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Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:43 AM

The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan

looks like Slate is pulling some older pieces from the archives. This is Hitch from 2004.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2004/06/not_even_a_hedgehog.html?wpisrc=obinsite

"...Ronald Reagan claimed that the Russian language had no word for "freedom." (The word is "svoboda"; it's quite well attested in Russian literature.) Ronald Reagan said that intercontinental ballistic missiles (not that there are any non-ballistic missiles—a corruption of language that isn't his fault) could be recalled once launched. Ronald Reagan said that he sought a "Star Wars" defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. Ronald Reagan professed to be annoyed when people called it "Star Wars," even though he had ended his speech on the subject with the lame quip, "May the force be with you." Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they'd both unite against an invasion from Mars. Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the "End Times" foreshadowed in the Bible. In the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal, on two separate occasions, that he himself had assisted personally at the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

There was more to Ronald Reagan than that. Reagan announced that apartheid South Africa had "stood beside us in every war we've ever fought," when the South African leadership had been on the other side in the most recent world war. Reagan allowed Alexander Haig to greenlight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, fired him when that went too far and led to mayhem in Beirut, then ran away from Lebanon altogether when the Marine barracks were bombed, and then unbelievably accused Tip O'Neill and the Democrats of "scuttling." Reagan sold heavy weapons to the Iranian mullahs and lied about it, saying that all the weapons he hadn't sold them (and hadn't traded for hostages in any case) would, all the same, have fit on a small truck. Reagan then diverted the profits of this criminal trade to an illegal war in Nicaragua and lied unceasingly about that, too. Reagan then modestly let his underlings maintain that he was too dense to understand the connection between the two impeachable crimes. He then switched without any apparent strain to a policy of backing Saddam Hussein against Iran. (If Margaret Thatcher's intelligence services had not bugged Oliver North in London and become infuriated because all European nations were boycotting Iran at Reagan's request, we might still not know about this.)

One could go on. I only saw him once up close, which happened to be when he got a question he didn't like. Was it true that his staff in the 1980 debates had stolen President Carter's briefing book? (They had.) The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury: I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard. His reply was that maybe his staff had, and maybe they hadn't, but what about the leak of the Pentagon Papers? Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information. This was a man never short of a cheap jibe or the sort of falsehood that would, however laughable, buy him some time.

The fox, as has been pointed out by more than one philosopher, knows many small things, whereas the hedgehog knows one big thing. Ronald Reagan was neither a fox nor a hedgehog. He was as dumb as a stump. He could have had anyone in the world to dinner, any night of the week, but took most of his meals on a White House TV tray. He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn't like him all that much. He met his second wife—the one that you remember—because she needed to get off a Hollywood blacklist and he was the man to see. Year in and year out in Washington, I could not believe that such a man had even been a poor governor of California in a bad year, let alone that such a smart country would put up with such an obvious phony and loon."

Fuck Ronald Reagan.

34 replies, 6361 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan (Original post)
RainDog Jan 2012 OP
RainDog Jan 2012 #1
CanonRay Jan 2012 #10
onethatcares Jan 2012 #12
LuvNewcastle Jan 2012 #2
Warpy Jan 2012 #3
jdadd Jan 2012 #4
HillWilliam Jan 2012 #17
RFKHumphreyObama Jan 2012 #5
RFKHumphreyObama Jan 2012 #6
RainDog Jan 2012 #14
needledriver Jan 2012 #7
Major Nikon Jan 2012 #19
caduceus111 Jan 2012 #8
izquierdista Jan 2012 #11
Major Nikon Jan 2012 #20
madokie Jan 2012 #9
RainDog Jan 2012 #16
madokie Jan 2012 #23
wryter2000 Jan 2012 #13
RainDog Jan 2012 #15
HillWilliam Jan 2012 #18
RainDog Jan 2012 #33
suivezlargent Jan 2012 #21
Thegonagle Jan 2012 #27
RainDog Jan 2012 #31
mwb970 Jan 2012 #22
HughBeaumont Jan 2012 #24
RainDog Jan 2012 #28
cordelia Jan 2012 #25
RainDog Jan 2012 #29
groundloop Jan 2012 #26
RainDog Jan 2012 #30
Luminous Animal Jan 2012 #32
RainDog Jan 2012 #34

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:56 AM

1. just a reminder when people think no one will vote for the numbnuts running as republicans n/t

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Response to RainDog (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:12 AM

10. You're right. When he was running for the nomination I thought "no way"

not a dumb ass phony actor. Shows what I know.

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:00 AM

12. I thought the same about *

and at this point in time as I look over the repuke herd in Iowa I think, "which one of these crazies are gonna be sitting in the Whitehouse due to an electorate that can't think, won't read, and feels they've lost thier country to a black man".

There's not a one of them that will actually state what they would do except to roll back the Obama presidency.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:45 AM

2. I'll recommend anything that showcases Reagan's lies and hypocrisy.

It's hard to tell when Reagan's dementia kicked in because he never had any regard for the truth. Not only was he a dumb liar, he was an intellectual low-life. It's important for future generations that we chronicle the failures of Ronald Reagan and that we fight his deification at every turn.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:55 AM

3. Reagan fooled a hell of a lot of people

because he'd been an accomplished corporate pitchman for 30 years before he ran for President. He could sell nearly anything to nearly anyone.

Unfortunately for the US, he sold the majority of the voters the idea that the rich would trickle down riches upon them instead of crumbs and urine. Reaganism is now in the end game and the only question is whether the revolution to rid ourselves of it will be peaceful or violent.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:28 AM

4. Only speak good of the dead.....

He's dead....Good!!

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Response to jdadd (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:23 AM

17. +1

You, me, and Bette Davis

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:49 AM

5. It is amazing to me that Hitchens nailed Reagan, Nixon and Kissinger so accurately

And yet fell so head over heels with Bush and his lies, at least during his first term. You'd think that someone who knew so much how these people worked and the lies and prejudices they promoted and they damage they did would subsequently turn around and embrace the presidency and the policies of someone who was ultimately much worse. And he wrote this at the time when he was at his peak defending Bush and his lies. How could such an intelligent man not see the irony? It is just bizarre beyond belief

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Response to RFKHumphreyObama (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:53 AM

6. And just to prove my point, he ends this article with a note dissing John Kerry during the middle

of the 2004 presidential race

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Response to RFKHumphreyObama (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 04:29 PM

14. It wasn't Bush - it was the war against religious fanatics that got him

In that way he was true to a version of reality as he viewed it - religious fundamentalism of any kind is oppressive enough to oppose. The problem is that he elided Iraq with the collusion between religion and state in other nations in the region.

It's also strange that he was so pro war on terror when he ripped into Kissinger for his collusion with that far right fascist, Pinochet.

But what his opinions show me is that people who write and analyze various events in the world aren't always correct, or I don't always agree with them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

It doesn't work to put any human on a pedestal because that person will inevitably disappoint. because we're all human.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:39 AM

7. Missile comprehension fail

(not that there are any non-ballistic missiles—a corruption of language that isn't his fault)

There are such things as guided missiles which are powered all the way to their target. Ballistic missiles are powered to a certain point and allowed to fall ballistically to their target, so there ARE such things as non-ballistic missiles, so, basically, if you don't know what you're talking about, STFU.

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Response to needledriver (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:46 AM

19. I believe he was speaking in the context of nuclear tipped missiles

But if you really want to get technical about it, not all guided missiles are powered all the way to their target, and even ones that do are still bound by the principles of ballistics.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:59 AM

8. Worst President Ever

Not to mention the dumbest.

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Response to caduceus111 (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:15 AM

11. Second dumbest

 

Reagan could remember his lines and how to exit stage right.

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Response to izquierdista (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:51 AM

20. During his second term (if not the first as well) Raygun suffered from brain rot

Raygun could remember how to read a speech due to his years of experience as an actor, but that was about it. When asked unscripted questions about his administration, he didn't have a clue. At least Shrub knew who his cabinet members were.

Raygun was never more than a puppet in the strictest sense and those who were pulling the strings were some of the most corrupt and criminal people ever to darken the halls of the White House, even by Shrub's standards.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:08 AM

9. Because of the theft of the election of '80,

Yes I believe that to be true, we are where we are today with so many lying sobs in our congress, both houses.

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Response to madokie (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:26 AM

16. with Reagan, Republicans took the house for the first time since 1952

and we've been hurting economically since that time.

words cannot express how much I detest Ronald Reagan for all the things he was and all the things he did to harm this nation.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 07:38 AM

23. I agree with that 10000000000 percent

Raygun fucked this country. I know he was but the figure head for the people who actually did it but with out his lying ass they couldn't have done it. F**k ronnie reagan.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 12:18 PM

13. "Cruel and stupid lizard"

Exactly.

With apologies to lizards everywhere.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 04:30 PM

15. I loved that description

along with the rictus grin.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:27 AM

18. That sonovabitch sat on his thumbs during the AIDS crisis

and as Koop said afterward, it wasn't just apathy. It was overt, out-and-out hatred of LGBTs.

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Response to HillWilliam (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:41 PM

33. EXACTLY

He was asked what he was going to do about the AIDS crisis and his response was "nothing."

As I've noted before - the activist movement for medical marijuana gained real traction because Reagan and the Republicans didn't give a shit about the people in this nation and around the world suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Community volunteers in San Francisco baked cannabis brownies and took them to people dealing with cancer and wasting from both cancer and AIDS - and this is how the medical marijuana movement gained strength - it was from GRANDMOTHERS who had more compassion for real people rather than the cultural warrior assholes on the right who spent this time demonizing those suffering.

This was when I grew to despise the religious right - their actions demonstrated to me they were nothing but suck ups to money and power and their entire reason for being was to hate others. They're get back what they give.

Another irony is that Reagan's WoD targeted people who went on to develop the next new economy. The creation of the tech industry in CA grew up in the counter culture of CA. The military started the intranet, but the counter culture made it into a personal computing revolution.

This is also why the right wing and their economic and social darwinism are so full of shit. Innovations come in educational environments that focus on the work, not the money to be made from it. Sharing work in the sciences via bbs, etc. was the spur for sites like DU today.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 07:24 AM

21. I bet a whole bunch of people here

 

voted for that POS Rancid Ronnie at least once.

No amount of mea culpa's will undo the destruction of america and freedom your vote has caused.

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Response to suivezlargent (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 08:26 AM

27. I was all of 5 years old in 1980, but...

...but I wouldn't have voted for him then. My folks raised me right (leaning to left, of course).

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Response to suivezlargent (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:24 PM

31. my vote has never gone to a republican

so you'll get no mea culpas from me because I knew Reagan was a piece of shit from the gitgo.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 07:28 AM

22. They're all like this.

It's amazing that the god-forsaken republican party has any support at all. The fact that they are dominating our politics (and attacking our democracy at every opportunity) is a testament to the witlessness of Americans. We're great at getting fat; not so good at getting smart.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 07:58 AM

24. Amazing how many peasants still love their oppressors and hate the oppressed.

Reagan was a "divide-and-conquer" master, playing on working/middle class white's hatred and distrust of anyone he deemed "lesser" and "lazy".

His PR team successfully painted the modern Republicans as take-charge he-men cowboys and Democrats as everything from effete pantywaist elitists to communist subversives, a myth that still holds true today with many Americans.

He governed using ramped-up 50's fear and the threat of nuclear holocaust, something our society and children stressed out over all through the 80s.

He made racism acceptable, the wealthy as benevolent overlords (who he ushered in the White House to permanently camp and "advise" ) and Horatio Alger as a tongue-in-cheek blueprint for all American workers . . . the idea that with just the right amount of pluck and extremely hard work, anyone can make it big.

Long after he was out of office and well on the journey into cerebral oblivion, Reagan's long stenchy shadow unfortunately looms over American life. Even though political parties have changed, Reaganomics never LEFT. We STILL practice this incredibly destructive pure Freidmanite capitalism despite all evidence that it's killing economic progress for everyone except a select few, whose incomes and wealth are inflating daily.

We still constantly have to be at WAR with someone, support dictatorships and exploit cheap resources and labor.

This backwards wooden fundamentalist puppet ruined and continues to ruin America. Reagan was a lousy president, a twisted human being and a laughingstock. While still following and lauding his supposed "legacy", America will remain a laughingstock also.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:23 PM

28. amen n/t

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 08:16 AM

25. Thank you for posting this.

Any article that calls out that piece of shit reagan for the piece of shit he was deserves to be recommended.

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Response to cordelia (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:23 PM

29. and amen n/t

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 08:21 AM

26. That Reagan and * could be President scares the shit out of me....

And to think that one of the crazies in the repub field could end up in the White House next year is terrifying. Anyone who even considers not voting out of some ideological agenda needs to take a good hard look at what Reagan and * did to this country.


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Response to groundloop (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:23 PM

30. and amen n/t

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:25 PM

32. I used to have a book called "Ronald Reagan's Reign of Error"

It was great. I wish I still had it.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:05 PM

34. I really like Robert Parry's Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'

He was a Pulitzer-nominated reporter who helped to break the story on Reagan's Iran-Contra b.s, he helped to publicize the way that Gary Webb was hounded from mainstream newspapers for reporting on the drug importation by the CIA, wrote about Reagan courting fascists in Central American nations that engaged in some of the most horrific human rights abuse possible...

all while Reagan was comparing the Taliban to "freedom fighters" like America's founders.

Reagan's administration took propaganda in the U.S. to new heights and we've never recovered from it. We really need a truth commission like those nations in South America who have dealt with the aftermath of people like Pinochet. Of course, you have to stop electing the right wing assholes to get to the point at which you can talk about the truth and we're not there yet.

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