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Reagan's legacy weighed amid 100th birthday events

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he talked a good game, fooled a lot of Libertarians when he first hit natinal prominence, but was still light years better than the dud Carter or Bush Sr and Jr.

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I really liked him Bed time for Bonzo, RIP Mr.Reagan.

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Now that all of the tea partiers are all about balancing the budget, I wonder how they feel about old "saint ronnie?"

The debt held by the public climbed on his watch—from $712 billion in 1980 to $2 trillion in 1988, and he never presented a balanced budget to Congress during his eight years in office.

reagan is so incredibly over-rated as a president.

Taka

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in retrospect I admire the gentleman Reagan was, not a crybaby like obama or a cad like W J clinton.

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Interesting that Hosni Mubarak is now about to be deposed on this anniversary. Reagan supported and funded him along with Zia ul-Haq, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Ferdinand Marcos and Nicolae Ceausescu. Brutal dictators. If Reagan ever had a legacy - this is it.

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Well said DentShop.

The blood on "saint ronnie's" hands still stains the earth.

Taka

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"Interesting that Hosni Mubarak is now about to be deposed on this anniversary. Reagan supported and funded him along with Zia ul-Haq, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Ferdinand Marcos and Nicolae Ceausescu. Brutal dictators. If Reagan ever had a legacy - this is it."

That was the Cold War. Reagan did what had to be done. You sorry America won and the Soviets lost?

Ceausescu - LOL.

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dent shop , you wrote on a thread about the riots in Egypt that

"Actually, the US and Israel is engineering this "revolt" to install Mohammed El Baradei as leader."

and now you tell us Mubabrak is about to be deposed and it reflects badly on Reagan somehow....

Which one is it?

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Like all leaders, a mix of good and bad. I never did like how he took a lead role in changing attitudes toward the poor from people needing help to blood sucking parasites. It made the world a little darker as a place to live.

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Fact: During Jimmy Carter's last year in office, inflation averaged 12.5%. During Reagan's last year it was 4.4%. Unemployment declined from 7.1% to 5.5% over Reagan's 8 years.

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Is inflation not essentially a fed thing??

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Fact: in carter's last year in office the pirates won the world series. In reagan's it was the twins. This is proof that Reagan liked the Midwest over the east coast.

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DentShop: "Interesting that Hosni Mubarak is now about to be deposed on this anniversary. Reagan supported and funded him along with Zia ul-Haq, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Ferdinand Marcos and Nicolae Ceausescu. Brutal dictators."

Well said. The Republicans on here will do anything and everything to avoid addressing those facts, and a sad few might try to justify them, but in the end you are bang on -- the man funded some of the biggest REAL threats to your nation today... but they'll invent reasons as to why that's somehow better than Obama trying to make relations with various nations better.

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reagan's trickle down economics was the start of the republican war on the middle class. It's a war the middle class isn't winning. More of the middle class is sinking into the lower class while the elite rich get richer. He moved the country to the right and we continue to move to the right, much to the country's ruin.

Taka

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"The republican war on the middle class"

Dream on.

"More of the middle class is sinking into the lower class"

And who's been in control of the U.S. Congress for the past several years and the White House for the past 2 years?

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"we continue to move to the right, much to the country's ruin"

Well, with the voters fed up with the Democrats' ruining the country, and returning the House back to the Republicans and cutting the Democrats' majority in the Senate, the rate of ruination may decrease.

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Americans: Tear down this MYTH!

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smithisJapan says :

"Well said. The Republicans on here will do anything and everything to avoid addressing those facts, and a sad few might try to justify them, but in the end you are bang on -- the man funded some of the biggest REAL threats to your nation today... but they'll invent reasons as to why that's somehow better than Obama trying to make relations with various nations better."

First off, not all of Reagan's admirers are repubs... Obama himself (your idoru, as Japanese would say) is quite eager (desperate?) to cast himself as the new Ronnie Reagan. but he ain't. And in America to this day ppl say "Reagan Democrats " i.e. - - ppl who left the Carter fold in disgust and disappointment.

The Cold War was the Cold War. I read your posts and conclude you are too young too remember this era and therfore do not know what you are talking about.

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Reagan's most famous words:

"I don't recall."

"I don't remember."

Reagan was a liar. Reagan was senile. Ironically both turned out to be true.

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Well, conseratives have to have SOMEONE to idolize.

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Mubabrak is about to be deposed and it reflects badly on Reagan somehow....Which one is it?

Both actually. America doesnt care about loyalty to its allies - it cares about power.

America and Israel arent worried about human rights. They want the same old repression and degradation in Egypt but with a new face on it. A destabilised Egypt also allows Israel more power over Gaza.

I dont want to veer to far off topic - but just wait and see how things play out. It is becoming like predicting what happens next on a broken record.

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Former Pres. Reagan was unusual in that he personified the average American, right or left. There truly was a love for country and people saw that. His son is correct, a part of the Pres. was reserved for his own person, and rarely if ever shown politically - he was a pragmatist and very smart, but very down to earth values. He was PRES. REAGAN in the first term w/ his friends/confidantes around him. He was compromised in his second term.

Good night, Mr. President.

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yabits: Americans: "Tear down this MYTH!"

What MYTH? How about if you stop tearing down our beloved president?

NoAmericanIdiot: "Reagan was a liar"

He was not.

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Reagan lied about Iran-Contra and then claimed later he did not remember what he said. By then he was senile as his son has pointed out recently so yes he probably did not remember lying. He lied all the time however.

The financial meltdown and collapse of capitalism started under Reagan. The massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich started under Reagan. He prolonged the Cold War by manipulating the CIA information about Russia and pretending Russia was a threat, so that when Russia did collapsed the USA was surprised. He let the AIDS disease spread for years without even saying a word about it to appease the far-right Christians who he pandered to for votes. Later he apologized for making such a huge mistake and costing Americans thousands of lives needlessly. He took a surplus from Carter and ran up huge budget-busting numbers with the government accounts. He raised taxes on the middle class and reduced them on the rich. The economy collapsed three times while he and his VP were President (it boomed under Clinton for 8 years straight). He created the huge savings and loan failure, a sign of what was to come with the republican sub-prime collapse. He was a failure as a President, history will record him as such. Failure, when his mind still worked.

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zurcronium: "The massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich started under Reagan"

The poor had wealth? Really?

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To Zurcronium, Re: For Your Records Only

"He prolonged the Cold War by manipulating the CIA information about Russia and pretending Russia was a threat, so that when Russia did collapsed the USA was surprised."

When Pres. Reagan came into Office, the US was "losing" the Cold War in terms of influence, but not military hardware. In 1987, he knew that the Cold War was coming to a conclusion, but may not have told too many people. By 1987, he was not in control of US Foreign Policy, and that can be confirmed by USSR records at that time that they saw Pres. Reagan as a mere shadow of the "Great Lion" when he came into office. Those who took over, are essentially those who are in command today.

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zurcronium: "He prolonged the Cold War"

And the Cold War ended during whose presidency?

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What MYTH?

The myth that so many idiots have tried to erect around him.

When Pres. Reagan came into Office, the US was "losing" the Cold War in terms of influence, but not military hardware.

LOL!! The US was never losing the Cold War after the mid-70s. We had been on the way to normalizing relations with China and played China off the Soviets to great advantage. Everyone in Europe knew that the USSR's days were numbered, especially the people in the Soviet client states -- who long since ceased believing in the system.

And the Cold War ended during whose presidency?

A dumb question. As soon as US leaders adopted George Kennan's policy of containment, the writing was on the wall. It is a complete and utter myth that Reagan was anywhere near the main factor for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

What drove the last nails in the coffin was the Soviets' invasion of Afghanistan. How did they get suckered into attacking that godforsaken country? The answer is some savvy maneuvering by a guy named Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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To Yabits,

I guess you don't give any value to the famous "malaise" speech by former Pres. Carter? At a certain high level, the US was "losing" the Cold War, but perspective is important.

"What drove the last nails in the coffin was the Soviets' invasion of Afghanistan. How did they get suckered into attacking that godforsaken country? The answer is some savvy maneuvering by a guy named Zbigniew Brzezinski."

That would explain why the US is sooooooo eager to do the same? The "Graveyard of Empires".

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A dumb question. As soon as US leaders adopted George Kennan's policy of containment, the writing was on the wall. It is a complete and utter myth that Reagan was anywhere near the main factor for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

George Kennan's policy was put in effect in 1946, the Soviet Union was a going concern until 1991. Seems the Russians were pretty slow readers on what was on written on that wall, well at least until Reagan came along.

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At a certain high level, the US was "losing" the Cold War, but perspective is important.

The US was losing a war, but it wasn't the Cold War with the soviets. That is why you're confusing Carter's speech.

During Reagan's two terms, the United States went from being the world's number one creditor nation to the largest debtor nation.

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Reagan won 48 states in 1980. 90 percent of the electoral vote. No president will match that. He lost Minnesota only because it is where his hapless opponent's VP choice was was from and Reagan was too much of a gentleman to campaign there.

You can tell from the reactions he STILL evokes in bourgeois leftist reactionaries that his shadow is long, and his legend still alive...

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Can't believe I actually blog with people who were old enough to even vote during the 80's

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Interesting, and you've been writing about the death of conservatism for how long now?

US conservatism is only dead from the neck up.

Reagan won 48 states in 1980. 90 percent of the electoral vote. No president will match that.

See what I mean? Let's see, in addition to Minnesota, Carter won Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.

To a conservative, 50 minus 6 equals 48. Reagan in 1980 won just under 51% of the popular vote.

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How'd that last November election turn out for you?

Conservatives winning elections just means that the Almighty hasn't finished punishing America yet.

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US conservatism is only dead from the neck up.

Reagan won 48 states in 1980. 90 percent of the electoral vote. No president will match that.

See what I mean?

Agreed. Reagan won 48 states in 1984 not 1980. But you knew what he really meant already didn't you?

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Conservatives often get facts wrong, 1980, 1984. Just four years. Mondale ran in 84 for President, not 80. Carter ran then. Just a couple of names I guess.

No wonder Fox news is so successful with these folks, facts are not important.

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I see more recent Republican presidents have continued Reagan's hallowed legacy...of running up massive deficits and selling out their grandchildrens' futures.

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What I meant can be summed up by the 1980 electoral vote count:

489 to Reagan

49 to Carter

Laughable

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The enduring Reagan legacy was confirmed again recently from a very unlikely quarter - the MSM hacks and cheerleeaders covering Obama's SOTU.

CNN's Amanpour, katie Couric, Chris Mathews and a couple otther anchors all pronounced Obama's performance as "Reaganesque". Of course they had been told to do so by the WH, but that only affirms that The Gipper, for better or worse, is the standard in the era of the imperial president that TR ushered in.

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I've been to the Reagan Library and what I found most interesting was at that time they had on display in a small box glass case three letters propped up at about a 45 degree in inside. The letters were on WhiteHouse stationary and were handwritten. They were his personal letters to Soviet Premier Gorbachev. Including the first one that he wrote to him. They were his personal thoughts and when I started to read them I was struck by how decent the man really was. The handwritten letters showed an abiding faith that he had that no matter how different we were that there was common ground that we both shared and that the fates of our two nations and the world rested on building on that common ground. The letters also show that he was willing to seek that ground only from a position of strength and stoic resolve and not from wishy washy appeasement. He truly was one remarkable man and was one heck of a President.

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Sail - "The letters also show that he was willing to seek that ground only from a position of strength and stoic resolve.."

It's just a pity that today's Republicans are the complete and utter opposite.

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It's just a pity that today's Republicans are the complete and utter opposite.

That is why they are called RINOs. Those in the Tea Party are more Reagan type followers in his philosphy of Government than those who where Bush type Republicans. Though that discussion is a bit of topic. I rather talk about President Reagan and who the man really was and believed in when he was entrusted with being President and dealing with a very different world than the one we have today.

A world where two superpowers both on two entirely opposite plains as to the best Governance of man and had enough nuclear weapons to wipe out the planet if that conflict of ideas ever got out of hand.

His first hanwritten letter to General Secretary Gorbachev,

THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON March 11, 1985 Dear Mr General Secretary

As you assume your new responsibilities, I would like to take this opportunity tounderscore my hope that we can in the months and years ahead develop a more stableand constructive relationship between our two countries. Our differences are many, and we will need to proceed in a way that takes both differences and common interests into account in seeking to resolve problems and build a new measure of trust and confidence. But history places on us a very heavy responsibility for maintaining and strengthening peace, and I am convinced we have before us new opportunities to do so. Therefore Ihave requested the Vice President to deliver this letter to you.I believe our differences can and must be resolved through discussion and negotiation.The international situation demands that we redouble our efforts to find political solutions to the problems we face. I valued my correspondence with Chairman Chernenko, andbelieve my meetings with First Deputy Prime Minister Gromyko and Mr. Shcherbitsky here in Washington were useful in clarifying views and issues and making it possible to move forward to deal with them in a practical and realistic fashion. In recent months we have demonstrated that it is possible to resolve problems to mutual benefit. We have had useful exchanges on certain regional issues, and I am sure you are aware that American interest in progress on humanitarian issues remains as strong as ever. In our bilateral relations, we have signed a number of new agreements, and we have promising negotiations underway in several important fields. Most significantly, the negotiations we have agreed to begin in Geneva provide us with a genuine chance to make progress toward our common ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. It is important for us to build on these achievements. You can be assured of my personal commitment to work with you and the rest of the Soviet leadership in serious negotiations. In that spirit, I would like to invite you to visit me in Washington at your earliest convenient opportunity. I recognize that an early answer may not be possible, but I want you to know that I look forward to a meeting that could yield results of benefit to both our countries and to the international community as a whole.

Sincerely, Ronald Reagan His Excellency Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, General Secretary, Central Committee, Communist Party of the Soviet Union Moscow, U.S.S.R.

He really was a great Presdient.

Dear Mr General Secretary As you assume your new responsibilities, I would like to take this opportunity to underscore my hope that we can in the months and years ahead develop a more stable and constructive relationship between our two countries. Our differences are many, and we will need to proceed in a way that takes both differences and common interests into account in seeking to resolve problems and build a new measure of trust and confidence. But history places on us a very heavy responsibility for maintaining and strengthening peace, and I am convinced we have before us new opportunities to do so. Therefore I have requested the Vice President to deliver this letter to you. I believe our differences can and must be resolved through discussion and negotiation. The international situation demands that we redouble our efforts to find political solutions to the problems we face. I valued my correspondence with Chairman Chernenko, and believe my meetings with First Deputy Prime Minister Gromyko and Mr. Shcherbitsky here in Washington were useful in clarifying views and issues and making it possible to move forward to deal with them in a practical and realistic fashion. In recent months we have demonstrated that it is possible to resolve problems to mutual benefit. We have had useful exchanges on certain regional issues, and I am sure you are aware that American interest in progress on humanitarian issues remains as strong as ever. In our bilateral relations, we have signed a number of new agreements, and we have promising negotiations underway in several important fields. Most significantly, the negotiations we have agreed to begin in Geneva provide us with a genuine chance to make progress toward our common ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. It is important for us to build on these achievements. You can be assured of my personal commitment to work with you and the rest of the Soviet leadership in serious negotiations. In that spirit, I would like to invite you to visit me in Washington at your earliest convenient opportunity. I recognize that an early answer may not be possible, but I want you to know that I look forward to a meeting that could yield results of benefit to both our countries and to the international community as a whole. Sincerely, Ronald Reagan His Excellency Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, General Secretary, Central Committee, Communist Party of the Soviet Union Moscow, U.S.S.R.

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Reagan's legacy:

"I didn't trade arms to Iran for hostages." (Then, upon being corrected from his Chief-of-Staff): "Well, I've just been informed that weapons were indeed sent to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon."

"The Contras are the moral equivalent to our founding fathers." I don't know if our founding fathers murdered in cold blood, raped and tortured, but the Contras certainly did. Did the founding fathers steal money for plush homes in a foreign country? (Nicaragua's leader today is Daniel Ortega -- chosen by free and fair elections -- and not any of the corrupt Contras.) Oh well, if Reagan said the were the moral equivalents of Washington and Madison, it must be so.

The United States transitions from the world's Number One creditor nation to the world's Number One debtor nation under Reagan's eight years. But Ronnie made America feel so good about it.

Reagan doubles the national debt. None of his budgets to Congress is anything near balanced. On top of that, for 7 of his eight years, the budgets finally passed by Congress contain less deficit spending than the budgets that Reagan submitted to them. Early in his first term, Reagan's own budget director, David Stockman, saw what was happening and attempted to communicate it to the American people. Reagan, and the stinking, corrupt liars around him saw that Stockman was punished.

We saw that legacy re-enacted during W's tenure when one of his chief economic advisors, Lawrence Lindsey, estimated that the war on Iraq would cost in excess of $500 billion. (Didn't he get the memo from Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz? The Iraq War was going to pay for itself!) As it turns out, Lindsey grossly underestimated the cost of the war.

Judged in terms of the hundreds of indictments and convictions leveled against his administration, Reagan's was the most corrupt in US history. But the Republicans have always thrived on lies and corruption. They gave the slimy, "rat-f......g," Nixon a landslide against a truly decent American and ended up with one of the worst presidental scandals in American politics.

Now, Ronald Reagan was in no way corrupt himself. But he was totally asleep at the switch.

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The letters also show that he was willing to seek that ground only from a position of strength and stoic resolve and not from wishy washy appeasement.

LOL!! To a conservative, the difference between appeasement and non-appeasment is the (R) after the name. Nothing else.

They are so entirely morally bankrupt, they can applaud when an Anwar Sadat travels to Jerusalem to seek peace and not see any parallel to the action of Neville Chamberlain. (How would Sadat's actions not be viewed as appeasement by the hard-line conservatives within the Arab world?)

Again, their lack of intellectual integrity is such that they will work to destroy union movements at home (as Reagan certainly did) while applauding and supporting a labor movement abroad, such as Poland's Solidarity.

After the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon. Reagan could turn tail fast enough to get the hell out of there. Firm resolve, indeed. The US's actions inspired every terrorist organization over there to believe that this is how the US would respond when someone hit them hard.

Reagan showed how "tuff" he was against Libya's Khaddafi in bombing one of his tents and killing some of his family members. But after Khaddafi's people brought down PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, what was Reagan's response? Absolutely nada.

And who can forget Reagan's move to reach out to Iraq's Saddam Hussein? Selling his regime arms and technology after Carter had put them on the "terrorist regime" list? And kept up relations even after Saddam attacked a US Navy ship, killing 37 US sailors. I guess when it's in the service of conservative aims like maintaining a friendship with his buddy Saddam, American lives are expendable.

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LOL!! To a conservative, the difference between appeasement and non-appeasment is the (R) after the name. Nothing else.

Nah, Kinda liked President Kennedy and his response during the Cuba Missile crises.

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and call those that have a differing opinion

As it regards Ronald Reagan, there are opinions based upon facts and those based soley upon emotions.

For example, it's a simple, undisputable fact that Reagan never submitted a budget to Congress that was anywhere near balanced. And also that, during his eight years in office, the US went from being the world's leading creditor nation to its largest debtor nation. Ditto the other points in my previous posts -- serious shortcomings that only the most deluded or dishonest would disregard.

I recall no Democrat or liberal on these boards who has ever written about a modern Democratic president with the deluded, blinded adoration that so overlooks the many, obvious flaws in the manner that so many conservatives swoon over Reagan. It is so obvious that so many are incapable of relaying information about Reagan (or any topic that threatens their narrow view of the world) fairly and honestly.

I suppose that someone who does make an effort to portray things honestly will certainly seem, to those who do not make that effort, as a kind of "expert." But that reflects all the more on those who are making the accusation.

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I suppose that someone who does make an effort to portray things honestly will certainly seem, to those who do not make that effort, as a kind of "expert." But that reflects all the more on those who are making the accusation.

I would posit that portraying things honestly would include the context and reasoning behind the decisions a President makes. Decisions aren't made in a vacuum but are made in support of a coherent policy either liberal or conservative. LBJ's initiatives for a "great society" or FDR's "New Deal" or Reagan's "Supply side Economics". Their legislation all supported their political ideals.

Also as far as an honest view in Foreign affairs, again the context and the events in the world balanced with what a President pursues as being in the national interest is what drives decisions. For example it is very dis-ingenious to just throw out Reagan gave his buddy Saddam weapons and support and leaving out the fact that it was during the Iraq Iran war in the gulf and all of the West's economies had a vested interest in ensuring that war was contained and not escalate to embroil the entire Persian Gulf, cutting off all oil that flows from there. Very dis-ingenious indeed but would be an honest view as to what was governing foreign policy decisions that were made then and then judge whether they were good or bad decisions as history moves on.

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Reagan - The only head of a union who went on to be president. It must really burn bourgeois lefties up.

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FDR's "New Deal" or Reagan's "Supply side Economics

A good contrast. FDR's New Deal policies were instrumental in building the massive American middle-class and prevented deep recessions and bank crises for over 60 years. In other words, they "worked."

It took less than 8 years for Reagan to prove that supply-side (aka "voodoo economics") did NOT work. Reagan's thesis was that you could cut tax rates AND balance the federal budget. Instead, he nearly tripled the national debt.

For example it is very dis-ingenious to just throw out Reagan gave his buddy Saddam weapons and support and leaving out the fact that it was during the Iraq Iran war in the gulf and all of the West's economies had a vested interest in ensuring that war was contained

Oh, he contained it alright. Just ask the Kuwaitis.

The dishonest arises from the fact that if a Democrat turned in the same results, conservatives would have wanted to string him up. But because he was the idealized Republican, his prostrate minions find a million and one ways to spin excuses for him.

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The best summary of the Reagan years that I have seen was just broadcast this morning on PBS's "Need to Know."

Eugene Jarecki has just released a documentary on Reagan's life -- to be shown on HBO -- and his comments were absolutely right-on.

Q: So, what is the Reagan legacy?

Jarecki: "In the 1970s, clumsy as he may have been, Jimmy Carter warned the American public that we had come to define freedom wrongly. We had come to see freedom as materialism. And he warned that if we kept up with that definition of freedom -- like that we can "have our way" at Burger King -- and that that's what democracy is -- we would ultimately lose the more fundamental freedoms of self-definition. Petroleum was the big argument of his speech, where he said our reliance on foreign oil, which is the engine of our consumerism, will require us to get involved in foreign wars, and ultimately [we will] not be masters of our own destiny.

"He warned of something that was an inner crisis. That was a lesson that I think Americans did not want to hear. And so it opened the door to Ronald Reagan, who was able to come along and say, "pay no attention to that depressing figure...you don't have to sacrifice...there's plenty of oil...trust me." And, by saying that to the American people, I think Ronald Reagan did us a disservice. It wasn't going to all be OK, and the unraveling of so many areas of American life since then, I think, is not Reagan's fault, but Reagan had an opportunity to address those things, and instead, he told us to shop. And told us to consume. And told us to enjoy ourselves and our lives.

"I think that did not arm us well to face what we now face. And so I would like Obama, for example, to make sure that he is calling on Americans to be engaged, to sacrifice, to understand that it is they and not he, and not a dream and not an illusion that will properly meet the challenges we face."

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