He Ain't Heavy

by digby

I normally don't have anything against Dem TV pundit Flavia Colgan, but her talking points this morning on MSNBC were just wrong. She went on and on about how George W. Bush had failed to fulfil Ronald Reagan's legacy which is why all the candidates were trying to assume Reagan's mantle. Then she listed all the alleged betrayals of St Ronnie.

This may be true to the extent that the Republicans are avoiding the Bush legacy like the plague, but it is playing into their hands to present some sort of "real conservative" alternative in a positive light. The fact is that both Ronnie and Junior ran up the bills so high it effectively hamstrings anyone who comes behind them. And both of them have bloody foreign legacies that should never be defended. They are far more alike than they are different and Reagan could have suffered the same fate as Bush if he had decided to be as stubborn and defiant when his poll ratings sank during Iran Contra, As it turns out he was not precisely all there, wiser heads prevailed and he was able to leave office fairly popular. But no Democrat should ever use Reagan as an example of what a good Republican looks like. That's exactly what the Republicans would like to happen now that they've conceived a hagiography that has Reagan somewhere between Alexander the Great, Gandhi and Harry Houdini. ("Remember, they looked in Ronald Reagan's eyes, and in two minutes, they released the hostages.")

More importantly, the Democrats should not ever EVER let even the tiniest bit of light between George W. Bush and his Republican enablers who now have the unenviable task of running against both him and the Democrats. This was an opportunity for the Democratic strategist pundit to place all these guys right in the laps of Junior and the Reagan Retreads where they belong and instead she gave them an out.

I hope that Dems are not going to make the foolish mistake of allowing this election to be framed as "going back to good Reagan conservatism," because it's nonsense. Conservatism is conservatism and it's a miserable failure no matter who's in charge.
They all operate on the same "principles."