He's the Right Man For the Job

 The fact that he's struggling with the GOP and his own party is actually encouraging. The current mindset of politicians on both sides of the aisle is not sufficient to embrace the problems we face. 

The guy gets it. He's in a precarious place. He got to the presidency without the support of the Democratic insiders or the GOP. That makes him susceptible to the petty DC insiders who should not be underestimated. Not to mention the imbeciles on the right who believe that they have just found their voice by embracing the tactics of The Taliban (no less). It's stunning to watch the white rich guys who are still in denial about the seismic shifts we are going through.

Found their voice? Are these people so intellectually bankcrupt that they feel that they can reassert themselves by scoring a pathetic tactical victory that shows no regard for the true needs of the American people and instead shows a longing for the failed ( truly failed) economic theories propounded by Ronald Reagan. Unfuckingbelievable. 

penguinswon penguinswon
11 Responses Feb 9, 2009

A while ago, I heard a show on C-Span radio about how every president's term is defined by his predecessor. It was quite a scholarly and impartial show. Enough said.

I guess not, I think you fixed it with that article. Here it is the 28th and all there have been here is crickets chirping. Great job! LOL

Let us also not forget that Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, which struck a lot earlier than people realize. Towards the end of his term he was already afflicted. It's a curious metaphor for our collective amnesia. Only he had a medical excuse.

cy.. you make a good point.

any questions...?

Credit for the aforementioned post goes to William Greider.

eagan was a fabulist. He told stories--often charming, sometimes loony--in which sentimental images triumphed over facts, warmth over light. So it is entirely appropriate today that the major media, draped in mourning, are solemnly fictionalizing his presidency. Reagan spun them around brilliantly, used the White House reporters and cameras as hapless props in his melodrama, ignored the tough questions and stuck unyieldingly to his scripted version of reality. This was partly conviction, partly the discipline of an "old pro" movie actor. It appears to have worked with the press. Their memorials to the "Ronald Reagan story" sound more like his fables than the events I witnessed.<br />
What's left out? For one thing, a chilling meanness lurked at the core of Reagan's political agenda (always effectively concealed by the affability), and he used this meanness like a razor blade to advance his main purpose--delegitimizing the federal government. Race was one cutting edge, poverty was another. His famous metaphor--the "welfare queen" who rode around in her Cadillac collecting food stamps--was perfectly pitched to the smoldering social resentments but also a clever fit with his broader economic ob<x>jectives. Stop wasting our money on those lazy, shiftless (and, always unspoken, black) people. Get government off our backs, encourage the strong, forget the weak. In case any white guys missed the point, Reagan opened his 1980 campaign in Neshoba County, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been murdered in the 1960s. His speech extolled states' rights. The tone was sunny optimism.<br />
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The chemistry worked partly because it coincided with a historical shift already under way. Beyond movie scripts, Reagan was authentic in his convictions--he brought the flint-hearted libertarian doctrines of Hayek and Friedman to Washington and put a smiling face on the market orthodoxy of "every man for himself." Democrats had lost their energy and inventiveness, they were associated with twenty years of contentious reforms, turmoil and conflict (and sought relief, not by rebuilding their popular base with new ideas but by cozying up to the business lobbies). In the end, the only folks who got truly liberated by Reaganomics were the same people who had financed his rise in politics, the Daddy Warbucks moguls from California and corporate behemoths like General Electric.<br />
<br />
Reagan's theory was really "trickle down" economics borrowed from the Republican 1920s (Harding-Coolidge-Hoover) and renamed "supply side." Cut tax rates for the wealthy; everyone else will benefit. As Reagan's budget director David Stockman confided to me at the time, the supply-side rhetoric "was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate." Many middle-class and poor citizens figured it out, even if reporters did not.<br />
<br />
Reagan's great accomplishment was ideological--propelling the ascendancy of the right--but the actual governing results always looked more like hoary old interest-group politics. Wealthy individuals, corporate and financial interests got extraordinary benefits (tax reductions and deregulation) while the bottom half got whacked whenever an opportunity arose. His original proposition--cut taxes regressively, double military spending, shrink government and balance the federal budget--looked cockeyed from the start. Yet when the logic self-destructed in practice, conservatives were remarkably content, since they had delivered the boodle to the right clients. After my notorious account of Reagan's economic failure, based on my conversations with Stockman, was published in the December 1981 Atlantic Monthly, the Gipper likened me to John Hinckley, the would-be assassin who shot him. So much for Mr. Nice Guy.<br />
<br />
Both parties would spend the next twenty years cleaning up after the Gipper's big mistake. They collaborated in an ongoing politics of bait and switch--raising taxes massively on working people through the Social Security payroll tax while continuing to cut taxes for the more affluent and to whittle down government aid for anyone else. The Gipper had taught Washington an important new technique for governing--how to fog regressive tax cuts past the general public without arousing voter retribution (the media can be counted on to assist). The trickery continues to succeed. Pre-Reagan politics used to address various economic inequities. The great injustice confronted by George W. Bush was the estate tax on millionaires.<br />
<br />
Reagan's stubborn optimism did refresh the national spirit, no question, and it certainly powered his political successes. He gave us a television-era remake of Warren Harding's "return to normalcy." But in hindsight, I have come to think that the illusions fostered by his sunny messages perhaps did the gravest economic damage. Things were not normal, they were deteriorating and leading toward a chasm of growing inequalities. The rending of the American middle class, the stagnation of industrial wages, the relentless loss of US manufacturing--these great wounds to general prosperity were all visible during the Reagan era, but instead of addressing them honestly, his policies further aggravated the consequences. The Gipper insisted, no doubt sincerely, that it was "morning again in America." People wanted to believe this, and politicians of both parties learned from his cue--wave the flag and avoid bad news. Ronald Reagan launched the great era of false triumphalism that continues to this day among American leaders. The current generation lacks his charm and is therefore less successful at hiding the truth.

They argue on emotion, never the facts.

hey reefer man...barry has the support of every democrat in Washington and elsewhere...<br />
<br />
your vulgarity undermines any credibiltiy that you may have otherwise had.<br />
<br />
Don't profess to know what I believe in politically, I just thought you were a loon in saying the messiah is going it alone.

I trillion wasted in Iraq. What the **** are you smoking. <br />
It took 8 years of Republican rule to get us into this.<br />
And then when Eric Holder is nominated, the GOP tries to <br />
bargain with him, saying we'll vote for you if you don't<br />
go after the GOP for shredding the constitution and getting<br />
us into this war. <br />
You told me so? <br />
It's interesting to note that Rush Limbaugh started calling this the<br />
recession economy, the day after Obama won..Buddy, the mortgage crisis started in '06 because there was no oversight.<br />
That's right. Pin it on him<br />
<br />
And while you're at it, blame Obama for the disastrous effects of Reaganomics.<br />
I'll be saying I told you so about Bush for the next ten years, maybe twenty.<br />
Because Iraq is about to explode again. And the Taliban probably has nuclear weapons. Nice. I told you so indeed.

he doesn't have the support of the democratic insiders? what have you been smoking!!!<br />
<br />
That is so laughable...it's sad.