Carol Platt Liebau: Remembering the Reagan Revolution -- Correctly

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Remembering the Reagan Revolution -- Correctly

Fred Barnes provides an invaluable service -- recalling the real Ronald Reagan, not the ersatz version used by the liberals who despised him as a weapon for bludgeoning President Bush.

It's funny -- now, liberals embrace President Reagan with fervor, but in his time, he was almost as hated by the left as President Bush now is.

Recently, a friend asked me what I thought would happen if, indeed, the U.S. did succeed in Iraq . . . what would the liberals do then? And the answer is clear: They'll do what they did with President Reagan and the Cold War -- that is, pretend they were on board the whole time.

They weren't. They hated Ronald Reagan, and they hated what he did to win the Cold War, until, in fact, it was all over. That's why they have so little credibility when it comes to the second great struggle of our lifetimes.


Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Like your current president, Carol, you have little credibility. But I'm sure he appreciates the linkage between him and Reagan, albeit hypothetical as all get out. You are a good girl.

Bush the Dimmer and Reagan do have something in common, though. They both dwelt in fantasy land through much of their time in office. Reagan actually thought we already had SDI at the time of Reykjavik and that his threat to deploy it was a real one. His handlers had to convince him that indeed we did not.

Bush the Dimmer similarly thought that his tough rhetoric was all that stood between him and Iraq's oil fields. Then he stumbled over the truth and now tens of thousands of people are dead.

At least Reagan had a looming brain disease to explain his detachment from reality.

And not all Democrats -- in fact, none that I know -- have retroactively jumped on Reagan's bandwagon. He had good speechwriters but lacked substance.

He did invent the astronomical deficit which his protege Duh-bya has pretty much perfected. That's another thing they have in common: they're huge borrow and spend Republicans.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Sorry Carol we don't buy the spin.

Current polls are meaningless as one would need to be close to 50 years old to have understood Reagan's presidency. Recent polls only indicate 7% of Democrats consider Reagan the best president of the post-war era. Clearly, to say liberals now embrace him is just dead-wrong.

Actual polling data show that Reagan was definitely not the most popular post-war president, and at various points during his presidency he was among the most unpopular.

Reagan fared statistically the same as Ford and Carter at 50%. Reagan's first term average approval rating at 58%, was much lower than those of Kennedy at 70% , Eisenhower at 69%, and Nixon at 56%.

Even the notion that the American public liked Ronald Reagan the man (as opposed to his policies) has been grossly exaggerated. Overall, his "likeability" percentages ranged in the low-to-mid seventies, reaching a high of 81% in November 1985, and a low of 50% in August 1983. In comparison to other presidents, 84% of Americans liked Ike in February 1956. In August 1964, 89% of Americans liked Johnson. Even in the summer months of Carter's final, unpopular year as president, Carter scored a higher Gallup personal likeability index at 76% than Reagan's 73% during the comparable period of his Administration.

Reagan never faced the legacy that Bush does now....

Gross ineptitude, reckless politicking even with national security, nepotism, cronyism and sleazy corruption are at the root of Bush's failed presidency. The administration politicized national security after 9/11 by stoking fear for the sole objective of mobilizing public opinion. Shallow and incompetent political cronies, hucksters, personal friends and business associates were rewarded with plush appointments and contracts by the Bush administration.

Bush's most dangerous legacy is the erosion of America's vaunted traditions of civil rights and liberties, which served as a beacon around the world.

In the name of the war against terrorism, the Bush administration has engaged in unconstitutional and criminal abuses, including kidnapping people, torturing suspects or rendering them to other countries for torture, holding prisoners without trial and sometimes without even access to attorneys and family in Guantanamo Bay and other secret gulags, and warrantless tapping of emails and telephones of U.S. citizens.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Cavalor Epthith said...

Struggle? Oh, my yes, I see the jihad of the monied elite to reap profit by keeping the middle class mired in debt.

Armani akhbar!

2:50 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

It's funny -- now, liberals embrace President Reagan with fervor

I've not met a single one who did. Maybe you run with a different crowd of liberals.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol fabricates. She thinks her readers won't notice.

8:19 AM  
Blogger The Ayatollah said...


That you attract more than your fair share of comments from the "walking-dead" Dims means your light is shinning bright.

Keep it up. They can't resist. You've got them trained like Pavlovian dogs. You ring the bell and these poor mutts salivate on cue. I love it.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Here's what I should have said:

For examples of the way liberals have embraced President Reagan, look at the comments in the story. They're far different than what we heard at the time.

Similarly, you don't hear much today about President Reagan being a "warmonger," an "amiable dunce" or the type of person who wanted to starve poor schoolchildren. But you certainly heard plenty of that in the '80's.

As for the deficit, tax revenues increased after President Reagan's tax cuts as they have now after President Bush's. The reason the deficits grew is because the Democratically-controlled Congress refused to follow through on spending cuts they had pledged to make.

Even so, it was worth it to win the Cold War, no? We grew ourselves out of the deficit less than 10 years after President Reagan left office, but the Cold War's still over. Enough said.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Crediting Reagan with ending the Cold War is like crediting my mayor for building the city's new hospital by cutting the ribbon.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Few have time to protest and complain about Reagan. It is human nature to move on, remember the good and forget the bad. Very few Americans study history seriously, they move on. Obviously, Americans are not protesting Vietnam as they did during Nixon’s and Johnson’s presidencies.

Facts were that Reagan wasn’t very bright; his military spending was out of control and had little to do with Russia’s financial problems. Many of Reagan’s failures came back to bite us later. Funding, training and supplying weapons to Iraq, Iran, Taliban, Al Qaeda, bin Laden and the illegal war in El Salvador. At the end of Reagan’s last term, interest rates were high to pay down debt. Credit was tight for businesses, bankruptcies, and bank failures were wide spread. As typical of the Republican agenda, the very wealthy, top 5 %, incomes did very well, while the standard of living for the remaining 95% were stagnant or lowered.

Blaming the Democrats for Reagan’s budget is silly; he spent the money on a ridiculous and unnecessary military. How many times over does one need to be able to destroy the planet? At the same time, you should give Clinton credit for jawboning and fighting to get the GOP to cut spending. Just as with GW and the GOP, we should blame them for new record high deficits.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

And their hatred for all things Reagan led them to nominate the most anti-Reagan presidential candidates they could find - Mondale and Dukakis.

How did that work out for them? Not too good!

There's a danger they will end up doing the same thing in the coming presidential election.

Here's to encouraging the left to continue with their Bush hatred. It will most likely ensure another Republcan victory in 2008.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

duke and dhead posts (yada, yada, yada!) are REALLY tiring and it is useless to 'talk' with them, they can't get past their own rhetoric. I think I'll ignore them in the future!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Please do, Pete.

11:34 AM  

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