Can't help lovin' those commie strongmen

Can't help lovin' those commie strongmen

by digby

So panic artist Ted Cruz called Obama a pussy (well, "kitty cat" but please ...) and expresses his admiration for Vladimir Putin --- a real bear of a man. How typical. One of the defining characteristics of the modern conservative movement has been their deep admiration for the machismo of their adversaries.

Here's a little blast from the past on this lazy holiday week-end:

Grover Norquist, is reported to have said back in the 1980's,"We must establish a Brezhnev Doctrine for conservative gains. The Brezhnev Doctrine states that once a country becomes communist it can never change. Conservatives must establish their own doctrine and declare their victories permanent…A revolution is not successful unless it succeeds in preserving itself…(W)e want to remove liberal personnel from the political process. Then we want to capture those positions of power and influence for conservatives. Stalin taught the importance of this principle."

Inspired as he is by all things totalitarian, Norquist went on to do a number of things that Uncle Joe would be proud of, one of which was The Legacy Project

Here's what Mother Jones had to say about it: 
Win one for the Gipper? Hell, try winning 3,067 for the Gipper. That's the goal of a group of a powerful group of Ronald Reagan fans who aim to see their hero's name displayed on at least one public landmark in every county in the United States.

A conservative pipe dream? The intrepid members of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project don't think so. Launched in 1997 as a unit of hard-line antitax lobby Americans for Tax Reform, the project's board of advisers reads like a who's who of conservatives; it includes, among others, staunch GOP activist Grover Norquist, supply-sider Jack Kemp, and Eagle Forum chief Phyllis Schlafly. To this crew, the Great Communicator is the man who almost singlehandedly saved us from the Evil Soviet Empire, made Americans proud again, and put the nation on the road to prosperity through tax cuts that helped the poor by helping the rich help themselves.

Buoyed by an early success in having Washington National Airport renamed in Reagan's honor in 1998, the project started thinking big. In short order, they convinced Florida legislators to rename a state turnpike. From there, it was a logical step to the push for a Reagan memorial just about everywhere. "We want to create a tangible legacy so that 30 or 40 years from now, someone who may never have heard of Reagan will be forced to ask himself, 'Who was this man to have so many things named after him?'" explains 29-year-old lobbyist Michael Kamburowski, who recently stepped down as the Reagan Legacy Project's executive director.
[...] was the Gipper's ho-hum performance in a 1996 survey of historians that apparently triggered the right's recent zeal to enthrone him in the public eye. It was in that year that presidential historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in The New York Times Magazine, asked 30 academic colleagues and a pair of politicians to rank all US presidents, and when conservatives saw their undisputed hero languishing in the "average" column, they were aghast. Appearing on the heels of Clinton's landslide victory over Bob Dole, the Schlesinger article seemed a slap in the face, a challenge to the GOP to stake its claim on recent history.

The charge was led by the Heritage Foundation -- a conservative think tank that helped devise the Republican Contract with America. In the March 1997 issue of the foundation's magazine Policy Review, the editors charged that Schlesinger's survey was stacked with liberals and New Deal sympathizers, and presented opinions from authors more appreciative of the Gipper. (The 40th president has always fared better with the general public than with the pointyheads: In a recent Gallup poll, respondents rated Ronald Reagan as the greatest American president, beating out second-place John F. Kennedy and third-place Abraham Lincoln.)

Two issues later, for its 20th anniversary, Policy Review ran a followup cover story: "Reagan Betrayed: Are Conservatives Fumbling His Legacy?" For its centerpiece, the magazine invited soul-searching by prominent Reagan acolytes including senators Phil Gramm and Trent Lott, representatives Christopher Cox, and Dick Armey, then-Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, and Grover Norquist. Soon after the cover story appeared, Norquist launched the Reagan Legacy Project as an offshoot of Americans for Tax Reform, which he had founded a decade earlier to further Reagan's fiscal policies.
Brezhnev and Stalin would be might impressed I'm sure.