Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Bizarro World

Jonah thinks people speculating about Ronald Reagan being unable to win a current Republican primary are silly:
Jeb Bush has rekindled one of the dumber political talking points of recent years by saying that Reagan couldn’t get nominated today. While I think it’s perfectly legitimate to talk about what Reagan believed and how things have evolved since he was president, the way this topic is generally used is to say that today’s Republicans are too extreme blah blah blah.
That's important and it's some of that formulation, but the other part of it is that he isn't Ronald Reagan he is Saint Reagan and "WWRD?" is, you know, a thing. It's not just about examining the thoughts of respected thinkumator Ronald Reagan Ph.Dead, it's about whether or not you're paying attention to the holy writ that you insist is so holy that you don't pay attention to it. Watch this:
Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed. For instance, much of the GOP’s “extreme” opposition to tax increases stems from lessons learned from Reagan’s experience. Democrats promised to cut spending if Reagan raised taxes. They didn’t cut spending. Reality-based Republicans don’t want to repeat that mistake. Likewise, Reagan agreed to amnesty for illegal immigrants in 1986. Rather than be a one-time deal, it proved to be an incentive for more illegal immigration. And so on. The upshot of so much of the “Reagan was too reasonable for today’s GOP” blather assumes that Reagan wouldn’t have learned from what turned out to be mistakes — and that today’s Republicans shouldn’t either.
Got that? Saint Reagan in the heavens really wants what we want now, and he tut-tuts his mouldering corpse about them Messicans.
If you want to freeze presidents in amber and hold them against today’s political realities, virtually no former president could win their respective party’s primaries today. FDR was adamantly opposed to public-sector unionism. How would that work for him in today’s Democratic Party? John F. Kennedy was a foreign-policy hawk who didn’t care much about civil rights and believed in cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. Would he win a Democratic primary?
Okay and yes.
Times change and politicians change with them. I have few doubts that given Reagan’s principles and the political realities of today, he’d be a mainstream conservative with deep sympathies for the Tea Party. But you can’t blow up the space-time continuum, and if Reagan were alive today, he couldn’t win the GOP nomination — not because he’d be too liberal but because he’d be 101 years old.
HAW! His brain would also be Swiss cheese.

10 comments:

mikey said...

Ow. That hurts my brain.

If I'm understanding this, it's a perfectly reasonable exercise to ask what Reagan might have learned from the outcomes of his policies played out over a period of several decades, but it's silly to ask if he might be a viable conservative candidate in today's Republican party because he'd be over a hundred years old.

If it's true that Newt Gingrich is a stupid man's idea of what a smart man sounds like, then Jonah has GOT to be that stupid fellah...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If Jonah is attempting to say something, you can be sure the opposite is true.
~

Another Kiwi said...

Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed.
Thus, if Reagan was slooching around now he wouldn't be in the GOP because the GOP has marched, with short, purposeful strides, off to the loony bin. Thus Joberg's central point is hoist upon it's own petard.

Smut Clyde said...

HAW! His brain would also be Swiss cheese.

That was no hindrance to his first two terms.

Smut Clyde said...

If you want to freeze presidents in amber

3200 Ghits for "freeze in amber" and 497000 for "set in amber", because amber does not freeze (as any fule kno).
Apart from Jonah's difficulties with dimly-remembered cliches, I rate for this plan.

M. Bouffant said...

Reagan autopsied.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Well, his whole career is based on fighting straw liberals, so it's no surprise that he worships a straw Reagan.

Malacylpse said...

HAW! His brain would also be Swiss cheese.

Like that would ever be a hinderance in a Republican primary...

bbkf said...

jonah's inability to repeat cliches right, then trying to make an example of space-time continuum and ronnie remix make me want to pelt him with dead fish...frozen dead fish so it hurts more...

god, he makes me feel smart...

Smut Clyde said...

John F. Kennedy was a foreign-policy hawk who didn’t care much about civil rights and believed in cutting taxes to stimulate the economy.

I did enjoy Jonah's attempt to highlight the differences between JFK and Obama.