It seems fitting to say a few words in honor of "The Great Communicator" at the time of his passing. It seems more fitting that I not be the one to give such a eulogy. Ronald Reagan had skills as a politician which were undeniable. And his message was welcome to many. But not to me, and it would hypocritical of me to say otherwise.
What strikes me as amusing is how the so-called "liberal" media is turning his passing into an outright love-fest. They seemed capable of noting, in Nixon’s passing, of taking stock of some of the negative aspects of that man’s presidency. Not so with Reagan. He seems to get a pass. Turn on the T.V. and you will hear, for example, how Reagan passed the biggest tax cut in American history. Which is true, but do they also mention that the biggest tax cut was followed by the biggest tax increase in American history, thanks also to Reagan?
Perhaps it is too soon to be thinking about legacies — the man only died two days ago — but it seems that the first draft of history is being written inaccurately. One has to wonder what effect, if any, this will have on Bush’s numbers. Will he benefit from the reflected glory of Reagan, or will voters compare and contrast . . . and find Bush wanting? Time will tell.
UPDATE: Or maybe not. Apparently, the Reagan sheen might not reflect on Bush as much as conservatives hope. From yesterday’s New York Times:
Some Republicans said the images of a forceful Mr. Reagan giving dramatic speeches on television provided a less-than-welcome contrast with Mr. Bush’s own appearances these days, and that it was not in Mr. Bush’s interest to encourage such comparisons. That concern was illustrated on Sunday, one Republican said, by televised images of Mr. Reagan’s riveting speech in Normandy commemorating D-Day in 1984, followed by Mr. Bush’s address at a similar ceremony on Sunday.
"Reagan showed what high stature that a president can have — and my fear is that Bush will look diminished by comparison," said one Republican sympathetic to Mr. Bush, who did not want to be quoted by name criticizing the president.
Another senior Republican expressed concern that by identifying too closely with Mr. Reagan, Mr. Bush risked running a campaign that looked to the past, which this adviser described as a recipe for a loss.
Several Republicans added that Mr. Bush’s hopes of enlisting Mrs. Reagan might be complicated by the differences between Mrs. Reagan and Mr. Bush on the issue of embryonic stem-cell research. Mrs. Reagan has been vocal in arguing that the research might help others suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which doctors diagnosed in Mr. Reagan after he left office, while Mr. Bush’s policy restricts public financing for this kind of research to existing cell lines.
Mmmmmmm . . .