Daily Kos Suggests Reagan on the Fifty Is Like Honoring a Yugoslavian War Criminal

To follow up on Brent Baker's post about the move to put Ronald Reagan on the 50-dollar bill, this was not well-received by the feverish left at the Daily Kos. The blogger "Kansasr" wailed on Wednesday:

It's bad enough that I have to fly into the Regan [sic] airport in Washington (I still call it National) or have to drive on the Ronald Regan [sic] Turnpike in Florida. What's next? Slobodan Milosevic on the twenty?

To ask how one would compare Reagan to a Yugoslavian war criminal, you would have to imbibe deeply of the myth that Reagan did nothing about AIDS. (That's what they call "counter-factual." See Brent Bozell's refutation here.) But that's the rationale:

For me and the estimated 20,000 American lives that were lost to AIDS before this president even mentioned this health crisis, this would be a stab in the heart.

Less we forget, Reagan's first remarks on the AIDS crisis came on May 31, 1987 at the Third International Conference on AIDS in Washington. This was near the end of his second term.

With the first reported cases coming to light in 1981 and over 1,000 cases being reported by 1983, this indifference to American suffering is the Reagan legacy, in my opinion.

Dr. C. Everett Koop, Reagan's surgeon general, said he was kept out of all AIDS discussions for the first five years of the Reagan administration "because transmission of AIDS was understood to be primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs." The president's advisers, he said, "took the stand, 'They are only getting what they justly deserve.' "

I can only hope that since this legislation will go through the House Financial Services Committee that Chairman Barney Frank will keep this heinous legislation from ever seeing the light of day.

I'll just throw in one paragraph of Bozell's column just after Reagan died:

The real Reagan record on AIDS is different. AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 – when the media started blaring headlines – from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. Reagan’s secretary of Health and Human Services in  1983, Margaret Heckler, declared AIDS her department’s "number one priority." While the House of Representatives was Democrat-dominated throughout the 1980s, which Democrats would quickly explain was the source of that skyrocketing AIDS funding, Reagan clearly signed the spending bills that funded the war on AIDS.

George Clooney suggested in his Oscar victory speech in 2006 that Hollywood was the first to fight AIDS when it was "just a whisper" in the Reagan years, which required an actual defense of the liberal media of that time (plus a nod to Oprah's infamously wrong 1987 prediction of widespread heterosexual AIDS deaths -- one out of every five -- by 1990).

The blogger "Nerofiddled" tried to compete with the Yugoslavian smear by suggesting other places for Reagan's face, like fast-food french fries (since that's all we could afford after Reagan), or on stairs (so New Yorkers can stomp on him, like -- an Olbermann mat?) or on DVDs to certify something as stupid.

Sure, [Reagan] was smarter than Bush and Palin -- but was he smarter than, say, a dog? Clearly not. Therefore, we might start using Reagan's image as a sort of warning label for idiotic content...

The Kosmonauts would surely rather break the rules and put Barack Obama on the currency right now, or perhaps (to conform to Old Europe standards) a picture of Queen Elizabeth watching video of Obama giving a speech on her iPod -- you know, the one that humble Obama gave her with his speeches on it.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis