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View Diary: The Descent of Republicans (163 comments)

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  •  Ronald Reagan's popularity (6+ / 0-)

    was all about raising the speed limit from Jimmy Carter's frugal 55 back to 70 and removing limits on gas-guzzling cars.  People LOVED the idea that they could be selfish and somebody would say it was okay.

    They still do.

    Reagan gave them permission to be selfish, polluting, moralizing, aggressively aggressive Americans.   He masked it behind a reasonable exterior but contained within him are the roots of today's Depublican Party.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:18:41 AM PST

    •  Huh? (8+ / 0-)

      The speed limit didn't go back up until 1987 and 1988, and then only to 65, and the law providing a federal mandate was only repealed in 1995.

      It wasn't the speed limit that got Reagan elected, it was inflation and the Iranian hostage crisis.

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:34:23 AM PST

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      •  The speed limits were no longer enforced. (0+ / 0-)

        And we could have outside Christmas lights again.

        Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

        by 88kathy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:37:28 AM PST

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        •  I strongly doubt the lack of enforcement (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Panurge, ConfusedSkyes, JerryNA

          came from federal policy.  Rather, people got tired of going 55 and started inching it up, and defense lawyers discovered enough imprecision in radar guns that judges wouldn't enforce tickets for less than 5-7 miles over the speed limit.  As drivers realized they had that cushion, they began to exploit it and even started pushing gradually beyond it.  State troopers -- who are governed exclusively by state authorities and law -- gradually began to give ten and even fifteen miles over the limit before they would ticket, unless of course they were coming up against their quota limits at the end of the month.

          I don't remember the speed limit even being an issue in the 1980 election.  There was some controversy in the mid-70s when it was first enacted, but that had died down by the early 80s.

          Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
          ¡Boycott Arizona!

          by litho on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:44:12 AM PST

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          •  Not to mention (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            litho, Odysseus, JerryNA, MHB

            a whole industry producing radar detectors and the ubiquitous CB radio "Smoky" warnings . . . it was the highway equivalent of Prohibition (and the widespread resistance to it).  "55" was almost universally hated, but I don't recall anyone making a (presidential) campaign issue of it . . .

            I'm sure it played a part in the increasing disdain for "big government", though, and it certainly turned deliberate lawbreaking into a national sport . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:14:55 AM PST

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          •  I don't know about "tired".... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...because I'm not sure they ever really slowed down.

            More to the point, the speed limits were raised only on non-urban freeways and large rural freeway-graded four-lanes--and very often it was raised back up only to 65.  Before 1973, the maximum speed limit on any road not a freeway in Georgia (my home state) was 60, and I think that was true nationwide.  Once that was cut back to 55, it never went back up, except again for some big rural four-lanes, which went up to 65.

            The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

            by Panurge on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:21:33 AM PST

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      •  Litho (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Reagan campaigned tirelessly against all of Carter's energy policy.  He made fun of Carters' cardigan in the White House and his first act as president was to remove the solar panels from the roof of the White House.  Although he didn't actually get the speed limit raised until the last years of his term, a major portion of his appeal was his promise to an end of the "frugal" Carter years and a celebration of gas-guzzling American bluster.  He reduced taxes on oil to drive down the price of gasoline.  He worked in many many ways to make sure that Selfish America regained its power.

        Still enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:48:16 AM PST

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