The Real Reagan
...the Reagan around which this conservative circle is jerking is a myth, a fabrication, a fiction. The real Reagan raised taxes (or rather engaged in “revenue enhancements”), presided over a massive recession, cut and ran when faced with bloody terror attacks, talked constantly about a balanced budget and a line-item veto but did nothing about them, and “won” the Cold War by spending nonexistent money that would be handed down to his heirs, never to be paid off, as if this were somehow more fiscally conservative than the tax-and-spend model with which he vilified Democrats. Reagan’s strength as a paragon of conservativism is identical to Christopher Reeve’s strength as Superman, a pleasant fiction propped up with special effects and made believable by the empty shell upon which it was impressed. This is, by no means incidentally, the reason the CPAC crowd loves Romney so much: he is their new Ulrich, their man without qualities, upon whom they can press the rubber mask of Reagan.
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