Sunday, June 06, 2004

Blogosphere Reaction to Reagan's Death

[US Politics]

California Insider: "Ronald Reagan will always be remembered as a conservative icon. But he was much more pragmatic than most people realize, especially as governor of California ... It was in Reagan’s interest, and that of his friends and foes, to always portray him as a purist of the right. His conservative friends overlooked his many compromises because he was their best bet for winning the White House. And his liberal foes never wanted to acknowledge his pragmatism, because to do so would have made him an even more elusive target as the leader of what they called the far right."

Daily Kos (Trapper John): "He earned the enmity of many of us on the left through his dismantling of the New Deal and enabling of a culture of greed -- but we should not forget that he was once one of us, an FDR Democrat. His journey to the far right mirrored a similar, if less dramatic, shift that occured in the general American psyche."

The Agitator: "Of all the tributes we're likely to see to Ronald Reagan over the coming week, I can't think of a better way to remember him than to read this Reason interview from way back -- almost older than I am -- in July 1975."

Tom Watson: "I believe his biggest moment was not the "tear down this wall" speech we'll be watching all weekend, but the singular moment in Iceland, when he scared the life out of his advisors, and proposed total nuclear disarmement to Gorbachev. At that moment, he took a true leap of faith."

TBogg: "Somewhere an editor is flipping a coin over which above-the-fold headline to use... So what's it gonna be? Ronnie's Gone or J-Lo Weds. You have to ask yourself: which one will sell more papers? Journalisming is hard...."

RuminateThis: "Ronald Reagan can be said, in a nonprejudicial way, to have been a giant. Giants can be a force of good, but - at the same time - that was a giant at the top of Jack’s beanstalk and his action wasn’t of the sort that most folks (with the possible exception of Enron employees and certain Republican operatives) would ever choose to emulate."

Talking Points Memo: "A revered, popular president hasn't died in America for more than thirty years -- Harry Truman's death in 1972 is probably the last such similar event."

Pacific Views: "Ronald Reagan was just the prototype Republican figurehead president -- a front man for the people who really held the levers of power ... Now that Reagan has died, we're going to be subjected to interminable rosy assessments of his presidency and political contributions to the nation, and testimonials as to what a nice guy he was. While we're sure we'd probably have enjoyed Reagan as an eccentric neighbor, he never should have become governor of California, let alone president of the United States. "

Whiskey Bar: "I found it hard to hate Reagan - even though I detested most of what he stood for, believed and sought to do. Yes, he was as ignorant and stubborn and incapable of rational thought as our current president, but he wasn't arrogant - or at least, he didn't come across as arrogant. He lacked Bush's infuriating sense of entitlement, and his nasty temper. Reagan smiled, he didn't smirk."

Scripting News: "Listening to the TV reports of the Reagan presidency, you'd think we had been governed by God Himself for eight years ... Reagan was a smelly old dude, even when he was Prez ... Prediction: Reagan is going to be Dubya's virtual running mate."

Wizbang: "I know exactly where I was when I heard President Reagan had been shot."

Winds of Change: "Some Americans like Reagan, some do not. Regardless of how one feels, the fact remains: Reagan played a leading role in the global demise of an empire that had slain over 40 million people in its bloody history, and of an ideology whose democide count has topped 100 million. Millions and millions of people around the world will mourn in the next few days - because what this man did changed their lives, and their futures, for the better. That ought to inspire a certain level of respect."

Body and Soul: "I didn't like him as a president, or know him as a person, which leaves me without much positive to say. And this is a day, maybe a week, even a month, to be positive. History can take a breather for awhile."

Kevin Drum: "For a different perspective on his presidency, try "Reagan's Liberal Legacy," Joshua Green's take on Reagan from the January 2003 issue of the Washington Monthly."

War Liberal: "You know what? I don't care. I never cared for Reagan and the Reagan-worship that's infected America has left me immune."

Open Source Politics: "Be prepared for several weeks of the liberal media providing loving and gooey tributes"

Oliver Willis: "Yes, I expect in the coming days -- especially online -- we'll hear from people on the left about all the bad things Reagan did and how he's evil incarnate, and from people on the right we'll be told about how he was the greatest president ever and that he's going to direct to heaven."

Scobleizer: "I took pictures of him back in 1984 when he visited DeAnza Community College in Silicon Valley."

Confessions of a Political Junkie: "Reagan said he was tired of an American that blames itself first and refused to act for fear of criticism. I'm glad we have a current President who feels the same way."

Corrente: "Although Nixon was impeached for Watergate, Reagan didn't suffer for Iran-Contra at all, as an increasingly toothless Democratic party caved."