About that Reagan analogy

The MSM never made any secret of the fact that it loathed Ronald Reagan.  Back in the 1980s, as an unthinking liberal, I too loathed Reagan.  The MSM’s unrelenting hostility to Reagan allowed me to feel that my views about the man were correct and that I was indeed an intellectually superior, insightful human being. Reagan was a stupid actor, a war monger, an enemy of the poor, a homophobe.  You could wade through his deepest thoughts without getting your ankles wet.  I thought it all; the MSM said it all.

Fortunately, not all Americans were as dumb as I was, as they elected the man, not once, but twice.

When Reagan died, the MSM, which I still watched sporadically back in 2004, was absolutely shocked that Americans turned out in such numbers to pay homage to Reagan.  It was clear that they expected his funeral to be a small affair, with a few jokes for old times sake about his Alzheimers having kicked in beginning in the 1940s.  Instead, thousands of Americans journeyed to Washington to file by his casket.  The national outpouring of grief, the sense that someone great had passed, was tremendous.

In the years since Reagan’s death, I haven’t detected any softening in the MSM’s attitude towards him until this very week.  You see, this week Obama’s troops in the MSM have a problem.  Obama is selling, but voters aren’t buying.  In the past, to help Obama sell his stuff, the MSM has resurrected famous presidents to find an analogy to Obama’s wonderfulness.

“Obama is Lincoln, and he’ll have a non-partisan cabinet!”  The most partisan president ever blew that analogy out of the water on practically his first day in office (“I won“).  Nor could the MSM find comfort in the fact that, in keeping with the Civil War idea, Obama does seem to be helping to move the country toward the rhetorical equivalent of a Civil War.

“Obama is FDR, and he’ll make sure that Happy Days Are Here Again!”  This analogy became a fail too, as it became clear that (a) Happy Days Are Not Here Again and (b) it turns out that the only way in which Obama is comparable to FDR is that the economy is getting worse, not better, under his watch.

“Obama is Kennedy, and he’ll bring class back to the White House!”  Whoops.  Another fail.  Obama and his high living wife are not classy, they’re trashy.  Also, even Boy Kennedy showed more courage than Obama when it came to acknowledging America’s enemies (Communists then; Islamists now), not to mention the fact that Kennedy actually seemed to like America.

This week’s trope, and it’s the most laughable one of all, is that Obama is Reagan!  Yes, you heard it through the MSM first.  Obama has secretly been emulating Reagan since the 1980s, his charm, his deep love of America, his commitment to American exceptionalism, and his abiding belief in the individual and the danger of big government.

At this point, you and I are laughing hysterically.  This is akin to announcing that Michael Vicks, at an early age, committed himself to the teachings of St. Francis; that Jeffrey Dahmer found Gandhi a compelling figure because of his vegetarianism; and that Lady GaGa has always seen Mother Theresa as a role model.

Clearly, the MSM is desperate.  But, despite its decline, it still has a bully pulpit.  A more shabby, less loud pulpit than ever before, but a bully one all the same.  Most Americans are, in some way or another, exposed to the MSM.  For those of us who are ideologically strong and are paying attention, it’s easy to slough off its nonsense.  And given enough time, Americans have shown that they’ll figure out the lies.  I’m wondering, though, how long it will be before ordinary Americans (that is, the ones who aren’t as politically obsessed as we are) figure this one out, and how many foolish people will remain trapped forever in this nonsense.

I’ll leave you with two famous quotations attributed to two famous Americans, one of whom Obama is not much like (Lincoln) and one of whom he is a great deal like (Barnum):

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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  • TryCommonSense

    There have been so many Reagan comparisons made to Sarah Palin, I think this is a not-so-subtle attempt to undermine that meme with independent voters.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Bookworm: it turns out that the only way in which Obama is comparable to FDR is that the economy is getting worse, not better, under his watch.

    It’s quite apparent that the economy got better under FDR. In addition, the income distribution became more equitable (it was an an all-time high before the crash), meaning a majority of people enjoyed the benefits of the improvement.

    US fourth quarter 2010 GDP rose 3.2% (annualized).

    You’re right, though, that direct comparisons of this sort don’t usually provide much insight.

  • Oldflyer

    This attempt to don the mantle of Reagan is simply grotesque.  The man and his lackeys have no shame.
    The Time photo-shopped cover should be grounds for some sort of action.  It is terribly dishonest; it uses the image of Reagan in a horribly distorted manner.  I almost wish that I subscribed to Time, so I could cancel.

  • Gringo

    I never voted for Reagan. I voted third party when he ran for President, having “a plague on both their  houses” attitude towards the Dems and the Pubs at the time. He called a spade a spade. He called out the invader of Afghanistan. As a fair number of my hometown neighbors were refugees from the Iron Curtain, I knew that “evil empire” was just telling like it was. While later documentation supported my father’s assertion that Reagan had ratcheted up tensions with the USSR by making the remark,  at the time I still liked that Reagan had done it. Impetuous youth versus measured experience, I guess.
    My extensive reading in a well-stocked library on Latin America convinced me that dumb, ignorant Reagan had made the right call on Central America. From what I read in the library, the progs and the libs were the ignorant ones.

  • Libby

    Just like the Obama-as-FDR and Obama-as-Lincoln images, I find the fabricated photo of Reagan expressing support and comradery for Obama disturbing.
    What is it with these journalists who are so obsessed with Obama’s image. Unlike the caricatures of other politicians, they are attempting to ascribe all of the qualities of these past presidents to Obama. They wouldn’t need to do this if he could stand on his own accomplishments.
    Also, it reeks of dear leader-like propaganda used to prop up dictators like Saddam Hussein.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Obama’s like a vampire and his media goons the ghouls.


    What is it with these journalists who are so obsessed with Obama’s image..
    The never ending need to compete with shirtless shots of Putin- but they’re so bad at it here, what’s stuck in my photographic memory are ‘slurpees and bicycles’.

  • MacG

    ““Obama is Lincoln, and he’ll have a non-partisan cabinet!””

    With only partisans to pick from how do you do that?

  • Zhombre

    Obama is Nobody. Might as well be made of tofu. The man is IMHO shallow, conceited, ineffectual.  He speaks well, and may have some personal affability, but I’ve never sensed any real passion or sincerity behind his words.  The media links him with past Presidents in a mimetic gesture, but shallow can’t be made solid so easily.


    Enjoy. Came across this today.
    Reagan: Fostered national pride in the military.
    Obama: Fostered gay pride in the military.
    Reagan: We begin bombing in five minutes.
    Obama: We begin golfing in five minutes.
    Reagan: Made big government a bad word.
    Obama: Made big government a bad dream.
    Reagan: A shining city on a hill.
    Obama: A home mortgage under water.
    Reagan: Stood up to the Soviets.
    Obama: Bowed to the Saudis.

    More here

  • Mike Devx

    When they try to remake Obama in the image of Reagan, it means we are WINNING!
    Pop the cork and have a sip of champagne!  Don’t get too giddy, for this is merely one small battle won.  But it is good to celebrate a success.
    the mainstream media, trying to tell us Obama is another Reagan!?!?!!!  The mind boggles!  The Earth’s revolution slowly grinds to a halt and with a ponderous groan, reverses.  The sun rises in the West! The Mainstream Media!!!  We are WINNING!

  • Charles Martel

    Mike, the left is having a Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact moment. It will be fun to see how quickly the herd of independent minds wheels abruptly 180 degrees and begins reciting the new meme.

    That horrid actor is going to turn out to be a mensch and they knew it all along!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martel, nice reference there.