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Obama's Admiration of Ronald Reagan: What President Obama really said two years ago

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:35 PM
Original message
Obama's Admiration of Ronald Reagan: What President Obama really said two years ago

Obama's Admiration of Ronald Reagan
by Matt Stoller
January 16, 2008

"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 and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

There are many reason progressives should admire Ronald Reagan, politically speaking. He realigned the country around his vision, he brought into power a new movement that created conservative change, and he was an extremely skilled politician. But that is not why Obama admires Reagan. Obama admires Reagan because he agrees with Reagan's basic frame that the 1960s and 1970s were full of 'excesses' and that government had grown large and unaccountable.

Those excesses, of course, were feminism, the consumer rights movement, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, and the antiwar movement. The libertarian anti-government ideology of an unaccountable large liberal government was designed by ideological conservatives to take advantage of the backlash against these 'excesses'.

It is extremely disturbing to hear, not that Obama admires Reagan, but why he does so. Reagan was not a sunny optimist pushing dynamic entrepreneurship, but a savvy politician using a civil rights backlash to catapult conservatives to power. Lots of people don't agree with this, of course, since it doesn't fit a coherent narrative of GOP ascendancy. Masking Reagan's true political underpinning principles is a central goal of the conservative movement, with someone as powerful as Grover Norquist seeking to put Reagan's name on as many monuments as possible and the Republican candidates themselves using Reagan's name instead of George Bush's in GOP debates as a mark of greatness. Why would the conservative movement create such idolatry around Reagan? Is is because they just want to honor a great man? Perhaps that is some of it. Or are they trying to escape the legacy of the conservative movement so that it can be rebuilt in a few years, as they did after Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I?

http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3263
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:42 PM
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1. Deleted sub-thread
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. Stoller carefully truncated that quote to support his pretend-ESP:
In Their Own Words: Obama on Reagan

... "He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like, you know, with all the excesses of the 60s and the 70s, and government had grown and grown, but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people just tapped into -- he tapped into what people were already feeling, which was, we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

"I think Kennedy, 20 years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times.

"I think we are in one of those times right now, where people feel like things as they are going, aren't working, that were bogged down in the same arguments that weve been having and theyre not useful. And the Republican approach I think has played itself out.

"I think its fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, youve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies that are being debated among the presidential candidates, its all tax cuts. Well, weve done that. Weve tried it. Its not really going to solve our energy problems, for exampleso some of its the times.


http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/politics/21seelye-text.ht...
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. It hurts me to say this, but there is NOTHING good that Ronald Reagan did for
this country - at the time nor in the legacy he left. I like his son (Ron, of course) - so it hurts to say this. I repeat - nothing for the people - everyhing for the barons.
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reformist Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Wow. That's a pretty extreme statement.
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. answer the question
did you support reagans cutting support to disabled vets? - my dad was a 3x POW and had his cut, and I remember support for dependants of disabled vets were cut also





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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Not to mention the deep cuts to education and student loan programs
I have friends whose lives were changed completely because those loans were yanked-all so Ronnie could build more nukes and continue the insane cold war while cutting taxes for the wealthy.
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. yup
I had to transfer from a private to a state college because of those cuts, of course I moved across the country to go to the private one - but thankfully they were both in the same city. What was personally a huge issue for me was reagan invented a new another new "law" for children of disabled vets that you couldn't get certain funding if you were a double-major, and I was a double-major, and I had to drop a major in order to stay in school.

it was always.."what fresh hell is gonna happen to me this semester with this bastard administration?"
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Deleted sub-thread
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Elwood P Dowd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Reagan started the massive (trillions) budget & current account deficits.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 11:44 PM by Elwood P Dowd
Reagan started the deregulation trend that has cost us trillions. Reagan cut taxes on millionaires and billionaires while increasing FICA and Federal Excise taxes that hurt the middle class and the poor. Reagan and Bushit Sr started negotiations on trade deals (NAFTA, WTO) that would lead to almost 10 million US job losses over the next 25 years. Reagan was a piece of shit for most Americans, and they don't even realize it.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. It's also a justifiable one
Let's cut through the bullshit here: The great and benevolent Ronald Reagan would not have been elected were it not for an act of treason committed by his campaign: he sent his running mate to Baghdad in October 1980 and promised them weapons if they would hold the hostages until after Reagan was inaugurated. Google "October Surprise."

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. And all subsequent Republican administrations
Edited on Tue Jan-26-10 07:10 AM by Enthusiast
pulled similar illegal underhanded operations. And it was all because Reagan went unpunished that we ended up with the Bush bunch in the first eight years of the new century.

Just when we needed government accountability worst of all, we got nothing but lies and malfeasance.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. And it's an accurate statement.
Reagan fired a responsible Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and appointed free-market zealot Alan Greenspan in his place. Greenspan's policies eventually resulted in both the tech bubble and the housing bubble.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. That's right-- Reagan totally screwed the middle class
and the poor. He was the quintessential "money talks, bullshit walks" type of guy :puke:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Yep. and since then all of Reagan's chickens have come home to roost. nt
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
22. You can't admire somebody who wrecked the shit out of this country
I know what Obama said. It was all that "transformative" horseshit he was peddling.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. The "excesses" didn't truly begin until Reagan was in office
He spent like a drunken sailor-but not on programs that helped the people:



I still recall standing in long lines for jobs applications back then. It was the beginning of a long National nightmare with repugs at the helm.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. Deleted sub-thread
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. Obama assigned that thinking to the voters, not himself. "I think THEY felt" is a lot different...
... than saying, "I felt there were excesses."

For the love of pete. Try again.

Hekate

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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
16. FUCK RONALD REAGAN!
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
17. I said exactly that repeatedly, at the time and many times since.
"Obama admires Reagan. Obama admires Reagan because he agrees with Reagan's basic frame that the 1960s and 1970s were full of 'excesses' and that government had grown large and unaccountable."

Not in your exact words, of course.

Nobody listened at the time. :(
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
21. Speaking of f___ing retards ...
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
23. We want someone to lie and smile and fool us while he puts a knife to the ribs of the US and twists"
"I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Obama is proof that the Baby Boom ended in 1960 and he is a little Alex Keaton.

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