Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 5, 2004
POLITICS: Home Stretch for the Gipper

Sad news: CNN reports that President Reagan is dying. Given how much Alzheimer's has taken from him already, it's probably for the best for the 93-year-old Reagan and his family if the end comes soon.

To be cold-bloodedly political for a second, how would Reagan's death in the next month or two affect this year's presidential race? Not much, of course - most things that are supposed to affect the presidential race turn out to be overrated - but a wave of Reagan nostalgia would undoubtedly be a bit of help to Bush, reminding people of the common principles both have stood for and the common criticisms both faced. This is in marked contrast to the coming wave of Clinton nostalgia that will arrive with Bill's book - the further away one gets from the Clinton years, the less of lasting importance (other than his trade deals, for which his successors are none to quick to claim credit) can really be traced to him, and the things people remember fondly about Clinton (his charm, empathy and optimism) are palpably lacking in the Democrats' current nominee.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:06 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Bush traded Reagan's "Shining Beacon on a Hill" for an armed bunker in an undisclosed location. From hopeful to fearful, from a moral example to "if you're not with us, you're with them", Bush's administration has changed the message we send to the world in fundamental ways.

Spurning even his fathers nuanced foreign policies, Bush has adopted the Wayan's brothers' movie foreign policy: "I'm gonna get you, sucka"

Do you eat your popcorn with buttery flavored oil or will you be changing movies?

This is not your father's republican party, sport. How do you like them now?

Posted by: higgs boson at June 5, 2004 12:24 PM

See, you apparently don't remember the 80s. All the same people said all the same things about Reagan, how he didn't listen to the French and Germans, how he was a belligerent cowboy, etc.

Posted by: The Crank at June 5, 2004 12:35 PM

What's so surprising and important -- whether your an admirer or critic -- is how much George W. works towards following the policy path of Reagan, rather than his father. You may disagree with Bush's policies, but the soundbite critiques of his foreign policies are strikingly similar to the critiques of the Reagan Administration. Many of which turned out to be embarassingly wrong.

Posted by: Kiners Korner at June 6, 2004 12:11 AM

I don't have many fond memories or good comments on Reagan's presidency. But now is not the time to get into that.

On a personal note, I just attended the funeral of a good friend's grandmother who suffered with Alzheimer's and I am sure the Reagan family is feeling a good deal of relief in addition to grief. It is a long and horrible ordeal to go through. I have plenty of sympathy for them, and offer plenty of respect for those who want to remember Reagan in a different manner than myself.

Although a Reagan critic, I would like to point out that Reagan's most-heralded acheivement by those on the right -- his "ending the Cold War" -- was accomplished in a manner completely contrary to the way Bush has handled foriegn policy (ie: compromise and diplomacy), and despite the protestations of many on the Right at the time, including former DOD-man Perle and then-Congressmen Cheney...

The best thing that could come from Reagan's death at this time would be a focus on Alzheimer's and the fact that Bush has hampered progressagainst it by shutting down the stem cell research.

There, I managed to get my political digs in without taking it out on Reagan...not bad.

Posted by: Mr Furious at June 6, 2004 12:52 AM

not bad at all!

Although the compromise and diplomacy used in the second Reagan Administration was made possible by the actions of the first Reagan Administration -- a massive military build-up done despite Democratic protests, the enactment of a foreign policy that upset Europe and ratcheting up of anti-Soviet rhetoric.

In essence, these earlier actions made it so that we were in essence conducting diplomacy with a dying empire.

Posted by: Kiners Korner at June 6, 2004 9:23 AM

That's exactly right - Reagan didn't bend until he had our adversary over a barrel. (Which, I should add, is how Bush has dealt with some countries, like Pakistan and Libya).

Posted by: The Crank at June 6, 2004 9:31 AM
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