Why There Will Be No New Ronald Reagan for the GOP


reagan_hat_kpd8The Pink Flamingo saw a headline, with a line-up of the Republican Party’s most annoying entities.  It was asking the usual:  Who will be the GOP’s next Ronald Reagan?  Well, that’s simple to answer.  There is no one, not a single individual anywhere in sight, for the GOP, who will be another Ronald Reagan.  It is impossible.  It isn’t that what Reagan did and who he was cannot be duplicated, it is the fact that the GOP, currently cannot possibly produce another Reagan.

“…“Conservatives may not back President Reagan for reelection in 1984 unless he reverses what they consider “almost a stampede to the left” in the White House, New Right leaders said Tuesday. “Quick and comprehensive changes” in Reagan’s staff and policies are needed to win back longtime supporters in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, they indicated. Howard Phillips, who heads the Conservative Caucus, and Richard Viguerie…’…”

The Republican Party as it stands, today, will never be able to replicate a person like Ronald Reagan because of his character, sense of humor, decency, and honor.  He put the country first and party second.  He brought a much needed sense of dignity back into the White House.  His faith came first, but he did not demand others believe what he did.  There is a bottom line – he was a class act.

Ronald Reagan would never prostitute himself to the special interests, non-profits, and the billionaire backers who have turned the minions Republican Party into nothing but a bunch of cheap whores who will betray their own conscience at a moment’s notice, for money.  He never sold his soul for a couple of million bucks in a campaign war chest.

The very same individuals who are making it impossible for a normal Republican to emerge as a national leader are the very ones who were most against Ronald Reagan’s relationship with the Soviet Union.  They were very much against any negotiations to limit our nuclear arsenal or to try and tone down the Cold War.  This is an excerpt from a very long NY Times article from 1988.  They were on the losing side of history, trying to prevent Reagan from taking the steps that would eventually lead to the end of the Soviet Union.  These are the same individuals who basically wanted to fight a nuclear war.  They were wrong then, and they are wrong, now.

“...A sharp split developed over strategy. Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, and Richard Viguerie, the direct-mail specialist, wanted the conservative movement to break openly with Reagan. Others agreed to fight his policies but argued that it was bad politics to attack the President personally, urging their colleagues to ”Remember N.C.P.A.C.,” the National Conservative Political Action Committee. After the Soviet Union shot down a Korean airliner in 1983, the committee’s chairman at the time, John T. (Terry) Dolan, had attacked President Reagan for not being tougher with Moscow. ”It boomeranged,” said one conservative leader. ”Some people wrote that they’d never give N.C.P.A.C. another dime” because of Dolan’s criticisms.

At the Ramada Inn dinner, the leaders decided to set up a new coalition, the Anti-Appeasement Alliance, which would fight the trend exemplified by the INF treaty but would not attack the President personally. However, in a television interview two days later, Reagan infuriated old allies by declaring that foes of the INF treaty believed war with Moscow was inevitable; and he seemed to excuse Gorbachev’s occupation of Afghanistan by saying that the Soviet leader had inherited the policy.

The next day, Phillips charged that Reagan was ”fronting as a useful idiot for Soviet propaganda.” In the Senate, several longtime Reagan supporters voiced outrage at Reagan. Boomed Malcolm Wallop: ”Almost as offensive as his calling us warmongers was his apology for the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.”

The right-wing alarm grew during the Reagan-Gorbachev summit, which many hard-liners condemned as ”a love-in.” Some right-wing leaders moved quickly to exert grass-roots pressure on the Senate, tapping various networks: the Christian right; the ethnic, anti-Communist right, made up mainly of refugees from places such as Estonia, the Ukraine, Cuba, Korea, and Vietnam; as well as traditional pro-defense groups, such as the Coalition for Peace Through Strength, which fought earlier arms treaties.

In a letter mailed to 110,000 people, John M. Fisher, the 65-year-old chairman of the American Security Council, urged members to barrage the Senate with letters opposing the treaty. Fisher persuaded retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and more than 2,000 other retired admirals and generals to sign a petition opposing any arms agreements that ”would lock” the United States ”into strategic or military inferiority” or ”make our allies more vulnerable, like the proposed INF treaty.” Sixty organizations endorsed the petition, Fisher said, including Citizens for Reagan, the Naval Reserve Association, the Assembly of Captive European Nations, the American Federation of Small Business and the National Confederation of Ethnic Groups.

A parallel drive to galvanize right-wing protest was mounted by Howard Phillips, the stout, tart-tongued, 46-year-old former political campaign organizer and founder of the Conservative Caucus. Phillips showered 175,000 letters on his caucus members, and mailed audio cassettes of General Rogers’s 30-minute attack on the INF treaty to 5,000 delegates and alternates to the 1984 Republican National Convention.

But Phillips’s knock-out punch will be a full-page ad scheduled to run this month in such conservative-minded newspapers as The Washington Times and New Hampshire’s Manchester Union-Leader. Under the headline, ”Appeasement is as unwise in 1988 as in 1938,” photos of Reagan and Gorbachev are paired with photos of Neville Chamberlain and Hitler, followed by the appeal: ”Help Us Defeat the Reagan-Gorbachev INF Treaty.”

Other leaders, such as Daniel L. Casey of the American Conservative Union and Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, are quietly lobbying Senators. They hope to tie the treaty’s passage to tough conditions on arms control, conventional forces, Afghanistan, or human rights. These conservatives are poised to launch mass campaigns as soon as right-wing leaders inside the Senate decide what conditions to fight for.

”The only way these campaigns work,” said Weyrich, ”is when the inside and outside work together.”…

In the Senate, a conservative ”inside network,” known as the Steering Committee -an unofficial group of 20 or more Republicans who lunch together on Wednesdays – is set to whittle away at the treaty. Over the years, the members of this group -which includes Helms, McClure, Wallop, Quayle, Pete Wilson of California, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Phil Gramm of Texas, and others – have become masters at blocking measures they oppose….

…Backing up the Steering Committee senators and often prodding them into action is another conservative group – a network of ingenious and assertive staff aides known as the Madison Group because they meet at the Madison Hotel. In fact, on the Friday before Gorbachev arrived in Washington, the Madison Group’s members met for three hours at the hotel, discussing ways to delay or water down the INF treaty – even as Soviet officials who would attend the summit were checking into the same hotel. ”We got chased out of our room by the Soviets,” one participant laughed. ”Smirnov, the Soviet Ambassador’s aide, demanded, ‘What are you guys doing here?’ ”

THE RIGHT-wing strategy is to puncture the glowing White House portrayal of the treaty and to play for time while it draws the battle lines, pressing Senator Nunn’s demand that the entire treaty record be placed in evidence, which would be a gold mine for those interested in raising difficult questions. During the hearings, right-wing Senators intend to challenge Reagan’s boast that an entire class of weapons is being eliminated, by pointing out that no nuclear warheads or guidance systems will be destroyed…

By arguing for years that Soviet compliance with past treaties should be a precondition for any new treaty, President Reagan has left himself vulnerable to attempts by his right-wing critics to tie ratification of INF to compliance with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty and other past agreements. For example, many senators support a provision that would condition implementation of the INF treaty on the Russians’ dismantling their Krasnoyarsk radar, which the Administration argues is a violation of the ABM treaty….”

Ronald Reagan did not bow to the special interests of the far right.  Today, the same individuals who wax poetic about him, about wanting another Reagan were some of the very individuals who demanded he not seek a second term.  The Far Right Base of Loons were just getting started when Reagan was inaugurated for the first time. Within a matter of weeks they were trying to push him around, to make him bow to their will.  They thought, because he was the first real, openly, uncloseted conservative, that he was one of them.  He was not one of them.  No matter how badly they threatened, nor what they said about him, he ignored them.

“…Richard Viguerie, a conservative fund-raiser, said Mr. Reagan ”is now aligned wih his former adversaries: the liberals, the Democrats and the Soviets.”  December 6, 1987

The Pink Flamingo
The Pink Flamingo

Today’s cowardly, whores in the GOP don’t have the courage or honor to fight the far right and their unreasonable and losing demands.  The vote on the Violence Against Women Act is just one case in point.  The Koch Brothers, Freedom Works, Heritage Foundation, Americans For Prosperity, etc… who are we kidding, the Koch Brothers (who have their own little issues with domestic abuse against women in their families) did not want the act renewed.  Overnight lobbying turned 22 Republican Senators into their yes men.

Ronald Reagan refused to bow to the Heritage Foundation.  Contrary to the lies being told, today, turned on him, demanding he bow to their requirements.  He did not.  He simply ignored them, treating them like the annoying little gnats they were.

He had a sense of humor, a wonderful sense of humor, self-deprecating humor, never taking himself too seriously.  Because of this, his natural curiosity and interest in just plain old normal people was always right there, on the surface. Today’s GOP demigod doesn’t give a damn about people.  They care only about themselves, how they are seen.  They are arrogant, self-serving, cold-blooded individuals who have put their personal agenda ahead of what is good for the country.

They don’t care about the little people.  They’ve lost touch with small-town America, the heartland.  They no longer comprehend what makes this country great.  It is truly tragic.  They’ve taken a political party with all the promise of the ages and rendered it useless.  They’ve turned it into a joke.  We the Little People of the United States of America need not apply.  It is no longer Morning in America, but Mourning in America.  They’ve lost touch with the American base.

The very individuals who are being promoted as a possible successor for Reagan, are so extreme right they insult the memory of Reagan.  He was conservative, in a normal, middle American sort of way.  That’s not what is going on today.  Conservative, today is just plain weird, scary, and so far extreme it reeks of bigotry.  There wasn’t a bigoted bone in Reagan’s body.  He respected women, treating them decently.  He was kind. Very quietly, very secretly, he put his money where his mouth was, giving, donating, writing checks to those who needed it.

Bottom line  –  don’t expect another Reagan, anytime soon.

There is one other little thing. Ayn Rand detested Reagan.  He had no use for her.  Like all good Republicans he had a little libertarian streak in that he felt less government was better, but he was a pragmatist who knew how to compromise for the good of the country.  Those who give lip-service to worshiping him, never have quite grasp that part of Reagan.  He put the country first, and ideology second.  He was never movement conservative, libertarian, Randian, or anything near that.  He was an American.

Golly, he raised taxes.

He spent too much.
He believed in reasonable gun control.
He was a pragmatic lover of the environment.

Nah – there will never be another.