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Careful of what people claim to be

Every human being alive (I’m no exception) likes people who agree with him or her. Hearing what we want to hear gives our brains a positive jolt. Gathering with like-minded people makes us feel “at home”. It’s human nature. Heck, it’s the reason I started visiting this blog (which is Bruce’s), years ago.

We also like to think that our heroes / important authorities would agree with us. This can be used for a marketing advantage. For example, if you dislike Donald Trump or his key supporters, you can get a leg up – in terms of having on-the-fence people read you or believe you – if you pretend to speak for the Republican party, as Ana Navarro does.

Or you could go Reagan. I’ve seen many folks quote (or re-tweet) a certain anti-Trump presence calling themselves The Reagan Battalion.

For my part, I’ve always felt a tad suspicious of them. They never struck me as especially Reagan-esque, or as linked to the Reagan legacy in some extra way that would justify claiming his name. The name strikes me as a marketing effort to say “Believe us, because we promise, Ronald Reagan R Us! Totes legit!”

I tend to be suspicious of Argument from Authority, and its variations like Argument from Biography, or Argument from What I Claim To Be. This is one reason (there are others) why I don’t talk my biography here on GP. My presence sort-of-tells people I’m gay, and my handle (ILC) announces my general ideology; other than that, I work to make my information/arguments stand on their merits.

Anyway: Lucian Wintrich, a gay Trump supporter and journalist, has done a piece critical of The Reagan Battalion that may be of interest. He says they were part of the anti-Milo campaign earlier this year (which I agree was a smear pile-on and as such, not the tiniest bit Reagan-esque). Wintrich links to other journalism that ties The Reagan Battalion to Democrat money and sketchy activists, per FEC and IRS filings.

This is one where I don’t claim to know “the truth”; just pointing out the article and letting people comment.

RIP Nancy Reagan and the Age of Classy First Ladies

Posted by V the K at 3:04 pm - March 6, 2016.
Filed under: Ronald Reagan

Nancy Reagan has passed away at the age of 94. She had her faults, and she had her critics. But in terms of grace and elegance, she was far above and beyond the First Ladies who have followed her.  She represented an America that, despite its problems, still had a sense of dignity. Hers was an era when the White House hosted Old Hollywood Royalty like Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, and Douglas Fairbanks; people who knew better than to jump on the bed in the Lincoln bedroom.

She treated the position of First Lady as a responsibility, not a stepping stone to further political ambitions, or a vehicle for meeting celebrities and taking lavish taxpayer-funded vacations with her entourage. (The Reagans “vacationed” by returning home to their ranch in California.) And although she was active in the management of the Reagan White House, discreetly and behind the scenes, she  never used her unelected position to try and take over the health care system or dictate the composition of lunch programs nationwide. And she knew better than to clap her arms around the Queen of England like she was an old school chum. The same people who give Michelle Obama a pass for her multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded vacations thought it was outrageous scandal when Nancy Reagan sought private funds to replace the White House china

But even if subsequent First Ladies had managed to maintain her standards of propriety and decorum, Nancy Reagan would have been no less remarkable. She dedicated her life to her husband and her work. She asked children to say “no” to drugs and really that is the only thing that will work. She survived breast cancer and became an advocate for women stricken with the horrible disease. She remained by her husband’s side as he succumbed to Alzheimers, speaking rarely and remaining very private. She never sought to make herself into something she wasn’t. She had no political ambitions, never got caught in a scandal and quietly lived the rest of her life in dignity. 

The class she displayed unfailingly only makes the contrast with her successors more striking. It’s lamentable that standards of behavior in America have declined so severely since Nancy Reagan was in the White House. Her passing is not just an occasion to remember her life, but to mourn the passing of an era when politicians and celebrities knew better than to behave like People of Walmart in the White House.

Of course, the asinine progressive left does not see it that way.

“Reagan criminalized poverty”

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:16 am - April 13, 2015.
Filed under: Leftist Nutjobs,Liberal Lies,Liberalism Run Amok,Ronald Reagan

That’s a quote from “Jessica”, a longtime friend-of-a-friend whom I enjoy, and whom I treated to brunch yesterday. She’s a progressive Democrat, a fan of the communist-leaning KPFA news station, and so forth.

Her comment is wrong. Of course President Reagan never signed, nor proposed, nor even encouraged the tiniest regulation or law to make poverty into something criminal. So, I was curious how Jessica could justify such a comment (she leans toward honesty and goodwill in her personal dealings). I drew her out a little.

To keep this post short, I must spare you further details of her responses. Suffice to say that, after a few gentle questions, her general meaning emerged as follows:

  1. Jessica feels that, in the 1980s, “making money” became more socially respected while “being poor” became less respected, like something might even be wrong with poor people.
  2. Since Jessica doesn’t view personal responsibility, success or self-support as socially valuable (even though she practices them in her small business), she thinks society was wrong to go that way in the 80s.
  3. Since Jessica hates Reagan, she prefers NOT to say it as “In the 1980s, our society stigmatized poverty a little more”. Instead, she prefers the more-dramatic “Reagan criminalized poverty” although she knows it’s technically wrong.

We also got into the banking system a little. Jessica emphasized the 1980s “Savings and Loan” crisis as the beginning of our financial system’s problems – as if our much-worse problems of today had nothing to do with Presidents Clinton or Obama (or the Federal Reserve, etc.).

All I can say is, I found Jessica’s thinking typical of what I’ve run into it many times here in GP comments from liberals, or out in the media, or with left-wing friends and colleagues. And it’s retarded. It’s a level (or quality) of cognition that can only be called “impaired”.

Again, I respect my longtime-acquaintance Jessica in some other areas, outside of politics; but we must “call a spade a spade”. When it comes to politics, and at least on that morning, her thoughts were as disconnected, un-integrated, simplistic and badly-informed as they would have been from an IQ 75 person.

We must also confess that lefties don’t have a monopoly on cognitive impairment. At times, I have had the misfortune to encounter certain conservatives and libertarians whose thinking was as poor-quality. But, not quite as often.

I think there is something to the theory that, with the “mainstream” media so one-sided and fawning on left-liberals these last few decades, their thinking skills have gone soft. They are simply not up to the standard that I remember from when I was a kid. I remember arguing with liberals who read the Christian Science Monitor (a worthwhile paper – at least at that time). They had moments of weakness, but they were more often into facts, accuracy and logic.

Left-liberals have gone downhill. It’s a pity.

Reagan’s “Fiascos” vs Obama’s “Phony Scandals”

Posted by V the K at 7:31 am - June 6, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Ronald Reagan

Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the passing of the last great American President, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Today marks the 70th annitversary of the D-Day invasion and the 30th Anniversary of President Reagan’s speech at the 40th Commemoration of D-Day, a speech remarkable (in this age of the Cult of Obama) for Reagan’s complete lack of self-reference; a speech not about the president, but about history, philosophy, and the men who actually fought the battle.

It was about 29 years ago that the MFM were hyping what was, in the Reagan Era, a monstrous scandal. At the invitation of the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl. the president and Mrs. Reagan laid a wreath in a cemetery where German soldiers were buried. In 1985, this was a HUGE scandal.

White House aides have acknowledged that the Bitburg visit is probably the biggest fiasco of Mr. Reagan’s Presidency. The visit, which was made at the insistence of Mr. Kohl, was overwhelmingly opposed by both houses of Congress, Jewish organizations, veterans’ groups and others. [New York Times, 06 May 1985]

Ponder that. Here was a “scandal” in which no one was killed, no one’s rights were violated, no taxpayer dollars were wasted, and the White House never lied about it.

Yet, when the Obama Administration runs thousands of “assault rifles” to Mexican drug gangs, resulting in hundreds of deaths — that’s a “phony scandal.”

When President Obama sits by and does nothing while Americans are under attack in Banghazi, then goes to a party the next day in Las Vegas, then lies about the whole affair being about a YouTube video — that’s a “phony scandal.”

When the Obama Administration uses the IRS to harass and intimidate opponents of their administration’s policies — that’s a “phony scandal.”

And, most recently, the Obama Administration releases five of the world’s most dangerous terrorists without consulting Congress — that is also dismissed as a phony scandal “whipped up in Washington” because Republicans are racists who can’t stand the idea that a black man is president.

Quite remarkable how times have changed, isn’t it?

God Bless America

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:51 pm - July 4, 2013.
Filed under: Holidays,Patriotism,Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan Celebrates American Independence

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:40 pm - July 4, 2013.
Filed under: Patriotism,Ronald Reagan

The Gipper honors the 4th.  Pay particular attention to what he says at 7:45.

H/t Instapundit.

DOMA & Prop 8: Elections Have Consequences

Millennials & the Real Republican Problem

In a piece on the immigration bill, Stanley Kurtz offers a nutshell version of the real problem facing Republicans today:

Republicans have been in a funk ever since Obama’s re-election. I’m the first to agree that there’s a deeper problem, but it’s got more to do with under-thirties and what education and the culture are doing to them than with anything a path to citizenship will fix.

When I listen to my non-Republican twentysomething friends talking about the GOP, I hear an image of a party drawn from Democratic talking points and college professors’ prejudices. Few are aware of the ideals of liberty and civil society that have stood as the guideposts for the conservative and libertarian thinkers who have defined the basic philosophy of the Republican Party since Reagan.

Many, as Arthur Brooks sagely observed last month in the Wall Street Journal believe Republicans are indifferent to the poor.  Republicans need to change that faulty perception.  They have to show the “under-thirties”, as Kurtz described this demographic suffering the most under Obama’s policies, that conservatives are aware of — and sympathetic to — their plight and will, if elected, put into place policies which will make it easier for them to find jobs commensurate with their talents and their training, allowing them to prosper as did young people in the Reagan Era.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Cactus Bill gets it:

There has been a bastardization of the language for some now. When compassion is defined by how much government can provide instead of what you can provide for yourself the notion of pursuing your own happiness is turned on it’s head. Real compassion is allowing an environment where a business of any type can actually HIRE someone. A real job is more compassionate and rewarding to the soul than all the government provided resources have ever been able to give. (more…)

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan!

On the Gipper’s 102nd, we share with you one of his greatest speeches, delivered in October 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

And note how Reagan focuses not so much on the candidate he backs, but the ideas he espouses.

It was that commitment to the American ideal of freedom which would define the Republican’s political career and help account for his success — and his greatness.

Youth vote could tip to Republicans as it tipped to the Gipper

In 1980, Jimmy Carter narrowly edged Ronald Reagan among voters under 30, with the Gipper scoring just 44% of the twentysomething vote. Four years later, the Gipper ]increased his share of the youth vote to nearly 60%.

And while Barack Obama did just as well among young voters last month as the Gipper did in 1984, his share of the young vote has declined since his initial election.  Young voters grew to appreciate Reagan for his accomplishments; they seem more enchanted with Mr. Obama’s image.

Some seem to think that that the Republican’s current poor showing among young voters suggests the party could lose an “entire generation”  to Democrats.  But, this notion assumes that voters party identification remains fixed.  And that is hardly the case.  How will these young voters feel about Mr. Obama and his Democratic policies when the job market for their generation continues as it has these past for years?  Come 2016 (even 2014), they could be quite open to a Republican message expressed in terms similar to those offered by Reagan in the 1980s.

That said, the GOP today doesn’t so much have a youth vote problem as it has an ethnic problem.  Ben Domenech reminds us that

Mitt Romney won white voters under 30, even winning white women under 30. The youth voter barrier to the Republican Party is really the same barrier as it is for all age demographics: an ethnic barrier which concedes black, Hispanic, and Asian voters to Democrats.

(Read the whole thing even as the piece’s focus is on a different issue than this piece.)  If Mitt Romney could have made, as Ronald Reagan did, a pitch to all Americans, he likely would have done much better among young voter of all backgrounds.

And that must be the task of future Republican contenders.

A Tale of Two Recoveries

I swear the Romney/Ryan campaign is paying attention to what the conservative bloggers are talking about.  I remember watching John McCain in 2008 and screaming at the TV something like — “Hey you idiot… why didn’t you bring up [this topic] — it is all the blogs are talking about!”

Now during each debate this year, I scream something like – “Mitt must be reading my Twitter timeline!  He knew that [non-covered MSM fact or story].”

Last night I had a number of moments, but one was most important.  Many of us in the conservative blogosphere have been contrasting the Obama “Recoversession” to the actual Reagan Recovery.  It is a tale of stagnant growth and meager employment versus robust quarterly growth and the fastest job growth in post-WWII America.

Romney laid it out last night and I cheered at my TV.  Glenn Reynolds has a great graphic this morning at Instapundit that further illustrates the stark (and I mean damned-ass stark) contrast between Obama and Reagan on economic recovery.  If these are the “three decades of problems in our economy” that Obama whines he inherited — please bring more!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Celebrating Bruce’s Birthday tonight in Los Angeles

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:15 am - October 15, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,LA Stories,Ronald Reagan

Tonight, I’ll be joining a group of our readers in Century City, just a stone’s throw from where Ronald Reagan declared victory in the 1980 presidential election, to celebrate my co-blogger’s birthday.

If you’d like to join us tonight, please e-mail me to RSVP — and for details.

Happy Birthday, Bruce; we’ll be toasting you tonight.

Did some blogger really call Obama the Democrats’ Reagan?

Odd comparison. I mean, the two men sure did have a different reelection strategy.

Reagan ’84:

Obama ’08: (more…)

Obama’s familiarity with economic notions that just “aren’t so”

Yesterday, Jennifer Rubin began her must-read post, Is the liberal echo chamber a trap?, quoting one of the Gipper’s favorite sayings, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

“There is”, she observes,

. . . no better phrase than that to describe President Obama, hermetically sealed in leftist bubble to a greater extent than any Democratic president in history. He doesn’t imagine that there are facts or interpretations that lead his opponents to opposite conclusions. He therefore assumes they are dimwits or liars.

Liberals like Obama believe that a Keynesian “stimulus” must work because that’s what they’ve been taught in college and heard repeated by liberal politicians and policy wonks.  No matter that such stimuli, while working well on paper, tend to work as well in the real world.  (See, e.g,. our recent guest post.)

The liberal worldview notwithstanding, the New Deal did not lift the nation out of the Depression, indeed, FDR’s big-government agenda prolonged it.  Japan’s lost decade wasn’t lost because of spending cuts and regulatory relief.  And Obama’s “stimulus” may well have delayed our recovery from the most recent recession.

And then, there are things which liberals should know about the economy, but don’t — because it doesn’t fit their narrative.  The economy rebounded in the 1980s despite the Gipper’s failure to offer a government “stimulus” and continued to grow in the 1990s despite the successful Republican filibuster of Bill Clinton’s “stimulus.”

Obama refuses to confront these facts, repeating instead his nostrum about Mitt Romney wanting to return us to the failed policies of the past.  Given that Romney’s economic agenda more closely resembles Ronald Reagan’s than it does George W. Bush’s, it would be correct to say that the Republican nominee wants to return to the successful policies of the past. (more…)

Seems Paul Ryan shares Ronald Reagan’s incurable optimism

Asking whether “Incurable Optimism” is A Genetic Trait, Glenn Reynolds quips, “IF SO, MAYBE IT REALLY IS INCURABLE“.  Ronald Reagan too thought optimism was incurable as manifested by his delight in  repeating the story about the man who had two sons, one an incurable optimist, the other an incurable pessimist.

As I recall when I heard Paul Ryan speak at the sacred shrine of freedom Reagan Library, he offered the optimistic son’s concluding comment, expressing his certainty that there just had to be a pony in that pile of horse manure.

Methinks that’s one thing which makes the fetching Wisconsin Republican such a compelling candidate; he knows the Gipper’s tales and shares his optimism.

Yes, optimism does seem to be incurable.   And it does seem more Republicans than Democrats share this affliction with the Gipper — and with Mr. Ryan.

Reagan & John Paul II Together Again


GDANSK, Poland — Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.

People look at a new statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II that was unveiled in Gdansk, Poland, on Saturday, July 14, 2012. The statue honors the two men whom many Poles credit with helping to topple communism.

The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.

The bronze statue, erected in the lush seaside President Ronald Reagan Park, is a slightly larger-than-life rendering of the two late leaders. It was inspired by an Associated Press photograph taken in 1987 on John Paul’s second pontifical visit to the U.S.

Below is the original AP photo and the new statue of these two great leaders for freedom in the last century.



The robust Reagan recovery contrasted to the anemic Obama one

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:14 pm - July 6, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Economy,Obama Incompetence,Ronald Reagan

Although Bruce and I have different styles and do put different spins on things, it is often uncanny how certain issues strike us simultaneously.  Just as I was beginning a post on the jobs numbers, linking a piece by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) James Pethokoukis, I find that Bruce had just posted on the numbers linking a piece by that very AEI blogger.

Bruce concludes his post contrasting the robust Reagan recovery with its anemic Obama counterpart.  In the Pethothoukis post I caught, the blogger provided the details of that contrast:

 Job growth during the three-year Obama recovery has averaged just 75,000 a month for a total of 2.7 million. During the first three years of the Reagan Recovery, job growth averaged 273,000 a month for a total of 9.8 million. If you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the Reagan Recovery averaged 360,000 jobs a month for a three-year total of 13 million jobs.

Read the whole thing!  Via Glenn Reynolds who was one of many conservative and libertarian bloggers who linked the above, referencing that post in one of his two roundups on the job numbers, the other here.

Lots of good stuff in both detailing just how bad this recovery is — and explaining why.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Rattlesnake asks, “How much did Reagan spend for each of those jobs that were created under his watch?” (more…)

Debunking gay left distortions about the Gipper

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:43 am - July 3, 2012.
Filed under: Gay America,HIV/AIDS,Ronald Reagan

In the National Review last week, Deroy Murdock used the occasion of gay activists advertising their juvenile mockery of the most successful domestic policy president of the last century at the White House to debunk gay left lies about that great man.

Murdock reminds us that Ronald Reagan opposed the Briggs Amendment, “a ballot initiative that would have dismissed California teachers who ‘advocated’ homosexuality“, writing in his “his nationally syndicated newspaper column” that “homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child’s teachers do not really influence this.”

And this in 1978 when popular opinion, to borrow an expression, had not yet evolved on the issue.

Not just that. The Gipper was not, as some activists have alleged, indifferent to the AIDS epidemic.  To the contrary, he “signed $5.73 billion in U.S.-government anti-AIDS outlays” — or, ” $10.6 billion in today’s dollars.” Deroy calculates that the “average annual increase in federal expenditures on HIV/AIDS under Reagan was 128.92 percent.

And the Gipper may well have been the first U.S. President to openly host an openly gay man — and his partner — in the White House.  According to a March 18, 1984 story from the Washington Post: “Ted Graber, who oversaw the redecoration of the White House, spent a night in the Reagans’ private White House quarters with his male lover, Archie Case, when they came to Washington for Nancy Reagan’s 60th birthday party — a fact confirmed for the press by Mrs. Reagan’s press secretary.” (more…)

In office, Obama’s image tarnished among young voters
The Gipper’s, by contrast, was burnished by his accomplishments

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:40 pm - July 2, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,Obama Worship & Indoctrination,Ronald Reagan

Bruce and I are both of the Reagan generation; we came of age in the 1980s.  Like a majority of those born in the 1960s and early 1970s, our enthusiasm for the nation’s president grew as his days in office lengthened.  The Gipper left office well loved by the twentysomethings of his day.

As I wrote last April:

My generation warmed to the Gipper not as much when he was a candidate as when he was president.  We loved him more in 1984 than we did in 1980.  Once in office, he gave us hope that we would find jobs and have a better future.   Obama, by contrast, gave us hope that his administration would be different from that of his predecessor, but once in office, the enthusiasm of his young followers began to wane.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story confirming this trend among today’s under 30 crowd, Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade:

In the four years since President Obama swept into office in large part with the support of a vast army of young people, a new corps of men and women have come of voting age with views shaped largely by the recession. And unlike their counterparts in the millennial generation who showed high levels of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama at this point in 2008, the nation’s first-time voters are less enthusiastic about him, are significantly more likely to identify as conservative and cite a growing lack of faith in government in general, according to interviews, experts and recent polls. (more…)

Gay Activists Flip Off Man who Opposed Anti-Gay Briggs Amendment

What Happens,” asks Victor Fiorello of the Philly Post, “When You Let Gay Philly Activists Into the White House”?

They pose for pics giving Ronald Reagan’s portait the finger.

Guess they forgot about the ads that good man cut to oppose the anti-gay Briggs Amendment.

What a great way to create an image of gay people as responsible adults.  Via Weekly Standard via Drudge.