Just Shut Up About Reagan Already

One of the most irritating things about the current Iranian uprising is that I’ve seen a spate of WWRD (What Would Ronnie Do?) posts all over the place. I’m not on my normal computer, so I don’t have my browser history to help me, but I know there was one or two at Hot Air, I know I’ve seen them at the NRO, and I’m pretty sure there was one at Commentary magazine. At any rate, you know what Reagan would do? Nothing. Why? Because he’s dead.

Aside from the fact that what took place in Poland with the Solidarity movement and Reagan’s speeches about it has ZERO resemblance to what is taking place in Iran, and aside from the fact that these are just snide attempts to obliquely attack Obama and build up the Reagan mythology, what really honks me off is who is given no credit in these paeans to Reagan, and that would be Lane Kirkland and the unions. Any time you mention Solidarity, if you are going to mention Reagan, then the next word out of your mouth should be Lane Kirkland. At a time when union membership was declining, Lane Kirkland and the hierarchy of the AFL-CIO cared enough about freedom and democracy to put aside their self interests and spend their resources assisting the administration and the Solidarity movement. Got that, Reagan fetishists? Not only did unions help build this country and provide a good life and serve as a foundation of the middle class for decades, but they were actually spreading freedom and democracy long before John Yoo was advancing the cause through crushed adolescent genitalia and David Addington was furiously masturbating to the concept of the unitary executive. And this glosses over the fact that the entire Solidarity movement was, in and of itself, a union movement.

But back to the point. The days of Lech Walesa and General Jeruzelski and Reagan and Kirkland are long, long past, and the current situation in Iran doesn’t resemble them in the least. All these “Reagan was manly in Poland while Obama is being a pussy with Iran” so completely miss the mark that it is akin to standing underneath a trapeze artist doing his high wire act and yelling “ELWAY WENT DEEP IN THE SUPER BOWL” and thinking you’ve added some value to the conversation.

We’re in a different game now, and you are just showing everyone how stupid you are. So just shut up about Reagan already.

*** Update ***

A more measured take here Anonymous Liberal.

193 replies
  1. 1
    gwangung says:

    Heh heh heh….

  2. 2
    Napoleon says:

    Reagan illegally sold arms to the very same Islamic Republic of Iran. They should all STFU for that reason alone.

    BTW, it is Yoo not You.

  3. 3
    Max Peck says:

    They can’t. They won’t.

    If they can turn Hitler into a liberal you don’t actually think they will allow Kirkland to stay at his place in history do you?

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Martin says:

    Reagan would have nuked them, of course. So would have Jesus. If we are so lucky to have them resurrected at the same time, they’ll do their wonder-twin ring power thing. Reagan would take the shape of a B-1B low altitude tactical bomber and Jesus would form into a payload of nuclear radiated holy water. They would then disburse over Iran, ridding the region of their non-pentacostal elements and creating a new holy land for displaced GM and Chrysler dealership owners (the wingnut Holocaust).

  6. 6
    Pete says:

    Hear hear!

  7. 7
    KG says:

    My favorite part about the Reagan idolatry is that there is no way Reagan circa 1976 could win the Republican nomination today: card carrying union member (and not just any union but SAG, from that epicenter of evil known as Hollywood); former union president; signed the most liberal abortion bill into law as governor; raised taxes as governor; vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for gays to be teachers in California; and he actually talked nice to Democrats.

  8. 8
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    “WWRD”

    Er, give them an illegal receipt for the illegal arms sales he made to them?

    I swear the average Reagan worshipper must absolutely go through life going “la la la la, I can’t HEAR you…!” when anyone mentions anything except Commies.

  9. 9
    Surreal American says:

    What Would Reagan Do?

    Sell arms to both sides (Ahmadinejad and Mousavi).

    ‘Nuff said.

  10. 10
    SpotWeld says:

    WWRD:

    Make another movie where the mokey gets top billing?

  11. 11
    Matt says:

    Seriously, I think this was my favorite post of yours since I’ve been reading.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    and you are just showing everyone how stupid you are.

    Feature, not a bug for the the Right these days.

  13. 13
    steve s says:

    I don’t have my browser history to help me, but I know there was one or two at Hot Air, I know I’ve seen them at the NRO, and I’m pretty sure there was one at Commentary magazine.

    I’m glad I don’t read that garbage on a daily basis. I could never stomach that amount of tard.

  14. 14
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Don’t they understand that this obsession with Reagan makes them sound ancient to a whole generation of voters. For the younger voters Reagan is just a name of a President from the yesteryears, like Harding or Taft.

  15. 15
    InflatableCommenter says:

    Look, Reagan is all they have to show for their conservative “movement.”

    Goldwater? They turned on him.

    Nixon? Fail.

    Bush One? Fail.
    Bush two? Epic fail.

    Saint Ronnie is it.

  16. 16
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    I’ll go you one more, KG– 1984 Reagan couldn’t win a GOP primary. He had signed tax hikes out of concern for the deficit. That is treasonous to the Club of Growth-types who run that party today.

  17. 17

    @Napoleon:

    Right on the money.

    You can’t talk about Reagan being tough on the Iranian regime. It’s nonsense.

  18. 18
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Obviously you’re not hip to Reagraham Lincool.

  19. 19
    Silver says:

    What would Reagan do?

    Probably forget who he was, shit his pants, and turn in early.

  20. 20
    Napoleon says:

    @InflatableCommenter:

    Better yet, the Republican Party cannot even mention the name of the best President to have an R after his name, Lincoln, since they now rely so heavily on the South.

    I think the Dems should grant Lincoln posthumous party membership.

  21. 21
    jenniebee says:

    Ronnie would rape the mullahs with his mouth, that’s what he would do!

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    I feel this is John’s Punishment for being a Republican in his past life.

    Each and every thing he cheerleaded back in the day is going to be rubbed back in his face like a housetraining dog and their mess.

  23. 23
    KG says:

    @16: oh yeah, I forgot about that one. I was just thinking of all the stuff he did as governor. Another one, if I recall correctly, during a campaign, he tried to help foster a settlement in a union dispute because he didn’t want to cross a picket line for an event. Oh, and let’s not forget signing SALT 2, which actually called for a reduction of nuclear weapon stockpiles.

  24. 24

    @Napoleon:

    Heh. In the new GOPworld, Lincoln is a RINO.

  25. 25
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Good post, John. This is why I read Balloon-Juice.

    You complete me.

  26. 26
    Cyrus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Don’t they understand that this obsession with Reagan makes them sound ancient to a whole generation of voters. For the younger voters Reagan is just a name of a President from the yesteryears, like Harding or Taft.

    Someone who is 19 years old today – that is, old enough to have voted in the 2008 election – was born after the Berlin Wall fell. I’ve pointed that out before, and I’ll keep on doing it until people get the message that acting like communism is a problem today looks, and objectively is, extremely stupid.

  27. 27
    Elroy's Lunch says:

    Amen. I am so, so tired of constantly hearing about the Sainted Ronnie.

  28. 28

    @KG: He also signed a bill that raised taxes when he was President. But, c’mon why get bogged down with all these facts, right?

    John, these guys are going apeshit because they still cling to the quaint notion of American exceptionalism, rather nicely debunked by your old CO, Andrew Bacevich. Why would we presume to interfere in this internal matter anyway? The people protesting in the streets do not appear to want to overthrow the Islamic Republic. They just want the Republic part to work for them. Spencer Ackerman has a great post up about the current unrest in Iran.
    Here’s the money quote:

    … Ali Gharib makes the stellar point that what’s going on in Iran is reaffirmation of the Islamic Revolution, not a repudiation of it.

    This is their form of democracy and we have to respect that. Islamic. Republic. That is the key. They are not going to be a Jeffersonian democracy any time soon.

  29. 29
    Little Dreamer says:

    John You

    Were you tired when you wrote that or is that supposed to be some sort of derogatory hit that didn’t quite make it’s mark?

  30. 30
    Tonal Crow says:

    What would Reagan do? Well, sell weapons to the Mullahs so that he could divert the money to the Contras, of course.

    Next question?

  31. 31
    flukebucket says:

    As long as these guys are talking about Ronald Reagan and offering up the fresh face of Newt Gingrich I don’t think the Democrats have a damn thing to worry about.

  32. 32
    camchuck says:

    Great rant, John. Makes me long for a wingnut blogger to write, “Reagan would consider Ben Roethlisberger to be overrated”, just to experience peak-Cole-wrath.

  33. 33
    slag says:

    @Napoleon: Hehe. You half expect them to burst out with, “Reagan was selling arms to Iran while Obama was still in diapers!” as if that’s some kind of winning argument.

    (Redundant Iran-Contra link deleted)

  34. 34
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I was reading “Tear Down This Myth” the other day but had to put it down. I couldn’t stomach it anymore after that sick old man answered a long, impassioned speech from Carter about how we need to extend health coverage to everyone with a snide, sneering “there you go again!” Asshole.

    @Cyrus:

    Amen to that. I know legal adults who don’t know that Russia used to be the Soviet Union.

  35. 35
    Little Dreamer says:

    I am not surprised that Republicans worship a former president who started showing symptoms of alzheimers while in office. It makes perfect sense.

  36. 36
    Comrade Dread says:

    The day off didn’t last long, did it?

    Look, you’re assuming that the current group of right-wing pundits are capable of honest, rational thought. Aside from Larison, I don’t think they are.

    For most pundits, I would hazard, that it’s mostly about winning the game or news cycle and they couldn’t give a rat’s ass about people in other countries. They don’t really care about the Iranian protesters. (They were advocating massive bombing runs just a few months ago which would have killed or irradiated scores of the people they now profess to care about and stuck the rest in a chaotic hell of an anarchic condition like Iraq was/is.)

    All they care about is trying to score a few points against Obama and the Democrats and puff up the Republican party as the manly party who would stand up to a bunch of old religious guys in turbans by making tough speeches.

    Someone who is 19 years old today – that is, old enough to have voted in the 2008 election – was born after the Berlin Wall fell.

    Great. Thanks for making me feel like an old fart, Dude. :)

  37. 37
    Calouste says:

    @Cyrus:

    The median age of the population in the US is 37. That means that half of the population isn’t old enough to have voted for Bush I, let alone Reagan. Same with mentioning Carter, half the Americans were either not born or younger than 9 when he was President.

  38. 38
    Ash Can says:

    What would Ronnie do? Easy. He’d send CIA spooks in to help crush the uprising, because he’d know that he could cut deals more easily with a more corrupt regime. And he’d send cakes and bibles. Also.

    BTW, it is Yoo not You.

    Actually, I thought that was one of the best Freudian slips/intentional typos I’ve seen in a long time.

  39. 39
    TR says:

    And don’t forget — Reagan held five summit meeting with Gorbachev between 1986 and 1988.

    He met with a communist dictator! Without preconditions! And signed arms control agreements with him!

    Appeasement! Chamberlain! Munich!

  40. 40
    Delia says:

    They are not going to be a Jeffersonian democracy any time soon.

    Of course the wingnut goopers wouldn’t recognize Jeffersonian democracy if it bit them in the butt, Jefferson being a deist who preferred learned treatises on Reasonable Religion.

  41. 41
    Trinity says:

    Well said John! Man, I love it when you take the day off.

  42. 42
    Argive says:

    Personally, I’m content to let wingnuts go on thinking that the blast of wind coming from the door of Reagan’s tomb is a breath of fresh air.

  43. 43
    PeakVT says:

    He also signed a bill that raised taxes when he was President.

    Reagan signed several bills, actually.

  44. 44
    Little Dreamer says:

    @TR:

    I think Reagan and Gorbachev were the very bestest of friends.

  45. 45
    gopher2b says:

    I think conservatives born from 1964-1982 will stop talking about Reagan when liberals born from 1947 through 1964 will stop talking about Kennedy.

  46. 46

    At any rate, you know what Reagan would do? Nothing. Why? Because he’s dead.

    That is just a concentrated ball of awesome, but you’ve also hit on one reason why they keep talking about WWRD. He’s not around to tell them they’re full of crap.

    But basically it’s ‘cos they got nuthin.

  47. 47
    Surreal American says:

    @KG:

    vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for gays to be teachers in California

    If you’re referring to the Briggs Initiative, Reagan wasn’t governor of California in 1978 (Jerry Brown was). The Briggs Initiative wasn’t a bill that was vetoed either. It was a ballot item that was defeated by California voters.

    However Reagan did publically oppose the measure:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briggs_Initiative

  48. 48
    slag says:

    @gopher2b: Do liberals talk about Kennedy? JOHN Kennedy?

  49. 49
    Zombie Ronnie says:

    Unnh, brainsssssssss.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    Damn fine rant. Yep. Reagan is gone and he ain’t coming back.

    And damn fine point of history about outsiders “meddling” into Polish affairs. I guess it can be said that sometimes it is about us and it is about them.

  51. 51
    chuck says:

    Reagan also signed the Convention Against Torture. And the Brady Law (go fig, you’d think he’d gotten shot or something).

    Reagan would be drummed out of today’s GOP as a squishy liberal.

  52. 52
    gopher2b says:

    @slag:

    Yes, and Bobby.

  53. 53
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @jenniebee:

    FTW

  54. 54
    Donna says:

    “…standing underneath a trapeze artist doing his high wire act and yelling “ELWAY WENT DEEP IN THE SUPER BOWL” and thinking you’ve added some value to the conversation.”

    just wanted to see that again — so perfect.

  55. 55
    gopher2b says:

    @chuck:

    Indeed, he would be. Sad state of affairs.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    slag says:

    @gopher2b: Huh…And here I was thinking that I kinda knew a little bit about what was going on in the mainstream of the liberal/progressive movement. Now, I find that there’s all kinds of Kennedy worship going on right under my nose. Live and learn, I guess.

  58. 58
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    I have never talked about Kennedy.

  59. 59
    Cyrus says:

    @gopher2b: Do liberals talk about Kennedy? JOHN Kennedy?

    Not that I’ve noticed. The last time I read about someone wistfully praising JFK for his policies, as opposed to his idyllic family, was when Orson Scott Card wrote a book about Democrats literally committing treason – his token “good” Democrats were described as in the mold of Kennedy or something.

    Liberals seem to be give far more credit for left-wing domestic policies to FDR and LBJ than to JFK, I think. But we don’t deify either of them to nearly the extent that Republicans revere Reagan, partly because we’re more honest about their shortcomings (sorry to be so self-congratulatory; maybe Reagan wouldn’t be as revered if he had done anything as unpopular to the right as LBJ’s escalation in Vietnam was to the left) and partly because we aren’t as authoritarian.

  60. 60
    anonevent says:

    I went an looked up Kirkland, which led me to Solidarity. I’m just imagining some winger trying to come to terms with the idea that a union could be anti-communist. “Aren’t all unions just trying to make use social ists?”

  61. 61
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    I couldn’t stomach it anymore after that sick old man answered a long, impassioned speech from Carter about how we need to extend health coverage to everyone with a snide, sneering “there you go again!” Asshole.

    Not to mention Ronnie’s own long, impassioned speech against Medicare…aka “socialized medicine.”

    Bonus: When Palin quoted Reagan at the VP debate – “one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free” – yep, he was talking about Medicare.

  62. 62
    Punchy says:

    I forgot about Reagan. Much like I’m sure he did the same.

  63. 63
    Zandar says:

    Zombie Reagan on the other hand would starve from lack of brains over on that side of the aisle.

  64. 64
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @gopher2b:

    Maybe in historical context. But does anyone ponder WWJFKD?

  65. 65
    El Cruzado says:

    Not to mention things like Ronnie bravely taking the marines out of Lebannon after they got bombed (resolve!), and the fact that Republican operatives 100% sure had nothing whatsoever to do with the Iranian hostages being freed as soon as Carter was certified not-reelected.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    Moreover, I seem to recall a small matter of martial law being declared in Poland following the Gdansk uprising. There was plenty of speculation at the time on whether or not it actually staved off a Soviet invasion/occupation a la Prague Spring mode, but I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if Reagan had just kept his mouth shut and let Kirkland and the AFL-CIO be the unoffial-official response of the US to the uprising. Would it have sped up the timetable of the fall of the Eastern Bloc? Who knows? The Soviets would have just called Kirkland et al. tools of the CIA anyway, but just putting the Kremlin in the position of having to denounce a major labor union would have been sheer genius — which is why there was no way it was going to happen under Reagan.

  67. 67
    TR says:

    just putting the Kremlin in the position of having to denounce a major labor union would have been sheer genius—which is why there was no way it was going to happen under Reagan.

    Interesting thought. But you’re right, no way the president who killed PATCO could’ve let the AFL-CIO take the lead.

  68. 68
    gnomedad says:

    @Napoleon:

    BTW, it is Yoo not You.

    “Who’s on first?”
    “Yoo.”
    “No, I’m standing right here asking you questions!”

  69. 69
    Echoes with Bunnies or Men says:

    With apologies to Peter Murphy and the Bauhaus…

    White on white translucent black capes
    Back on the rack
    Ronald Reagan’s dead
    The bats have left the bell tower
    The victims have been bled
    Red velvet lines the black box
    Ronald Reagan’s dead
    Undead undead undead
    The virginal brides file past his tomb
    Strewn with time’s dead flowers
    Bereft in deathly bloom
    Alone in a darkened room
    The count
    Ronald Reagan’s dead
    Undead undead undead

  70. 70

    @gopher2b:

    What does that stupid post even mean?

  71. 71
    Napoleon says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    But does anyone ponder WWJFKD?

    No. Goofer2b is just flinging typical GOPper talking points to cover up his sides Ronnie fetish.

    This is a good take from Jonathan Chait at TNR on this subject.

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs.....rship.aspx

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs.....kdown.aspx

  72. 72
    JDM says:

    Great post. So many American workers – Steel Workers, UMWA, UAW in particular had family or historical connections, but it was ALL union labor here backing Solidarity. Reagan’s part was trying to get back from fucking the Air Traffic Controllers and putting knobs on the NLRB and in DOL. Fuck him.

  73. 73
    Joshua Norton says:

    Then there’s Rep. John Culberson from Texas:

    Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.

    See? The plucky, oppressed Republicans are just like the folks in Iran.

    No, really.

  74. 74

    @gnomedad:

    Obama: I met with Hu today.

    Rahm: Who?

    Obama: Right. Hu.

    Rahm: Who did you meet?

    Obama: Rahm, I said I met Hu.

    Rahm: Okay, so who did you meet?

    Obama: Hu.

    Rahm: Is it who, or whom?

    Obama: It was Hu.

    Rahm: Are you sure, I think it’s whom.’

    Obama: I met Hu.

    Rahm: Whom.

    Obama: Hu

  75. 75
    beabea says:

    Posts like these, are why I started reading this blog every day. Of course, I love Tunch and Lily. But given the vast ocean of stupid out there, this site is a welcome respite.

    but they were actually spreading freedom and democracy long before John Yoo was advancing the cause through crushed adolescent genitalia and David Addington was furiously masturbating to the concept of the unitary executive.

    John seems to be feeling his inner Rude Pundit today, and using that to very good effect, btw.

  76. 76
    Awesom0 says:

    Let’s not forget that Saint Ronnie wasn’t even president during the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

    Oh yeah, let’s not forget about another time Ronnie dealt with Iran: Lebanon 1982. 200+ US Marines dead in an attack my Iran sponsored Islamic Jihad. Shortly after, Ronnie pulled all Marines out of Lebanon. Rightwingers like to talk about how Bin Laden was emboldened by Somalia and the USS Cole, but the biggest inspiration – particularly to Shia backed groups – has always been the time the US cut and ran after the attack in Lebanon.

    Yeah, we know what Saint Ronnie would have done…

  77. 77
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I have not heard any DFL lawmaker say, “You know, in this situation, I like to ask myself, What would JFK or RFK do?” False equivalency because I HAVE heard the GOP sputter about Reagan this and Reagan that ever since they lost power.

    This is a beautiful post, John. This is my favorite part:

    At any rate, you know what Reagan would do? Nothing. Why? Because he’s dead.

    Yes he is, indeed.

    P.S. OT, but since I’m not sure people will go back to the open thread, I will state it here. Favre is mulling a comeback…with the Vikings. If that happens, I will be actively rooting for my hometown team to lose.

  78. 78
    Emma Anne says:

    @gopher2b:

    I think conservatives born from 1964-1982 will stop talking about Reagan when liberals born from 1947 through 1964 will stop talking about Kennedy.

    Um, what? Who talks about Kennedy? I don’t hear the guy mentioned from one year to the next in Dem circles. If he comes up, people of that age have fond memories, but they don’t use him as policy inspiration. He’s firmly in the past. Was Kennedy even discussed much in the last election? Because Obama is in that age group you mention.

    I never used to hear FDR discussed in policy terms either, but I have heard a bit more of that since this deep recession began. But still – I don’t sense the attitude that conservatives have toward Reagan. Nobody thinks he could do no wrong and whatever decision he would have made is the right one now.

  79. 79
    ppcli says:

    and the fact that Republican operatives 100% sure had nothing whatsoever to do with the Iranian hostages being freed as soon as Carter was certified not-reelected.

    Glad someone remembers those rather fishy pre-election backchannel contacts between Reagan’s people and the Ayatollah’s.
    .
    Also let’s not forget that (as I understand it, perhaps wrongly) the Soviets had the Taliban and allies on the run in Afghanistan until the U.S. supplied Stinger missiles to neutralize the Soviet attack helicopters, which had been their trump card. Boy, wouldn’t a Soviet-occupied Afghanistan be welcome about now.
    .
    So based on the Afghan experience, here is what Reagan would do: find some batshit crazy group of bellicose religious loons who were a) opposed to the current Iranian regime b) an infinitely greater threat to the U.S. were they to achieve power. Then they would fund them like crazy, with all the weapons and intelligence they needed to take control of the entire middle east.

  80. 80
    Nellcote says:

    WWRD? Send them a chocolate cake and an autographed bible along with the weapons.

  81. 81
    mcd says:

    This post is teh awesome.

  82. 82
    Comrade Dread says:

    JFK used to be romanticized a lot by Democrats, in particular those Baby Boomers who came of age during his administration. The media also seized on this nonsense and brought us all of this Camelot BS.

    But I think that was mostly people getting older who were imagining the better days of their youth. That and his untimely and unfortunate demise sort of turned him into a saint for a while.

    Though, admittedly, that fetishization has mostly faded by now as the Boomers have aged and a more younger voters have been born post-Kennedy. Most young people today, if they hear Kennedy will assume you’re talking about Ted.

    Unless, of course, you’re a neocon.

  83. 83
    Nylund says:

    Although the doggie posts are cute, it is the posts like this one that make me come back to this blog again and again.

    Concise, informed, insightful, impassioned, a tad angry, and even a little funny.

    Now if only there was someone who would say this same exact thing on the cable news channels…

  84. 84
    Little Dreamer says:

    Glad someone remembers those rather fishy pre-election backchannel contacts between Reagan’s people and the Ayatollah’s.

    I remember. In fact, just a few weeks ago I had a discussion with TZ about that very thing, citing that five minutes after Reagan became president the hostages were released.

  85. 85
    Comrade Stuck says:

    We’re in a different game now, and you are just showing everyone how stupid you are. So just shut up about Reagan already.

    New Phrase

    Stasis Wingnut – The exact number of wingnuts, when on any given day, all else being equal, at least one reference is made to ” Ronnie Roo, What Would He Do” as a function of pi squared divided by all the other wingnuts, multiplied by all the remaining stupid stuff they say in a given day. Must equal at least one, give or take. And not more than 30 million.

  86. 86
    gnomedad says:

    John does his best writing after he announces plans to take the day off.

  87. 87
    ppcli says:

    let’s not forget about another time Ronnie dealt with Iran: Lebanon 1982. 200+ US Marines dead in an attack my Iran sponsored Islamic Jihad. Shortly after, Ronnie pulled all Marines out of Lebanon. Rightwingers like to talk about how Bin Laden was emboldened by Somalia and the USS Cole, but the biggest inspiration – particularly to Shia backed groups – has always been the time the US cut and ran after the attack in Lebanon.

    Oh, yeah. This really is a stroll down memory lane. Don’t forget that a few days after the pullout, (and the subsequent shelling of Beirut from ships just offshore) the administration invaded Grenada for basically no reason at all. A complete coincidence that this pushed the Lebanon fiasco off the front pages. The invasion was such a rush job that they didn’t even give a courtesy phone call tipping off Reagan’s buddy Margaret Thatcher, even though Grenada is a British Commonwealth country.

  88. 88

    @Little Dreamer:

    Ronnie’s birthday card to the Ayatollah:

    “Sorry I forgot your birthday. And everything else.”

    Heh.

  89. 89
    Rudi says:

    Thanks for refreshing my memory of Solidarity and Kirkland. But PLEASE, Ronnie Reagan(alone) defeated the Commies, Apaches and all those dirty hippies…

  90. 90
    Little Dreamer says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    Funny stuff! But, you remember that conversation, correct?

  91. 91
    Awesom0 says:

    If Ronnie were president today, I don’t think I’d want to be flying on Iranian Airlines any time in the near future.

  92. 92
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I was in a playpen the day JFK was shot. I don’t romanticize him at all.

  93. 93
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Ah, Zuzu, you make me smile! BTW-I think I like your handle the best of any.

    Anyhoo-in retrospect, I wonder if fighting Medicare wasn’t some pre-emptive strike on saving Social Security funding? Imagine how much money would be in the fund if Medicare wasn’t keeping the Greatest Generation alive!

    What I’d like to know is why rich c_________s are always saying the American people should have a choice of who provides their health-care. I can tell them-I can’t choose anyone-I haven’t got insurance or money. I’d like to be able to choose a public option that I might could afford, thank them all very much. Bastards!

  94. 94

    @Little Dreamer:

    I certainly do. Reagan was a con artist AFAIC. Remember, I lived in CA when he was governor. I knew his act pretty well.

  95. 95
    mechanical jacobin says:

    Holy God, that Elway-Trapeze analogy is the best thing I’ve ever read on a blog.

  96. 96
    gopher2b says:

    In response to the posts above: I absolutely hear it all the time, largely in the context of how Obama is like JFK. It reached a fevered pitch during the campaign as in all the “unfinished Bobby Kennedy campaign” nonsense.

    BTW, since a number of you lack basic reading comprehension skills, John didn’t say Reagan was a bad president. He said worshipping Reagan is stupid, and I would add unhelpful.

    But, like always, a number of you react with the same old tired comments. And yes, they tend to be liberal “talking points.” Unfortunately, both sides of the aisle are full of their fair share of unthinking, uncreative, terribly arrogant, unaccomplished drones. (To the retard above who said what I originally stated (i.e. Reagan worship will stop when Kennedy worship stops….never), please point to the talking point from which observation arises.))

    I wish most of you were half as smart as you think you are because something interesting might get said once in a while. I also wish most you “liberals” were half a empathetic and concerned for the other as you purport to be because the righteousness with which many of you carry yourself is difficult to reconcile with the flippant and callous reactions on this blog (in the comment section) to the opening days of the Iranian protests and subsequent death of college students.

    P.S. I’m not a Republican. I, like Cole, used to be. Sometimes I agree with him (and others) some times I don’t. Unlike many of you, however, I actually have a critical and original thought occasionally pass through my brain.

  97. 97
    Svensker says:

    @Awesom0:

    Oh yeah, let’s not forget about another time Ronnie dealt with Iran: Lebanon 1982. 200+ US Marines dead in an attack my Iran sponsored Islamic Jihad. Shortly after, Ronnie pulled all Marines out of Lebanon. Rightwingers like to talk about how Bin Laden was emboldened by Somalia and the USS Cole, but the biggest inspiration – particularly to Shia backed groups – has always been the time the US cut and ran after the attack in Lebanon.

    That was Ronnie’s finest hour, IMNVHO. If anyone had learned any lessons from that — the Middle East is a complex powder keg and we don’t need to stuff our snouts in there and if we do, they’ll get shot off — we wouldn’t be mired down in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Maybe we wouldn’t be paying for fundie Jewish settlers to build houses on Palestinian land, either (hah).

    Ronnie also gets props for dealing with Gorbie, but the Lebanon pullout took real guts and smarts.

  98. 98
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    P.S. I’m not a Republican. I, like Cole, used to be. Sometimes I agree with him (and others) some times I don’t. Unlike many of you, however, I actually have a critical and original thought occasionally pass through my brain.

    Perhaps you’d like to send some of those original thoughts to the Republican leadership. I understand they are lacking in that area.

  99. 99
    gopher2b says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Which was precisely why I added date restrictions to my post.

  100. 100
    p.a. says:

    Not only did unions help build this country and provide a good life and serve as a foundation of the middle class for decades, but they were actually spreading freedom and democracy long before John Yoo was advancing the cause through crushed adolescent genitalia and David Addington was furiously masturbating to the concept of the unitary executive. And this glosses over the fact that the entire Solidarity movement was, in and of itself, a union movement.

    How the hell were you ever a Bushie? I’d check out the archives here (didn’t discover this blog until after ‘the turning’), but living through 2001-2006 once was enough.

  101. 101
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    c_________s

    It’s okay, you can say that word. TZ does all the time. ;)

  102. 102
    terry chay says:

    @Martin: Classic! Except every wingnut knows there is no way you’d catch Jesus and Reagan dead engaging in a terrorist fist bump.

  103. 103
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Svensker:

    Ronnie’s best friends were muslims and commies.

  104. 104
    gbear says:

    At any rate, you know what Reagan would do? Nothing. Why? Because he’s dead.

    I’d still like to trade him today for Tim Pawlenty. Sounds like Ronnie WAS a saint compared to the one-man slash and burn budget rampage TPaw is on in MN right now.

    And Hilzoy has a good post responding to the same WWRD crew that set John off on this post.

  105. 105
    valdivia says:

    have to say it–best ‘enough with Reagan and the Cold War already’ post ever! thanks John.

  106. 106
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Little Dreamer: Yeah, I know it’s OK, but somehow I just can’t type that word. It must be residual Catholic Girl guilt? Most other profanity doesn’t bother me much, but that one just won’t leave my fingers intact. There are times, though, when it’s the only one that will do, KWIM? Like the scene in G. I. Jane with Suck My Dick? As a female, that was a satifying as good sex-no explanation, just a fact.

  107. 107
    Tropical Fats says:

    The Reagan talk here reminds me of one of my favorite things about the Republicans being driven from power – the process of naming every single inanimate object in the country after him has been halted.

    Important? Not very. But sometimes it’s the little things.

  108. 108
    gopher2b says:

    @gbear:

    I also read a similar observation the other day (don’t remember where) about what Bush I and Baker did when the East Germans started to revolt against their government: nothing. They were smart enough to let it play out, like Obama is doing here. The current Republican party is doing what is always does these days:

    (1) Points to whatever Obama does and says its wrong
    (2) Finds a single historical example of Reagan doing something differently
    (3) Not consider the context or any details of the Reagan situation
    (4) Put it forth as gospel.

    This has been the MO since Day 1 of Obama’s administration. The fact is, the leadership is dumb. And I don’t mean, “I don’t like your idea so you must be dumb” dumb. They are factually and objectively stupid. They don’t understand leadership, they don’t understand history, they don’t understand economics, they don’t understand science. The only thing they know how to do is get elected….in 1994. That is why they just keep repeating the same shit over and over and over again.

  109. 109

    While I like the blog, and appreciate the insights I would just like to point out that not one single investigation uncovered any sneaky back channel dealings with regards to the Iranian hostages. It’s one of those things that comes up when people try to rehabilitate Carter’s useless presidency.

    The implication is that Warren Christopher, Ronald Reagan and the Government of Algiers got together to snub Jimmy Carter. It’s almost as if people repeat the conspiracy theory with no working knowledge of anything that actually happened. There’s far too many people involved for it to remain secret.

    And yes, Reagan would be far too left for the modern GOP. Many of the criticisms leveled at him are valid, some are debatable but that he had something to do with the release just minutes after he was sworn in is, in a word, idiotic.

  110. 110
    Napoleon says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    My mom told me it was the day I took my first steps. She had no idea of what happened since our TV was broke.

  111. 111
    Slaney Black says:

    Reagan illegally sold arms to the very same Islamic Republic of Iran. They should all STFU for that reason alone.

    That was always one of my favorite things about the old bastard.

  112. 112
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @gopher2b: This is the problem. These dipshits spend all their time denigrating government. Then, people are surprised they don’t understand leadership and governing. They don’t want to lead, they want to rape the coffers with tax cuts and no-bid contracts (free-market, my ass) for their friends and cronies and then get kicked out of office long enough for grown-ups to replenish the coffers and voter amnesia is epidemic.

  113. 113
    patrick says:

    Outstanding rant.

    You should be getting paid for this shit.

  114. 114
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    Ah, don’t be hypocritical, you thought the word, might as well just come right out and say it. ;) (just kidding on the hypocritical part, I like you, don’t get upset).

    One of the lessons I learned in the Bible is that if a man is thinking of screwing his neighbor’s wife, it’s just as bad as actually doing it. Food for thought.

  115. 115
    Awesom0 says:

    That was Ronnie’s finest hour, IMNVHO.

    @Svensker

    Ack! I completely agree with you, but in my laziness I never bothered to explain I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. I was writing about the events in Lebanon as interpreted by your typical Republican if anybody but Reagan were president. Actually, that’s being much too charitable. I completely lack the creativity to even begin to imagine the surreal universe that would be their interpretation.

  116. 116
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Paul MacDonald:

    While I like the blog, and appreciate the insights I would just like to point out that not one single investigation uncovered any sneaky back channel dealings with regards to the Iranian hostages. It’s one of those things that comes up when people try to rehabilitate Carter’s useless presidency.

    So you believe that the Iranians released the hostages simply because Reagan was installed as president and he got notice right after the swearing in? Are you insane?

  117. 117
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Napoleon:

    It’s the earliest thought I can remember, standing in a playpen looking at the tv while they announced that Kennedy had been shot. I was not even two years old.

  118. 118
    Tsulagi says:

    So just shut up about Reagan already.

    Ain’t ever gonna happen. He lives on for them in their inflatable Ronnie dolls.

  119. 119
    Xenos says:

    @gopher2b:

    I also wish most you “liberals” were half a empathetic and concerned for the other as you purport to be because the righteousness with which many of you carry yourself is difficult to reconcile with the flippant and callous reactions on this blog (in the comment section) to the opening days of the Iranian protests and subsequent death of college students.

    Flip this, buddy.

    If you object to remarks, fine. Object to some remarks. Don’t get all pissy days later, and smear everybody in sight. I don’t recall anyone being flippant and callous about murdered students, just about the neocon wankers who were pissed about missing their own opportunity to bomb those same Iranians.

  120. 120
    gex says:

    @Leelee for Obama: Well if you delve into it too far, you are insulting by comparing the target to a woman or a gay man. Best not to inspect these phrases too closely.

  121. 121
    jvill says:

    Go Broncos!

  122. 122
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Little Dreamer: IIRC, the Baltimore Catechism told us that a sin was only a sin if you thought it was? I was seven, so dinosaurs were roaming the earth, yeah? Always thought that was how the Popes managed the sex and family thing? Talk about a get out jail free card!

    Ronnie and the Mullahs were always an interesting fit to me. But, it makes sense in light of the need for a evil empire to be against.

  123. 123
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @gex: Wow, gex. I hadn’t thought of it in those terms, really. I must admit I never understood why it was an insult-most men would pay for it! or so I’m told, also.

  124. 124

    @littleDreamer

    So you believe that the Iranians released the hostages simply because Reagan was installed as president and he got notice right after the swearing in? Are you insane?

    That’s not how this works. You, and others like you, have been forwarding this conspiracy theory since, well 1981. Here is what you must provide: proof.

    Burden of proof rests with you because you have made the claim. Seeing as how no one has provided the proof in nearly (holy crap) 30 years, I will say that it is simply a smear.

    I believe the hostages were released because Warren Christopher with cooperation of the Government of Algiers with Iran worked out a settlement that was beneficial to all.

    I hate conspiracy theories. This one, while not particularly odious, is a symptom of a larger problem.

    {edit was made to add a pretty important participant in the process}

  125. 125
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    Ronnie and the Mullahs were always an interesting fit to me. But, it makes sense in light of the need for a evil empire to be against.

    If the Iranians only knew what the GOP would do to the reputation of Iran in the future (looking ahead from January 1981), I don’t think those hostages would have been released.

  126. 126
    gopher2b says:

    @Xenos:

    First, I did. Second, I don’t see how trying to come up with “clever” nicknames” for the revolution has anything to do with neoconservatism. One of my favorites:

    Depending on how bad it gets in the process, it may be the Kabob Revolution

    Please enlighten me.

  127. 127
    gopher2b says:

    I find jokes about alzheimer’s equally unfunny as well as incompatible with great empathy of the left.

  128. 128
    grandmavicki says:

    I can’t help it – I luv you John Cole. You should have your own comedy show a la Stewart or Colbert. You’re that good. Elway went long!” What a riot.

  129. 129
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @gopher2b:

    I also wish most you “liberals” were half a empathetic and concerned for the other as you purport to be because the righteousness with which many of you carry yourself is difficult to reconcile with the flippant and callous reactions on this blog (in the comment section) to the opening days of the Iranian protests and subsequent death of college students.

    Thanky you Scarlett. Don’t spittle that dress with yer hissy fit.

  130. 130
    Little Dreamer says:

    I believe the hostages were released because Warren Christopher and the Government of Algiers worked out a settlement that was beneficial to all.

    Is that not the same fucking thing? Warren Christopher goes to Algiers, Algiers calls up Iran, a deal is made, the hostages are released just in time for Reagan to announce the release directly after being installed as president. So, it’s okay to you simply because Algiers worked as a middleman?

    If you buy a Ford from a Lincoln dealer, does that mean you actually bought a Lincoln?

  131. 131
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    STFU. My grandmother died of alzheimers. The fact is Ronnie had alzheimers and his symptoms were starting to appear when he was in office. That is no joke, that is reality.

  132. 132
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @ppcli:

  133. 133
    ppcli says:

    While I like the blog, and appreciate the insights I would just like to point out that not one single investigation uncovered any sneaky back channel dealings with regards to the Iranian hostages. It’s one of those things that comes up when people try to rehabilitate Carter’s useless presidency.
    .
    So you believe that the Iranians released the hostages simply because Reagan was installed as president and he got notice right after the swearing in? Are you insane?

    Well, since I was one of the people tossing wood on this particular fire, I should weigh in on the other side. It would be incredible if the timing were a sheer coincidence, but it’s not hard for me to believe that the Iranians might have timed the release just as a gesture of contempt for Shah-sheltering Carter, without any external nudging.

  134. 134
    Deborah says:

    Not enough attention was paid a few weeks back when Mitt was inspirationally (and unironically) declaring that if Reagan were here Reagan would not be looking backward, Reagan would be looking forward.

  135. 135
    gopher2b says:

    STFU.

    Compelling

    BTW, who said I was even referring to you. Self-centered much. Of course, this was addressed to you and you didn’t respond with quite the same vitriol as you reserved for me.

    Ronnie’s birthday card to the Ayatollah:

    “Sorry I forgot your birthday. And everything else.”

    Heh.

  136. 136
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Little Dreamer: The alzheimer’s situation with Reagan was one of my main arguments with Republicans about McCain. His Mom might have all her synapses or not, but he worried the crap out of me. There was never a doubt of who would get my vote, but McCain’s age and erratic behavior was something I brought up whenever Obama’s youth and “lack of experience” came up. Thank God for an electorate that paid attention.

  137. 137
    slag says:

    @gopher2b:

    P.S. I’m not a Republican. I, like Cole, used to be. Sometimes I agree with him (and others) some times I don’t. Unlike many of you, however, I actually have a critical and original thought occasionally pass through my brain.

    Wow! You certainly don’t let your complaints about others’ self-righteousness get in the way of your own, do you? I guess that in itself could be considered “original”…if it weren’t completely common, that is.

  138. 138
    ppcli says:

    At 132 the second paragraph should also be in block quotes.
    D’oh!

  139. 139
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    No, I am not self-centered. I knew you were referring to me because I wrote that post. You even admitted it just now.

    You have absolutely nothing to say about how Reagan was showing symptoms in office though, huh? I guess you agree.

    Do you think it’s not detrimental to have a president with alzheimers in office?

  140. 140
    AnotherBruce says:

    Regarding the charge that Reagan conspired with the Iranians on the timing of the hostage release: There is precedent for that kind of thing.

  141. 141
    gopher2b says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    Little Dreamer: Perhaps I’m losing it, but this is not your post, correct?

    And of course I don’t think people showing signs of alzheimers should be president. It also has nothing to do with my point.

  142. 142
    Little Dreamer says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    Thank you AB, I learned something new today. I was too young to remember any of this, and in the house I grew up in, Nixon was king.

  143. 143
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    TZ was replying to my post. I was the one who brought it up.

  144. 144
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    Of course, this was addressed to you

    Oh, I guess you were just lying then.

  145. 145
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    You’re welcome, what’s sad is how unsurprising it is that our corporate media completely ignored this story. Partially because it’s “ancient history” which of course has absolutely no effect on us today./sarcasm But mostly because it’s a rude story of treason that they don’t want to acknowledge.

  146. 146
    gbear says:

    So you believe that the Iranians released the hostages simply because Reagan was installed as president and he got notice right after the swearing in?

    And Pappy Bush’s deep connections in the CIA didn’t get put to use before the elections? That would have been SO unethical.

  147. 147
    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    What?!? I have no idea what you are talking about. My point stands despite your attempts to change the subject.

  148. 148

    @gopher2b:

    The exchange was a riff on a IRL conversation LD and I recently had.

    It’s not unlikely that Ronnie The Ray Gun was suffering from the effects of senility while in office.

    But anyway, it’s also not unlikely that there was some undisclosed shit going on behind the scenes with Ray Gun and his handlers WRT the Iranian hostage thing. Or Ray Gun and Bush and their combined handlers. I doubt that we will ever know the whole truth.

    One thing I know, though. Ray Gun was a complete fraud. Or, if you prefer, an actor. He could hit his marks and say his lines, and he had no real interest in, or knowledge about, the world he lived in. Ever. He just had a huge ego.

    As for him shutting down the Soviet Union … I think that credit really goes to Gorbachev. It was his courage and vision that made it possible, not some Hollywood hack who could only mouth slogans from the John Birch Society.

  149. 149
    Xenos says:

    @gopher2b:

    First, I did. Second, I don’t see how trying to come up with “clever” nicknames” for the revolution has anything to do with neoconservatism.

    DougJ can defend himself, but the point (as I understood it) of his ‘flippant joke’ was not to come up with some sort of clever name, but to point out the the way that very serious political conflicts become treated as fodder for our own very parochial political disputes. JohnH’s “kabob revolution” strikes me as a fairly deft bit of black humor – it acknowledges that this is a bloody and gory scene for which the most appropriate humor is mordant, sick humor. He made the point fairly well, even if it shot right over your head.

    In any case, these two examples do not support your argument that the liberals who frequent this site (there are at least a few score of us) are flippant, self-centered, moral narcissists in need of your superior moral direction. So fuck off already.

  150. 150

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Awareness and recognition are the first steps to recovery.

    Good for you, man. Good for you.

  151. 151
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    You acknowledged that you were addressing that post to me. Perhaps you need a refresher course on the English language?

  152. 152
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Oh good grief. Complaining that the people on this blog are snarky is like saying that Republicans lie every time they open their mouth. Empathetic? Hello? We invented the word, remember? Plus, we’ve been excoriated over it, too. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we are too soft on terror and all empathetic and shit and that we are callous fuckers who laugh over dead college students. Well, yes, you can, but you sound like a stupid shit.

    As for the JFK thing, um, I don’t think it was the DEMOCRATS who were comparing Obama to JFK in terms of policies. As for Reagan as a president, John has said posted about areas in which he disagrees with…oh, fuck it. If I knock down each strawman, gopher 2b will just make up more.

    Reagan was the start of the trickle down bullshit that has put us where we are today.

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Thanky you Scarlett. Don’t spittle that dress with yer hissy fit.

    Now, now. You’re not being empathetic enough. Tsk tsk.

  153. 153
    Little Dreamer says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Reagan was the start of the trickle down bullshit that has put us where we are today.

    Another good point which should have been mentioned long before now, and probably would have been if we weren’t dealing with gopher’s mental breakdown.

  154. 154
    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Oh, gotcha. I can you how you (rightly) read it that way. In my defense, the paragraph formatting messed with my post and it did not come out the way I inteded (though it was not written clearly).

    Anyway, I was saying the joke about alzheimers was addressed to you. I just found it odd that you would strike out against me with such fervor for commenting on the apparent lack of empathy of some liberals on this site yet let an alzheimer’s joke ( a terrible disease that your grandmother suffered from) pass without comment.

  155. 155
    Little Dreamer says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    The exchange was a riff on a IRL conversation LD and I recently had.

    Speaking of IRL conversations, what are you bringing for dinner, or is it a “going out” night?

  156. 156
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    Take the refresher course, man. It’s obvious you need it.

  157. 157

    @Little Dreamer:

    Well, I have some Black Angus coupons …..

  158. 158
    Little Dreamer says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    Mmmmm! yummy! Okay. ;)

  159. 159
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    My grandmother wasn’t president of the united states. The only thing that suffered from her lack of coherence was her paintings and her ability to cook.

    Reagan had a lot more ability to do damage to the world as a result of his position. THAT is why there is a difference.

  160. 160
    Carnacki says:

    @TenguPhule:

    “…going to be rubbed back in his face like a housetraining dog and their mess.”

    that’s not how you housetrain a dog. Sounds like a great way to train Republicans though.

  161. 161
    KG says:

    @47: I may be misremembering, but I recall this being one of the issues in a biography of his that I read. Again, could just be too much beer on the brain.

  162. 162
    gopher2b says:

    @Xenos:

    I thought all the jokes were about neoconservatives. Is that not the argument anymore?

    And I love the formula of your post: Rationalize. Conclusory statement. Personal attack. Demand the person leave. I guess the GOP line of attack is having some influence.

  163. 163
    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Yeah, I’m not too worried.

    So I’m clear on the logic here: Offensive jokes notwithstanding, you are still empathetic of those who suffer from a debilitating disease as long as your grandmother and a President from the opposition party suffered from it ?

  164. 164

    @littledreamer

    Is that not the same fucking thing? Warren Christopher goes to Algiers, Algiers calls up Iran, a deal is made, the hostages are released just in time for Reagan to announce the release directly after being installed as president. So, it’s okay to you simply because Algiers worked as a middleman?

    If you buy a Ford from a Lincoln dealer, does that mean you actually bought a Lincoln?

    Ok, so Carter’s deputy secretary of state goes to Algiers to work something out with Iran and… Oh god… You realize that Warren Christopher worked for numerous administrations, in various capacities, and all of those administrations were… well… DEMOCRATIC, yes? Assistant AG under Johnson, Deputy SecState under Carter and Secretary of State under Clinton. So he was rewarded for betraying Carter by being given a key post with Clinton?

    Once again, provide some proof and not some addled speculation. You realize that you just are making stuff up about a guy who is still alive, right? You could ask him…

  165. 165
    gopher2b says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    People have been recycling this garbage for decades. If he truly was “just an actor,” at least he had the good sense to find new material. You should consider the same approach.

  166. 166
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Paul MacDonald:

    Well, being that I didn’t have access to those things, I can’t say what the hell happened, but, if it was under Carter’s administration that the deal was made, why was it Reagan announced it about five minutes (okay, maybe an hour) have he got installed as president?

    I don’t know who did what, what back channels were used, I’m just saying, even if a middleperson were involved, it’s still the person initiating contact who is the one making the deal.

  167. 167
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    Find new material about a dead man? So you ‘re suggesting that history should be rewritten?

  168. 168
    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    No, actual proof would suffice.

  169. 169
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Paul MacDonald:

    And quite honestly, I was a teenager when all that shit occurred, and I wasn’t keeping tabs on who Warren Christopher was working for. I’ve never studied the situation, I only know that I watched Reagan’s inauguration on tv and shortly thereafter he was on tv announcing that the hostages had been released. That is what I witnessed. That is all I know.

  170. 170
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    What proof do you need? That Reagan actually had alzheimers? That he garbled words and made some pretty corny appearances while in office? What?

  171. 171

    @gopher2b:

    I would if I were running for president.

    Ray Gun was a fraud.

  172. 172
    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Lord Jesus you have difficulty keeping two different lines of thought separate. My post was clearly referencing his claim that “Reagan was just an actor.” It had nothing to do with the claim he was suffering from alzheimers in the waning days of his presidency.

    BTW, if you suscribe to the belief that he was “just an actor” and that his handlers did everything for him, your hand wringing about him also suffering from alzheimers seems a tad unwarranted, no?

  173. 173
    gopher2b says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we are too soft on terror and all empathetic and shit and that we are callous fuckers who laugh over dead college students.

    Where did I say anyone was too soft on terror? I’ve pretty much just come out against making fun of dead college students. I also said that people who claim to care about “the world” and then make fun of dead college students from Iran are hypocrites.

    Moreover, I did not say that Cole said Reagan was a great president. I said the point of Cole’s post was that Reagan is irrelevant to this issue. When everyone responds “totally right Cole, Reagan sucked” they are evidencing their inability to read. I, too, disagreed with some of the things Reagan did. Just like I did with Bush I, and Clinton, and as I expect to, with Obama. Whoopity, whoop.

    So, wtf is your point, exactly. Oh right you wanted to use the word “strawmen.” Good job with that.

  174. 174
    Little Dreamer says:

    @gopher2b:

    You’re right, I admit I mixed it up badly (I apologize when I’m wrong).

    As for whether Reagan was just an actor, I wasn’t the one who stated it. I wasn’t watching Reagan as closely as TZ was, I’m sure. I’ll let him deal with that. I just know that I watched a president announce right after he got into office that the Iranian hostages were freed. I spent most of the Reagan years partying. I didn’t carefully examine politics at that point in my life.

  175. 175
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gopher2b: My point is that whenever anyone calls you on your bullshit, you just move the goal posts. I have no idea why you are even commenting here because you add nothing to the discussion. I don’t recall anyone laughing at any dead college students (that’s the strawman of which I speak), and I highly doubt that any of the regular commenters here would laugh at such a thing.

    You say we are being flippant, but duh, that’s what the fuck this blog is about. Again, if you don’t like flippant, then why are you reading this blog?

    As for Reagan, part of the reason to stop talking about him is because he was not what they keep saying he was. He RAISED taxes, for instance, and he was against Medicare, which even most GOP members don’t really protest much against (yet). So, when talking about why not to talk about Reagan, it’s completely appropriate to bring in what Reagan actually did.

    Finally, you started your first post with when the Democrats stop talking about JFK which is the biggest fucking strawman of all time. No prominent Democrat has said, “What would JFK do or say? Or RFK, for that matter. I’m talking about actual politicians or pundits.

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    gopher2b says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    And I admitted to an unclear, poorly written post. You told me to take an English class.

    Anyway, I apologize for my tone. I really should be working but this is more fun right now.

    With regard to the whole hostage thing (I was 2 years old btw), my feeling has always been that the Iranians released the hostages because they didn’t want to deal with it anymore, and not because they were “afraid” of Reagan. They had proved their point and there was little upside to prolonging the “crisis.” Frankly, they probably waited because they were just f&^king with Carter. Either way, I imagine it had more to do with Carter (good or bad) and very little to do with Reagan (good or bad).

  177. 177

    @littledreamer

    And quite honestly, I was a teenager when all that shit occurred, and I wasn’t keeping tabs on who Warren Christopher was working for. I’ve never studied the situation, I only know that I watched Reagan’s inauguration on tv and shortly thereafter he was on tv announcing that the hostages had been released. That is what I witnessed. That is all I know.

    Oh, so you have no goddamn idea what the hell you are talking about, yet feel compelled to regale me with your conspiracy claptrap?

    As much as I dislike the American right, it’s nice to see that they don’t have the market cornered on disingenuous ramblings about crap they don’t have a clue about. You didn’t have to “keep tabs” on anyone, all you needed to do was a quick search on the Googles, realized you were talking out of your ass and never posted it in the first place.

  178. 178
    Little Dreamer says:

    As much as I dislike the American right, it’s nice to see that they don’t have the market cornered on disingenuous ramblings about crap they don’t have a clue about. You didn’t have to “keep tabs” on anyone, all you needed to do was a quick search on the Googles, realized you were talking out of your ass and never posted it in the first place.

    Oh, I’m so sorry that I don’t do google searches to try to appear smart. I rely on my own memories and ability to think instead.

    Would you like to tell me why it was Reagan directly after his inauguration announcing that the hostages had been freed and not Carter before he gave up the presidency?

    I’m not talking out of my ass, I’m making an observation, that Reagan knew something and was involved in something that affected world politics and the first hours of his presidency.

  179. 179

    @Paul MacDonald:

    The phrase “October Surprise conspiracy” refers to an alleged plot to influence the outcome of the 1980, United States, presidential election between incumbent-Jimmy Carter (D–GA) and opponent-Ronald Reagan (R–CA).
    One of the leading, national issues during that year was the release of 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran since November 4, 1979. Reagan won the election. On the day of his inauguration—in fact, twenty minutes after he concluded his inaugural address—the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of the hostages. The timing gave rise to an allegation that representatives of Reagan’s presidential campaign had conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election in order to thwart President Carter from pulling off an “October surprise”.
    According to the allegation, the Reagan Administration would have rewarded Iran for its participation in the plot by supplying Iran with weapons and by unblocking Iranian government monetary assets in US banks.
    After twelve years of mixed media attention, both houses of the US Congress held separate inquiries and concluded that the allegations lacked supporting documentation.
    Nevertheless, several individuals, most notably former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, former Naval intelligence officer and National Security Council member Gary Sick, and former Reagan/Bush campaign and White House staffer Barbara Honegger, have stood by the allegation.

    As I said, we will probably never know the truth. But it isn’t claptrap to think that something fishy went on, and the aftermath is consistent with the phrase, “They got away with it.”

    You can believe whatever you like, nobody cares, and I imagine, that includes you. I’ve seen your blog. But anyway, I assure you, Reagan was a liar and a fake. He never had an original thought in his life. He was literally just an actor, spouting bullshit — lines — fed to him by other people.

    He was the Arnold Schwarzenegger of his day, the handsome and convincing figure who couldn’t point to three countries that were not the US on a map.

  180. 180
    gopher2b says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    This is what you are saying: In response to Republican claims that Reagan would handle this situation differently from Obama, we should respond — Reagan raised taxes and was against Medicare? WTF planet you are on.

    The point is: Reagan is dead. No one would know what he would do. It is silly and useless and actually harmful to engage in this type of analysis. It does not help the Iranians, it does not help the GOP, it does not help this country. And, its annoying. Responding: Reagan sucked and these are all the reasons is the SAME FUCKING THING. Its engaging an analysis that is based on a flawed premise. I hope that is clear enough (for you specifically).

    The JFK thing was just a throwaway comment meant to illustrate that it this type of thing will not stop until all the baby boomers (and a few of the stragglers) are dead. God bless them. Everyone else exploded over it as some kind of conservative talking point. That being said, I rarely hear now WWJFKD in the specific context of policy (I did hear a lot about the Kennedys during the campaign and I did occassionally hear WWJFKD when Bush was President)? To that point, I concede to to something I never sought to establish.

    I’m all for being flippant. I’m all for the funny. Saying things like Kabob Revolution is neither funny nor clever. Its distasteful and racist. Beyond that, I merely OBSERVE it to be odd that people who put themselves out there as “for the regular people” will defend something like that.

  181. 181
    Xenos says:

    @gopher2b:

    And I love the formula of your post: Rationalize. Conclusory statement. Personal attack. Demand the person leave. I guess the GOP line of attack is having some influence.

    Yikes. Good manners troll insults a body of people based on one post and one comment that he did not understand. Explanation of comments and good faith justifications are dismissed as rationalization, conclusion is dismissed as conclusory, observation that troll does not understand the conversation is dismissed as personal attack (pretty rich considering troll began the debate with a blanket ad hominem).

    Secondary conclusion: Gopher2B is either a troll or has serious cognitive disability. Tertiary conclusion: There is no point in talking to the twerp.

    You know what? You really need to fuck off. For your own good. For the common good. For the sake of the little children.

  182. 182

    That being said, I rarely hear now WWJFKD

    Dude, I went to the Dem Convention in 1960, helped register voters and planted yard signs for Kennedy …. and I never heard WWJFKD at all. Ever, from anybody. That’s in a family of JFK worshippers.

    First of all, his followers were not policy driven, they were personality driven. Second, his presidency was too short and too fraught with churn that didn’t get resolved.

    If you want to invent history, you are going to have to go back to a time earlier than one remembered well by people posting here.

  183. 183
    gopher2b says:

    @Xenos:

    So much writing, such big(ger) words, yet still tied to that basic little formula. Simple formula, simple mind.

  184. 184
    gopher2b says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    Look, my original point was this:

    I think conservatives born from 1964-1982 will stop talking about Reagan when liberals born from 1947 through 1964 will stop talking about Kennedy.

    As I said in the post from which you lifted that quote, I concede to the point I never sought to make. Unfortunately, I took the bait and used WWJFKD to describe something more nuanced. Have I ever heard a pundit or policy maker say how would JFK have handled the Iranian protests (or some other contemporary issue)? No. Do I hear a lot of comparisons of Obama to JFK. Yes. Do I think the latter is an more artful way to say the former? Yes. Do I think comparing Obama to someone who has been dead for 45 years is just as useless and annoying as asking what someone who has been dead for 5 years would do? Absolutely.

  185. 185
    Little Dreamer says:

    @PeopleAreNoDamnGood:

    On the day of his inauguration—in fact, twenty minutes after he concluded his inaugural address—the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of the hostages.

    Thank you! That’s the timing I remember. It was only a short while after the inaugural address that tv stations broke away from their programming to show Reagan walk up to a microphone and announce that the hostages had been freed.

  186. 186
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @gopher2b:

    I merely OBSERVE it to be odd that people who put themselves out there as “for the regular people” will defend something like that.

    I won’t defend the “Kabob Revolution” comment, but your “observations” are off the mark of the reality in Iran. Firstly, If we “liberals” picked the side of “regular peoples” in this struggle we would be cheering for “Achminajob” to win, because that’s who “regular People” (ie working stiffs, and the poor) voted for.

    While it seems there was fraud, it is just as likely, or probable, that Achminojob did win, just by a lesser margin. Why do I think that? Because there are many more “regular people” in Iran than not.

    Another observation you might consider, is the fact that most of those protesting, are not protesting for real democracy. More likely, they are pissed at Achminojob because he has been re-distributing wealth to the poor and away from educated, upwardly mobile, city dwelling elites. The very people in the streets of Iran that folks like you are championing as agents of democracy. In other words, “it’s the economy stupid” combining a general downturn in Iran like everywhere else in the world, with the added social programs of the Nutty Achmenojob.

    The point is, things are not always what they seem on the surface, and before you pick sides and condescend to those who don’t join your campaign, know what it is your actually supporting. By your stereotype, liberals would naturally be supporting the incumbent nutjob as a champion of the poor. Mosauvi is far more likely to forget about them.

    I am guessing this is why some aren’t picking sides. Because the politics and culture in Iran so different than ours, making an informed judgment mostly un-possible.

    The only pressure we should put on Iran is for there to be as little violence as possible from both sides, until they get this worked out Iranian style. Not American.

  187. 187
    gopher2b says:

    @Xenos:

    And one more comment before I leave (as you so desperately want). I didn’t call out anyone in particular. I said that it is hypocritical of some people on this blog who call themselves liberals (meaning for the “regular guy”) will reflexively mock the “regular guy” when they do not have a vested interest that person’s struggle. If you decided to lump yourself in that category, that is on you.

    You are clearly articulate but you have little substance. I encourage you to think about issues before you reflexively attack someone you perceive to be against you. Otherwise, you find yourself defending a “joke” about how bits and pieces of human flesh used in a traditional Iranian meal could become the symbol of a bloody struggle against tyranny. (I got the “joke,” asshole, it wasn’t funny).

  188. 188

    @gopher2b:

    Ah.

    Okay, fine, we’re trying to get on the same page.

    Hey, how about those Dodgers?

  189. 189

    @gopher2b:
    I asked the other day if somebody had to work had at being that stupid or if it came naturally, in the face of this the line was wasted there.

    Per the current GOP mantras RR sucked eggs in a big way and yet they use him as a mythical GREAT ONE. From my political point of view he was an asshole and I have facts to back that up so I don’t engage in their mythology on either their side or mine. You brought up JFK as a mythical GREAT ONE and that is a strawman and you can’t manage to point out one instance and in fact admit it and get all defensive.

    You continue on whining about others’ posts and standing yourself up as…above reproach??? And you wonder why people get glee from kicking the snot out of you?

  190. 190
  191. 191
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Jill:

    This keeps up, he’s gonna be bigger than Elvis.

  192. 192

    But back to the point. The days of Lech Walesa and General Jeruzelski and Reagan and Kirkland are long, long past, and the current situation in Iran doesn’t resemble them in the least. All these “Reagan was manly in Poland while Obama is being a pussy with Iran” so completely miss the mark that it is akin to standing underneath a trapeze artist doing his high wire act and yelling “ELWAY WENT DEEP IN THE SUPER BOWL” and thinking you’ve added some value to the conversation.

    I am going to be chuckling over this for days.

  193. 193
    gopher2b says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I asked the other day if somebody had to work had at being that stupid or if it came naturally, in the face of this the line was wasted there.

    You brought up JFK as a mythical GREAT ONE and that is a strawman and you can’t manage to point out one instance and in fact admit it and get all defensive.

    Are you drunk? Seriously, are you literally drunk? Man, I hope so.

    I never said mythical. I never said GREAT ONE. But you have “facts,” so I guess I should just sit here quivering at the thought you or others “kicking the snot” out of me. Right.

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