Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ronald Reagan Agrees With The Democrats

The Democrats recently released a House Democratic Caucus video filled with out-of-context and incorrect quotes from Ronald Reagan which purport to prove that Reagan would support Barack Obama and the Democrats over the current crop of Republicans on the issue of the debt ceiling. Naturally, the mainstream media are in lockstep with the Democrats.

As The Gipper would say, "Well, there they go again." The commercial networks and the cable news channels (Fox News excepted) are playing the quotes, largely without comment or correction from Republicans. But as usual, MSNBC is in the forefront of perpetuating the distortions, angrily, and then either editorializing or challenging guests to prove that Reagan would have been in agreement with Obama.

Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word did it badly. He asked why Republicans don't learn from Ronald Reagan's lessons, then proceeded to prove that Reagan wouldn't have agreed with Obama's position: "Somewhat to my surprise, that lesson that Ronald Reagan was trying to teach about the debt ceiling, what it actually means, what happens if you wouldn't raise it. He said that in the context of having to sign a debt ceiling increase that included pieces that he did not like, that he was absolutely opposed to, but he said I got to sign it because if I don't, look what happens." But that was Reagan facing a Democratic House of Representatives. By O'Donnell's flawed logic, that means Obama should accept the Republican House plan of increasing the debt limit, accompanied by cut, cap and balance. I don't think that's what O'Donnell meant to prove.

What Reagan actually said in his debt-limit speech was: "You don't need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget." For some reason, the Democrats don't include that in their selective quotations from Reagan about the debt-limit.

Chris Matthews on Hardball also played some of the cherry-picked quotes. He accused Republicans of engaging in "economic terrorism" by ignoring Reagan's real message. Said Matthews: "There Reagan is saying this brinksmanship, this trickery, around the time of of a deadline is sort of economic terrorism." No, what Reagan was saying is that sometimes you have to take the bitter with the better when the better is more important than the bitter. More importantly, Reagan had a plan to defend and promote. Obama has no plan except to jam unsustainable debt and crippling taxes down the throats of the American people without any intention of helping the Republicans to rein in spending. Unlike Reagan's reluctant compromise, Obama has no intention of cooperating with the Republicans. It's my way or the highway.

Just hours later, Rachel Maddow went off on an incomprehensible rant about how dumb the Republicans are for not following their icon's advice. "Of course Reagan was a noted communist, long-haired hippy. It is important to recognize that this is the state of debate right now in half of Washington. In half of Washington, the Democrats are using Ronald Reagan from the 80s, and everything else they can think of, to try to convince Republicans that defaulting on the national debt would be bad. Think about that for a second." Get it? The Democrats understand Reagan--the Republicans don't.

On the 11 AM ET show, Thomas Roberts asked Bill Clinton economic adviser Robert Reich: "All right, so there we have it. President Reagan tying this up in a nutshell. For current day Republicans that evoke President Reagan's name so much, why don't Republicans listen to that message from the icon that they have in Ronald Reagan and move off of some of the far-right rhetoric that we've been hearing over the last weeks and months?" We all know that Reagan wanted to increase taxes, build a huge federal government, and put us into irretrievable debt. Why aren't the Republicans listening to him?

I saved my favorite MSNBC intellectual for last--the Reverend Al Sharpton. First, he made it clear for the umpteenth time that he really hated Reagan. But even so, he still was unclear on why the Republicans wouldn't follow the advice of their iconic attack dog. "Interviewing" Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), the host and occasional creator of libelous racism charges shouted: "In the name of Ronald Reagan, I think this president in the White House right now sounds a lot more like Ronald Reagan than you guys do." On MSNBC Live, Sharpton spent more time answering his own questions than allowing the guest to do so. And he demanded that Brooks do what Reagan would have done (or at least what Sharpton says he would have done).

These MSNBC hacks remind me of the line of a very old song: "Why would you believe me when I said I love you when you know I've been a liar all my life?" A half-truth or quarter-truth is still a lie.


Tennessee Jed said...

Did they show the clip of then Senator Obama talking about refusing to raise the ceiling when Bush was in office?

The problem with last night is that the majority of people won't change their views. I thought Boehner did a nice job by agreeing to this morning's meeting and remaining civil. Hopefully, the undecideds will see just how petulant and arrogant Obama was by treating Boehner like he was one of his corporate employees.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: Of course they didn't show that. It's been brought up a couple of times, but the best explanation they can come up with is "well, that was different." But they can't explain how or why. The simple truth is, Obama wanted to cripple funding for the Iraq War. He didn't care then or now about debt, he just wanted to pose for his leftist friends.

Obama keeps planting his clay feet on the position that he won't agree to cuts unless the Republicans agree to raise "revenue." When are the Republicans going to go on the offensive and call him out, boldly and clearly, on the fact that when Obama says "revenue," he means taxes, TAXES, TAXES?

Tennessee Jed said...

In theory, Obama said he was going to release the records of his "offer." Bam seems to try and go classic class warfare (no more cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and big oil executives.) I mean, please Barrack, give us a break. He never has shown where he is going to "cut" entitlements, though.

I'd like to hope the press, be it Jake Tapper or the "new" Norah O'Donnell will press him on his offer.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: The "corporate jets" mantra is getting damned old, but he seems to be scoring on that point with the middle of the political spectrum. The Republicans should be announcing a loud public willingness to eliminate certain corporate deductions while holding the line on "no new taxes." Bringing the corporate tax rates down, preserving current Bush cuts, and some other tweaking the conservatives have been proposing would offset the "corporate jets" deduction lost, but would give the Republicans a big PR boost. Even though it isn't true, Obama is winning the PR war on "taxing the rich."

AndrewPrice said...

Misquoting Reagan seems to be a Democratic game. Of course, a lot of Republicans do that too. Depending on who you talk to, Reagan was all things to all people -- even though his views were actually quite clear.

Unknown said...

Andrew: It only seemed appropriate to get indignant since you can hear the howls for miles when we quote Martin Luther King. The difference is, we quote him correctly.

Joel Farnham said...

"Even your gods are against you!"

Using Reagan to destroy arguments from the Republican side is an old disinformation campaign. It is used more for demoralizing than anything else. Lord Haw Haw comes to mind.

Uninformed citizens will buy into this, but usually it is ineffective. Especially when Reagan's comments are shown in their entirety.

This is pure propaganda thought up by socialists and their mush-minded commentators. It is highly coordinated, isn't it? All these supposedly disparate people coming to the same conclusion? With almost the same words used time and again? Improbable at best. I think Journolist hasn't really stopped. Just changed the name and kept the same players.

Unknown said...

Joel: The reason they [mis]quote Reagan is they have nobody of their own worth quoting. Except, of course, for Obama giving the reasons not to raise the debt limit back in 2008.

Tehachapi Tom said...

The bo mantra of how the rich are not carrying there share is as bankrupt has he will have the Nation.
Currently 1% 0f the population (the rich) are paying 40% of the taxes while holding 25% of the countries wealth. At the same time 47% 0f the population pays no taxes. if justice and fairness is our goal lets all pay based upon our share of the Nations wealth. That would of course mean that the rich would get a 15% tax cut to start. Then see what can be afforded to guide spending.
That is what RR wanted.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: We know that, but the Democrats are too busy playing class warfare to notice. Justice and fairness are not their goal. They need the ignorant plebes who pay no taxes to vote for them (and to vote themselves largess from the public treasury). It isn't about fairness at all. It's about the appearance of fairness. Raising taxes on "the rich" is another way of saying "killing the goose that lays the golden egg." Indeed, the rich can afford to pay the increased taxes. But they can't afford to do that and hire new people or build new businesses. But what do the Democrats care? Their largest base is people who don't work while living of the public teat.

StanH said...

The good news, you know the left have almost exhausted the arrows in their quiver, when they quote the great Ronald Reagan. No man, is more reviled by the left than Reagan, except a woman Sarah Palin. As you say, this is for consumption in the idiot class aka democrat voters, real America knows better. To be fair all of statist Washington hated Reagan, he was a man of the people, not of the ruling class.

Unknown said...

Stan: You're absolutely right. The RINOs and the Old Guard didn't really care for him much more than the Democrats. They still wanted to be Democrat Lite. Nearly all his advisers (particularly Nat'l Security Adviser Howard Baker) told him not to go to Berlin and say "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." He ignored them, and the rest is history. As Chancellor Helmut Kohl said: "He was a stroke of luck for the world, especially Europe." They ain't sayin' that about Bammer.

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