Image by Patrick Chappatte at Daryl Cagle’s pad.

Over the last eight years I’ve been increas­ingly annoyed by the way Ronald Reagan has been lion­ized. Airports, air­craft car­ri­ers, schools named after the man, and he wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly good or ade­quate president.

Listen. The man ignored AIDS. He had an arms-​​for-​​hostages deal going with Iran. (Yes, that Iran.) And his admin­is­tra­tion, like Bush 41’s after it, was in bed with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. It was on Reagan’s watch that Osama Bin Laden was sup­ported by the CIA to resist Russian (at the time Soviet) inva­sion forces — only at the time OBL was a free­dom fighter. And he was not, despite what we might have heard to the con­trary, respon­si­ble for the end of the Cold War.

Relevance? Mansfield Frazier sums it up pretty well in the Daily Beast. He’s got a nice lit­tle sound bite here:

[I]f we don’t get a grip early on, and nip this mad­ness in the bud, we’ll soon be see­ing our kids walk­ing to school in the morn­ing, eat­ing a bag of Obama Potato Chips, wash­ing them down with a can of Barack Red Pop, while carrying—what else?—Sasha and Malia dolls.

I voted for BHO, along with about 53% of my fel­low Americans — but it would behoove us to remem­ber that it was only 53%. Reagan won in 1980 with 51% of the pop­u­lar vote. Look how well that worked out for us. While I’m as pleased as most to see the Bush-​​Cheney era at last draw to a close, I don’t think unseemly demon­stra­tions are par­tic­u­larly advis­able or desirable.

Undeniably the elec­tion of a black pres­i­dent to the US is a big deal. But before we begin the full-​​on wor­ship, maybe we should see if it’s really all that great an idea. Maybe we should respect Obama for his poli­cies. And until we see what his poli­cies are going to be, maybe we should just hold off entirely on renam­ing streets and schools.


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