Barack Obama ‘You’re no Ronald Reagan’
Why is it Democrats are always looking contemptuously on conservatism, like the Tea Party, yet trying to emulate the Tea Party’s heroes, like Reagan, when they want to get elected?
Obama’s recent State of the Union speech was full of self-conscious optimism (though the slogan “winning the future” is a pygmy compared with Reagan’s “morning in America”) and appeals to bipartisanship – a nod to the celebrated fact that Reagan managed to work with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, a liberal Democrat.
Other Democrats, taking this a step further, are using Reagan as a stick to beat the modern Republican party, painting him as a moderate pragmatist who would be out of step with today’s hard-right ideologues.
Republicans treat all this with weary disdain. To paraphrase Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s famous 1988 put down of Senator Dan Quayle, the older ones are saying: “I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is an idol of mine. President Obama, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”
Rich Galen, a Republican strategist who was working on Capitol Hill in the Reagan era, says that conservatives giggle at Obama’s attempts to be Reaganesque. “Obama is diametrically opposed to everything Reagan stood for.”
There is little doubt that Reagan would have been dryly derisive of Obama’s policies and presidency. “Government is like a baby,” Reagan once quipped. “An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
Obama, by contrast, views government as a kindly nurse and the people as the baby. According to his mindset, the people should submit to those in government who know better and whose role is to make decisions and control the purse strings.
That Democrats are trying to revise the history of Reagan is laughable. There are too many people of my generation who remember Reagan and know Obama is nothing like Reagan. Democrats think they can recast Reagan for all those born after Reagan, who don’t remember him.
Frankly, I think this will be a laughable fail on the Democrat’s part. It would be like Republicans trying to recast FDR as a spend thrift conservative. Despite there are generations who have been born after the time of FDR, there is too much known about FDR, for that to fly. The same is true about Reagan.
This move by the Democrats reveals a two-part desperation.
A) That they know the Tea Party and conservatism trumped them in the 2010 elections.
B) They think they only way to fight back is not with any honesty about their own ideas, but to lie about conservative ideas. They think if they can get enough people to believe Reagan was really one of them, and not a conservative more like the Tea Party, they can fool people into voting for them.
Laughable at best, pathetic at the least.