Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reagan: The Other Third Rail

Thanks to my Tabloid Friend on Facebook, I know that Ron Paul was foolish enough to criticize Ronald Reagan some years ago. First below is the 1987 quotation from Paul, then Politico writer Ginger Gibson's commentary.
“I think we can further thank Ronald Reagan for doing a good job [on furthering the Libertarian Party]. He certainly did a good job in 1980 pointing out the fallacies of the Democratic liberal agenda and he certainly did a good job on following up to show the disaster of the conservative agenda as well.”

The first rule in modern GOP politics is that you do not diss Ronald Reagan. The Reagan embrace may not be as tight as it was, say, a decade ago, but he is still a revered figure in the party. Thus, the above line from Paul’s nomination speech at the 1987 Libertarian Party convention in Seattle may not go over well with GOP regulars.

Fortunately, some American presidential candidates are cannier and more cautious than Ron Paul where Reagan is concerned. Here's how you do it, Ron:
“I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown, but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people—he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."
Yep, that was Barack Obama (via), during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Or was he aiming for the Republicans?