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kofijoe Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-09-04 12:58 PM
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Excellent piece....
... I saw this linked over on

It's from last year, and something of a foreshadowing.

What the new literature on the Gipper won't tell you.

By Joshua Green

Over the past several months, Nancy Reagan has quietly been alerting friends and family that the health of her husband Ronald Reagan, the nation's 40th president, is failing rapidly due to Alzheimer's. Reagan will turn 92 on Feb. 6, and the signs seem to suggest that he won't be with us for very much longer.

It is not uncommon, when such circumstances involve a national figure, for the media to prepare tributes and obituaries in anticipation of the event. But in the case of Ronald Reagan, the magnitude of this ritual seems certain to eclipse anything that has preceded it. As long as five years ago, the three main newsweeklies had locked up eminent presidential historians to write his valedictories. The conservative Heritage Foundation has underwritten a multimedia Reagan legacy project, cued up and awaiting word of his death. The major networks and the History Channel have prepared exhaustive documentaries (the latter didn't even wait for Reagan's departure, airing "Ronald Reagan: A Legacy Remembered" over Thanksgiving). And media jockeying to pay tribute has already begun: This month's Esquire dubs Reagan the "greatest living American."


Reagan's human rights policy may have been inconsistent and hypocritical. But the very fact that he had one transformed the politics of human rights. With dissidents from Andrei Sakarov to Vaclav Havel testifying to the power of his words in sustaining their movements, it became impossible for conservatives to deny the usefulness of such commitments as a component of American foreign policy. Today, there are almost as many human rights proponents on the right side of the aisle in Congress as on the left.

Mourning in America

Many of Reagan's actions that wound up furthering liberal ends were to some extent the result of the normal compromises of political office. The fact that his conservative biographers don't see fit to acknowledge these deviations is a clue that their aim is something besides an accurate depiction of the life and achievements of the 40th president. When conservatives mythologize the Reagan presidency as the golden era of conservatism, it's not Reagan that they're mythologizing, but conservatism.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-09-04 01:05 PM
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1. it's not Reagan that they're mythologizing, but conservatism.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-09-04 01:31 PM
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2. I liked that part as well
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