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Ronnie's Not Running in 08

As expected, a number of Republicans in the Blogsosphere have begun to compare their preferred candidate to the patron saint of Successful Conservatism, Ronald Wilson Reagan. The only problem is, Ron's not running this year, neither in person nor by proxy. Let's run down the GOP slate and see how the pretenders stack up to The Man:

Mike Huckabee: Huckabeemers are proud that their boy won the Iowa caucus, but the guy still creeps out too many Republicans, and there is little in common between the Huckster and the Gipper. True, both men were Governors, and 4 out of our last 5 Presidents were Governors from Southern or Western states, but that's where it ends. Note how Hucky likes to trash Dubya? Seems he forgot Reagan's 11th Commandment. Ronnie never liked Gerald Ford all that much, for example, but even when Reagan ran for the White House in 1976 he was respectful of the President, something which seems well beyond the ability of Governor Huckabee. Iowa may well be the high point for the Huckabeemers, or at least we can hope so.

Rudy Giuliani: The GOP front-runner coming into the fall of 2007, Rudy's people like to point out Rudy's strong credentials for personal bravery and a refusal to play along with the media in hopes of winning votes. But Giuliani is a social liberal in most respects, and that kills any further comparison between him and Reagan.

Mitt Romney: Romney has been trying hard lately to sell himself as a new version of Reagan, but Massachusets is not California, and Romney's no Reagan Republican. For one thing, Romney changed his mind - as he has a right to do - on a number of issues, but unlike Reagan, who made the changes a number of years before he ran for President, Romney's switches are recent enough to justify the 'flipper' tag pinned on Kerry. Romney, for example, opposed the Bush tax cuts in 2003 (he also approved of increasing the federal gasoline tax), but now sells himself as a proponent of lower taxes. He brags that as Governor of Massachussets, he balanced the budget without raising taxes, but that's not completely true, since Romney increased revenues by implementing new fees and increasing existing fees, as well as closing "loopholes" in the tax law which resulted in taxpayers paying more. And if the taxpayer is paying more, that's higher taxes by any reasonable definition, no matter how you got there. Yet Romney refuses to admit his past actions, much less explain how his present promises square with his performance. Especially his "universal healthcare" plan as Governor. Look, when a candidate creates a health plan that applies to everyone regardless of what they want, and it increases government control of personal lives, that's a lot closer to Hillary than it is to Ronnie.

John McCain: "The Gang of 14". Enough said.

Ron Paul: Ronald Reagan defeated the enemies of America. Ron Paul wants to run from them. Ronald Reagan energized the economy and freed opportunity for personal wealth creation, while Ron Paul embraces financial theories disproven centuries ago. And like Huckabee, Paul ignores Reagan's 11th Commandment.

Fred Thompson: The Fredheads love to pretend Fred is the return of Ronnie. Don't be fooled by that for even a moment. Yes, both men were actors and love striaght talk, but Reagan was a Governor, Thompson was a Senator. Reagan's 1980 campaign was his second run for the White House, following a powerful performance in 1976, while Thompson's 2008 run is his first, and has lacked punch at many spots so far. Fred's other problem is Abortion, where his credentials are most un-Reaganlike.

Please don't misunderstand me. Each of these candidates (except Paul) has qualities which could serve America well, and any of them (except possibly Paul) would be preferable to anything the Democrats could nominate this election. But none of these men rises to the level of George W. Bush, let alone Ronald W. Reagan. It's disingenuous for any of them to even pretend so.


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Comments (37)

OK. I support Fred! but in ... (Below threshold)
Brian Day:

OK. I support Fred! but in no way think he is the reincarnation of RR.

I don't understand your reference to his "abortion problem". Thompson is on the right side of the abortion issue - how can that be a problem?

Brian, not all of Fred's st... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Brian, not all of Fred's statements on Abortion are consistent.

So the conservative movemen... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

So the conservative movement only has Goldwater, Reagan and "W" to point to as successes? A total looser, a criminal to the Constitution and the worst president of all times. That is pretty pathetic.

I wouldn't think that "W" would even qualify since he expanded the government through no child left behind and the prescription drug program. Then again he did increase the nations debt at then unheard of levels through war spending and tax breaks, so maybe it is a push.

How do you know a comment i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

How do you know a comment is from BarneyG2000? It will always contain lies, hatred, and bitterness.

And yet it has no spine.

I only get one thing from t... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

I only get one thing from the whole Iowa caucus. For both sides, it is time to start over and find some real candidates.

CONDI!... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

CONDI!

But none of these ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
But none of these men rises to the level of George W. Bush, let alone Ronald W. Reagan. It's disingenuous for any of them to even pretend so.
You had me until this statement.

GWB is so much closer to these candidates than RWR you give GWB too much credit by making it.

There was a land of Cavalie... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Reagan Years . . . Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow . . . Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave . . . Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind . . .

jpm, W is only closer than ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

jpm, W is only closer than RR to these yahoos in calendar years. I'm not putting W on Reagan's level, mind you, but not one of the present contenders comes close to W.

Think about it, calmly, just once, and it should be obvious to you.

None of them even reach W? ... (Below threshold)

None of them even reach W? SRSLY? Fred's definitely better than Bush, and would be better than Bush. Do I think Fred's Reagan? No. Is he as close as we're getting to Reagan in 08? Yup.

Bush has not been a good president, between his ridiculous spending and entitlement growth to amnesty to his inability to put forth a strong message in the face of a hostile media, which has caused immense damage to the nation, he's been a royal eff-up.

He hasn't done nearly enough to rebuild our intelligence services, he hasn't controlled the leaking and undermining of foreign policy by leftist bureaucrats in DC, do I even need to go on?

Baghdad barney - "So th... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney - "So the conservative movement only has Goldwater, Reagan and "W" to point to as successes? A total looser, a criminal to the Constitution and the worst president of all times. That is pretty pathetic."

As opposed to what the list of "winners" the dems hold in high esteem. Like the serial liar and womonizer Slick Wille, the most drug addled president in history (not to mention his womanizing or his drink woman killing brother), and last but certainly not least Jimah Carter father of all that is terrorism today.

++undead, please enlighten ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

++undead, please enlighten me. What, precisely has Fred "done" yet? He's TALKED up his candidacy, but that's it.

His senate record, if you mean that, is unspectacular, which I do not hold againt him, but if you are going to post claims like that again, please first consult with your doctor about the dosage of your medication.

Every other candidate is se... (Below threshold)

Every other candidate is severely unbalanced as a conservative candidate, with the exceptions of Romney and Fred, and from a conservative perspective, Fred is the better choice, policywise.

Huckabee is basically a Democrat with a Bible and rifle, he'll make social cons happy, fiscal cons, small gov't cons, law&order/immigration types and some hawks stay home.

Rudy, the opposite, social cons and gunowners stay home, so do immigration- small gov't types, hawks and fiscal cons stay on board.

McCain, nobody is happy but the RINOs.

Romney, some hardliners of any issue stay home, but he'll at least maintain some semblence of the conservative coalition by giving some concessions to all of them.

Fred is the only candidate that offers us a solid conservative policy across the board.

And policywise, he's better than Bush, Bush has never been a solid conservative, he's conservative on some issues, but again, to note, big spendah, big centralizer, big entitlements, amnesty supporter.

Certainly, I can't predict that Fred would be better than Bush, but going on political philosophy and policy positions, Fred is definitely better than Bush.

You're well-stocked in BDS,... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

You're well-stocked in BDS, ++. You seem sadly deficient in fact, however.

please first consult wit... (Below threshold)

please first consult with your doctor about the dosage of your medication.

Every other candidate is severely unbalanced

I'll point this out to take away the low hanging fruit from ya, chump.
depp=true

I voted for Bush in 2004, a... (Below threshold)

I voted for Bush in 2004, and I' don't regret it, but to pretend he's the greatest thing since sliced bread is asinine. He has not been a great president, and has sold out his natural base of support several times, not McCain level sell-out, but on several key issues. So your accusations of BDS fall flat.
depp=true

This is not the "Trash Bush... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

This is not the "Trash Bush" thread.

Give WizBlue a try, they might have something for ya.

Fred's pro-life enough to r... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Fred's pro-life enough to receive the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee. The only criticism of which I am aware is that he does not support a constitutional amendment banning abortion. He wants to leave it up to the states to decide. Even I am sympathetic to that view. This is the way it used to be before the corrupt supremes decided abortion is "a constitutional right."

I don't know who is saying Fred is any Reagan. He is the most conservative guy in the race.

DJ, it appears that Fox New... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, it appears that Fox News holds Paul in the same low standards as you do. Did you see that Fox has locked Paul out of their televised NH debate while including Thompson even though Paul is out polling Thompson by an average of 5-points.

You can read all about here:
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/01/04/fox-bans-paul/#comments

Fair and balanced indeed.

++, the rules are plain. S... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

++, the rules are plain. Stay on topic. When you can't do that, bad things happen.

Baghdad barney - "Fair ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney - "Fair and balanced indeed."

Like ABC News?

Or maybe you don't have a problem with that news outlet axing GOP candidate Duncan Hunter and Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel from their debate?

Which is it Baghdad? Is Fox more "fair and balanced" in their actions or is ABC News more "fair and balanced?" (WAIT, don't answer, it's already been addressed)

Or, more likely, you'll ignore reality and continue bashing Fox 'cause that just what you do for little to no reason at all.

Attempting to derail the th... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Attempting to derail the thread out of spite is off-topic, ++.

I agree that Fred is not Re... (Below threshold)

I agree that Fred is not Reagan, but there are some amazing characteristics that they both share. Having been thoroughly entrenched recently in Mike Deaver's book - A Different Drummer, it is very easy to compare their campaign styles and find the likenesses.

When you can't do that, bad things happen.

What does this mean exactly?

CB, it means that there is ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

CB, it means that there is a range for dispute and disagreement, but at some point the editors have the right to address attempts to derail the topic into some petty non-seqitur. In this case, ++ has made a number of comments. Those which simply had a different opinion were left alone, but he tried to launch a bit of a hissy fit and repeated the attempt a few times. That gets posts devoweled.

I have seen what happens when someone starts a barfight, and I can and will exercise my perogative when someone shows they won't stay in the lines. And ++, lying and name-calling don't help your case. Behave or go somewhere where they let you do that kind of thing, because my hammer does not wear out, capisce? This thread is about the Reagan comparisons, and not your personal bitchfest.

Marc,Thank you for y... (Below threshold)
News Watcher:

Marc,
Thank you for your blind allegiance to the FNC. Fox is going to need each and everyone of the true conservatives to stay with them during this difficult time. It's not easy trying to appeal to the populists in the audience while at the same time doing the bidding of the corporatist. But I think they've found a fair and balanced aproach. Go Rudy!

http://www.nolanchart.com/article844.html

http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/01/fox-biz-no-ones-watching-nws.html

marc, ABC had set the follo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

marc, ABC had set the following rules before the Iowa results:

"The network set rules to narrow the field. Candidates had to meet at least one of three criteria: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys."

As was indicated in the link I provided Paul is polling significantly higher than Thompson, so why is Paul being excluded while Thompson has been included?

What is Fox afraid of?

++ got himself unpublished.... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

++ got himself unpublished. This means his comments have been sent to a holding pen, where they may or may not be reviewed for later reinstatement. Or not.

Ron Paul is more conservati... (Below threshold)
Sinistar:

Ron Paul is more conservative than eny of those guys.

What Nice Deb said.d... (Below threshold)

What Nice Deb said.
depp=true

You deleted me?Wow... (Below threshold)

You deleted me?

Wow.
depp=true

I think NiceDeb got deleted... (Below threshold)
pajama momma:

I think NiceDeb got deleted.
depp=true

What kind of operation are ... (Below threshold)

What kind of operation are you running here, anyway?
depp=true

I hate repeating myself, bu... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I hate repeating myself, but this thread is for discussing candidates comparing themselves to Reagan.

What Nice Deb said.<... (Below threshold)

What Nice Deb said.

Or would be, if her comment was still there.

When did this place turn into such a gathering of wimps?
depp=true

And now you "unpublished" N... (Below threshold)
wiserbud:

And now you "unpublished" Nice Deb? For what? Her comment was, in no way, shape, or form, off topic or offensive.
depp=true

DJ, Let me ask you somethin... (Below threshold)

DJ, Let me ask you something about Huckabee's trashing Bush. I didn't like Huck's remarks either, regarding GWOT. However, I think if he said what a debachle the Harriet Miers appointment was, he'd be justified.

I think ++ made valid points about Bush's lack of conservative accomplishments (and it was relevant on the comparison topic). That said, there are a lot of things conservatives can be proud of which Bush has done - Alito & Roberts, and the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (or as Hillary calls it - the war on science) - for starters. I also think Bush was a unifier immediately following 9/11.

Has he made some mistakes like allowing the GOP to spend and abuse the trust of taxpayers? Yes. Did he cow-tow to some of the Dems programs? Yes. Did he waiver on defending our borders (i.e. decreased enforcement of the borders)? Yes.

So, when comparing candidates to past or current presidents, you can't overlook any of their flaws. Reagan had them too.

One more thing about Reagan and Fred - Reagan was a terrible campaigner according to Michael Deaver. He was introverted too and was content to talk to one person all night instead of working the room. Reagan knew NOTHING about the workings of California's legislative process and had to be briefed every week by legislators to bring him up to speed. Were it not for a strong staff and experienced campaigners (and of course, Nancy), Reagan would never have been more than a great public speaker. He was a wise pupil of others with experience. Fred has been improving along the way too. Just sayin'

Regardless, I don't always agree with Reagan's 11th Commandment. Some times even public criticisms, when done constructively, are what are necessary when reason and good judgment appear impaired by lack of objectivity. The Miers appointment is a good example, and ultimately elected officials serve the people. We have the right (and obligation) to hold them accountable, even if they have an R behind their name. :)

Ooh, Delete me aga... (Below threshold)

Ooh,

Delete me again please.

I used to be a regular here back before trolls took over and ruined the place.

Jay Tea, Paul and Kevin had a great site that became ridiculous when the inmates started to run the asylum.

Now, it seems to have gone completely in the other direction.

mesaglue: You've not been deleted.
It's too bad you can't have your thread and ruin it too.
/ mweh




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