Gay Patriot Header Image

2006 Elections — Ronald Reagan’s Vindication

Back in 1992, when George H.W. Bush was running for reelection, I became so frustrated with his Adminsitration’s betrayal of the Reaganite record on which the current president’s father has won election in 1988 and the emptiness of his reelection campaign that I had framed an old poster-size picture I had of the Gipper to hang above my mantelpiece to remind me why I was a Republican, indeed, why I was involved in politics.

A few weeks later, at a “victory” party for the local GOP, a reporter for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress interviewed me, wanting to know my thoughts on the election. I commented that the incumbent “had betrayed the Reagan legacy and that’s why he’s losing tonight.” And as I have noted in previous posts on this election, the outgoing Republican Congress similarly betrayed the Reagan legacy and that’s why they lost earlier this week.

Twelve years ago, House Republicans put together a conservative platform, the Contract with America based on principles the Gipper had been articulating for the preceding three decades. They won an impressive victory. But, once in power for several years, they lost sight of those principles, as had the president’s father.

Twelve years after Ronald Reagan’s election, the American people voted his successor out because he had forgotten the reason the Gipper had won so handily, electing a centrist Democrat promising “change.” Twelve years after the Contract with America election, the American people voted out a Republican Congress that had broken that Contract and elected many centrist Democrats whose party leadership promised a “New Direction.”

Among those centrist Democrats was a former member of the Reagan Administration who, while leaving his old boss’s party, never distanced himself form the man himself and, as I noted in a prior post, used that great man’s image in campaign ads. The use of Ronald Reagan certainly helped him sway a few votes, certainly enough to tip such a close election.

Eighteen years, after he left office, Ronald Reagan’s ideas still resonate with the American people. Polls show the American people, by comfortable margins, want smaller government and lower taxes and favor judicial restraint. In their spendthrift ways, particularly with earmarks, House Republicans ran away from many of the ideas which accounted for their rise.

But, there’s still hope. All the candidates for House GOP leadership have made clear that the party needs to return to those ideas. Two years after the American people voted out the man who betrayed the legacy which helped him win the White House, they elected the first Republican Congress in forty years. So, perhaps, two years after the American people voted out that Congress, they will elect a new Republican Congress and President, committed to the ideas and vision of the man who helped our party return from the wilderness in which it had wallowed for the first few decades after World War II.

As congressional Republicans return to that wilderness, they should also return to those ideas and that vision, the only way show them the way back into the good graces of the American people and back into power. As we Republicans look forward, we could do no better than to remember Ronald Wilson Reagan whose ideas were vindicated this week even as his party went down to defeat.

-B. Daniel Blatt (AKA GayPatriotWest)

Share

14 Comments

  1. The South Falls Again…

    When my liberal Yankee friends laugh dismissively at my backward, redneck region, I enjoy reminding them that the South has produced not only their sworn enemies, like George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Trent…

    Trackback by Citizen Crain — November 10, 2006 @ 6:31 pm - November 10, 2006

  2. “As congressional Republicans return to that wilderness”

    Yeah, it’s called the Minority.

    And the “fiscally responsible” President Reagan?
    You mean, the one who cumulatively ran up the second largest national debt in our history, next to the bozo that’s in office now?

    Yeah, and ‘segragation forevah’ Strom Thurmand? The one who hid his black ‘love child’ for years?

    And ‘homos will burn in Hell’ Jesse Helms? The one who had a big time fag as his (very effective) chief of staff for years?

    Comment by tonto_cal — November 10, 2006 @ 7:44 pm - November 10, 2006

  3. Funny how libs crow about Thurmond but always forget about the Grand Kleagle Byrd.

    Comment by John — November 10, 2006 @ 8:13 pm - November 10, 2006

  4. 1: Don’t forget, Bush was born in the shadow of Yale University in New Haven, CT.

    Ya know, it’s funny, I seem to remember that a lot of the 90s was about the government cleaning up the overspending that the Reaganites did in the 80s. I hear conservatives bitching about “tax and spend” Democrats. At least the democrats are realistic about the money it takes to run the country, instead of Reagan and both Bushes who gave massive tax cuts to their rich friends while at the same time putting the country on the biggest credit card ever.

    Comment by Kevin — November 10, 2006 @ 11:36 pm - November 10, 2006

  5. #4 “biggest credit card ever”

    Hardly. The largest debt we have ever had (as a percentage of our economy) was during WWII. FDR financed most of that spending through debt. I guess he thought that investing in the future was worth it.

    I would gladly trade every surplus dollar of the late 90s for more deficit spending on military intelligence. Think of the money we could have saved had we not been so concerned about balanced budgets and PAYGO.

    Comment by John in IL — November 11, 2006 @ 12:50 am - November 11, 2006

  6. Always, always, always look at spending as fraction of the economy which funds it.

    Any method that looks at numerical dollars, while failing to take into account both inflation and the growth of the economy is flawed as least and likely dishonest.

    It is no a zero sum situation. The US economy produces wealth by adding value to life. Read Ayn Rand for a thorough discussion of this, in particular – “Atlas Shrugged.”

    Comment by Rob — November 11, 2006 @ 2:52 pm - November 11, 2006

  7. It’s been a while since I read Atlas Shrugged, but I don’t remember anything in it that would provide a rationalization for $2.8 trillion in government spending, regardless of the robustness of the economy. :-p

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 11, 2006 @ 11:31 pm - November 11, 2006

  8. I don’t remember anything in it that would provide a rationalization for $2.8 trillion in government spending, regardless of the robustness of the economy.

    My point and I think Rob’s point is that looking at a number like 2.8 trillion in spending without the proper context is worthless.

    Some government spending is necessary. 2.8 trillion is a large amount only if you look at the number alone. If you can’t put the amount of spending into the proper context, how can you begin a discussion on whether it is enough or too much?

    Comment by John in IL — November 12, 2006 @ 12:26 am - November 12, 2006

  9. I agree that it is impossible to precisely evaluate the meaning of “2.8 trillion dollars” without some context. I disagree that there’s any possibility that it’s not way, way too much spending. But, really, my only point in the previous post was that it’s kind of obscene to cite Atlas Shrugged in one’s defense of government spending. 🙂

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 12, 2006 @ 12:36 am - November 12, 2006

  10. Rob (who mentioned Ayn Rand) wasn’t defending any amount of government spending.

    I disagree that there’s any possibility that it’s not way, way too much spending.

    Consider this possibility. Instead of our current 11 trillion dollar GDP we have a 100 trillion dollar GDP and we still spend 2.8 trillion dollars on government. Has the amount of government spending changed?

    Comment by John in IL — November 12, 2006 @ 12:56 am - November 12, 2006

  11. #10: Rob (who mentioned Ayn Rand) wasn’t defending any amount of government spending.

    Well, his post was clearly meant to put the current level of spending in perspective, so to speak. By any perspective, though, there is simply way too much spending.

    Consider this possibility. Instead of our current 11 trillion dollar GDP we have a 100 trillion dollar GDP and we still spend 2.8 trillion dollars on government. Has the amount of government spending changed?

    In the last post, I stipulated that one cannot evaluate the meaning of a $2.8 trillion budget (relative to some other number) without providing that kind of context. But I don’t need to do that kind of analysis, because I know that the US government runs all kinds of socialist programs and regulatory structures that it has no business running. Many of the other things that the government does would be handled more efficiently and ethically by nongovernment entities.

    Thus, without analyzing spending as a percentage of GDP, I feel comfortable in saying that the federal budget is way too high — at least by an order of magnitude, maybe two. 🙂

    Comment by kdogg36 — November 12, 2006 @ 10:49 am - November 12, 2006

  12. The voters in 1994 did not elect Republicans because they were angry with Democrats. They voted for the Republican agenda. In spite of all the negative press that was given to Newt Gingrich and his ‘Contract for America’, most people would agree today, as they did in ’94, with most of what was promised in that contract. And it was the dogged determination to implement those promises that characterized the new Republican majority and kept them in power through two and a half terms of a Democratic administration. In fact, much of Newt’s ‘Contract’ soon became the agenda for that administration and provided some of its proudest accomplishments.

    By contrast, the Democrats have now been swept back into power by a wave of resentment against George W. Bush and the failures of the lethargic Republican majority. The Democrats offered very little for people to vote for. There is no new ‘Contract’ – except perhaps on Bush, and there is no agenda aside from the overwhelming desire to punish Bush. But most Americans have no desire to punish Bush beyond what they have already done with this election. Most Americans are far more interested in a genuine resolution to the situation in Iraq that will not make matters worse than they already are. Most Americans want their government to deal with the threats of international Jihadism, a nuclear North Korea, control of our borders and the Social Security time bomb. If the Democrats drag us back to the days of congressional inquiries and partisan special prosecutors instead of providing real solutions to these problems then they will approach the next presidential election with, once again, nothing to offer.

    Comment by Russ — November 15, 2006 @ 10:23 am - November 15, 2006

  13. Well said, Russ. Very well said.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — November 15, 2006 @ 12:02 pm - November 15, 2006

  14. […] 2006 Elections — Ronald Reagan’s Vindication (November 10, 2006) […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot — April 17, 2009 @ 3:22 am - April 17, 2009

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.