Monday, January 21, 2008

Separated at birth?

Obama - seriously, dude, WTF?

First off, you should tell your campaign manager that expressing an affection for the so-called populism of Ronald Reagan will not endear you to the former Reagan Democrats. Those guys are senior citizens now, and apparently they’re voting for Hillary. At least until McCain becomes the Republican nominee, and then they’re going to stick their fingers in their ears, go “la la la la” every time someone mentions that McCain is a pro-war, pro-nuclear power, anti-choice, anti-gay candidate who has seemingly rewritten the definition of “maverick” to mean “kiss Bush’s ass until ’08,” and then those same voters will leave Hills in the lurch and pull the lever for McCain in November.

Secondly, while I admit that you can be an inspiring speaker, when you try to pull off a move as calculated as this:

Wow. Dude, you’re so wooden that you make Al Gore look like Bill Clinton. And that fake hesitation before you throw Bill Clinton’s name onto the heap of presidents who did not bring sufficient change? You’re not going to win any Academy Award for that bit.

In short, Mr. High Road, you’re not going win any Democratic hearts and minds by talking smack about Bill Clinton. Because you know who loves Bill Clinton?

Most Democratic voters.

You know who hates Ronald Reagan?

Most Democratic voters.

And for the record, Barry, baby, Reagan did not shrink government, he grew it. And I am really disappointed that you didn’t know, or pretended not to know, that. It’s really as simple as this here chart, which you really should ask your campaign manager to get you a copy of:

See? The blue line is what we had to spend. The red line is what we spent.

And finally, I will steal John Edwards’s words to tell you why I am the most disappointed by this whole maneuver:

“When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people…he was openly – openly – intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment. I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.”

Now THAT’S a sentiment I can get behind.


Dad E said...

I think Reagan did change the climate of America, but his actions and policies hurt America deeply. He ignored the AIDS problem until he was forced by gay rights organizations to act, after thousands died. He grew government and significantly raised payroll, income, and gasoline taxes. His immigration amnesty bill set the stage for 12 million illegal migrants. In the Lebanon civil war he put Amerianc troops into a crossfire. When 241 marines were blown up, he withdrew, emboldening the Heszbollah movement. Did I mention the Iran-Contra scandal?

Larry Jones said...

Another WTF Moment brought to you by our bizarre nominating process. Over the weekend I started to ask myself (again) if I really want to vote for anybody who actually wants to be President, and is willing to do the required dance.

Larry Jones said...

PS: That is one creepy picture of the senile old fart. Was it taken before or after he passed away?

Dad E said...

The biggest reason I didn't want to have anything to do with Reagan is that he called his wife "mommie". What kind of man does that? Is it a coincidence that Ron Jr. is gay? This just drips classic Freudian analysis. And the other children were real rebellious, probably to their betterment.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Fuck people's short memory.

Johnny Yen said...

Reagan and his people had a special evil genius-- getting the middle class to love him and vote for him while he was fucking them in the ass.

My father pointed out one of the ways Reagan screwed the middle class. One of the things in the first set of "tax reductions" (read "tax reductions for the rich, tax increases for the middle class") was that you could no longer write interest paid on credit cards off on your taxes. And how do most of us keep our precarious perch in the middle class? Credit cards.

In 1980, I knew a guy whose dad was a big Teamster guy. He told me privately that his father was voting for Reagan, though the union supported Carter. In 1984, the Teamsters endorsed Reagan. Apparently they just didn't actually want jobs.

Surprisingly little has been written about the PATCO strike-- the air traffic controllers union. Reagan fired every air traffic controller, 12,500 of them, in the country. If that didn't set the tone, I don't know what did.

Have you seen American Dream? It's a documentary about the Hormel strike in Minnesota. After a very profitable year, the Hormel company announced it was cutting benefits and reducing wages 2 bucks an hour. Why? Because they could. And did. People forget what a shitty time the Reagan era was for most people.

deadspot said...

Nasty Reaganses... I hates them! I hates them forever!

And let's not forget Iran/Contra and all of his "I don't recall"s. I still say that he didn't get Alzheimer's, he got a wicked case of poetic justice.

And then I laugh.

vikkitikkitavi said...

DadE: And yet, people love him. It's completely fucking baffling to me. I thought he was a complete fucking phoney from the get-go, just like 43. I think at least 41 and Dole had an actual belief in the basic core of their principles, but 43 is just like Reagan, man - this false mask of amiability over a core that's completely greedy and willfully ignorant.

LJ: That picture does look like one of those creepy posthumous portraits they used to do in the old west, where they prop up some dead gunslinger, fix his eyes open, and take his picture. All Ronnie needs is a couple of six shooters.

DadE2: Therefore I feel completely justified in calling Reagan a motherfucker.

Randy: If only it were only that. That didn't call him the Teflon president for nothing. Nothing stuck to the guy.

JohnnyYen: I did see American Dream. Great movie by the woman who did Harlan County, U.S.A. - also a great movie.

When I think of the inexplicable middle class support for Reagan, I am reminded of an unexpectedly poignant quote from the play "1776": Most people who rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. And so it will ever be in America, I fear.

Deadspot: Excellent point. Kinda like Lee Atwater being attacked and killed by his own brain.

Chris said...

I've never really liked Clinton as a candidate (and not for the petty Repub reasons) and Obama has been bothering me more and more. Now I don't think Edwards is any sort of savior, but I'd sure rather listen to him for 4+ years than the other two.

dguzman said...

Incredible that anyone calling himself a democrat would EVER cite Reagan as doing anything good. That tells me a lot about how much Obama has to learn.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Okay, you finally convinced me. I'm voting Edwards in my primary.

Grant Miller said...

Okay, maybe it's because he's an Illinoisian, but I agree with what he's saying.

Reagan changed America in ways we're still recovering from. Before Reagan someone like Jimmy Carter could get elected. Reagan and his lunatics killed that. Reagan moved this country way to the right in ways Clinton didn't for the left.

But maybe I'm just getting defensive.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Chris: Hmmmm...but didn't you already HAVE your primary?

DGuz: I am not against a campaign having a campaign strategy. I am against a strategy that tries to make the candidate what he is not, or draws absurd parallels, or is just blatantly disengenuous, which I think this certainly is.


Grant: I don't think that's what Obama meant, somehow. I get that he's saying that Reagan inspired the nation, but I think it's wrong to say that when what Reagan actually did is dupe the nation. Particularly when you KNOW that's what he did, as Obama surely does.

If he doesn't, that's even worse.

sv said...

W, who also admires Reagan, has also changed the trajectory of the country. The US tortures its prisoners, wiretaps its citizens, has its largest deficit ever, and has lost the respect and admiration of much of the world. Once again, the nation was duped, courtesy of the Supreme Court.