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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:51 PM

How Obama Can Become Our Era’s Reagan

by Michael Tomasky Jan 21, 2013 2:41 PM EST

The president wants nothing less than to change the default assumptions of our society. Here’s how he can do it.

Barack Obama’s speech was elegantly pugnacious, a fine articulation of civic-republican liberalism and a very clear statement of a political agenda, with its specific mentions of climate change and inequality and other concerns. As others have noted, it was his most openly liberal speech as president, and it tells us what he aiming for in term two. He wants to do for liberalism (without using the word of course; we’re still not at that point yet) what Ronald Reagan did for conservatism. And he can—but only if he understands and acts on the differences between his situation and Reagan’s, and not their similarities.

It’s only natural for someone who wants to emulate and surpass a predecessor to think about the historical resonances. So Obama might be thinking things like, “He had charisma, I have charisma; he brought the country out of recession, so did I; he put together a new electoral coalition, and so have I.”

These things are true but they’re superficial. What’s important are the differences, and here are two important ones.

First, by Reagan’s time, lots of middle-of-the-road Americans were pretty sick of liberalism. Liberalism had governed the country for decades. Conservatism did not, and so people aren’t sick of conservatism in the same way. People think conservatism is loony. But they haven’t come to resent conservatism in the way that many average Americans of 1980 resented really high tax rates (yes, even I think they were high), inaction in the face of ever-rising crime, and so on.



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Reply How Obama Can Become Our Era’s Reagan (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Democrats_win Jan 2013 #1
longship Jan 2013 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:06 PM

1. Don't forget the lies that conservatives told about liberalism during the 1980s!

Firstly, Reagan's own comments about welfare queens was one of the most disgusting lies of all time. The fact that this liar became president is a dark mark on the history of America.

Secondly, liberalism was wrongly blamed for rising crime when we now know that is was lead poisoning! Recall that lead was added by the CAPITALIST PIGS to gasoline. Of course they didn't intend to poison the kids, but it's ironic that the lead poisoning they caused actually increased crime. Then they pointed their devlish fingers blaming liberals for the problem! There is no punishment great enough for these pigs!

Finally, Reagans massive spending made the economy better but the conservative bowel movement continues to spout the lie that lower taxes made the economy better. That's not true.

The conservative legacy is one of lies and terrible harm to our nation. Then came bush. Only Satan was a bigger liar and the dirty tea baggers do nothing but complain when they should be apologizing for the harm that bush caused. May they all suffer forever for what they did!

On edit: worse, the dirty GOP BECAME the "lberals" that they envisioned during the 70s. Remember the Iraq walfare-queen contractors overbilling the government? Recall the space shuttle fund that Texans dipped into even though they weren't even near the crash site? They were worse than anything the conservatives described during the 70s. They are THE enemy of the American people. NOW and FOREVER!

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Response to Democrats_win (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:58 PM

2. Please, could you provide citations for lead claims?

I had never heard that before. I have enough knowledge of biology to understand a possible mechanism for such an effect, but I also understand that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

But the hypothesis is intriguing nonetheless. So I would like to see if there is some good research on this.


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