Krauthammer: Reagan Wasn’t All That Great

Rightwing big thinker Charles Krauthammer trashes Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans,” by picking at the weakness of the GOP’s ’08 field — and then speaks ill of Reagan too, for good measure:

Major grumbling among conservatives about the Republican field. So many candidates, so many flaws. Rudy Giuliani, abortion apostate. Mitt Romney, flip-flopper. John McCain, Mr. Amnesty. Fred Thompson, lazy boy. Where is the paragon? Where is Ronald Reagan?

Well, what about Reagan? This president, renowned for his naps, granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill. As governor of California, he signed the most liberal abortion legalization bill in America, then flip-flopped and became an abortion opponent. What did he do about it as president? Gave us Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, the two swing votes that upheld and enshrined Roe v. Wade for the past quarter-century.

Of course, Krauthammer then proceeds to proclaim the current crop of candidates to be an exceptional group of fellows, among whom is the party’s next great leader.

Still it’s nice that he reminded his readers what the rest of us remember all too well. Reagan wasn’t all that great. His illness was genuine cause for sympathy and the memory of his rough edges were smoothed over by the long years of suffering. Plus his image benefits from the fact that the current president is the worst one ever. Even Bush I looks better when compared to his son.


  • Tom Buckner
    October 28, 2007 - 6:56 pm | Permalink

    The reason Reagan has such a reputation as some sort of conservative saint is that during his administration, he bought off the big media corporations by relaxing ownership rules to let them expand monstrously, and eliminated other aspects of the old Fairness Doctrine. Propagandists owe their entire careers to Reagan, and have devoted much time and effort to his ongoing hagiography.

    In truth, he was one of the worst things ever to happen to this nation. He nearly got us nuked in Fall 1983 ( see )
    He took the solar panels off the White House roof, a highly symbolic act which speaks for more than 25 years of irresponsible right-wing energy and environmental policies. If, as James Lovelock asserts in the newest Rolling Stone, then end of this century will see 90% of the human race killed by global warming, Reagan will be as responsible as any man who lived.
    With his renewal of Nixon’s War On (Some) Drugs, he began to chip away at the Bill of Rights, and in many other ways set our nation firmly on the path to Bush fascism.
    By the way, the Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight. Saint Gipper deserves zero credit. He may even have been illegitimate; see

    We would all be better off if this man had never lived!

  • NCBlueneck
    October 29, 2007 - 7:18 am | Permalink

    Damn… There goes that spot on Mount Rushmore, eh?

    Apostates! Blasphemers! Thou shalt not speak ill of the Blessed St. Ronnie! Next, you’ll be saying that “Welfare Queens” didn’t actually pick up their checks in Cadillacs!

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