means that the entire Democratic party is communist, not just the "hard left" of the party. For a guy who claims to have a background in accounting, you're awfully bad at mathematics.

Posted by: Tyro | Apr 30, 2007 12:24:59 PM

It's also worth noting that the government during the Reagan administration enacted more preëmptive laws, viz. laws that strip the states of some authority or independence, than any other. So he wasn't a very good federalist either.

I don't have a very strong grasp of the practical consequences and facts of the Reagan administration, but I have an abiding mislike for it for the slightly ignoble reason of my strongly disdaining the asinine hero worship that so many lavish upon him. I greatly mislike the worshipfulness that is often shown toward Presidents, feeling any reverence or intense good feeling toward him dangerous to good government, and it that bad habit is most abundant among idolaters of Reagan.

Posted by: Paludicola | Apr 30, 2007 12:35:04 PM

The ire from Reagan from liberals was rooted in the fact that he publicly espoused an ideology that ran counter to the goal of running an effective government. While he himself (on some level) knew that dismantling the government wholesale and driving the budget into the ground would hurt the country, his disciples bought into his ideology without question and have been determined to implement it ever since.

Reagan knew (or acted), as a practical matter, that lower taxes don't produce higher revenues, taxes do have to be raised to cover budget shortfalls, and that the government needs to work effectively (though he let many government agencies wither from neglect-- FEMA and HUD were mass cesspools of waste and scandal by the time he left). He did, however, make his public statements into "conventional wisdom" by the time he left, and that has done a lot more long term damage. Reagan had spawned a bunch of disciples determined to follow an ideology that Reagan propagated but did not himself implement, because he knew (or his staff realized) that doing so would hurt the country. His disciples are unhampered by such practical concerns.

Posted by: Tyro | Apr 30, 2007 12:41:28 PM

I must admit I'm confused by the comments. Are we supposed to all have gay and lesbian sex, forced abortions for men and women, and the destruction of all religious texts before or after we adopt Sharia law?

IslamoAtheistoFascistoCommunistoMarcoPolo Workers of the World, Unite!

Posted by: Stephen | Apr 30, 2007 12:48:07 PM

Oh for Charlie's sake. At least get your score card right. A.N.S.W.E.R. no longer has any affiliation W.W.P. as the result of a split in that organization over a year ago. The break away group has constituted itself as the Party for Socialism and Liberation and currently operates as an open constituent member of the coalition.

BTW, labeling the WWP as "Stalinist", while emotionally satisfying, betrays a complete ignorance of the term's historical meaning.

Thus endeth the lesson in microbiology for today.

Posted by: W.B. Reeves | Apr 30, 2007 1:00:24 PM

Thanks for the link Fred. A small exerpt:

1# A life free of exploitation, insecurity, poverty; an end to unemployment, hunger and homelessness.

2# An end to racism, national oppression, anti-Semitism, all forms of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. An end to the unequal status of women.

3# Renewal and extension of democracy; an end to the rule of corporate America and private ownership of the wealth of our nation. Creation of a truly humane and rationally planned society that will stimulate the fullest flowering of the human personality, creativity and talent.

I think I can safely say that the left wing of the Democratic Party doesn't call for the abolition of the private ownership of wealth or for a "planned society" in the sense that Gus Hall meant.

A more interesting question is which part of the above do you oppose?

Posted by: W.B. Reeves | Apr 30, 2007 1:11:46 PM

Oh, Mr. Reeves,

I don't disagree with most of it. What I disagree with is the government's role in the social engineering of these goals. That's why no one accuses me of being a communist and yet, the left is always fighting this accusation.

I think I can safely say that the left wing of the Democratic Party doesn't call for the abolition of the private ownership of wealth or for a "planned society"...

Give 'em time.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2007 1:30:54 PM

That's why no one accuses me of being a communist and yet, the left is always fighting this accusation.

Of course, if you were'nt constantly making the unfounded accusation no one would need to defend against it.

Or do you equate all Government activism with Communism?

Posted by: W.B. Reeves | Apr 30, 2007 2:15:36 PM

Or do you equate all Government activism with Communism?

Not if it's agin' wimmin and homersexshuls.

Posted by: Stephen | Apr 30, 2007 3:00:03 PM

Or drug users who choose to grow their own rather than funding the pharmaceutical companies.

Posted by: Magenta | Apr 30, 2007 3:06:29 PM

Or do you equate all Government activism with Communism?

????

the hell did you get that?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2007 7:12:14 PM

Fred Jones at 9:04

"For those on the hard left wing of the Democrat pary, I see no difference in much of their agendas. Perhaps you could educate me and tell me which points of this agenda that the left wing of the Democrats disagree with.

http://www.cpusa.org/article/static/13/"


Fred at 10:30

"Oh, Mr. Reeves,

I don't disagree with most of it."


Oh Fred, Fred, Fred...poor Fred...they got to you, didn't they...they always do in the end...they finally made you admit you love Big Brother

Posted by: jonathan | May 1, 2007 1:56:23 PM

The conservative desire to outlaw abortion was never seriously pursued.

Not legislatively anyway. However I would argue that the primary reason Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court was to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave | May 2, 2007 3:05:39 PM

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
钢托盘
木托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
杭州托盘
成都托盘
武汉托盘
长沙托盘
合肥托盘
苏州托盘
无锡托盘
昆山托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
南京钢制托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘

托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
塑料托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
木托盘
塑料托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘


托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 4:11:59 AM

your best choice
www.feelingame.com

Posted by: wow | Dec 7, 2007 6:15:17 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.