16 January 2008

Obama is Trying to Be the Worst Sort of Democrat, a Phony Republican

And as Harry Truman once said, "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like one, the people will vote for the real Republican every time."

His talk to Reno Gazette editorial board exemplifies this.

Barack Obama and I are alike in some significant ways.

We are nearly the same age, he was born in 1961, and I was born in 1962, and we both missed the 1960s, we was in Hawaii and Jakarta during the decade, and I was in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau (though after August 1969, I was in Virginia for a time.

As such, we were in some very real ways separated from the cultural goings on of the 1960s by virtue of geographic separation.

We thus both became politically aware at the same time, though I might have done so earlier, as both my parents were politically involved, and I had a summer without cartoons while my mom watched the Watergate hearing.

For most of my generation, any political awareness came around the time of Jimmy Carter, who was, and is, truth be told, a depressingly sanctimonious downer.*

So there are a lot of people, and I am not one of them, who have some fondness for Reagan, if just because Carter was so depressing.

I remember him running a blatantly racist campaign, and opening up the White House for the personal profit of his friends.

He won by keeping the hostages in Iran until after the election.

In any case, he gave a talk to the Reno Gazette editorial board on Monday, and it was caught on tape for posterity.


In any case, he gave a talk with Here is a transcript of the relevant portion of his talk, (H/T Open Left)
I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. 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
This, of course would be the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Medicare, the opening of social welfare programs to black and brown people, and to a large degree the elimination of childhood malnutrition in the United States?

Yep, that's REALLY excessive.
and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating.
You like how the American people forced the US to withdraw from a wasteful, stupid and useless war?

You mean like how a corrupt and dictatorial President was forced from office because the American people would not tolerate a crook in the White House?

When people like Ronald Reagan refered to the excesses of the 1960s, they mean that they did not want people with your complexion to be able vote in the South, and that Lynching and church bombings were the God given right of the white man.

You think those were excesses?

Well, Ronald Reagan certainly made it explicit that he was running on behalf of people who that that they were.

Or to quote Jane Hamsher of Firedog Lake:
No, Ronald Reagan didn't appeal to people's optimism, he appealed to their petty, small minded bigotry and selfishness. Jimmy Carter told people to tighten their energy belts and act for the good of the country; Ronald Reagan told them they could guzzle gas with impunity and do whatever the hell they wanted. He kicked off his 1980 campaign talking about "state's rights" in Philadelphia, Mississippi -- the site of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964's Freedom Summer. He thus put up a welcome sign for "Reagan Democrats," peeling off white voters who were unhappy with the multi-ethnic coalition within the Democratic Party.

One of his first acts was to fire 11,000 air traffic controllers in 1981 -- one of the most devastating union busting moves of the past century. And his vision of deregulation didn't free the country up for entrepreneurship, it opened it up for the wholesale thievery of the savings & loan crisis. He popularized the notion that all government is bad government and in eight short years put in place the architecture for decades of GOP graft and corruption.

There's enough hagiography of Reagan on the right, I don't think Democrats really need to go there.
*I also consider him a war criminal, along with Zbigniew Brezinski, for quite literally buying a civil war in Afghanistan just to screw with the Soviets.


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