Thursday, January 10, 2008

McCain-Haters Were Reagan-Haters

The following is reprinted from The Pink Flamingo, a site I urge you to visit.

From: http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog/_archives/2008/1/10/3458404.html

McCain Hatred, Conservative Amnesia & the Cult of Reagan
by SJ Reidhead at 01:18PM (MST) on January 10, 2008 Permanent Link Cosmos
''It is unlikely that the Reagan era
will prove to be the historic change
in the direction of America that we have sought.''
Edwin J. Feulner Jr., president of the Heritage Foundation,1985.


THE TRUTH HURTS!
This harping back and forth, declaring John McCain and Mike Huckabee impure, is nothing new for conservatives. I know it appears as though they are looking for something special, a 2nd coming of Reagan, but the problem was, when they had Reagan, they wanted to get rid of him. The problem is the fact that the same people absolutely detested Reagan when he was POTUS, but are now lying about it. I was going to wax poetic about the way the usual sources of Limbaugh, Malkin, Ingraham, Hewett, Hannity, etc. were slamming McCain, Huckabee, and to a lesser extent Giuliani, but then I realized they are doing nothing new. When Reagan was President, the same hard line mindset hated him. He wasn’t conservative enough for them, pure enough for them, and pandering enough for them. A few of the names have changed, but the vitriol remains the same. Only now, these people have turned a great man into a false god, creating a cult around him, one where they can sacrifice any one who doesn’t live up to their tainted and fantastical idea of what Ronald Reagan was.

And so, our dear media darling multi-millionaire conservative talk show far out conservatives with their endearing little PMS (President McCain Syndrome) are getting their silk undies in a wad over the prospect of a McCain Presidency. As it looks more and more like McCain’s time has finally come, they are doing everything possible to destroy him. Like I wrote last night, Rush Limbaugh has an irrational hatred of John McCain that will end up destroying Rush Limbaugh and his vaunted credibility.

I've done a cut and paste of past Pink Flamingo articles on the subject. I think they prove my point. Today's bunch of petty, sore-headed conservatives are acting no different than they did when Ronald Reagan was President. The ones who made trouble for Reagan now lie about their support. The ones who are now making problems for John McCain and worship Reagan are lying to themselves about the false legacy they have created. They are demeaning Ronald Reagan as a man. They are also turning this election over to the Democrats. Sometimes I think that's exactly what they want to do. They would rather see us lose in November than they would lose some of their power.

REAGAN AND THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
About six months ago I did an article about Reagan and conservatives.
“On Oct 14, 1983, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that …
‘…President Reagan isn't doing particularly well among evangelical and born- again Christian voters, according to a new poll that one "new right" leader said yesterday should set off "an alarm bell" at the White House. The poll said Reagan was running only roughly even with Sen. John Glenn of Ohio in a potential 1984 presidential matchup. While Reagan held a substantial lead over former Vice President Walter F. Mondale in the poll…”


And, like George W. Bush, conservatives like Richard Viguerie threatened Reagan in the Miami Herald, on Jan 21, 1984.
“…Conservatives may not back President Reagan for reelection in 1984 unless he reverses what they consider "almost a stampede to the left" in the White House, New Right leaders said Tuesday. "Quick and comprehensive changes" in Reagan's staff and policies are needed to win back longtime supporters in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, they indicated. Howard Phillips, who heads the Conservative Caucus, and Richard Viguerie…’


And like their criticism of Bush, the Heritage Foundation found that Reagan was not conservative enough for them. One wonders what Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh would have said of Reagan had they been in power during his presidency. See if you recognize any of these names, all of whom now vocally criticize GWB. NY Times, Nov 25, 1983.
“….To some, he has sounded an uncertain trumpet, missed golden opportunities, compromised too often and drifted from his conservative moorings. To others, he has changed the direction of Government in a way that Democrats will be hard-pressed to reverse. To still others, he has had a mixed bag of successes and failures.

Such are the findings of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington policy group that has been both an occasional critic of and an intellectual resource for the Reagan Administration. In an effort to explore the depth of conservative discontent as well as satisfaction with the President, it recently asked a number of prominent conservative activists, intellectuals, politicians and writers to rate how he was doing.

The foundation, which periodically runs such surveys, plans to publish its findings shortly. But foundation sources have provided a preview of what is to come.

What they were unable to provide was what effect, if any, the division in conservative ranks might have on Mr. Reagan's re-election chances. For a number of the doubters, provided the dissatisfaction is not too deep, Mr. Reagan could still be the only acceptable candidate. Not Enough 'Reaganauts'…John T. Dolan, chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, contended that the tax cut would be the only real historic achievement of Mr. Reagan's Presidency. ''I expected more to happen,'' said this disappointed conservative activist. ''There has been no major defense buildup beyond what Carter would have done. There has been no spending cut. There has been no turnover of control to the states. There has been no effort to dismantle the Washing bureaucratic elitist establishment.''

M. Stanton Evans, a newspaper columnist, is no less disappointed. ''This has been essentially another Ford Administration,'' he said in his critique. ''It has been business as usual, not much different from any other Republican administration of our lifetime. It has been an Administration populated by corporate executive types.'' Everyone knows, he added, that ''people used to the decorum of the boardroom back off from controversy.''

Representative Newt Gingrich, Republican of Georgia, saw Mr. Reagan as ''the only coherent revolutionary in an Administration of accommodationist advisers.'' His chief criticism: ''The Administration has had no capacity to launch strategic offenses on behalf of Reagan's vision.'' After Mr. Reagan won his tax and budget cuts in the spring of 1981, Mr. Gingrich added, someone in the White House should have been asking, ''What do we do to keep up momentum?'' Instead, he said, Mr. Reagan returned from California in August to a ''vacuum of activity'' and a new political agenda that had been set by Democrats. ''Political debate was once again totally enmeshed in the rhetoric and values of the liberal welfare state,'' Mr. Gingrich said. Waste in Spending Cited Howard Phillips, national director of the Conservative Caucus and one of Mr. Reagan's earliest and sharpest critics, asserted: ''Reagan is just the sort of nice fellow I'd like to have as a neighbor, but he defers too quickly to anyone in a three-piece suit.''…Cal Thomas, vice president of communications for Moral Majority, credited the President for transforming public thinking on Government spending, but faulted him for his leadership on the abortion issue. ''If we balance the budget and we still keep murdering a million and a half babies every year, there's no way we can say we're better off than we were four years ago,'' said Mr. Thomas. Paul M. Weyrich, executive director of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, said Mr. Reagan's eagerness to avoid political confrontations with Congress robbed him of victories that he might have had. Sadly, Mr. Weyrich wrote, ''The radical surgery that was required in Washington was not performed. Ronald Reagan made a pledge not to touch entitlement programs, and that's one of the few pledges he has kept absolutely.''…”

2 comments:

GenXDad said...

Wow. I knew Gingrich was a hypocrite, but I had no idea how vast and irrational his hypocricy goes. And Cal Thomas attacking Reagan for not being pro-life enough? I guess that guy's mellowed out in his older years, he's one of GWB's biggest fans.

Thanks for the reminder that commentators are only good at getting it wrong.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I give Cindy at The Pink Flamingo (http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog) a lot of credit for doing some great research on this subject. It's hard to remember, but Reagan got criticized all the time for being "too liberal," which was ridiculous. He did what he believed had to be done, including the grant of "amnesty" to many immigrants, mostly Mexicans. Reagan was not a militant pro-lifer, because he believed (correctly) it was impossible to pass any sort of constitutiononal amendment on the subject. Go to wikipedia and read about "The Human Life Amendment," and you'll see why he thought as he did. He ended up as one of the few truly GREAT Presidents. There have not been any perfect Presidents.

It's fine for people to disagree with John McCain on immigration, campaign reform, or other issues. But they have an obligation to show that they understand his arguments and then they have to duty to show why they disagree. Mere sloganeering is not enough by any means. An issue like immigration is really a tough one. How does one take a sound position without sounding anti-Mexican and thereby losing (forever) most of the critical Hispanic vote? McCain wrestles with such issues -- most of his opponents have done little thinking on such subjects.