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In one form or another, the "reds" (Reagan's disciples) have ruled for thirty-four years. Some say, "What about Bill Clinton?" Clinton totally capitulated to the republicans - weak on unions, overturned Glass-Steagall, signed NAFTA and CAFTA, and loved Larry Summers (the screw the auto-industry, neo-liberal gargoyle). Clinton will never be confused with FDR.

President Obama has been a disappointment. He had all the cards and squandered the greatest opportunity for progressive change since FDR. It must be noted that the republicans have abused the filibuster and effectively rule government from a minority status.

Back to Reagan. He tipped over the apple cart and ruined America. By nearly every metric, his policies and general bad ass attitude have failed us - financially and socially.

He led the charge against unions with his assault on the air traffic controllers. Thirty years later union membership is down by two thirds. Reagan's attack on labor resulted in reduction in pay across the nation, the loss of guaranteed pensions, and any thought of comfortable early retirements for many. Ronnie got his way...good for him and his Plutocrat cronies. The days of working-class Americans purchasing lake cabins, sending their kids to college without debt and securing comfortable retirements (basically, doing well) is gone with the unions.

Reagan's tough guy rhetoric ( he talked a lot of smack) has spread to become a national persona. With that we have watched the rise of the NRA and gun violence, an astonishing rise in the number of hate groups, and a military budget that may bankrupt America. One also needs to mention the division and hatred existing all across the land of the "mean" and the home of the "rave." Even the cable channels are inundated with gun documentaries and hillbillies beating up alligators. Too many are "bad-asses," just like Reagan wanted it. The "There you go again." comment to the polite statesman Jimmy Carter reintroduced snarkiness and rudeness to our national dialogue. Photo ops while wearing cowboy hats and swinging axes at split wood played on the "he man" imagery. The "bad-asses" ate this up; the rest of us thought, "What a phony."

Reagan started the "government is bad" bullshit. He famously and mockingly said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." The meatheads ate this crap up and now nearly everybody rips the government. The truth: our government, when led by liberals, is what set us apart from and ahead of the rest of the world. Reagan convinced us to downsize government and to dummy down conversations. We have. Here we are. We suck at nearly everything: income inequality, education, tuition cost, wages, benefits, vacation time, maternity leave, social mobility, obesity rates, early retirement, even infant mortality. Prior to the Reagan revolution we ranked at or near the top in nearly every meaningful category. Thanks Ronnie.

It has been glossed over by the media, but Reagan was hated by nearly half of all Americans -- hated, loathed, despised. His opponents could not believe a phony, bad actor was running the show. Many predicted the future we own today. Yes, he won big in 1984. But Mondale pulled the biggest blunder in modern politics by running on raising taxes. Also, he had a woman on the ticket before the country was ready for such radicalism (sarcasm).The improved economy helped Reagan, too, but this was due to the enormous debt he rang up to artificially stimulate the economy. The Reagan/Bush years ended in a harsh recession and enormous debt.

Reagan evicted our 50 years of moderate socialism and allowed Ayn Rand capitalism to move in. Well, here we are. This is not hard to see. We went from fifty years of growing prosperity and civility to thirty-four years of middle-class malaise and advancing barbarism. Thanks "trickle down" Reaganomics.

Open your eyes republicans! You are worshipping a mirage.

Reagan's conservatism has ruined America - socially and financially. You can't make this stuff up.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What bugs me about the '80s (13+ / 0-)

    Is why did the Democrats wimp out into professional loser status or go into Third Way mode instead of finding electable alternatives to Conservative callousness?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:09:58 AM PDT

  •  I blame Dem weakness too (20+ / 0-)

    You correctly list many of the evils wrought by Reagan, the worst of which was to fan the arrogant belief in Republicans that they alone were true patriots.

    But the Dems then, and for 30 years up to the present day, have not truly counter-attacked Republican ideology.  In part, the Dems do not want to piss off Wall Street donors, so they avoid economic populism.  

    Often I see Dems as having the attitude that since they are right about the issues, the public will come along and supply the votes for them--despite decades of evidence to the contrary.

    Dems don't have a cadre of authoritarian followers whose blind loyalty will carry them to the polls, the way Republicans do.  So they have to work harder.

    •  They are poor at spin (11+ / 0-)

      You are correct. They think intelligence matters. But it only matters to the intelligent and that is getting harder to find in America.

      Clinton's New Democrat idea turned into a disaster. Sure he won twice but he kicked socialism to the curb.

    •  The Humanist Manifesto (6+ / 0-)

      is still my favorite basis for principled society consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

      Objectivism and Laissez-faire capitalism are flawed and will self-destruct, but not until tried again in 2014 and 2016 as TEApostolic goals.  The classic conservatives will support the religious know-nothings despite their revulsion in doing so.

      ... and in all of this the Dems will use tactics rather than strategy based in philosophy.  Dems lack faith in Obvious Reality, perhaps because they fear the power of universally broadcast propaganda (Limbaugh+, Fox, Etc.).  You are correct: the problem is the weak defense.  The strong offense is always with us. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

      I aim to live in agreement with Benjamin Franklin's admonition to "Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."

      by delonix on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:52:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Politics is more than policy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Capitalist
      Often I see Dems as having the attitude that since they are right about the issues, the public will come along and supply the votes for them--despite decades of evidence to the contrary.
      LBJ and to a lesser extent Clinton 42 understood this.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:08:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems don't have CHURCHES selling the Tea Party (0+ / 0-)

      hard EVERY SUNDAY, REINFORCING the made-up sludge of the week, and exhorting their "congregations" to be like Jesus and bring down the Commie Negro EVERY SUNDAY, and call their Congressional GOPers EVERY WEEK.

      "Remember, folks - Jesus LOVES angry white assholes, so stand up and let HIM know YOU're with him! every way you can!"

      trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

      by chmood on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 04:37:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ever attend a "prosperity gospel" church for fun? (0+ / 0-)

        I did out of curiosity and what an experience. They showed a film of stealth bombers flying over an American flag and white crosses on a hill. The main "preacher" was a former English teacher and kept talking about giving to the church. He was later exposed in the major newspapers in town to: owning 2 private jets (his and hers), having staff call and badger members that haven't consistently given to the "church," and being known and caught on tape promoting Bush and conservatism. I quit following the story, but they were going after the tax free status. Oh, and they had a huge cardboard cut out of Bush in their gift shop. Smell much???

        "Vy are der so many more horse's asses than der is horses?"

        by PrefersaPension on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:38:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not tipped and rec'd (19+ / 0-)

    I usually rec anything that does a good job of reminding people of Reagan's legacy and the damage done by GOP right wing ascendency since the 80's.  But I'm really tired of comments like this

    President Obama has been a disappointment. He had all the cards and squandered the greatest opportunity for progressive change since FDR. It must be noted that the republicans have abused the filibuster and effectively rule government from a minority status.
     

    You "must note" the abuse of the filibuster but then how does it make sense that Obama "had all the cards?"  

    I know we don't want to be mindless loyalists like the GOP.  But we will never stop that madness until their brand of politics doesn't pay off at the polls.  What I'm seeing now from many of the people who elected Obama is a huge success in republican strategy.  They just need to keep the pain up, the negativity loud, they need us disappointed so they can slime the next George W Bush into office.  Just as much of the left abandoned Al Gore because of our disappointment over the Clinton years, I'm seeing the same set up this time.  

    Put the blame where it belongs.  The right wing GOPers control much of the big money, most of the media conversation and thus they remain a huge threat.  They're picking up MORE seats in Congress this year and yet all I read from the left are obituaries for their politics and complaints about how Democrats aren't any better.  We really do have to rally around what is better, even if it aint everything we want it to be.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:35:50 AM PDT

    •  Worse yet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, blueoasis, chmood

      They control about one third of elected democrats. Sorry about the Obama criticism but it explained the theme for the piece that it has been 34 years of righty rule in one form or another. The president's hands are tied by the filibuster. The fact is he has been ineffective since the ACA passed. Nearly six years in office and no minimum wage increase or significant infrastructure or jobs plan passed. He needs to step up.

      •  "He needs to step up"...seriously? (9+ / 0-)

        Look, I have things I don't like about Obama (education policy being one of the big ones), but dammit, he DID step up, and continues to do so where his authority allows him.  Congress can't pass a minimum wage, but Obama used his executive authority to enact one for federal contractors.  Jobs plan?  You do remember him calling a joint session of Congress laying one out, do you not?

        That's the problem with statements like this and your opening section that Sun Dog points out--it's just plain wrong.  Obama did NOT have "all the cards".  My God, do you have any sense of the make-up of the Senate in 2009?  Franken's delayed entry?  Teddy's death?  Lieberman?  

        Pelosi acted like a champ and got stuff through the House, because the House rules is more of a majority-rules dynamic.  But the Senate?  Unless you have a filibuster-proof majority, that is not just by 1, forget it.  
        You don't have all the cards.  

        Now, you could take Harry Reid to task for not doing more about the filibuster abuse, but that's not Obama's fault.  

        As for ineffectiveness since the ACA, again, what the hell?  Do you need a laundry list of accomplishments?  You can use The Google and find them.  It's not that hard.

        Is it everything we would want?  No, of course not.  However, if you want to go comparing him to FDR, I might remind you that in the 73rd Congress, FDR worked with a 73-23 majority in the Senate and a 332-103 majority in the House.  We can only DREAM of such majorities today....

        I'm with Sun Dog--I would love to T&R this diary, but if you leave this baloney in, can't do it.  

        To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

        by dizzydean on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:07:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If President Obama (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Hindsight Times, blueoasis

          Had done more initially he may have gotten a 70-30 majority. FDR earned his support Obama squandered his. Go listen to old recordings of FDR to hear how politics is done - unapologetic populism. Look Obama is a great, great guy just not a great president. Two great Dems existed FDR and LBJ and they were both pricks.

          On jobs. I said jobs passed not proposed. Our two lovable hard ass Dems would have gotten the jobs and infrastructure we need.

          This is not meant as an Obama rip but if the shoe fits.

          •  What?!? This is just ahistorical. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aimeehs, puakev

            I strongly urge you to go do some research before writing this stuff.  FDR walked into office with those majorities--the 73rd Congress was seated after the 1932 elections.  

            FDR was a prick?  Really?  I don't think you have any idea of what you are talking about.  Perhaps you should read Frances Perkins The Roosevelt I Knew for starters.

            And again, your understanding of the make-up of Congress after the 2008 election is really a mess.  

            To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

            by dizzydean on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was his momentum that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              Led to his big numbers. He was strong before he was elected. Obama was vague, ambiguous. The Dems were going to win in 2008 regardless off the nominee. A decisive leader would have gotten bigger numbers in the house and senate, as FDR proved. Obama displayed no clear vision.

              There are many that considered FDR to be a hard ass politician. he tried to stack the Supreme Court remember. He was a trash talker and tough as nails. That is what it takes not "we are not looking backward at the previous administration." How about, in early negotiations on the ACA, he tossed out universal without even bargaining with it. He is no FDR. Roosevelt would have slaughtered Bush/Cheney and Jamie Dimon.

              •  Again, you have no clue about FDR (2+ / 0-)

                The main criticism against him was that he had no specific agenda going into 1932--that he was willing to just grab anything and try it (which was different than Hoover).  FDR was seen as an intellectual and political lightweight from the outside, even after having served as governor of NY.
                http://millercenter.org/...

                He doesn't actually outline what The New Deal (a throwaway line at the end of his acceptance speech at the 1932 convention) was until May of 1933.  http://www.danaroc.com/...

                As for the Court packing--you do know that he lost that battle (he won that "war" after the retirements of several justices)?  

                Ugh.  And now the old "Obama threw universal health care under the bus" myth.

                I'm not going to post anything else in your diary, as your focus was to be on Reagan.  But, honestly, do some homework...

                To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

                by dizzydean on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:54:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dizzy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis

                  No need to get ugly here. Yes, it is true that FDR did not have the complete New Deal formulated but it was clear he was going to come out swinging - unlike President Obama. You build support through strength and leadership that is why FDR garnered so much and Obama did not. He let it slip away.

                  I am well aware of how the court stacking went.

                  Obama did throw out universal in the early months of the negotiations. And he did pardon the Larry Summers types. It must be hard to be an Obama apologist. Please, do your homework.

          •  Did you look at the seats to confirm this? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dizzydean, Ian Reifowitz

            When you came up with the idea, did you look at the senate races during those years?  Was there one of those election years that Dems had a real shot at 70?  

            I'm just curious, because I think that's a pretty big leap to make in this context.  

            There is no consideration given to how the right wing would have responded if your scenario had taken place.  

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:30:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There has traditionally been that crossover (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dizzydean, unfangus, rhauenstein

        Where some members of each party fall into the other's camp in certain regards.  And you trade support on different issues and get things passed without the support of some of your party but with some crossover from the other and we blunderingly get things done in the world of messy democracy.  The difference in this era is that the GOP has learned to politically circle the wagons and basically destroy the way government used to function.  

        Their lock on media means that we on the left can argue about nuance and our feelings of disappointment forever while a huge mass of people will simply vote any way the giant propaganda machine tells them, no matter how idiotic.  I think we don't really recognize what we're up against here.  

        When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

        by Sun dog on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:09:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree, fwiw. (5+ / 0-)

      This is exactly correct (from the diary):

      He had all the cards and squandered the greatest opportunity for progressive change since FDR.
      Obama was elected with very high expectation (a proxy measurement: has anyone else been awarded a Nobel Peace prize a priori) and a political status that all agreed was unprecedented in their lifetimes.  He was delivered, smiling, intact, and powerful, to the greatest bully-pulpit* we will ever see.  Then he turned off the mike, declared the admitted War Crimes of his predecessor un-touchable and un-discussable, and left the economy in the hands of those who ruined it for the middle class.  His wasted opportunity is historic.

      (*"bully" here means "superb", as in "Bully for you!")

      Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

      by Yellow Canary on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:02:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

      This type of argument is what I'm always posting at the Young Turks site as well.

      Obama never had the kinds of majorities in Congress he needed to have to get a progressive agenda through.

      Imagine what we would have if Dems controlled the House and held a super-majority in the Senate (and didn't have Blue Dog Dems):

      The American Jobs Act with its billions in infrastructure spending

      Extended unemployment benefits

      Comprehensive immigration reform

      The Dream Act

      Minimum wage increase

      A public option

      ENDA

      Reasonable gun control

      Student loan reform

      Real banking and Wall Street reform

      That would be quite a transformative agenda for one president to enact in his term. The reason we don't have it is not Obama, but the Republican and Blue Dog Dems, with the real blame landing on the American people who keep voting those individuals into office.

      He's no FDR precisely because he never had the kind of Democratic majorities FDR had to get his progressive agenda enacted.

      When Obama makes an unforced error (looking at you, Timothy Geithner), I believe in calling him out on it. But to hold him responsible for not getting his agenda through seems woefully unfair.

    •  Did the GOP ever have a super-majority? (4+ / 0-)

      No, they did not.
        But they managed to push through everything they wanted.

      So why are Republicans held to a different standard with different expectations than Democrats?

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, blueoasis

        They squeeze every last drop out of any small advantage. The Dems had big majorities and pushed through a modest amount. Again, if they pushed for real big ideas the super majorities would have followed. The effective presidents proved this - unfortunately Reagan is one of them.

      •  Are you just wondering about this now?!? (0+ / 0-)
        So why are Republicans held to a different standard with different expectations than Democrats?
        You reveal why you sound so obtuse here.  I suggest you spend some time really thinking about this question.  

        When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

        by Sun dog on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 02:32:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You mentioned Bush once and at the end... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dizzydean

    Seems to me you need to place blame for our country's rapid decline where it belongs and that's former President Shit predecessor to our current POTUS.

    Raygun was elected in 1981. Thirty five years ago. I have distant memories as am very old but most here do not.

    Hoping President Obama is an F.D.R., - just wishful thinking.

    I am disappointed.

  •  Devastatingly Well Written Diary (5+ / 0-)
    It must be noted that the republicans have abused the filibuster and effectively rule government from a minority status.
    In other words, the one percent are running the circus, for their benefit.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:55:13 AM PDT

  •  Reagan tapped into an already flowering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, miracle11, AlexDrew

    anti-labor movement.  Corporations were just beginning to compete with resurgent Euro and Asian giants dormant since WW2.  And US companies were moving factories to the American South as fast as they could to avoid unions.

    I don't see Reagan as evil as much as a doddering simpleton who came along at the right time for his ideas.  And he did win easily twice.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:05:06 AM PDT

  •  Reagan was first Ideocratic POTUS... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice

    Ideocratic... As in Ideocracy. :D

  •  190% increase in govt debt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension

    pretty amazing.

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:26:15 AM PDT

  •  A highly worrisome hangover (3+ / 0-)

    from the Reagan era is the progressive self-image as "losers," as "people who can't get anything done."

    It's slowly improving. But, too often, still, we "act the part" of perennial victims. What do I mean? All-or-nothing thinking: "Because we didn't get 100% of what we hoped for on the first attempt, this outcome is a Total Failure." Lame messaging, or lack thereof. Stupid and petty in-fighting. Endless and capitulation (sometimes before the other side has even made its demands).

    It's all symptom of low morale, of losing basically continuously for 30 +  years.

    It's hard to buck completely, and we're making progress, but buck it, we must.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:27:14 AM PDT

    •  Carter, Mondale, Dukakis enforced that image. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy

      For more than just the left.  Clinton got an assist from Perot.  The GOP could have won seven presidential elections in a row if not for Bill Clinton and Perot.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:43:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my comment above, (0+ / 0-)

        I was running together defeatist failings of big Democratic politicians AND those of the grassroots progressive movement on the ground.

        It's the latter that's actually more troubling, and maybe harder to combat.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:09:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What effect did Perot have on it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        He "stole" votes equally from Clinton and Bush, so his presence on the ballot was no help to Clinton.

        •  I haven't seen statistics to attest it, (0+ / 0-)

          but I think Perot actually nabbed more would-be Bush voters than he did Clinton voters. He was pretty conservative, remember.

          I'd be curious.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:17:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All I have to go on... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            karmsy

            ...is what voters told the exit pollsters, and Perot voters were evenly split between Clinton and Bush as their choice had Perot not been on the ballot.  I once saw a state-by-state breakdown which suggested that if Perot hadn't been in the race, perhaps two or three states that Clinton won might have gone to Bush, but nowhere nearly enough to change the outcome of the election.
            And I don't remember Perot as being particularly conservative. His was a centrist/populist campaign.  He was moderate-to-liberal on social issues like abortion and gay rights.  And he ran to the left of Clinton on NAFTA.  The most conservative thing about him was his emphasis on cutting spending, but Clinton wasn't exactly running as Mr. Big Spender himself.

            •  Are we still believing exit polling? From when? (0+ / 0-)

              trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

              by chmood on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:16:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, what have you got? (0+ / 0-)

                If there's a better way to predict how the election would have swung if Perot hadn't been on the ballot, let's hear it.

                •  Better than none, you mean? (0+ / 0-)

                  trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

                  by chmood on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 06:51:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe you don't understand. (0+ / 0-)

                    There were these people called pollsters, and they interviewed people who voted in the 1992 presidential race, and they asked them who they'd voted for, and when people said they'd voted for Perot, they asked them, well, if Perot hadn't been on the ballot, who would you have voted for. And those Perot votes broke about 50/50 between Clinton and Bush as their second choice.

                    It's actually a fairly predictable result, considering that Perot ran a centrist campaign with elements that would appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. I'm not sure why you'd find it suspect.

                    And, again, I'll ask what better method is there to predict what would have happened without Perot.

    •  Good word -- "hangover" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy

      "Vy are der so many more horse's asses than der is horses?"

      by PrefersaPension on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was dating a guy who was an air traffic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, notrouble

    controller, and I'll never forget the day Reagan booted them out. My boyfriend was devastated, shell-shocked. We couldn't believe Reagan followed through on his threat. It was then I became a committed democrat.

    Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

    by miracle11 on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:28:47 AM PDT

    •  "To everything there is a season."ATC strike.. (0+ / 0-)

      not the right time.

      You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,. Know when to walk ... know when to run
      PATCO wiki:
      The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization or PATCO was a United States trade union that operated from 1968 until its decertification in 1981 following a strike that was broken by the Reagan Administration. The 1981 strike and defeat of PATCO has been called "one of the most important events in late twentieth century U.S. labor history"
      PATCO's executive board called and Raygun was holding a pair of aces. Polka players say that's a donkey move.
      •  Each, individual, member of PATCO (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, Notreadytobenice

        had signed a personal affidavit that they would never strike. That was in addition to the fact that PATCO had a no strike contract. It was definitely a donkey move. PATCO should never have put Reagan in the position to terminate them.

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:25:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I look (5+ / 0-)

    at reagan as a more refined GWB. He always struck me as a dim witted....actor. A talking puppet.
    And as an old Labor guy don't even get me started on Clinton.
    An old Union boss of mine, said half jokingly once, that the reason the rich and their paid for politicians are coming after Unions and blue-collar workers can be summed up in one word. Golf. He, as a golfer, would tell us about the hated stares he and his buddies would get as they were out golfing. He would tell us "boys, the republicans can't stand the fact that us Labor people have a few extra bucks in our pockets that enable us to golf." This was way back in the 70s...

    6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

    by fugwb on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:46:30 AM PDT

  •  For a profoundly good discussion . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, notrouble, PrefersaPension

    . . . of the evil that Reagan planted in the heart of America, I recommend "Sleepwalking Through History" by Haynes Johnson.

    The damage he did, directly and through people who later became the core of the Bush years, as well as the economic core of Democrats, is incalculable.

    He is our Nero.

  •  That was an idiotic line. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhauenstein
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
    Nobody who works for the government has ever said that line in their lives. He might as well have warned about people saying "Blabbering Blatherskite". At least then we'd have Gizmoduck suits.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:52:57 AM PDT

  •  Great diary. I just want to add a few things. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension

    First, in the long run, I think one of the most damaging things that Reagan did was his attack on the environment and making the world safe for big oil.  (For me, something that threatens to wipe out the human race outweighs virtually any other issue.)

    Second, much of Congress was not on board for a reasonable political agenda even during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.  They were already selling out to big money and other anti-liberal interests.  Democrats have been corrupt or wimps or a long time.  Reagan was able to tap into something that was already brewing.  Unfortunately, he did it very effectively, and the whole thing just snowballed from there.

  •  Reagan v. Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble

    I do subscribe to the idea that this started with Reagan. Just a quick example, I received a pell grant to go to college in 1980. The next year (post Reagan) tuition was hiked as ed. aid was slashed and no Pell grants for any except the poorest of the poor.
    I tend to look at politics as a pendulum which has swung right for over 30 years. To think Obama could throw it back way left I believe is oversimplified. What Obama has done is stop the rightward drift. It is up to us to elect someone who will feel comfortable continuing the drift to the left.
    I also believe that is why many here point out that Reagan wouldn't fit in with the current J̶o̶h̶n̶ ̶B̶i̶r̶c̶h̶ ̶S̶o̶c̶i̶e̶t̶y̶ Republicans mainly because the rightward shift was just beginning. I have no doubt zombie Reagan would be worse than W. Bush.

  •  Come on!!!! No need to rewrite history. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, shrike, VClib
    It has been glossed over by the media, but Reagan was hated by nearly half of all Americans -- hated, loathed, despised.

    He cleaned our clocks in two elections. And Bill Clinton would not have won running as a liberal. Ask Dukakis, Mondale and McGovern.

    Even today, it would really be an uphill climb for an unapologetic liberal to win the WH. Warren would be our best shot, but could she survive the scrutiny and intensity of a prez campaign?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Electoral Votes 1980
    Reagan 489
    Carter   49

    Pop Vote
    Reagan 43,903,230
    Carter  35,480,115

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Electoral Votes 1984
    Reagan  525
    Mondale 13

    Pop Vote
    Reagan  54,455,472
    Mondale 37,577,352

    Reagan was a horrible president, but the american public loved the guy. He was transformational. Ask BHO.

    New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

    by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:04:43 AM PDT

    •  My point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrefersaPension

      Is he won big but the people that disliked him hated him. I never said he was not popular but the level of hated from 42 percent was every bit as strong as the 42 percent that hate Obama today. He was hated. Another point is by the end of his second term he was fading fast. You must look at the entirety of his time in office.

    •  They loved him so much he only got 50 percent of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrefersaPension

      The vote in 1980 - not exactly a love affair. That would make Obama absolutely hunky at 53 percent. I would not say the country loves Obama yet he did better than Reagan in 1980. 1984 was a different story but did not last long. Remember, he used the bully pulpit very effectively, as Obama did not. His numbers followed his bullshit. By the end of his second term he nearly was impeached for his vile ways.

      Obama could have been much more popular, like Reagan in 1984 had he been bold.

      •  Yes, but in 1980... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew

        ...you had John Anderson taking over 6% of the vote.  Those voters were, according to pollsters, close to evenly split between Reagan and Carter as their second choice, so without Anderson on the ballot, Reagan might well have topped 53% of the popular vote.
        Your contention is comparable to when Republicans try to paint Bill Clinton as being an unpopular president because he was first elected with only 43% of the vote.

        •  I am responding to the idea that the (0+ / 0-)

          Country loved him in 1980. 50 percent is 50 percent. That is Luke warm not a love affair. Again, Obama must be a love affair for the ages at  about 53 percent. I would never say he is loved by America as was stated earlier. Reagan had a good run for a few years but in my circles he was hated with passion. He started at 50 popped to 58 and dropped sharply in his second term. Sort of Obamaish.

          On Clinton: he started slow, too but gained momentum. Reagan was definitely hated by a large percentage as was Clinton and Obama.

          The media focuses on Reagan's popularity but ignores his enemies. For Obama, the opposite is true, though their numbers are fairly similar. Right wing media bias alive and well.

          •  SMH. Reality Based Community. (0+ / 0-)

            I will not minimize BHO's wins by comparing them to Reagan's. But if you look at Electoral Votes/States carried and Re-elect numbers, even you can figure out the difference.

            It doesn't make Reagan any less shitty of a Prez to admit that he was hugely popular. Sheeesh!!!

            New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

            by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:29:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey Einstein (0+ / 0-)

              His average approval rating was below average for all presidents since FDR - 52.8 percent. Below average. Kennedy was 70 and even Clinton beat him.

              He had a great election in 1984 then collapsed to the low fourties for most of his second term. He also sucked in the early eighties.

              Even you should be able to understand this.

              His overall popularity is another right wing myth. He was below average but got lucky in 1984.

              Can you admit he was approved of at a below average level?

              Sheeeeeesh.

  •  Reagan (0+ / 0-)

    Reagan had a cruel streak that was obvious in his bashing of Berkeley students while he was Governor.  That attracted the CA fat cats who made the B-movie actor into a more suitable candidate with a new ranch and lifestyle.  Reagan was the perfect attraction for the older white Republicans who were disgusted with the 70's protests mostly about Vietnam.  This is a really good diary about the past 34 years.  We did see this coming.  There was great upset, but the Third Way types kept control of the Democratic party as they do today.  Hillary is not a progressive Democrat.

  •  CAFTA (0+ / 0-)

    It's not a big deal, but CAFTA was signed well into Dubya's presidency. It wasn't Clinton.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:50:08 AM PDT

  •  to be fair (0+ / 0-)

    It started before Reagan.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:53:09 AM PDT

  •  I think our biggest problem is that it (3+ / 0-)

    takes a brain to understand progressive positions. And the populace has been dumbed down since Reagan ended the Fairness Doctrine.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

  •  How true, how true.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension, LillithMc

    My most vivid memory of the Reagan years is the distinct impression that Ronnie wasn't really the guy in charge.  He was a second-rate figurehead, an empty suit thrown up there by the man behind the curtain to make the average Joe believe he was doing better than he really was while the intrigue, deceit and looting went on behind the scenes unhindered.  The people in charge?  The big moneyed interests, of course.  Their operatives in government?  Well, George H.W. Bush would be their number one guy, as he was, in fact, one of them, then Bill Casey, Oliver North, the usual herd of reprobates, a bunch of snakes worthy of the most enthusiastic contempt.  
    Yeah, Reagan's shining city on a hill turned out to be a smoldering wasteland, and way too many of us are in a state of delusion to this day.  

    Nice rant, Willtwain...

    Well, it sure is a mess, ain’t it, Sheriff….
    Yep, and if it ain’t it’ll do ‘til the mess gets here.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

    •  It was a winning combination (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrefersaPension

      Run a likeable boob, someone who embodied everybody's grandfather, someone they'd like to have a beer with....

      Back home, we used to call it "country dumb." The city folks never caught on until after they inspected the 40 acres of "good bottom land" the ignorant hick had just sold them---- on the bottom of the swamp... and the rube was long gone

      Hopefully, after Bush II, it has run its course.

      The long memory is the most radical idea in this country." Utah Phillips 1935 - 2008

      by Grey Fedora on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:53:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the root of the problem, merely look at that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension

    image at the top of the diary.



    It's too much money in the hands of too few.

    We can talk about how the Democratic Party waned and allowed the Republicans to steal all their power.

    We can reminisce about how terrible Ronald Reagan was at being President.

    We can remind each other of how down and dirty the GOP has become during elections over the past 30-some years.

    But the simple truth is easy to see.

    When income inequality rises, society as a whole loses.

    To change course in American politics, it's clear what the answer is: CURB INCOME INEQUALITY

    Full stop.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:13:00 AM PDT

  •  The "improved economy" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension
    The improved economy helped Reagan, too, but this was due to the enormous debt he rang up to artificially stimulate the economy.
    In addition to the "deficits don't matter" (except when Democrats are in office) the "improved economy" was also due to "Drill, Baby, Drill."

    Reagan, and his British counterpart Thatcher had the good fortune to come to power just as the North Sea and Alaska oilfields came online.  With this newly available cheap oil, who cares about the future?

    Conservatism has set us up for huge failures, economically and ecologically.

    The long memory is the most radical idea in this country." Utah Phillips 1935 - 2008

    by Grey Fedora on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:21:29 AM PDT

  •  Early GOP Dirty Tricks (0+ / 0-)
    Also, he had a woman on the ticket before the country was ready for such radicalism (sarcasm)
    Ferraro was also damaged by allegations  of her husband's ties to organized crime. As with ACORN, the allegations were unsubstantiated, but effective in the court of public opinion.

    Reagan also had better speechwriters. After displaying early Alzheimer's type confusion after the first debate, he effectively nullified the age factor with his quip:

    "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

    Reagan was an example of the best government money could buy.

    The long memory is the most radical idea in this country." Utah Phillips 1935 - 2008

    by Grey Fedora on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:43:30 AM PDT

  •  Never figured out... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrefersaPension

    ...why Reagan wasn't a little more sympathetic to unions.  He was once president of the Screen Actors Guild and I believe the only POTUS ever to have been a card-carrying union member.

    As for the PATCO no strike clause, why did they ever agree to that?  What's the point of having a union if you cannot play that ultimate card when you get pushed to hard?

    •  He was a traitor (0+ / 0-)

      He married money. Like it has been said he was reading from a script prepared by the industrialists. You see it a lot union men that leave the union and turn against them. Ingrates.

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