Skip to comments.Sneer Miss
Posted on 06/08/2004 2:12:07 PM PDT by annyokie
Sneer Miss One measure of Ronald Reagan's greatness is the extent to which his detractors are willing to make fools of themselves to attack him immediately after he dies. We're not going to bother with the truly crude attacks, from the likes of DemocraticUnderground.org and that unspeakable cartoonist whose blog mysteriously disappeared yesterday after the Drudge Report linked to it. (If you don't know who we're talking about, you don't know how lucky you are.)
But we thought we'd mention a few of the noteworthy attacks from more respectable sources. The Washington Post's Marc Fisher offers a hilarious, if unintentional, satire of liberal anti-Reaganism. It turns out, according to Fisher, that one of the air traffic controllers Reagan fired in 1981 for waging an illegal strike, a now dead man named Ray Lamb, ended up "homeless." According to Fisher, Lamb's bad luck exemplifies how Reagan "did what he believed was right and was able to maintain absolute deniability about any pain that resulted from his actions because he filtered out such bad news."
"Towering He Wasn't," declares a smirking piece from one Peter Preston in London's Guardian. This is a rich source of material, but we're going to stick to the biggest howler, Preston's excuse for denying Reagan credit for the free world's victory in the Cold War:
Did Reagan, piling cruise missiles into Europe, dreaming star satellite dreams of zapping bad hats, truly win anything? Didn't he just watch the Soviet Union self-destruct on his watch? Was Reagan around for the Prague spring which told the first story of an empire's disintegration? Did he choose the moribund gerontocracy of Brezhnev and Chernenko?
The plain fact, which nobody discerned, is that everything the west said about unsustainable economic systems and ramshackle bureaucracies was right: the plain fact was that Soviet hegemony couldn't last--and the "war" was mostly one of mutual incomprehension. Give Ronnie credit for not dropping the ball near the basket, but don't make him FDR in the process.
Maybe it's true that "Soviet hegemony couldn't last," though one can easily imagine its having lasted a good bit longer if (heaven forbid) Jimmy Carter had won re-election in 1980. But it's laughable for Preston to act as if everyone knew the evil empire was unsustainable. The truth is that hardly anyone knew--hardly anyone, that is, except Reagan, who was truly prescient in a June 8, 1982, speech to Britain's House of Commons:
In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxist-Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then. . . .
Now, I don't wish to sound overly optimistic, yet the Soviet Union is not immune from the reality of what is going on in the world. It has happened in the past--a small ruling elite either mistakenly attempts to ease domestic unrest through greater repression and foreign adventure, or it chooses a wiser course. It begins to allow its people a voice in their own destiny. Even if this latter process is not realized soon, I believe the renewed strength of the democratic movement, complemented by a global campaign for freedom, will strengthen the prospects for arms control and a world at peace.
Was anyone else saying the same thing way back in 1982?
On the other hand, BusinessWeek has a wonderful tribute by Roger Franklin, a journalist who came from Australia in 1980 to cover then-candidate Reagan, whom he loathed. Franklin describes his epiphany:
It was Christmas six years ago when Ronald Reagan . . . became an unexpected addition to our family, thanks to my son, who was then 11. As every parent knows, kids that age can have strange ideas about what the well-equipped adult really needs, so when Squirt handed me a little box with a mysterious present clunking heavily inside, I expected a clock or cast-iron sock rack or some such equally useless thing. What emerged instead was a small bust of the 40th President of the U.S. . . . A statue of Reagan! A joke, right? . . .
Why had my son bought me this bust? His explanation surprised me, and the gist of it went like this: "Gee, I thought you liked him. You like everything he did."
Turns out, the kid was smarter than his old man, and he really had been paying attention when I'd answered those questions about why Russia wasn't the Soviet Union anymore, and what about this vanished Berlin Wall that they were talking about on TV? My son must have been listening, too, when his American mother reminisced about how, when she was his age, her family stocked the basement with tinned goods and a chamber pot to see them through the storm of nuclear fallout.
Those threats were gone because the Soviet Union was gone--and it was Ronald Reagan who made it so. My son will never have to master the duck-and-cover, and for that his mother and I are grateful.
Franklin also describes a vacation to Grenada, where everyone he met revered him as their liberator. "Somewhere on Grenada there may have been someone on Grenada who didn't like Reagan, but I couldn't find him."
Dems Keep It Up Many Democrats, including Walter Mondale, Bill Clinton, John Kerry and even Ted Kennedy, had gracious things to say about President Reagan. Even Jimmy Carter tried, as we noted yesterday. But The American Spectator's "Washington Prowler" notes some very small-minded behavior at party HQ (second item):
In Washington, staffers at the Democratic National Committee stopped a couple of interns who were lowering the flags to half mast outside their headquarters.
"The interns were just doing what they thought was right," says a DNC staffer, who heard about the incident. "But somebody a bit more senior told them not to lower the flags until they absolutely had to, I guess when President Bush announced that all flags should be lowered. There was only an hour's difference. It was pretty petty, but that's how bad things have gotten around here."
It's kind of funny that the Dems were waiting for orders from George W. Bush, of all people. Blogger Tom McMahon, meanwhile, raises a good question: How come there's not a word about Reagan's death on the Web site of General Electric, which employed him for years as a spokesman and actor?
So who's this cartoonist he refers to? I assume Ted Rall, but didn't see the link yesterday.
I don't know since I seldom visit Drudge's site. Ted Rall would be my guess, as well.
General Electric owns NBC and pays perky Katie's overly large paycheck. I would love to see General Electric say something regarding Ronnie's passing, but I won't hold my breath, since they seem to gleefully revel in paying for alot of snivelers since Ronnie.
When the scumbag Air Traffic Controllers broke the law and jeopardized national safety by trying to extort us and the federal government, Reagan bravely called their bluff and eventually fired all the evil doers. All those government empolyees no longer able to suck up all the wonders of government employment created a lot of anti-Reagan animosity.
These union weasels hated and continue to hate Reagn for their crime. Many failed to seek alternative careers, believing that the would be reinstated. They waited and waited. Amazingly, Willie did not do anything for them. By the time they realized they weren't going back, it was too late for many.
So, there are folks out there who hate Reagan, personally, and blame him for their own crimes and the consequences of their own illegal acts.
Quite right. My late FIL had friends who were Air Traffic Controllers and he warned them not to strike.
They did, as we know, and spent the next ten years (that I knew them) belly-aching about how RR screwed them when in reality, they screwed themselves.
Yes, it's Rall. Apparently, he was whining about suing Drudge for bringing his site down (I don't remember where I read that). I assumed he meant with traffic, but it's DOWN down, last I checked. As in, blank page.
Hm. Back up now.
I hate to ask for a link. Thanks for the clarification.
No, that was just some goofy musing of a Freeper. How can anyone be sued for a link?
Besides, raw sewage desperately wanted the publicity.
Oh, he didn't fire them ... they quit!
I have it in my mind it was a firmer source than that, and Rall's nutty enough to call a Drudge link a Denial of Service attack. I read too many web sites.
Anyhoo, it was definitely down. I tried the link while it was still on Drudge.
I'd wondered about a DOS attack earlier. Only a nutty activist judge would believe it was Drudge's fault.
Oh well, maybe that raw sewage really would do such. He's like the absolute lowest common denominator DU'er, all cockroaches scrambling to be on top of the dung heap for their 15 minutes.
"Hey...Ted Rall: Up yours, loser."
FYI -- for anybody who thinks about writing Rall, be careful. On his blog, he's posted some of the negative responses he received, and he listed the writers' real names and email addresses.
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