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Religious Leftist bile on Reagan

I'm not surprised by what follows and post it only as a means of conveying the depth of hatred that exists amongst the left and particularly The Religious Left for Ronald Reagan.

In a week that most are celebrating the man's 100th birthday, we get the following from Sojourner's Jim Rice:

Most commentators praise Reagan for his "optimism" and personal affability. But, as we wrote after his passing in 2004:

[P]residents -- as all leaders -- must be judged by history not on the basis of their personal likeability, but by the real-world effects of their policies. And Reagan's policies were disastrous and destructive. While poverty worsened at home and abroad, he spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the largest peacetime military buildup in history, including $80 billion (and counting) for the fantasy of Star Wars and tens of billions for first-strike-capable nuclear weapons. Conventional wisdom, of course, holds that Reagan's militarism "brought down the wall" of communism. Historians might well debate the opposite view: That his militaristic approach helped bolster the hardliners in the Soviet Union and forestalled rather than caused the inevitable downfall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War.

The Reagan administration ignored the burgeoning AIDS epidemic while tens of thousands died. Reagan's crew sold arms to Iran -- illegally -- to support the U.S.-initiated contra war in Central America, where tens of thousands of other people died. The U.S. wars in Central America -- mostly fought through death squads, paramilitaries, and U.S.-backed local armies -- resulted in the death of untold thousands throughout the region, bookended by the 1980 murders of four U.S. churchwomen and the 1989 assassination of six Jesuits and their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador.

Closer to home, Reagan's policies were equally devastating. He opposed virtually every civil and human rights initiative, from the 1964 Civil Rights Act through and including efforts to dismantle South Africa's apartheid regime. On virtually every social issue - from race, welfare, and tax policy to school lunch programs and the environment - Reagan's policies worked against the interests of the poor and marginalized and further enriched the wealthy and powerful.

Reagan's most destructive legacy could very well be the mania for "deregulation" that he unleashed, starting with his declaration in his first Inaugural address that "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." Reagan's intensive assault on checks and balances and the removal of reasonable constraints started a wave that washed up decades later as the tsunami that swamped Wall Street.

So go ahead, praise Reagan as a likeable man. Hold him up as a model of civility in contrast to the flame-throwing rhetoric his successors wield today. Even give him credit for recognizing the horror of nuclear weapons and seeking their abolition. But don't let the revisionists whitewash one of the most damaging presidencies of the 20th century and the dangerous legacy it left us.

So Rice blasts the man shortly after his death... and again now as the country celebrates the 100th commemoration of his birth and he does so with half truths and whole lies... all while wearing the mantle of progressive Christian.  I think it a good fit that Jim Rice works for Jim Wallis, a man whose dishonesty is legendary.

There's a lesson there.  A huge one.

In the mean-time, if you'd like to read more inspiring words as to Ronald Reagan and his legacy, check out these pieces here and here.


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Comments (38)

This man who wrote the arti... (Below threshold)

This man who wrote the article lives in a parallel universe OR is blinded by hate.

I lived through the 80's as a very productive taxpayer. Carter before him wrecked the economy and ignited Islamic Extremists by his failure to act agressively.

The left continues to not have a clue what americans think, want or need. ww

"...his militaristic approa... (Below threshold)

"...his militaristic approach helped bolster the hardliners in the Soviet Union and forestalled rather than caused the inevitable downfall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War."

Now that's talking with your head firmly planted up your ass. The Cold War ended in a whimper with the "Soviet Union" falling apart. Not in a mushroom cloud.

As a young teen somewhere i... (Below threshold)

As a young teen somewhere in south Asia, Barry Alinsky was heartbroken at the fall of the 'strong' U.S.S.R.

He swore to himself that he would come to America and right the wrong. Fast forward 30 years and here we are.

You may say, Willie, that C... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You may say, Willie, that Carter ignited Islamic extremism by his failure to act aggressively. While that may have a kernel of truth as far as it goes, it seems to me that what REALLY fanned the incipient flames was when Reagan turned tail and fled Beirut after Hezbollah suicide bombers blew up 241 US Marines.

THAT was when terrorists realized that even a tough-talking John Wayne type like Reagan had no intention of responding. He NEVER DID respond to the attack. Instead, he spent the 1980s buying back kidnapped hostages one by one in Lebanon, while selling modern weapons to the kidnappers' sponsor, Iran.

I don't get conservative beatification of Reagan, a man who raised taxes 11 times in 8 years, tripled the deficit and doubled the national debt, and failed to follow through on his promise to push for a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion.

I also don't get what facts in the "religious leftist" argument above Rick disputes:

That historians may debate whether or not Reagan's actions hastened the demise of the USSR or not? They may indeed.

That Reagan opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act? He did. That he sided with the South African government and postponed the end of apartheid? That's true.

That he ignored the AIDS epidemic or that he supported death squads in Central America? Also true.

One may dispute the stuff about deregulation mania leading ultimately to the 2008 crash, but serious analysts have taken that view while other equally serious people have disputed it. It's hardly a viewpoint worthy of scorn.

The left and bil... (Below threshold)

The left and bile are synonymous. Why should this latest spewing be particularly notable?

The half-truths and outright lies are their misshapen ideology vocalized. Do not mistake them as American citizens, they are residents in a foreign land.

I see Rick is venting his h... (Below threshold)

I see Rick is venting his hatred of his fellow Americans again, this time hating "progressive Christians."

Just more displays of poor rick's major damage - DAMN those church leaders who dared to see if Rick was capable of acting like an adult and talking about his penis as they screened him for a position where Rick would have to counsel youth members of the church.

DAMN THEM for raising the bar so high that a mentally disturbed man like Rick would fail so miserably after investing 2 years of work studying for the lay position. DAMN THOSE PROGRESSIVES CHRISTIANS!

After all, vilifying your fellow Christians Rick you flaming hypocrite?

THAT was when terrorists... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

THAT was when terrorists realized that even a tough-talking John Wayne type like Reagan had no intention of responding. He NEVER DID respond to the attack.

Bruce is absolutely right. We should kill all terrorists.

The Reagan administratio... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

The Reagan administration ignored the burgeoning AIDS epidemic while tens of thousands died.

Hey, the fruits ignored the burgeoning AIDS epidemic while tens of thousands died. Read Randy Shilts's book And the Band Played On. Bathhouse owners in SF fought tooth and nail against efforts to close the bathhouses, or at least warn their patrons about AIDS. So don't lay this of on Reagan; the people most at interest here did the same thing.

And let me respond to all of "Woop's" substantive comments here:

There. That didn't take long.

Looks like some of the comr... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Looks like some of the comrades didn't get the memo: the Party has ordered Reagan's rehabilitation so that he can be associated with Comrade Obama, and thereby lift the latter by his sagging shorts.

The new meme: Obama is just like Reagan! He was always just like Reagan! The Party always supported Reagan! And we were always at war with Eurasia!

Got it?

Hasn't woop the clown overs... (Below threshold)

Hasn't woop the clown overstepped the bounds of decency too often here to not have his pathetic ass banned?

The "fruits," huh, Guevara?... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

The "fruits," huh, Guevara?


Nah, 914, he just ... (Below threshold)

Nah, 914, he just gave another example of bile, as mentioned in my other post.
You can absolutely COUNT on such.

Religious left? Is that the... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Religious left? Is that the oxymoron de jour?

The left, if I recall right, is for rendering everything to Caesar (the almighty state) and its soul is bonded to the culture of death and the corruption of morals - as long as God is removed from the public sphere. Yup,the religious left is an oxymoron alright - unless it has a different God than the one of Revelation....complete with foam pillars, culture of death aggressiveness, and talks of stoppiong th3e seas from rising?

Wait, I get it. Woop is bei... (Below threshold)

Wait, I get it. Woop is being kept around for:

1.) Entertainment value. =0% return.

2.) As a reminder of our unabashed racist .ee .ard, who recently sought psychiatric help.

3.) Is being rightfully ignored. Which I will now do.

The "religious left" has on... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The "religious left" has one religion: Marxism.

The left and bile ... (Below threshold)
Brett :
The left and bile are synonymous. Why should this latest spewing be particularly notable?

It's particularly amenable to proving leftist cowardice. Reagan is a great target since he's dead and can't defend himself. Classic leftist tactics.

"...it seems to me that wha... (Below threshold)

"...it seems to me that what REALLY fanned the incipient flames was when Reagan turned tail and fled Beirut...."

Oh? Was that when the left hurried to the support of the president?

Or was that when the left began screaming "bring our troops home!"?

Here is a prime example of ... (Below threshold)

Here is a prime example of the extreme left:

Seems the "Poverty Pimp", Al Sharpton is living high on the hog at taxpayers expense while preaching that the poor are getting screwed by the rich man. This what we in America call.......a "Hypocrite".


Reagan Derangement Syndrome... (Below threshold)

Reagan Derangement Syndrome predated Bush's. We just didn't have a name for it then.

Garandfan, I'll grant you t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Garandfan, I'll grant you that no one in 1983 was particularly interested in war so soon after Vietnam. But Reagan was President and commander-in-chief. It was his decision to make. If he had made a stand in Beirut, do you think America wouldn't have supported him, after the attack on our Marines?

Or are you saying that Jimmy Carter had the guts to resist the cry for war with Iran from the Right, but Reagan DIDN'T have the guts to resist the cries for peace from the Left?

Not that I remember "the Left" having that much time to start whining. We vamoosed pretty damn quick, as I recall.

But you tell me, Garandfan - was fleeing Lebanon with our tail between our legs the right thing to do? Has it or has it not had repercussions?

Actually the facts get in t... (Below threshold)

Actually the facts get in the way of Bruce. Reagan wanted to quarantine people who contacted aids since the spread of that disease can only be spread by bad behavior. The entire left side came down on that. Wants this issue became political like abortion, it didn't matter. The left would rather have people die then isolate diseased people.

Carter and Carter alone encouraged Islamic Jihad. Students trespassed on American soil, the embassy and Carter in fact did nothing for more then a year while our citizens were held hostage, beat, tortured, etc. Nice try Brucy boy but thems the facts. ww

So maybe you can satisfacto... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

So maybe you can satisfactorily answer the question I asked Garandfan above, huh Willie? Was it the right thing to do?

And if YOU were president, ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

And if YOU were president, Willie, and terrorists blew up 241 Marines in, say, Kuwait, would you evacuate Kuwait and DO NOTHING in response, as Reagan did in Lebanon?

At least Carter tried diplomacy when the hostages were taken in Iran. He did SOMETHING. When the Marines were killed, Reagan did NOTHING at all.

Reagan facts I love:<... (Below threshold)
Marco Polo:

Reagan facts I love:

1) He raised taxes 7 out of 8 years as president, including 4 times in 2 years.
2) He tripled the federal deficit to 3 trillion dollars.
3) Unemployment soared to 10.8% after he cut taxes in '81.
4) He gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.
5) He funded Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviets, who were fighting Muslim extremism. Oh the fucking irony.

So who's this mythological Reagan whom you worship so much?

Um, I think it was Tip O'Ne... (Below threshold)

Um, I think it was Tip O'Neill who tripled the deficit, seeing as how Reagan's tax hike deal was based on Congress cutting spending -- which it never did.

And the Soviets weren't fighting Muslim extremism -- they were trying to add Afghanistan to their Communist empire, and it was the mujahideen who were fighting Soviet expansionism.

The Taliban weren't even involved in that fight; they came in from Pakistan after the Soviets finally bugged out.

Hmmm, Marco Polo first mock... (Below threshold)

Hmmm, Marco Polo first mocks Reagan for rasing taxes, then mocks him for cutting them? Also MP forgets the amnesty deal was in return to secure the border...another deal Tip O'Neill failed to honor. Oh, and in the 70s & 80s, wasn't the threat from Soviet expansionism, not Muslim extremism? Oh the lack of context!

People died of AIDS because... (Below threshold)
The Truth No One Wants to Hear:

People died of AIDS because people insisted upon screwing everything that walked without regard to the safety of their own sexual proclivities.

Is Obama responsible for the million babies that are destroyed in their mothers' wombs each year?

I think that number is far greater than those who died of AIDS. I also think the victims were far more innocent and not at all responsible, unlike those who persisted in perverse behavior.

Sorry. No mood to pretend it's normal It isn't.
If it was, none of us would be typing this..

So who's this mythologic... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

So who's this mythological Reagan whom you worship so much?

The man who defeated the Soviet Union, and removed the greatest single threat to our existence, and our way of life.

Other than that, he didn't do much.

"...was fleeing Lebanon wit... (Below threshold)

"...was fleeing Lebanon with our tail between our legs the right thing to do? Has it or has it not had repercussions?"

The proper question Bruce, is "should we have been there at all?" The 'political will' of the country was not there - therefore that answers your question. Or rather, the politicians were of the opinion that this was a 1958 redux. We'd be there a short time, things would stabilize, we would leave.

Would you have thought better of Reagan if he'd "Pulled a Johnson" and started another Vietnam?

This is the odd thing about... (Below threshold)

This is the odd thing about the religious Left. They are just as mean-spirited as their secular co-ideologists. It seems counter-intuitive, given the whole Christian thing, but they are just as willing to dehumanize their political opponents as anyone on the left. I once had a nasty encounter with a liberal Baptist minister (actually, the pastor of the 1st Baptist Church in Auburn, AL). He was mean-spirited and condescending to me when he discovered I am conservative. Needless to say, I never returned to that church. But really, is it any wonder these liberal churches are failing so badly?

"Would you have thought bet... (Below threshold)

"Would you have thought better of Reagan if he'd "Pulled a Johnson" and started another Vietnam?"

Don't expect a logical answer from Bruce. He voted for Barry. He is stupid enough to do it again in 2012.

Salon has also fea... (Below threshold)
James H:

Salon has also featured a lot of anti-Reagan bile this weekend. I can understand if people are indifferent toward President Reagan's politics. But there's no need to attack him so personally.

There are those on the left... (Below threshold)

There are those on the left that are positively defined by their bile and hatred. It is the foundation of the worldview, informing many of their positions and beliefs. It is particularly sad to see someone adapt their religion to their politics. MaybeI see it that way because my religious views influence my political views. The people that Rick point out here may find my way of thinking just as tragic... though the ones I've met are more likely to fire up their 2 minute hate.

Congratulations, Garandfan.... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Congratulations, Garandfan. In a week of my asking that question in the Wizbang comment section, that's the first time anyone's attempted to answer it, and it's a pretty good answer, too.

I'm heartened that you understand that unless the political will is present, presidents can't unilaterally take military action. Now will you conservatives shut the hell up about how Clinton's "inaction" in the 1990s "emboldened" Al Qaida? Or at least that he took more effective action than Reagan did?

So how would you define fir... (Below threshold)

So how would you define firing cruise missiles at an aspirin factory, Bruce?

The left, if I recall ri... (Below threshold)

The left, if I recall right, is for rendering everything to Caesar (the almighty state)...

Not exactly, the Left is for rendering everyone else's money to Caeser, never their own. It's only the money of those who actually earn it and make sacrifices to do that who should be punished.

When was the last time you heard a Leftard complaining about how much money Alec Baldwin makes?

The term "Religious Left" m... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

The term "Religious Left" makes perfect sense to me. You see, the Left IS very religious.

Those of you familiar with the New Testament will also recall that the Pharisees were VERY religious and that Jesus strongly disliked the Pharisees.

Today's "Religious Left" == Pharisees of Jesus' time. They were all about rules and their own power and prestige. What Jesus wanted was for us to love God and love one another.

Today's Left does neither. They want to remove God from the public square and have government 'love' their neighbor so they don't have to.

I would define firing cruis... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I would define firing cruise missiles at an aspirin factory as "more than Reagan ever did to fight terrorism."






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