Liberals love to mock conservatives for imbuing Ronald Reagan with godlike power -- and yet liberal radio host Thom Hartmann apparently believes Reagan was capable of altering the time-space continuum.
On a recent radio show rant about economic policies pushed by Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Hartmann made an assertion about Reagan that is impossible to have occurred, unless and until someone invents a way to change the chronology of history. (Audio after the jump)
Here's what Hartmann said during a riff about "little wars" started by conservatives in Britain and the US (audio) --
Maggie Thatcher came into office saying, we're going to do this economically, we're going to break the coal miners' union, the largest union in England, which she did in the first few months of her administration. She said we're going to break the biggest union, declare war on labor, start implementing neo-liberal economic reforms, these what today we call conservative economics, or Reaganomics, and she was very unpopular as a consequence of that. To get her popularity back, she said we need a little war! People love it when you have a little war, a little war that you can quickly win. So she invaded the Falkland Islands and her popularity tripled. She went from, like, 10, 15 percent, 20 percent popularity, people really disliked her after she broke the coal miners' union, up to like 70, 80 percent, it just exploded.
Two years later, Ronald Reagan is elected, in 1980. He starts doing neo-liberal reforms, the conservative, you know, Reaganomics stuff, really aggressively in '83, '84, '85, it's not working out so well. When he dropped the top tax rate below 50 percent in '86 with, you know, the next year, '87, we had the biggest stock market crash since the Great Depression. So he's like, well, we need a little war too. And so he declares a little war on Grenada. We invade Grenada, you know, to help the medical students, right? We invaded Grenada, threw out the guy who was the democratically elected president there because he was making nice with Castro. And Reagan's popularity soared!
In the annals of liberal media, this particular rant deserves recognition for getting so many things wrong in such a short amount of time. Not only is Hartmann way off on the timing of Reagan toppling the Marxist regime in Grenada, which occurred in October 1983, and the stock market crash four years to the month later, he also claims Reagan was first elected two years after the Falkland Islands war. Since Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Britain fought Argentina in the spring of 1982, this chonology could not possibly have taken place.
Seeing how Hartmann is so willing to alter the timing of historical events if necessary to make his argument, it hardly comes as a surprise that he also believes the economy faltered under Reagan. Those of us old enough to remember are keenly aware that the opposite is true. What we are living through now is a lackluster economy. It is with good reason that the '80s are remembered as the Reagan boom years. Barring a miracle, the Obama presidency won't be remembered as fondly.
As for the "little wars" that Hartmann finds so repugnant, I'm reminded of the much bigger wars that Democrats blundered into over the last century, starting with World War I (Wilson), World War II (FDR), Korea (Truman) and Vietnam (JFK/Johnson). Since war by its nature is a terrible thing that we should not enter into lightly, aren't little wars preferable to big ones?