The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, June 14, 2004

After the Reagasm

Reagasm Watch

Now that the Reagasm is over, I hope, it is important to remember that fact really can be separated from opinion. As Atrios notes, saying that Reagan single-handedly defeated Communism is an opinion, no matter how hard to defend. But there are facts which have been completed distorted over the last week. To quote Atrios:

The House and Senate did not both come under Republican rule during Reagan's time.
The Berlin Wall did not come down when Reagan was in office.
Reagan is not the president who left office with the highest approval rating in modern times.
Reagan was not "the most popular president ever."
Reagan did not preside over the longest economic expansion in history.
Reagan did not shrink the size of government.
Reagan did preside over what was at the time the "biggest tax cut in history" but it was almost instantly followed up by the "biggest tax increase in history."
Reagan was not "beloved by all." He was loved by some, liked by some, and hated by some with good reason.

Thanks to Marti for this article from the Washington Post on more balance to Reagan's legacy:

But however much Reagan helped wind down the Cold War abroad, he absolutely revived class war here at home. Slashing taxes on the rich, refusing to raise the minimum wage and declaring war on unions by firing air traffic controllers during their 1981 strike, Reagan took aim at the New Deal's proudest creation: a secure and decently paid working class. Broadly shared prosperity was out; plutocracy was dug up from the boneyard of bad ideas. The share of the nation's wealth held by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans rose by 5 percent during Reagan's presidency, while virtually everyone else's declined.

And thanks to Paul for this article:

Other than the fact that he was one of the worst presidents of the 20th century, I really have nothing bad to say about Ronald Reagan. He was pleasant enough, had a nice smile, and always looked sharp in a suit. It's the other stuff that bothers me, such as his insensitivity to the poor, women, people of color, the working class, and the unemployed, not to mention the damage he did to the environment, collective bargaining, and the nation's fiscal health. Am I leaving anything out? Probably, but there's enough here to question the obsession of a few members of Congress and conservative activists who are determined to place the former president's name on anything that slows down long enough to hang a plaque on.

Finally, check out this article by Ron Reagan Jr. on Bush trying to steal his father's legacy for his re-selection campaign:

The Bush people have no right to speak for my father, particularly because of the position he's in now," he said during a recent interview with Salon. "Yes, some of the current policies are an extension of the '80s. But the overall thrust of this administration is not my father's -- these people are overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive, and just plain corrupt. I don't trust these people.

Conservative Idiots Watch

It's Monday, and that means another visit to DemocraticUndergound's Top Ten Conservative Idiots is due. Check out this site, you won't be disappointed:

And so at long last, George W. Bush has found a flag-draped coffin he doesn't mind standing next to. In fact, Our Great Leader was practically clambering into Reagan's casket last week in a vain effort to get some of that Gipper Goodness to rub off on him.

John Ashcroft was in hot water last week when he potentially placed himself in contempt of Congress by refusing to release a January 2002 memo which says that George W. Bush is above the law and can torture whomever he damn well pleases. "I believe it is essential to the operation of the executive branch that the president have the opportunity to get information from the attorney general that is confidential," said Ashcroft. But he didn't invoke executive privilege, so he was basically saying, "oh, and by the way, I'm above the law too." The memo itself was 56 pages long, and according to Reuters said that George W. Bush had "'complete authority over the conduct of war,' overriding international treaties such as a global treaty banning torture, the Geneva Conventions and a U.S. federal law against torture." That's right folks - Our Great Leader doesn't need to abide by such petty out-dated concepts as "the law" because he's defending our freedoms. Never mind the fact that authorizing torture places George W. Bush in the same league as Augusto Pinochet. Because don't forget - even though we're doing the same things the evil-doers are doing, we know that it's wrong, and that makes us better than them. Um, or something.


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