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Marking The Reagan Revolution — January 20, 1981

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:39 am - January 20, 2006.
Filed under: American History,Ronald Reagan

It was 25 years ago today that the history of the United States and the world changed forever. It would have been remembered as an historic day even without the swearing in of the 40th President of the United States. The American Hostages were being released after 444 days of captivity in Iran. Of course no one would realize, or appreciate at the time, that the Iran hostage crisis was just the beginning of the world wide war against America by Islamofascists.

But the long-term impact of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration that day has been felt by millions around the world who were freed from Communist oppression because of his commitment and vision. Here in the United States, Reagan brought the country back from the days of Carter’s malaise to a new level of economic productivity and patriotism. As I told an ABC Radio reporter while I stood in line at the Capitol to pay my respects upon his passing in June 2004, as long as I live Ronald Reagan will be the person I will consider as “my President.”

I found this decent column in the LA Times marking the 25th Anniversary of Reagan’s inauguration.

What Reagan Knew – Richard Reeves, LATimes.com

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago today, on Jan. 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the United States. The former governor of California faced west, away from the front of the Capitol, and gave a most extraordinary inaugural address.

He touched on four simple themes, the ones he had been repeating for years, first as spokesman for the General Electric Co., then as governor of California and as the post-Goldwater icon of the conservative wing of the Republican Party: reducing taxes and budget deficits and thus reducing the power and size of the government; rebuilding the American military; confronting communism around the world; and renewing American pride and patriotism.

Reagan, a stubborn and determined old man not greatly interested in learning anything new, instinctively understood the presidency in important ways that were derided and mocked by many of his contemporaries. He knew the job was not managing the government, it was leading the nation. He knew words could be more important than deeds — and he was not ashamed of that. He knew the presidency was about trust and judgment, the way the man at the top handled the two or three big ones that came his way, usually unexpectedly. No one remembers Abraham Lincoln’s agricultural policy.

He was politically alone those last two years. Congress and the press treated him as a fool or a crook. Conservatives abandoned him, consigning him to Lenin’s category of “useful idiots.” But he knew one big thing, and always had: Communism would fall of its own weight and contradictions. And he had found the key to victory in the Cold War: a Soviet leader who also understood that old-fashioned communism was collapsing.

The official notes of the Reagan/Mikhail S. Gorbachev meetings, finally released in this century, show convincingly that Reagan, trying to save his ideology and his presidency, prevailed over Gorbachev, the Russian trying to save his ideology and his country.

There was no one at his inauguration in January 1981 who would have predicted that within 10 years the Soviet Union would be dissolved and Russia would begin applying for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Well, maybe Ronald Reagan did. But no one took him seriously — then.

As a foot soldier of the Reagan Revolution, I salute my Commander-In-Chief on this day. God Bless Ronald Reagan.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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39 Comments

  1. Bruce, nice tribute and well said. I was one of those “foot soldiers” working hard for Geo Bush #41 in the primary run-up to RR’s win; you might recall that Michigan was the last state to go Bush before withdrawing from the race. I remember we incorrectly villified RR as a war monger –with little native intelligence, fast to concede to the military leaders’ opinions, and a gold-trimmed out-of-touch B grade actor from a bygone day auditioning for his biggest role. Many of us voted for RR because GBush was only a heartbeat away and that would soothe or contain the militarist passions.

    Boy, were we wrong. Dead wrong. RR did turn out to be, arguably, that generation’s greatest President… maybe, the best one in the 20thC.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 20, 2006 @ 11:05 am - January 20, 2006

  2. Good ‘ol Reagan. The political horticulturalist who gave us the lovely rose that is Saddam Hussein.

    Comment by The Angry Fag — January 20, 2006 @ 11:56 am - January 20, 2006

  3. Fortunately, though, Republicans were willing to realize that that wasn’t a rose, it was a weed, and it needed to be dealt with accordingly.

    Democrats, on the other hand, were more than willing to point out the mistake in allowing that weed to grow, but inexplicably did their best to protect it from any kind of constraint or damage.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2006 @ 12:22 pm - January 20, 2006

  4. Good ‘ol Reagan. The political horticulturalist who gave us the lovely rose that is Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam became the ruler of Iraq in July, 1979, two years before RR was sworn in as President, so you can blame Carter for not nipping him in the bud!!!

    I know there is the old kanard about RR being evil ’cause he gave support to Iraq during their war against Iran. I guess I should declare FDR as being a horrible President for being the political horticulturalist who gave us the lovely rose that was Stalin, or Carter for most of socialist Latin America. Using your logic (or lack there of) Clinton is to blame for 9/11 for not grabbing Osama from Sudan the three times he was offered. Every President must make decisions that are beneficial in the short term but come back to bite him (or us) in the long term. It’s part of the job. Examine your own life. Can you tell me you haven’t made a decision for short term gain that hasn’t come back to haunt you? You are probably not old enough (maybe not born yet) to remember the Iranian hostage crisis, and the visceral, justifiable hatered we had for the Mullahs. Well I was a teenager (yeah I’m kinda old), and do remember what the country went through. Remember that Iran was funding terrorist throughout the eighties and ninties. And had they won the war, Iran would have been the largest country in the region. I don’t have a crystal ball, nor can I predict the future, but I suspect the world would be worse off today if Iraq would have lost that war.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 20, 2006 @ 1:17 pm - January 20, 2006

  5. PS. I voted for Clinton both times, so don’t try to accuse me of being a “Clinton Hater”.

    Some people want to blame Clinton for 9/11 cause he didn’t take OBL when offered by Sudan. On the other side, you hear that the war would be over had Bush not diverted resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, and in effect, losing OBL. Here is the problem with both arguements. There is no guarentee that the capture / killing of OBL would / will change anything. Don’t get me wrong. I want him dead or captured. OK. I’ll go with dead. But there is the possiblility that, had Bush captured or killed OBL, his successor would be even better at the terrorism game than OBL is, and that Saddam would help them move their opps to Iraq. There is also the possiblility that had Clinton taken OBL that even more Muslims would have been angered and joined the Jihad against the West (isn’t that the arguement made when protesting the current WOT in Iraq?). Had Clinton taken OBL 9/11 probably would have happened anyway, or maybe, with the new infusion of anger on the “Arab Street”, it would have been worse. Still I wish, in hindsight, that Clinton would have taken OBL, or that Bush X’ed him out a couple of years ago and still kick Saddam from power.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 20, 2006 @ 1:45 pm - January 20, 2006

  6. Let’s not forget the other thing that happened that day: The hostages came home from Iran. Thanks in no small part to Reagan.

    Comment by caltechgirl — January 20, 2006 @ 1:49 pm - January 20, 2006

  7. Was he crapping his pants at that point?.. or did that happen in his second term?

    Comment by Come On! — January 20, 2006 @ 2:57 pm - January 20, 2006

  8. I miss The Gipper…

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — January 20, 2006 @ 3:47 pm - January 20, 2006

  9. This is the most sorry ass excuse for a web that I’ve seen on the net so far. Gay right-wing republicans. The very difinition of hypocrisy.

    Comment by Chi Chi — January 20, 2006 @ 4:13 pm - January 20, 2006

  10. I voted for Reagan twice, but get a grip.

    The idea of conservatives that Reagan had much if anything to do with the demise of the USSR seems to fly in the face of their earlier claim that communism would fall of its own weight because of its internal economic contradictions. Conservatives seem to be disingenuous–either it was Reagan or the internal economic contradictions of communism.

    I was actually in German in 1988 and 1989 and was reading German language newspapers at the time. It was clear that East Germans were fleeing East Germany through Hungary (a beloved vacation place for East Germans) and Austria, and the USSR was powerless to stop it–Hungarians hated the Soviets, because of their 1956 invasion.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov 9 1989 had nothing to do with Reagan–it had to do with an accident of history. I can–and have (but not here) expound at length. I was attending the Goethe-Institut Boston at the time for German language instruction, and the instructor burst into the room declaring “Die Mauer ist gefallen! Die Mauer ist gefallen!” (The Berlin Wall has fallen.) The entire story is told in a lengthy book Chronik des Mauerfalls (Chronicle of the fall of the Berlin wall). It is actually somewhat ironic what actually happened and it had nothing to do with Reagan.

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 4:31 pm - January 20, 2006

  11. Average Gay Joe — January 20, 2006 @ 3:47 pm – January 20, 2006

    I miss The Gipper…

    It’s unfortunate that the 241 marines who were bombed to death in Beirut in 1983 aren’t around to “miss the Gipper.”

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 4:37 pm - January 20, 2006

  12. caltechgirl — January 20, 2006 @ 1:49 pm – January 20, 2006

    Let’s not forget the other thing that happened that day: The hostages came home from Iran. Thanks in no small part to Reagan.

    Um, this is silly. The Iranians released the hostages on the very day that Reagan was first inaugurated, indeed about a half hour before he was inaugurated. What would Reagan have had with their release? He didn’t have power until he was inaugurated

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 4:44 pm - January 20, 2006

  13. BTW, Richard Reeves, the author of this piece, is obviously pushing his book. I wouldn’t put much stock in the article.

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 4:48 pm - January 20, 2006

  14. #11: Raj: “It’s unfortunate that the 241 marines who were bombed to death in Beirut in 1983 aren’t around to “miss the Gipper.” ”

    I agree. Other than mourning my fellow servicemembers, what are you saying?

    By the way, read all the German propaganda you like. The USSR would not have fallen when it did (sure, it would have eventually) without RR.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 20, 2006 @ 4:49 pm - January 20, 2006

  15. #11 Raj, actually I’d mark that as the 2nd or 3rd biggest disaster during RR’s Presidency; but it’s a disaster, not a “mistake” as you might imply.

    The BIGGEST mistake of RR’s was in not letting the Israeli Army push Yassar Arafat & the PLO off the Beirut docks and into the sea in ’82 –ending that sorry ass Arab’s miserable excuse for a life and his band of thugs and terrorists.

    Now that was serious mistake, probably the greatest one of RR’s.

    Whereas determining Clinton’s greatest mistake would take a year’s worth of arguing to just narrow it down to the top ten.

    And Raj, for the record, the Marines who died in that terrorist attack were mourned by RR, by the nation, by the world.

    For you to use them to discredit their CIC is deplorable and, to put it very bluntly, despicable.

    It’s like JFKerry mourning the soldiers who died in VN –some things just can’t be tolerated without ripping the fabric of the universe asunder

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 20, 2006 @ 5:00 pm - January 20, 2006

  16. #4 Sonic, re: AngryFag, no need to stiff JimminyCarter with Saddam’s rise to power… let’s do the big picture for the AngryFag: JimminyCricketCarter set in motion the Middle East we have today –recall he allowed the Shah to fall in Iran… and that led to a rise to Islamic radical fundamentalism… leading inexorably to the US hostages held at gunpoint for 441 (?) days… and the Middle East we have today. I’d like to see JimminyCricket go build some habitat homes in Iran. Hell, over there he’s probably a hero for crippling America.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 20, 2006 @ 5:13 pm - January 20, 2006

  17. Finally Raj, nearly ever major political historian attributes the release fo the hostages to Iran’s perception that RR was “no JimminyCiricketCarter” –meaning he would be tough, deliberate, and not hold America hostage by presidential indecision and impotency.

    You’re either portraying a fundamental lack of knowledge, history, or spin. I’m guessing all three.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 20, 2006 @ 5:19 pm - January 20, 2006

  18. ColoradoPatriot — January 20, 2006 @ 4:49 pm – January 20, 2006

    By the way, read all the German propaganda you like. The USSR would not have fallen when it did (sure, it would have eventually) without RR.

    Oh. So the USSR would not have fallen from the internal contradictions of Communist economics. Conservatives prior to Reagan (he wasn’t really a conservative) used to tell us that the USSR would fall from the internal contradictions of the Communist economic system. Which is it? Reagan or the internal contradictions of the USSR’s economic system?

    Other than mourning my fellow servicemembers, what are you saying?

    What am I saying? I am saying that RR’s defense department put them in harms way for no particular strategic or tactical reason.

    By the way, read all the German propaganda you like….

    German propaganda? I read German language news sources in German regularly (we have a house over there) and I know what’s going on over there. Obviously you do not. You probably have no knowledge of “Schabowskis Zettel” which was the preciptating cause of the downfall of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with Reagan. You really should learn a bit of history. Do a google search, but be advised that most of the targets are in German.

    Believe the myths regarding RR that you wish to believe. But they are nothing but myths.

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 5:37 pm - January 20, 2006

  19. The USSR certainly would have last much longer if the Democrats
    strategy of unilateral capitulation had been followed throughout the 1980’s. Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd went so far as to state that the USA was “on the wrong side of history” for opposing communism.

    Comment by V the K — January 20, 2006 @ 5:45 pm - January 20, 2006

  20. Michigan-Matt — January 20, 2006 @ 5:19 pm – January 20, 2006

    Finally Raj, nearly ever major political historian attributes the release fo the hostages to Iran’s perception that RR was “no JimminyCiricketCarter” –meaning he would be tough, deliberate, and not hold America hostage by presidential indecision and impotency

    Citations? I don’t give much credence to what major political historians have had to say, particularly when the “major political historians are opining on recent matters. Why? They probably do not have access to all of the documentation that might allow them to opine on the history of the matter.

    I’ll give you an example. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall (and the east-west reunification debacle) some people in the West believed that the Baader-Meinhoff gang (the Red Army Faction) that was terroizing West Germany, was sponsored by the East. The Wessies could not confirm that until they obtained access to the Ossie files after reunification.

    The point being, until the “major political historians” have access to Iran’s files, they really have no idea why they released the embassy hostages when they did. Quite frankly, your explanation makes no sense. It was evident in November that Reagan was going to become president. Why didn’t the Iran gov’t release them then, if they were afraid of Reagan? Why did they wait until inauguration day?

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 5:54 pm - January 20, 2006

  21. V the K — January 20, 2006 @ 5:45 pm – January 20, 2006

    I frankly don’t care what Chris Dodd said.

    Do you have any knowledge of the history in the DDR, Humgary and Austria in 1988? Or Schabowskis Zettel in Nov 1989? If you don’t, please learn a bit.

    Comment by raj — January 20, 2006 @ 5:59 pm - January 20, 2006

  22. German propaganda? I read German language news sources in German regularly (we have a house over there) and I know what’s going on over there. Obviously you do not. You probably have no knowledge of “Schabowskis Zettel” which was the preciptating cause of the downfall of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with Reagan. You really should learn a bit of history. Do a google search, but be advised that most of the targets are in German.

    Oh please. I’m utterly unimpressed. You’re not the only one here who reads German. Leave the pomposity elsewhere.

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 20, 2006 @ 6:05 pm - January 20, 2006

  23. Reagan was president through most of Saddam’s arming. According to Reagan, Saddam was not a sponsor of terrorism. Otherwise why would he remove Iraq from the list? So I guess Republicans didn’t know.

    Saddam rose to power with less than half of Carter’s term left. Carter may have planted the seed, but Reagan nurtured it and let it grow. Blaming him is pointless.

    Saddam was our buddy for over a decade, the majority of which was under Reagan and ended at the end of Bush’s presidency.

    [This guy’s name does describe him. He is angry, very angry. And has little (if any) understanding of international politics. –Ed.]

    Comment by The Angry Fag — January 20, 2006 @ 6:37 pm - January 20, 2006

  24. raj said:
    “You probably have no knowledge of “Schabowskis Zettel” which was the preciptating cause of the downfall of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with Reagan.”

    Are you refering to Guenter Schabowski. Are you actually saying this man is soley responsible for the fall of the B wall? This is like saying that Rodney King is the sole cause of the LA riots in 91. He, like Schabowski, provided the final spark that ignited an event that was inevitable and unavoidable.

    First, the miscommunication not the “cause” of this event, it was mearly the final straw that broke the camels back. He was trying to communicate that more people would be allowed to travel to the West. But why was more travel going to be allowed? The constant pressure from RR, and the realization by Gorby that the SU could not continue in the same fashion it had in previous generations. RR is NOT the sole cause of the fall of the wall. But with out his singular focus and commitment to defeat the Soviet Union, the wall might still be standing today.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 20, 2006 @ 7:41 pm - January 20, 2006

  25. Angry said:

    According to Reagan, Saddam was not a sponsor of terrorism.

    Are you implying that Saddam DID sponsor terrorist??? That’s not what Al Gore, John Kerry, Al Frankin, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi and others in your party are saying. Man, I wish you guys would get your story straight.

    Saddam rose to power with less than half of Carter’s term left. Carter may have planted the seed, but Reagan nurtured it and let it grow. Blaming him is pointless.

    Wrong again. Carter didn’t plant the seed. The seed that led to Saddams rise was planted with the rise of the Ba’ath party in 1968, but now we are just splitting hairs. That being said, using the definition Halt something at an early stage it is appropriate to say that it was Carter who could have nipped it in the bud. By the time RR was sworn into office, Saddam was in full bloom and the Iran / Iraq war was already under way.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 20, 2006 @ 8:12 pm - January 20, 2006

  26. raj: “I know that I, Jefe, do not have your supeeerior eeeentellect and educaaation” [/patronizing]

    Your lack of military knowledge (“RR’s defense department put them in harms [sic] way for no particular strategic or tactical reason.“) and obvious disrespect for the same leads me to one conclusion: Done with you.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 20, 2006 @ 9:08 pm - January 20, 2006

  27. #10
    I was actually in German in 1988 and 1989 and was reading German language newspapers at the time.

    You were in a German that long and were so bored you read the paper?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 20, 2006 @ 10:32 pm - January 20, 2006

  28. #27

    Such an arrogant prick seems like a prime candidate for scroll-over country.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 20, 2006 @ 10:44 pm - January 20, 2006

  29. sonicfrog — January 20, 2006 @ 7:41 pm – January 20, 2006

    First, the miscommunication not the “cause” of this event, it was mearly the final straw that broke the camels back.

    Actually, Schabowski’s error of reading the notes on the Zettel at the end of a press conference broadcast live on television was indeed the “cause” of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with RR. The notes were points that were to be discussed at a communist party meeting the next day–they were not yet approved. After he read the notes, he was asked when they were to go into effect, and he responded “sofort.” Shortly thereafter, East Berliners flooded into West Berlin.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 5:20 am - January 21, 2006

  30. Actually, Schabowski’s error of reading the notes on the Zettel at the end of a press conference broadcast live on television was indeed the “cause” of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with RR.

    When dealing with politics and government, very few things just happen with no other factors precipitating it. First, have you ever contemplated exactly how it was that Schabowski was reading that note in the first place, the contents of which concern HOW the border was to be opened, not IF. Why were they going to open the border in the first place??? Then there is the other obvious point. What do you think would have happened if the people of East Berlin were to storm the wall three, five or ten years prior? They would have been shot down of coarse. In fact, the last two people known to have been shot were as recent as Feb 89. Why were no shots fired on Nov 9, 89? Because ALL the events in the past eight years had made holding on to the old ways of doing things Soviet style untenable and outdated. Part of the ALL in that equation is Ronald Reagan.

    You seem not to understand how connected the events in human history are. It’s a domino effect, one event is effected by the events that preceded it. History is also like a brick wall; each brick in the wall consists of an event that has happened. You can ignore the bricks in the wall if you wish, but as soon as you try to run through the wall, well, you’re going to get a nasty bump on the head.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm - January 21, 2006

  31. sonicfrog — January 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm – January 21, 2006

    You seem to be unaware of the facts surrounding the event. Get a copy of Chronik des Mauerfalls by Hans-Hermann Hertle and educate yourself. It is, of course in German, but all you would need to read is the introduction. It’s only a few pages, but I do not have the time to do a translation of it for you.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 3:20 pm - January 21, 2006

  32. sonicfrog — January 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm – January 21, 2006

    Why were they going to open the border in the first place??? …Why were no shots fired on Nov 9, 89?

    Why were the East Germans going to open the border? It is not clear that they were intending to do so. What Schabowski was reading from his Zettel were talking points to be discussed at a party conference the next day, as I mentioned. It isn’t clear what would have been agreed to at the conference the next day. He read the talking points because he apparently believed that they had been agreed to. He was in error, and the rest is history.

    Why were no shots fired by the border guards on 9 Nov 1989? Because the border guards were also watching Schabowski’s press conference on television, in which he basically said that Die Mauer Ist Gefallen. If the border guards had shot, they would not have been carrying out what they were told was the new East German government policy. Sofort, he said. Implemented immediately.

    It really isn’t rocket science.

    You seem to wish to ignore a lot of small items that change the course of history. Schabowski’s Zettel was one of them. The fact that Albanians in the late 1980s were enticed by advertizements that they saw on Italian TV to emigrate to Italy (they are separated by a rather narrow stretch of water) is rather striking. There are other examples. St. Reagan had nothing to do with any of that.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 4:43 pm - January 21, 2006

  33. They are not totally unrelated, but those working up a sweat in this debate should keep in mind that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the later collapse of the Soviet Union were two separate things.

    The fall of the Soviet Union began in 1948 when President Harry Truman stared down Stalin in Berlin, forcing the Soviets to rev up an arms race their economic system could not forever sustain. Ronald Reagan pounded the final nails in the coffin by rearming Western Europe and accelerating the arms race beyond the Soviet capacity to compete.

    Comment by Jack Allen — January 22, 2006 @ 12:04 am - January 22, 2006

  34. You seem to wish to ignore a lot of small items that change the course of history.

    You seem to wish to ignore the LARGE items that changed the course of history. If the party leaders were not leaning in that direction, they would have had those talking points to be discussed. One would think that someone would have either made immediate public corrections to the Schabowski error, or once they realized that people were mobbing toward the wall, some one would have given the order to shoot, if not someone, then at least fire warning shots. There were phones in the guard towers I assume. But they didn’t because the government was already moving in the direction of opening the border. You seem to want to ignore the reasons why this was happening. Am I saying that it was all Reagan??? No. There were many, many other factors, events and changes that contributed. But to ignore Reagan’s role in the changes taking place during that time period is historical blindness due to an excessive partisan view of the world. It’s the same with the budget surplus during the late 90’s. Each side on the partisan fence want to take all the credit and deny the contributions made by the opposite political party. But without both a President and a Congress leaning in the same fiscal direction, the balanced budjets would not have happened. It also wouldn’t have happened if the tech bubble hadn’t occured. And I tip my hat to Clinton for taking a very hands-off approach when dealing with the new technology markets opening up at the time.

    I’m a conservative / libertarian kind of guy, but I try to keep my politics as far off to the side as possible when evaluating history.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 22, 2006 @ 12:22 am - January 22, 2006

  35. How did he come to be known as “The Great Communicator”? I don’t even think he knew where he was half the time.

    Comment by Hi — January 22, 2006 @ 12:54 am - January 22, 2006

  36. sonicfrog — January 22, 2006 @ 12:22 am – January 22, 2006

    I’m not going to belabor the point. If you read the notes on Schabowski’s Zettel, it is far from clear that the point that Die Mauer Ist Gefallen, but that was the interpretation that the East and West Berliners put on the matter. Why didn’t the East German authorities contact the border guards by telephone? I don’t know, and you don’t either. Maybe the East German Behoerden were taken by surprise.

    I’m sure that American conservatives would love to give St. Reagan a substantial amount of credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but it is fairly clear that there were a number of historical processes in play that led to its fall. It would be a mistake to give Reagan more credit than he deserves. Regarding the Berlin Wall, I would suspect that the Hungarians and the Austrians deserve much more credit, for reasons that I have stated elsewhere.

    Regarding How did he come to be known as “The Great Communicator”? don’t be snarky. Reagan was an excellent rhetorician.

    Comment by raj — January 22, 2006 @ 7:59 am - January 22, 2006

  37. Bush is no Ronald Reagan. Bush doesn’t know the meaning of “limited government”.

    Comment by Eva Young — January 22, 2006 @ 4:48 pm - January 22, 2006

  38. It would be a mistake to give Reagan more credit than he deserves.

    I concur whole heartedly. But he does deserve some credit for leading the charge against an oppressive, morally and fiscally bankrupt government philosophy, when no one else would. Liberals in this country were more inclined to turn a blind eye, not to rock the boat. Many (not all) still tend toward that response when dealing with dificult world affairs (there is a better way to say that, but I’m cooking diner and can’t think ATM). That is a bad habit they need to break away from if they want to start winning more national elections. I believe this tendency is one of the reasons they have failed to pick up more confidence in the pols as of late in the wake of the disastrous 2005 year for the republican majority. The upcoming elections in November will better determine how much the repubs have lost and how much the dems have gained.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 22, 2006 @ 8:30 pm - January 22, 2006

  39. ah nothing like the praising of a racist

    Comment by ralph — January 31, 2006 @ 4:16 pm - January 31, 2006

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