Dear Michael Steele

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

I read your article in Politico.  I see you were trying to strike a theme:

Republicans have engaged in some healthy soul-searching since Election Day, trying to come to grips with our minority status and debating the best way forward….

To accomplish this goal Republicans are turning a corner in three important ways: First, the Republican Party will be forward-looking – it is time to stop looking backward…

Republicans are emerging once again with the energy, the focus, and the determination to turn our timeless principles into new solutions for the future

Okay.  Forward-looking, future-oriented.  Got it.

So I hit a wall when I read this, toward the end of your article:

The Republican Party has turned a corner, and as we move forward Republicans should take a lesson from Ronald Reagan.

Eeeeeeeerp! *CRASH*

Reagan?  Who became president a generation ago?  Reagan?  That's "forward-looking"?

Care to 'splain?

Again, we’re not looking back – if Reagan were here today he would have no patience for Americans who looked backward.

That has to be the most unintentionally funny-in-an-ironic-way statement I've read in ages.  Dude, you're invoking a long-dead, hopeless irrelevant Ronald Reagan to support your thesis of not looking backward!


In order to go forward, the Reagan worship has to stop.  A few weeks ago, Jon Chait explained that the conservatives' approach too often consists of "latching onto an old president, glossing over the reality of his record, and trying to recreate all of his actions whether or not they have any bearing upon the circumstances of the present day…. The 'philosophical content' of Reagan-worship is a cult-like process for circumscribing original thought."

Indeed. And it shows no signs of letting up.