Daily Kos: For the GOP, Reagan Is Now Mostly a Cute Marketing Gimmick

Liberals typically accuse conservatives of being fuddy-duddies, squares, and so on, but Daily Kos writer Hunter has a somewhat different take: he thinks most righties are “Reagan hipsters.” The caveat is that he doesn’t mean it as praise.

Apropos of the Republican National Committee selling throwback "Reagan Bush ’84" T-shirts on its website, Hunter asserted Monday that for today’s right-wingers, Reagan is less a paragon of conservatism than “a brand…so stripped of fact and context that he's just the Republican version of a lolcat, and very little more.” He suggested that you can’t blame the GOP for that fact-stripping, given Reagan’s many second-term misdeeds such as aiding “nice homicidal maniacs in Central America.”

From Hunter’s post (bolding added; italics in original):

[Democratic strategist] Greg Greene offers up the accompanying [T-shirt-related] GOP.com email he was graced with. It's nice.

Some of our country's best years followed the moment [Reagan and Bush were re-elected]. I remember watching with optimism as Reagan and Bush honorably protected my freedoms and defended my conservative values. [...]

They left a legacy of prosperity, opportunity and perseverance for all Americans.


That's Alzheimer's-era Ronald Reagan, protecting our freedoms and selling missiles to sketchy foreign patriots. If he hadn't helped give opportunity to all those nice homicidal maniacs in Central America, I'm not sure we'd even have the current influx of sweet Central American children seeking refugee inside our borders. You combine that shirt with a pair of Southern Strategy branded pants and a good Ollie North ball cap, you would be set, my conservative brethren. Oh, the looks of envy you would get.

Greg supposes this offering will not sell well among millennials. I disagree. With the Vintage label, this shirt is clearly intended for Reagan hipsters—and pretty much any conservative of any age that mentions Ronald Reagan under any circumstances these days is, in fact, a Reagan hipster. He's a brand. He's been so stripped of fact and context that he's just the Republican version of a lolcat, and very little more. And it's that careful scrubbing that that makes him the last Republican president most Republicans can bring themselves to mention.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters