Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reagan Mythology

Obama is starting to get to me.

It seems that now he's invoking St. Ronald:

"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."
To quote a favorite character from the movie "Fargo", "I think I'm gonna barf".

Digby puts into words the reasons for my retching:
But to long time liberals who lived through this period as an adult, it's like waving a red flag in our faces. Reagan ran explicitly against the left(and in the process normalized the kind of indecent talk that made Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter millionaires.) Because he won big in 1984, leaders in both parties accepted this omnipotent Reagan myth and have run against liberalism ever since --- and have ended up, through both commission and omission, advancing the destructive conservative policies that brought us to a place where we are debating things like torture. It would be helpful if ending the era of Democrats running against the liberal base could be part of this new progressive "trajectory."
As Digby earlier points out, Bill Clinton already tried catering to the DLC type boilerplate nonsense of Reaganesque bipartisanship and all it got him was an impeachment. Liberalism is not a dirty word, it's the fundamental ideal underlying out country ferchristsakes.

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