Skip to comments.Conservatives Want FDR Replaced With Reagan on Dimes
Posted on 12/05/2003 1:51:13 AM PST by kattracks
WASHINGTON (AP) - Conservative Republicans angry over an unflattering television movie about Ronald Reagan want to put his image on the dime in place of Democratic icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Democrats are just as determined to keep FDR's profile in coin purses. "If they want to find another way to honor Ronald Reagan, I'm happy to join with them, but leave the dime alone," said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass.
Supporters of the "Ronald Reagan Dime Act" said Roosevelt and his government-expanding New Deal represented decades past, while Reagan's conservative, anti-communist administration ushered in society as it exists today.
Triggering the dispute is a TV movie that depicts a doddering Reagan dominated by his wife, Nancy. The movie is being aired by Showtime after CBS canceled its plans to show it last month in response to pressure by Reagan supporters.
"It's what precipitated me introducing the bill at that time and why it was a lot easier to get a lot of support," said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind.
Souder said he has collected 89 co-sponsors for his bill to mint a new dime featuring Reagan. Among them are more than a dozen House members from California, where the former president lives secluded and suffering from Alzheimer's disease in his Los Angeles home.
"I believe he represents conservative values as we would see them implemented through a president better than anybody else we've had in American history," Souder said. "He, to conservatives, represents kind of the reverse of FDR, who is kind of the liberal icon. Ronald Reagan is the conservative icon."
McGovern claims 80 co-sponsors on his opposing bill affirming Congress' support for keeping Roosevelt on the dime. The lone Republican among them is New York Rep. John Sweeney, who represents the Hyde Park area that was Roosevelt's home.
Reagan has "already been honored in many ways - he's got an airport named after him, and a building, and there are schools and roads and bridges and other things," McGovern said.
"While it's important to honor President Reagan, I think it's also important that we do so in a way that doesn't dishonor the memory and the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt," he said.
It isn't uncommon to change images on currency, but the custom has been to wait until the person being memorialized is dead.
"I certainly would not look at it in any way as dishonoring FDR. He's also one of my favorite presidents," said Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif. "He was also interestingly enough a personal hero of President Reagan's, but frankly I feel more connection with Reagan. He's a Californian, also closer to us now in history."
Souder rounded up support from colleagues for his bill with a letter, headed "Win One for the Gipper," that lambasted CBS for its "vile miniseries."
The dime has borne Roosevelt's profile since 1946, a year after his death, in part commemorating his support for the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio.
And besides, the Republicans now have their own government-expanding New Dealer. (No, I don't mean Reagan.)
Ike's on the buck, Lincoln's on the penny. That's two Republicans.
FDR is on the dime, Jefferson on the nickel, JFK on the half.
But before you think that the 'Rats have a lead, remember that Washington (quarter) and Ben Franklin were both Federalists, which, with the Whig Party intervening, was the direct ancestor of the Republican Party.
Susan B. Anthony doesn't count, since the coin was massively and humiliatingly repudiated -- so much for Jimmy Carter's effort to kiss up to the women's vote. And Sacajawea wasn't even a citizen of the United States; she was a member of an Indian nation. (Shoshoni, I think.) The god Mercury was, well, a deity and above politics, and so are Lady Liberty and the eagle. The Indian heads on the nickel and the small gold coins pre-1933 fall in the same category as Sacajawea: non-citizens.
Kind of. It also has to do with Republicans wrapping themselves in Reagan's mantle even as they repudiate it by spending wildly, so Moonman has a point.
Richard Nixon and LBJ never got any currency.
Ronald Reagan could replace Benjamin Franklin since he was never elected President.
Well, that would be the half-dollar, presently occupied by Jack Kennedy with the eagle from the Great Seal on the reverse, which I like a lot. Better to put Ronnie on a re-issued Big Buck, and melt all those Susan B.'s and Sacajaweas down as a failed coin type. Let the collectors grab a few examples, and then off to the smelter with them!
And that's the first time that's ever happened on a thread here.
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