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Not This Reagan Crap Again

Monday, February 16, 2009
So CSPAN has another ranking of presidents according to their "greatness." I could quibble with some of them, because I'm by nature a quibbler, but one of the relative positions is simply silly: Reagan has been rated as #10. Ahead of Lyndon Johnson (of the Civil Rights Act that transformed the country) and James Polk (who increased the size of the country by a third). Really. Reagan's great accomplishment was what exactly?

I know I've written about this before but I just can't let it alone. I was driving around recently on a street re-named for the Gipper and I nearly drove off the road while cursing. Reagan was a great president? For the big budget deficits? For slashing antipoverty programs? For an illegal war in Central America? For arms for hostages? For smashing labor unions? For shifting the tax burden onto the working class? For financial deregulation that has led to our repeated stock bubbles? For propogating free lunch politics?

And don't give me that garbage about "winning the Cold War." There is precisely nothing unique about Reagan's foreign policy. He used bellicose rhetoric, to be sure, but he was following the same old containment strategy in place since Truman. Whoop-de-doo.

Sorry, Reagan's "successes" in the 1980's paved the way for a lot of the mess we're coping with now. He wasn't a great president. He was the guy who used his childrens' college fund to take the family to disneyworld. The only streets that should be named after him are ones leading to landfills. Dirty ones.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 8:26 PM
  • I looked at a couple of rankings this week and I thought they all put him far too high. really. I don't get it.

    By Blogger Anastasia, at 9:26 PM  
  • Yeah, even when living through it, I never understood the raptures. Now? Less so. My best guess is that he made the ignorant feel good and virtuous in their ignorance. And now, years later, they long to be ignorant and manipulated again.

    The road to the landfills are too good to bear his name. He can be memorialized as the crud that accumulates on the edge of the slime at the edge of an oil spill: toxic, ugly and acknowledged as a blight on life.

    By Blogger Belle, at 9:39 PM  
  • have i mentioned that you rock? seriously, i couldn't agree more.

    By Blogger JustMe, at 11:02 PM  
  • He looked good in a brown suit, though.

    By Blogger Chaser, at 2:15 AM  
  • Belle - ooh, yours is much better.

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 10:07 AM  
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