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Makes me wonder if Bush Jr used the same kind of con on his Crawford temporary ranch, which seemed to be a very deliberate Reaganesque stage. I was born in '72, so, I don't have anything to compare anything else to. There was always meat--but it was like, a player, not the star. There was always macaroni, potatoes, and that kind of thing. But I will say if I look back at my Sears and Penney's baby clothes--when I was about ten or so we started shopping at the Salvation Army Thrift. I hit puberty ripping out the armpits of pre-worn blouses, but I got the definite sense that there was a reason not to be profligate about incidental spending. And to this day I can't spend above a certain amount on clothes because it's like, my god--if I buy $30 jeans, will I make the electric bill? Even if that isn't exactly how it is--that's how it feels. I'm eating from Whole Foods, I'm clothes-shopping down-rent. My dad worked a hella-lot of overtime those years too. I think when I'm at work, I hit for the stands all the time, but I do not do overtime, just because. When I was younger I did, but now, I just want to appreciate occasionally not being away from home.

I'm not so surprised Reagan was a tax cheat--he was a stoolie to HUAC. He gave a story to blue collar workers about supporting unions, then shafted PATCO. And probably never understood at any time what the problem was, there.

Roger Green

Ah, yes. Jimmy Carter suggesting we actually save energy. What WAS the thinking?


The part about the Reaganmyth that has always surprised me is how the real character of the man - a rather dim bulb with a nasty vindictive streak and a penchant for debunkable lies - has mutated since his own time into a sort of latter-day secular saintliness; the cheerful, avuncular Ronnie of the GOP fantasies. I mean, those of us paying attention knew that his POLICIES were based on nonsensical catering to the rentier classes, but if you bothered to look any further into the man than his self-created image it didn't take long to recognize the nasty combination of fatuous self-adoration and petty viciousness towards "the others" that constituted Reagan's nature. Kiss up, kick down, bemuse the rubes with comfortable lies while jacking their wallet...the guy was the living embodiment of "the cheaper the crook the gaudier the patter".

And I knew a lot of my peers who utterly loathed that Ronnie, the actual Ronnie we knew from back in the day when he and his campaign ratfucked Helen Douglas with the fliers printed on pink paper. He was that sort of cheap-ass grifter.

The real triumph of the Right, IMO, has been to bury THAT Reagan - not the radical reactionary politician but the sleazy and dimwitted conman - deeper than memory of the first Cleveland Administration.

Lance Mannion

fdchief, you'll like The Invisible Bridge. Perlstein does a good job of depicting Reagan's meanness and his skills as a salesman. Just for the record, though, it was Nixon who smeared Douglas as the Pink Lady when they ran for the Senate in 1950. Greg Michell wrote a good book on that campaign, Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady : Richard Nixon vs Helen Gahagan Douglas-Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950.

You're right, though, about how the real Reagan has been buried by the Right.

Vixenstrangely, I'm not sure and I'll try to check it, but I think in W's case it was just that he bought what was once a working ranch and he had even less to do with actual cattle than Reagan. I don't think he ever tried to pass himself off as a cowboy though. He was content for it to be implied. The point of his going to "the ranch" was to show how much he disliked Washington and that his heart was really down home in Texas. It was part of his trying to pass himself off as a regular guy and a real Murkin.

I'm sure you know all this, but times got worse economically as the 70s moved along and by the time you were 8 inflation had reached 13 percent which is partly why we ended up with President Reagan. And I think a lot of people forget that what he and his administration did first to "stimulate" the economy was to deliberately cause another recession so it's no wonder why by the time you were 10 things were so hard for your father and your family.

Roger Green, conservation means being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Ronald Reagan told me so.

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