If liberals thought the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth was a little sickening, they could always find comfort in the loopy leftist loathing of the Daily Kos. On Sunday, "Slangist" took the fruitcake with lines like this: "First elected Governor on a muted inclination to shoot student demonstrators, Reagan spent his political life as an apostle of reaction, repression and recklessness."
Reagan's contempt for the U.S. government was the "direct ancestor of Timothy McVeigh's, though Reagan's damage hit all American urban areas, not just Oklahoma City." He was McVeigh, only more murderous. This Kosmonaut also boldly asserted that Reagan was a worse liar than Bill Clinton:
His genial Irish confidence-man's twinkle served him well in movies, as a pitchman, and finally as a deliverer of political homilies almost every one of which was false in some major particular. The unrepentant public liar that Republicans accused Bill Clinton of being, Reagan had already been. His most famous comments were astonishing in their irrelevance. "I paid for this microphone" helped him get nominated in 1980, even though the dispute was over the agreed rules, not the payments. "Tear down this wall" was as hubristic as if Gorbachev had told Reagan to stop imprisoning so many black people....
Reagan craved credit for winning the Cold War though his major achievement was that he was standing around when the peoples of Eastern Europe, for reasons of their own, chose economic and political change. His overexpenditure on space warfare gadgetry fleeced a generation of American schoolchildren of adequate disbursements. And he did it with a such a grin.
Equally he sought plaudits for preventing where possible, or rolling back where available, significant social, political or economic progress in America. The real thrust of his punitive and parsimonious "smaller government" mantra was to spend less on ordinary people and more on corporate welfare in the form of tax breaks or military spending. His contempt for the American government is the direct ancestor of Timothy McVeigh's, though Reagan's damage hit all American urban areas, not just Oklahoma City. But he always looked so friendly. [Emphasis mine.]
The "Morning in America" mendacity foisted upon voters by his handlers was a call to true Disneyfication of the American melting pot: a white-dominated small-town where our little brown and black brothers knew their places and watched the jobs go to others, meanwhile keeping women of all colors either out of the workplace, or making sure they remained underpaid if employed at all.
On Monday, Mark Sumner followed up: "the election of Ronald Reagan is the central and enduring tragedy of our age. By that I don't mean "it's the worst thing that has happened."... I mean that the rise of Ronald Reagan was the tipping point, the axis around which history turned away from one view of the world towards another. And it was a devastatingly wrong turn."
That many people still buy into Reagan's ideas on economics is understandable, because the press then and now fails to point out the most important fact about Reagan’s contentions. They made it up. [Emphasis his.] The Cadillac driving welfare queen, the ever-enriching Laffer Curve, the insistence that regulation was what troubled our markets and banks – they are phantasms. Deliberate mendacity, with no sounder theoretical basis than "that's what I want you to believe." The Great Snake Oil Salesman foisted on America a set of remedies that had all the scientific basis of the four humors and even less curative power than a good old fashioned bleeding....
Of course, human rights were never a concern of the conservative agenda, and Reagan made his disdain for the notion abundantly clear. In both the Middle East and the Americas, Reagan’s support for terrorists and dictators alike served to limn the extent to which “freedom” was redefined as “doing what we want.” Anyone could be a partner in freedom, even if they were running brutal death squads, just so long as they were brutal right wing death squads. Any oppression of democracy was forgivable, any level of torture and destruction admirable, if done in the name of thwarting leftist bogeymen....
Most astounding of all, Reagan sold a democratic society on the idea that their own government was the enemy. And he repeated that charge while sitting as the head of that government. It was if the chairman of McDonald's was proclaiming there was rat meat in every burger, or the CEO of Pepsi announcing his intention to pee in every bottle. [Emphasis mine again.] You quite literally had the President of the United States telling America that government of the people, for the people, and by the people was against the people. And we believed it. Hook, line and sinker we bought into a philosophy that says the government that took generations to build, the product of all those much-beloved heroes and founders, deserved no better than being ripped apart. We accepted the Republican premise that government was the problem. Meaning, in a representative government that we are the problem.
Reagan convinced us to grab our own throats, and squeeze. It's little wonder that after three decades of his followers, we are left bruised and wheezing.
[Hat tip: Tobin Wrote]