Shiite Republicans are up in arms over President-elect Obama’s supposed attack on the Reagan legacy in his press conference this week.
Obama made a joke — that didn’t work — about Nancy Reagan and seances, and then had the class to call Mrs. Reagan personally and apologize for it.
But the Fox News, Limbaugh/Hannity crowd is all over him, saying it shows he lacks class and is going to be a buffoon as president.
If this proves one thing, it’s that all the right’s whining about “political correctness” is sort of hollow. There’s every bit as much PC thinking about their late, great hero as there is about the sacred cows on the left.
We need to face facts. Ronald Reagan and his followers are every bit as responsible for many of the problems we now face as anyone else. Whether it’s the massive national debt, which jumped from $1 trillion to $4 trillion under Reagan, the wave of deregulation or the massive military/industrial complex, Reagan was either partly or fully responsible.
And what did he accomplish?
The right credits him with “winning” the Cold War, but historians are beginning to see that the old USSR was already staggering toward it own demise.
The right credits him with returning the pride in being American, but Reagan was every bit as much the beneficiary of circumstances as Jimmy Carter was their victim.
Ronald Reagan’s one legacy is the disappearing middle class, the ascendancy of the rich in a second Gilded Age.
Obama shouldn’t have made the joke, and he knows it. But it isn’t as if he ridiculed Jesus or Abraham Lincoln.
A hundred years from now, historians will remember Reagan as a mediocre president, the result of style over substance at a time when Americans were becoming more and more ignorant about the forces at work in the world.
Let’s stop worshipping him.