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Reagan's Toxic Legacy
  by slangist 

For those predisposed to disliking jovial old frauds of whatever persuasion, the 100th
anniversary of Reagan's birth is an appropriate time to commemorate the death of a salesman.

When Reagan slipped his final grip on that consciousness he had infrequently graced and
so long abandoned, it was certainly as historic an event as the introduction of a new soap
powder product, or the retirement of an old one.

First elected Governor on a muted inclination to shoot student demonstrators, Reagan spent
his political life as an apostle of reaction, repression and recklessness. Made President by the
hostage-taking Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini, then reelected by a marketing program so meretricious
it remains a marvel of its kind, Reagan only escaped impeachment over his unconstitutional
Iran-financed war in Nicaragua by the lateness of its revelation.

His genial Irish confidence-man's twinkle served him well in movies, as a pitchman, and finally
as a deliverer of political homilies almost every one of which was false in some major particular.
The unrepentant public liar that Republicans accused Bill Clinton of being, Reagan had already
been. His most famous comments were astonishing in their irrelevance. "I paid for this microphone"
helped him get nominated in 1980, even though the dispute was over the agreed rules, not the
payments. "Tear down this wall" was as hubristic as if Gorbachev had told Reagan to stop
imprisoning so many black people.

"The Great Prevaricator" is Reagan's indisputable historic title, unrivaled as he was, even by
Richard Nixon, in his dedication to publicizing his dream world and calling it reality. Nixon knew
what the truth was and didn't care; whereas Reagan neither knew nor cared. The degenerative
series was completed by Bush Minor, who stood doomed in the words of Brecht. "Who does not
recognize the truth, is an imbecile. But who recognizes it, and names it a lie -- that is criminal."

Reagan craved credit for winning the Cold War though his major achievement was that he
was standing around when the peoples of Eastern Europe, for reasons of their own,
chose economic and political change

A shot of Chinaco to slingist, especially for that last sentence.

If only the Democrats could learn to list the damn facts.



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