Apparently frightened by the current wave of conservatism in opposition to Obama’s policies, news organizations have chosen to frame the conservative movement as “radical.” After all, when you are unable to respond to the issues, the second best thing is getting out of discussions by saying that your opponents just aren’t worth arguing with.
Newsweek is on the forefront of such wusses and has released a web article entitled “Even Reagan wasn’t a Reagan Republican.” The point, of course, is to show that the previous republican presidents just wouldn’t cut it in today’s conservative Republican party.
I find it hilarious that Newsweek is trying to reprimand Republicans for not being like Nixon. I mean, why would I want to disagree with the guy who said that “we were all Keynesians now?” </sarcasm> Or how about Ford? I think we can all say he was an idiot when appointing Stevens to the court.
And then we come to Reagan (and Bush). Looks like they’re stretching a few points here to make it fit with their story. For instance, could it be that deficit spending was caused by fighting a war? No mention of it. And look at his domestic policies – wilderness protection, nominating O’Connor, etc.
First, all of these are easy to cherrypick. After 2 terms of Reagan’s presidency, you would think that Newsweek wouldn’t have to use any of his actions as governor of CA. After all, if he’s really not that conservative, there should be oodles of anti-conservative stuff.
Secondly, how does Newsweek know that wilderness protection or whatever is frowned upon by Republicans? I would agree with several of the things mentioned, or would at least like to see debate on the issue.
Thirdly, a lot of these things are things that conservatives disliked even then, and given the consequences of those actions (like having O’Connor, Souter, Stevens, etc on the court) Republicans should learn from their mistakes.
All in all, I think it’s quite good that we don’t choose to follow in lock-step with everything that has been done in the past. You keep the good decisions, throw out the bad ones. And all of our presidents, democrats and republicans, have made bad decisions. Republicans just make fewer.