Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saint Ronnie's Feast

Nobody does indignant better than Doghouse Riley. The absurd celebration of Ronald Reagan's posthumous 100th birthday leads him to make a string of caustic comments, culminating in this rousing paragraph:

Bill Clinton left office even more popular, and without the 24-hour lionization service. Reagan left office popular, not exactly like an old whore or an ugly building, but because there was a collective Oh Shit! moment in American politics when both the worst of his shenanigans and the real-world effect of his disconnected leadership came to light, and people decided they'd rather not be called to account for voting for him in overwhelming numbers despite ample evidence which argued against it, and decided to fall back on a sort of instant nostalgia for the trumped-up economic accomplishments of the middle of his reign. Of course that one's inoperative now, too, in light (never did a man's lasting influence depend so much on changing the rules every so often in order to keep him in the best light), again, of Bill Clinton's better numbers. Not to mention our clearer view of the effects of thirty-years worth of increasing income disparity and WWIII levels of Defense spending. So we fudge that now, and show another round of Berlin Wall clips. Horseshit. Ronald Reagan was the paid spokesmodel of a few wealthy Goldwaterites, and he managed to stick around long enough to get elected when the sea happened to change. He promised to eliminate the National Debt and nearly quadrupled it. He spoke about Middle American values, and handed the keys to the country to piratical mercantilists. He cured our post-Vietnam military defeatism by signing a blank check for every high-tech gadget the Pentagon pushed his way, reducing our nuts-and-bolts readiness in the process; Ronald Reagan is a major reason why we could have blown Sadam Hussein and the rest of the Middle East to Allah five-hundred times over, but couldn't successfully occupy a country with no air force and a tenth-rate military already defeated. Make no mistake about this. The Soviet Union was bankrupt before Ronald Reagan ever took office, and the United States government had known this for a decade. Th' fuck do you think we spent all our time studying in those days? Ronald Reagan chose to spend us near to bankruptcy alongside it. Take your pick of reasons; none of them involves "reality". His was the morality of the small-town cop: determine how much graft is acceptable, how much sticking your nose into other people's business you can get away with by calling it "surveillance", and when you're finally found out protest loudly that things would've been much worse if Stalin had been in charge. A tacky Rose Bowl parade float is a fitting tribute for the real Reagan. Assuming it had a vacuum attachment that sucked money from honest people along the route.

While this lionization of a lying, soulless bastard by Republicans is certainly creepy, the refusal of Democrats to counter the myth is pathetic. The acceleration of the upward transfer of wealth that Ronald Reagan oversaw was devastating for this country. His era only looks better today because thirty years of middle class decline has followed it. President Obama's reverential comments about President Reagan are, to my mind, some of the most disturbing words he's ever uttered. Out of the thousands of despicable things Saint Ronnie did, one is especially revealing of his character. Bound by law to make school lunches more nutritious, "Saint Ronnie" declared ketchup to be a vegetable. That's really all you need to know.


poobah13 said...

Hey Ulysses, how come you never turned me on to Doghouse Riley before? His site is awesome! Thanks

Cletis L. Stump said...

Can anyone explain why Bradley Manning suffers in isolation, without due process, and Oliver North and Admiral Poindexter, who operated "The Enterprise" totally independent of oversight and with blatant disregard for the Constitution, went out for cocktails?

If ever we create Mount Blushmore, my first nominee is Ronald Wilson Reagan. W is second.

I'm glad I found your blog.