Margaret Thatcher writes about Reagan
June 7, 2004 3:33 AM   Subscribe

Flashback: Margaret Thatcher writes about Ronald Reagan. President Reagan saw instinctively that pessimism itself was the disease and that the cure for pessimism is optimism. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless opportunity built on enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. He infused his own belief in America's economic future in the American people. That was farsighted. It carried America through the difficult early days of the 1981-82 recession, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the foundations of future prosperity.
posted by David Dark (54 comments total)
Having restored the faith of the American people in themselves, the President set about liberating their energies and enterprise. He reduced the excessive burden of regulation, halted inflation, and first cut and, later, radically reformed taxation. When barriers to enterprise are removed and taxes cut to sensible levels (as we have found in Britain in recent years), people have the incentive to work harder and earn more. They thereby benefit themselves, their families, and the whole community. Hence the buoyant economy of the Reagan years. It has expanded by a full 25 per cent over 72 months of continuous economic growth — the longest period of peacetime economic growth in U.S. history; it has spread prosperity widely; and it has cut unemployment to the lowest level in over a decade.

The international impact of these successes has been enormous. At a succession of Western economic summits, the President's leadership encouraged the West to cooperate on policies of low inflation, steady growth, and open markets. These policies have kept protectionism in check and the world economy growing. They are policies which offer not just an economic message, but a political one:

Freedom works.
posted by David Dark at 3:35 AM on June 7, 2004

It didn't in East Timor.
posted by i_cola at 4:03 AM on June 7, 2004

At least with respect to your comment on the blue, I could not agree more. His spirit helped lead us out of our despair as a nation. However, I fear not many others here will agree and I believe that we are about to witness a masive and shrill response here on MeFi.
posted by caddis at 4:08 AM on June 7, 2004

Hang on. People may have differing views to another MeFite? This is insanity! It must stop immediately! Has this place gone mad?!?

I believe that we are about to witness use of the words 'and', 'to', 'of' & 'a'. And possibly the correct spelling of massive.

IMHO, PoliticsPost - fine if done well. SingleLinkOpEdPost - lazy & asking for trouble.
posted by i_cola at 4:23 AM on June 7, 2004

I'm going to have to disagree with center square.
posted by efalk at 4:41 AM on June 7, 2004

The Reagan thing has been done. It wasn't pretty. The news that Maggie thought he was great is hardly worth a fpp on its own...
posted by humuhumu at 4:43 AM on June 7, 2004

- lazy & asking for trouble

I think this is the trouble, and the lazy and asking are here.
posted by shoos at 4:44 AM on June 7, 2004

Something Awful, as always, says it best: Nothing brings the United States together like the death of a popular ex-president and as far as the "could die any minute" list of ex-presidents goes Ronald Reagan was at the top. Imagine my surprise, on the heels of an announcement that he was going to die any minute, when he actually died!
posted by tapeguy at 5:01 AM on June 7, 2004

Remember: we must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And twirling, twirling, always TWIRLING toward freedom! Requisite Simpsons quote - had to be done.
posted by aladfar at 5:16 AM on June 7, 2004

So every new opinion about Reagan is a new thread? Cool.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I guess.
posted by rushmc at 5:21 AM on June 7, 2004

Ladles & Jellyspoons. You are invited, via a brief stop-off, to dip a toe-end into a bijou MetaTalk thread.
posted by i_cola at 5:24 AM on June 7, 2004

Freedom works.

"...except for those filthy foreign types, as in Chile." is the rest of that line; it somehow must have been dropped at the printers.
posted by biffa at 5:44 AM on June 7, 2004

except for those filthy foreign types, as in Chile.

oh boy - and while the nancy was patting the gipper on the head for taking credit for the collapse of eastern europe (rather than visiting the czechs and giving credit where credit was due), ron had no problem supporting regimes that terrorized the people of el salvador, nicaragua and guatemala.
posted by specialk420 at 6:25 AM on June 7, 2004

President Bush saw instinctively that reality itself was the disease and that the cure for reality is delusion. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless wealth built on larceny, individual repression, and personal ignorance. He infused his own delusions about America's economic future in less thoughtful American people. That was self-serving. It carried America through the difficult early days of the Apocolypse, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the price of future shopping malls and televised sporting events.
posted by quonsar at 6:26 AM on June 7, 2004

So President Jelly Bean died? Boo Fucking Hoo. He was such a big help with getting out the word about Aids at a crucial time. That grease ball will fry.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:51 AM on June 7, 2004

Outlawyr, don't be a crank. He certainly wasn't the only chief executive in the world who ignored the early years of AIDS.

Quonsor said what I was going to say, but I was going to be much less humorous about it. What carried Americans through the recession of 81-82 (in which unemployment jumped from ~7% under Carter to close to 10% under Reagan, not to mention skyrocketing interest rates), was Reagan's ability to look at the camera and stone-faced address America telling them that nothing was wrong, except for a bunch of welfare cheats sucking off the nation's teat.
posted by deanc at 7:06 AM on June 7, 2004

Moving beyond the fawningly servile, ass-licking, glassy eyed hagiographies that American media - yapping Public Radio most of all, it seems - is shoveling this out by the shit-load to commemorate Reagan's death.....

Lets examine some facts :

Jimmy Carter bequeathed a yearly federal budget deficit of $40 billion of so to Ronald Reagan who - by 1986 - had run the deficit up to $220 billion. The overall federal debt under Carter, as a percentage of yearly GDP, was 34% but - by the end of Reagan tenure, as the federal debt ballooned up to almost 3 trillion dollars - by 1989 it was up to 55% of GDP.

"Lessons in Reaganomics

......."The epitaph of the Reagan presidency will be:  'When Ronald Reagan became President, the United States was the largest creditor nation.  When he left the presidency, we were the world's largest debtor nation.'"
--Lester Thurow, MIT professor of economics

"[A] lapse into fiscal indiscipline on a scale never before experienced in peacetime."
--David Stockman (Reagan's budget director) describing the 1980's, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed 

"In the Reagan years, more federal debt was added than in the entire prior history of the United States."
--Richard Darman (Reagan advisor), Who's in Control? Polar Politics and the Sensible Center

Federal deficits would continue unabated until the presidency of Bill Clinton when fiscal responsibility would finally be restored.  President Clinton would achieve a balanced budget (and even record surpluses) in large measure by restoring higher taxes on the wealthy.


"Dear Citizen - please excuse our temporary break in the transmission of your normal FFNN (Fact Free News Network) broadcasting for our periodic test of the "Real Fact Transmission System". In the event of an actual emergency, this system would be activated to broadcast factual information in place of the infotainment slop we usually feed you.

You will now be returned to your normal fact-free radio programming.

Have a nice day"

posted by troutfishing at 7:14 AM on June 7, 2004

"He certainly wasn't the only chief executive in the world who ignored the early years of AIDS."

Well I guess that makes it ok then.

Aren't we suppposed to be NUMBER ONE or something?
posted by Outlawyr at 7:46 AM on June 7, 2004

thanks for the optimism, ronnie! that was awesome.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:49 AM on June 7, 2004

The Reagan's death thing is now officially old. Give him the big funeral but, meanwhile, move on.
posted by raysmj at 7:53 AM on June 7, 2004

Flashback: Margaret Thatcher writes about Ronald Reagan which we learn that it wasn't the number of Reagan fpp's that bothered David Dark, but the fact that they dared criticize him.
posted by jpoulos at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2004

Flashback: Reagan dies and gets a MeFi FPP

Ah, remember those halcyon days? Let's relive them, shall we?
posted by soyjoy at 8:41 AM on June 7, 2004

In this piece, I think that Thatcher was speaking more of herself than she was of Reagan. Thatcher was the one who rescued Britain from defeatism and socialism, by sheer force of her own willfull belief in freedom and British exceptionalism.

By contrast, Reagan's election served more to confirm a trend than anything else. By 1978/1979, all of the important elements of the socialist/defeatist movement were already being beaten back defense spending was on the rise, soft on crime policies were in retreat, deregulation had begun, the vanguard of hippies were getting their MBAs, and the ideology of welfare was beaten (even if it took another 15 years to enshrine the defeat in law), etc.

Still, Britian owes Reagan a lot. The Thatcherite revolution didn't become irreversible until she was reelected in 1983, and Reagan's staunch support meant a lot in 1981 and 1982.
posted by MattD at 9:50 AM on June 7, 2004

I'm no die-hard socialist, and no deeply entrenched fan either of British trade unions or the European Union (who, with the possible addition of windmills, were Thatcher's two main enemies), but I'll be glad when the crapulent old witch is gone. The Conservatives in the mid to late 80s was the most middling and drably meanspirited government that this or any other country has seen, and Thatcher's pandering to "disgusted, of Tunbridge Wells" was at the root of it all. Her continued lack of anything that a reasonable person would recognise as a functioning moral compass is shown by her continued, baffling support of Pinochet.

As to the "Thatcherite Revolution", I beg you to come over here and try commuting to work on the privatised rail system for a month or two before lauding her privatisation efforts too loudly. I pine for the days when the quality of sandwiches was the worst criticism leveled at British Rail.
posted by bifter at 10:19 AM on June 7, 2004

Then George W. Bush will try to ride Ronald Reagan’s coffin back into the White House.

I have this vision of Slim Pickens at the end of Dr Strangelove.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:04 AM on June 7, 2004

Reagan vs. Clinton

1.JOBS—grew by 43% more under Clinton.
2.GDP---grew by 57% more under Clinton.
3.DOW—grew by 700% more under Clinton..
4.NASDAQ-grew by 18 times as much under Clinton.
4.SPENDING--grew by 28% under Clinton---80% under Reagan.
5.DEBT—grew by 43% under Clinton—187% under Reagan.
6. DEFICITS—Clinton got a large surplus--grew by 112% under Reagan.
7.NATIONAL INCOME—grew by100% more under Clinton.
8.PERSONAL INCOME—Grew by 110% more under Clinton.
SOURCES—Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.BLS.Gov)--Economic Policy Institute (—Global & World Almanacs from 1980 to 2003 (annual issues)
posted by troutfishing at 11:30 AM on June 7, 2004

A Gallup poll ranks Clinton (55%) ahead of Reagan (52%) in approval ratings of post WWII presidents.
posted by wsg at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2004

I don't get the AIDS thing, can someone explain it to me? Were people directly lobbying the president to do more about AIDS, or was it just a general feeling that the issue was not taken seriously or cared about in the Reagan white house?
posted by chaz at 11:53 AM on June 7, 2004

chaz - here's a bit on that :

"Reagan: "Final judgement is up to God" re: AIDS victims
11.05.03 - Posted by BC in Media and Showbiz

Well, after reading the GLAAD statement on the issue, I'm ready to label CBS's deep sixing of "The Reagans" as official Bad Culture. If you'll recall, conservative groups have excoriated the television movie for having Reagan utter the fictionalized quote about AIDS victims: "They that live in sin shall die by sin." They claimed Reagan never said these words. But GLAAD brings up evidence that Reagan uttered words which reflect the same mindset:

'Though one line in The Reagans script that has received considerable attention (where Reagan says of AIDS victims, "They that live in sin shall die in sin") is clearly fictionalized, the broader reality it attempts to convey is evident in the history of the federal government's inadequate response to the AIDS crisis under the Reagan Administration.

Reagan did not publicly utter the word "AIDS" during the first six years of his administration (his first public mention of the disease was made to the Third International AIDS Conference on May 31, 1987). The Kaiser Family Foundation's Daily HIV/AIDS Report for June 7, 2001 (see ARTICLES & RESOURCES below) also notes that the San Diego Union Tribune quoted Reagan as telling the conference, "Final judgment is up to God."

In a 2001 speech at the Kaiser Family Foundation's National Symposium on U.S. AIDS Policy, Dr. C. Everett Koop, Reagan's surgeon general, said that due to "intradepartmental politics" he was cut out of all AIDS discussions for the first five years of the Reagan Administration -- and that "because transmission of AIDS was understood primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs, the advisors to the President, [sic] took the stand, they are only getting what they justly deserve. ' "
posted by troutfishing at 12:15 PM on June 7, 2004

IraqAttaq rabid fan and neocon enabler Hitchens, between rants re the sanctity of the Iraqi occupation, takes the time to give us his view on the late President:

Reagan allowed Alexander Haig to greenlight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, fired him when that went too far and led to mayhem in Beirut, then ran away from Lebanon altogether when the Marine barracks were bombed, and then unbelievably accused Tip O'Neill and the Democrats of "scuttling." Reagan sold heavy weapons to the Iranian mullahs and lied about it, saying that all the weapons he hadn't sold them (and hadn't traded for hostages in any case) would, all the same, have fit on a small truck. Reagan then diverted the profits of this criminal trade to an illegal war in Nicaragua and lied unceasingly about that, too. Reagan then modestly let his underlings maintain that he was too dense to understand the connection between the two impeachable crimes. He then switched without any apparent strain to a policy of backing Saddam Hussein against Iran. (If Margaret Thatcher's intelligence services had not bugged Oliver North in London and become infuriated because all European nations were boycotting Iran at Reagan's request, we might still not know about this.)

posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on June 7, 2004

When Republicans unite, then they tend to win. And Reagan understood that. And he understood that the Republican Party should be a party of inclusion and not exclusion. And when you begin excluding people from our party, of course, you don't agree with them on one or two issues, then you begin losing.
And if George W. Bush forgets this, if he thinks he can get by without some segment of the GOP or without bringing in the Reagan Democrats and the blue-collar workers and the social conservatives, bringing them into his campaign, then he's not going to win. And, I think you all agree, that before the sun goes down on more elections, for the sake of that old man out there in California, we need to win one more for the Gipper.
- Nofziger: The Reagan I Knew
posted by roboto at 2:03 PM on June 7, 2004

I keep hearing Elvis sing of the Iron Lady, who will also one day depart from this world ...

Well I hope I don't die too soon,
I pray the Lord my soul to save.
Yes, I'll be a good boy, I'm trying so hard to behave
Because there's one thing I know --
I'd like to live long enough to savour,
That's when they finally put you in the ground
I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down.

When England was the whore of the world,
Margaret was her madam.
And the future looked as bright and as clear
As the black tarmacadam...

Elvis is King.
posted by chuq at 3:23 PM on June 7, 2004

Here's another thing that Thatcher had to say about Reagan --

"Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears." -- Thatcher, '88, at a US-Soviet summit in Moscow.

Others remember him too...

"He has the ability to make statements that are so far outside the parameters of logic that they leave you speechless" -- Patti Davis, Reagan's daughter.

"They told stories about how inattentive and inept the President was.... They said he wouldn't come to work--all he wanted to do was to watch movies and television at the residence." -- Jim Cannon, Republican aide to Howard Baker, reporting on the inner conversations of Reagan's staff.

"What do you do when your president ignores all the palpable, relevant facts and wanders in circles? I could not bear to watch (Reagan) go on in this embarrassing way. I buried my head in my plate." -- David Stockman, Reagan's White House budget director

"He talks about the glory of war, but you have to ask yourself, where was he when wars were being fought that he was young enough to fight in them? World War II, and the Korean war. Where he was was in Hollywood, making films, where the blood was catsup, and you could wash it off and go out to dinner afterwards." -- John Stockwell, former high-ranking CIA officer and station chief under Reagan.

"It's our fault. We should have given him better parts." -- Jack Warner of Warner Brothers, on hearing of Reagan's election as governor of California.

"What planet is he living on?" -- President Mitterand, in conversation with the Canadian Prime Minister.

"Reagan doesn't always check the facts before he makes statements, and the press accepts this as kind of amusing." -- Jimmy Carter, '84

"The president of the United States is a doddering space cadet..." -- Leslie Stahl, a reporter who met and interviewed Reagan several times during his presidency.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:50 PM on June 7, 2004

What is the PROBLEM with you people ?

Don't you listen to public radio ?

Reagan was a great man.
posted by troutfishing at 7:52 PM on June 7, 2004

Reagan was a great man.

Don't forget how gosh darn likable he was. You couldn't help but love him, whether he was trading arms for hostages, or trying to eliminate public assistance for poor folks.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2004

matteo: But the lesson Hitchens learns, in the end, is that stupid is as stupid does - in other words, he sees Reagan as a sort of Forrest Gump character, who does better than so many smarter people around him. Apparently, Hitch traces his support of Bush back to his being bowled over by Reagan's relationship with Gorby, the one who almost gave away most of our nuclear store, and would have were it not for some combination of being stubborn and not being detailed enough, or whatever. But Reagan was playing the peacemaker here - he was inspired, I've heard and certainly heard today, to do what he did after a viewing of "The Day After," the same show that scared the pants off of plenty of those Americans outside of officialdom or elite circles.

Consequently, he reads Reagan what he wants to read into him: He sees some sort of mental purity with Reagan, while managing to still come off as superior, both to Reagan and "intellectuals" of the Dukakis-voting variety (there are of course no conservative intellectuals or smart conservative people out there). The simple virtues and willingness to use brute strength matter more. There's something to that, but Reagan is still the guy who gave up quickly in Beirut. Brute strength wasn't what Reagan showed in dealing with Gorby, though. It was strength in combination with diplomacy and some newfound near-peacenik thing going on with Ronnie, inspired by watching a TV production most likely produced by Dukakis-voting smart people, or at least not hawkish. But Hitch sees in a hindsight backing from the Reagan story for his current politics, regardless of facts.
posted by raysmj at 12:28 AM on June 8, 2004

Let us not forget the Savings and Loan Crisis.

A New World View?

Looking back, how does he see Reagan's time in office?

"I think that, from an economic point of view, it was a failure. It was an interesting experiment. He deregulated the banking industry and we had the Savings and Loan crisis, with over a hundred billion dollars of bail out. He lowered taxes, we had this huge deficit - which by the end of the Bush administration was up to five per cent of GDP - and he undermined our investment. But he did not get faster growth. If you look at the growth rate the big demarcation came in 1994, after taxes were raised. The evidence is, I think, overwhelming, that the strategy was not good for the economy."

Stiglitz pauses, puts his fork down and winces. "I have to say, in retrospect, that I don't think any of us could have imagined that things could have been so worse than Reagan. So I think Bush led us to appreciate a conservative President who's not actually malevolent."

Stiglitz is damning in his description of the younger Bush. He suggests that he stands out from the succession of modern-day Republican Presidents - "even Nixon had a lot of social programmes. Bush Senior was more moderate, in many ways." So why does he think George W. Bush is different? In part, it's a consequence of the people around him: "I think neither Bush nor Reagan were of the thoughtful, policy-wonk nature that Clinton was, so both of them are highly reliant on their advisors. And there is a difference between an advisor like George Schultz, who was running the State and Treasury of Reagan, and Cheney and Rumsfeld. But it may be we couldn't have had Cheney without going through the Reagan era."

His criticisms are not limited to the making of economic policy. "It's hard to fathom the lack of sensitivity that exists about civil rights in the Bush administration. His economic policy has been a disaster - but that's just incompetence. I think that the real problem comes with a President who does not understand the rule of law. It's deeply troubling that the Constitutional guarantees we've had since the founding, even in the Civil War, have just been walked over. Whether the Supreme Court allows it or not is not the issue. You don't expect a President to be pushing the issue of how much arbitrariness he can exercise."

posted by y2karl at 1:36 AM on June 8, 2004

But you too can be Ronald Reagan.
posted by scissorfish at 3:51 AM on June 8, 2004

Meanwhile, the media's tank-park-salute rosy eyed hagiography of Reagan goes on and on and on and.................

National Public Reagan Hagiography Radio, CNN-Reagan, ReaFOXgan, NB(Reagan)C .........

Is this the 3rd day ? The 4th ? I can't tell any more - it seems endless.

"....Ronald Reagan is and always has been a great man and a great American and all Americans love him."

Facts are irrelevant. Get out of here with those facts. What are you, un-American ? The truth does not concern facts. The truth is a higher, purer thing of ours that you sully with your "facts", your "studies", your quotes.
posted by troutfishing at 4:34 AM on June 8, 2004

Counting your latest fpp that's 3 "hagiographys", trout. Are you playing scrabble or something?
posted by jonmc at 7:18 AM on June 8, 2004

jonmc - no - just listening to "librul" Public radio, and every other story (I shit you not) is on Reagan. None of it more than even mildly critical. Most of amounts to pure adulation.

it's hagiography (that's X4) .

Anyway - I've got a copy of "Barabajagal" with an original "Donovan's Isle Fan Club" membership certificate.

Ha ha.
posted by troutfishing at 8:34 AM on June 8, 2004

every other story (I shit you not) is on Reagan. None of it more than even mildly critical. Most of amounts to pure adulation.

Well, after all, they want to please their audience. Reagan's retrospective approval rating has gained fairly steadily since he left office (with a brief dip in 2000) and stood at 73% in 2002. You don't want to go pissing off nearly three quarters of the audience you're going to be asking for money within the next few months.

Only Kennedy has a better retrospective approval rating (83%). Clinton, on the other hand, stood at 51% in 2002, behind Kennedy, Reagan, G. H. W. Bush, Ford, and Carter. Clinton's retrospective approval rating has been trending up, however, and he may soon break into the top five.

That source again.
posted by kindall at 9:02 AM on June 8, 2004

Only Kennedy has a better retrospective approval rating (83%).

Well, in many ways Reagan and Kennedy were a lot alike. Both got elected in large part based on image, both had shitloads of skeletons in their closets and both have legions of fans who think they could do no wrong.
posted by jonmc at 9:50 AM on June 8, 2004

E. J. Thribb remembers Ronald Reagan in this week's Private Eye:

So. Farewell
Then Ronald

Famous film
Star and

"One for
The Gipper",
Yes, that
Was your

Now you are
"One for the

posted by xpermanentx at 11:54 AM on June 8, 2004

Another Flashback: Mario Cuomo, 1984 Dem. Convention

Because, the truth is, ladies and gentlemen, that this is how we were warned it would be. President Reagan told us from very the beginning that he believed in a kind of social Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. "Government can't do everything," we were told. "So it should settle for taking care of the strong and hope that economic ambition and charity will do the rest. Make the rich richer -- and what falls from their table will be enough for the middle class and those who are trying desperately to work their way into the middle class."

You know, the Republicans called it trickle-down when Hoover tried it. Now they call it supply side. But it's the same shining city for those relative few who are lucky enough to live in its good neighborhoods. But for the people who are excluded -- for the people who are locked out -- all they can do is to stare from a distance at that city's glimmering towers.

It's an old story. It's as old as our history. The difference between Democrats and Republicans has always been measured in courage and confidence. The Republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the weak are left behind by the side of the trail. The strong, the strong they tell us will inherit the land.

We Democrats believe in something else. We democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact. And, we have more than once. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt lifted himself from his wheelchair to lift this nation from its knees -- wagon train after wagon train -- to new frontiers of education, housing, peace; the whole family aboard, constantly reaching out to extend and enlarge that family; lifting them up into the wagon on the way; blacks and Hispanics, and people of every ethnic group, and native Americans -- all those struggling to build their families and claim some small share of America.

For nearly 50 years we carried them all to new levels of comfort, and security, and dignity, even affluence. And remember this, some of us in this room today are here only because this nation had that kind of confidence. And it would be wrong to forget that.

posted by amberglow at 12:48 PM on June 8, 2004

I don't recall the JFK cult ever putting together a campaign to get Jack on a $10 bill, or any other currency. When I heard about this apparently renewed effort today, that crossed a line. If this comes anywhere to being taken seriously, this nation is in trouble. If what these folks want is actually adopted, the nation will deserve to go to hell. It owes Alexander Hamilton about 50 times greater a debt than Reagan, maybe 100 times greater, maybe an incalculable debt. For god's sake.
posted by raysmj at 2:16 PM on June 8, 2004

And I think Alexander Hamilton was a scumbag. This is why we should have plants and animals on money.
posted by thirteen at 3:08 PM on June 8, 2004

"My father had decades of experience in public life. He was president of his union, he campaigned for presidential candidates, he served two terms as governor of California -- and that was not a ceremonial office as it is in Texas. And he had already run for president, against Ford in '76, nearly unseating the sitting president in his own party. He knew where he was coming from, he had spent years thinking and speaking about his views. He didn't have to ask Dick Cheney what he thought.

"Sure, he wasn't a technocrat like Clinton. But my father was a man -- that's the difference between him and Bush. To paraphrase Jack Palance, my father crapped bigger ones than George Bush."

...Imagine coming to a man with just two years' experience in public office, and a ceremonial one at that. Imagine installing such a blank slate in the presidency of the United States! This is a regency, not a presidency.

"And they told us, 'Don't worry about W. not knowing anything, good old Dick Cheney will be his minder.' Dick Cheney? And this was going to be compassionate conservatism? Dick Cheney is to the right of Genghis Khan, he wants to drill in your backyard, he wants to deny black people their rights --it was all there in his voting record for us to see. What were we, rubes?"

Ron Reagan
posted by y2karl at 3:10 PM on June 8, 2004

Well, thirteen, some countries don't do this - see: Japan. I'd accept making the bills politically neutral before taking the founder of the treasury and one of the two or three most important founders off a bill, though. And he was definitely the latter, regardless of your opinion of him, which would make replacing his visage with Ronnie's unbelievably tacky at best.
posted by raysmj at 3:31 PM on June 8, 2004

I'd support putting Ronald Reagan's face on US currency if underneath Reagan's smiling visage were printed the words :

"Hello, hungry schoolchildren. Ketchup is a vegetable !".
posted by troutfishing at 9:27 PM on June 8, 2004

I'd accept making the bills politically neutral before taking the founder of the treasury and one of the two or three most important founders off a bill, though.

Well, there's always the chance they'll bring out a $3 bill.
posted by y2karl at 5:48 PM on June 9, 2004

A picture is worth a thousand words department
posted by y2karl at 7:56 AM on June 10, 2004

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