Ronald Reagan's name has been getting a lot of play in the mainstream media of late. Why would an institution devoted to slamming his policies and political frame of mind be dusting off some age old Reagan actions from the time of his presidency?
In a word, it's convenience.
Ronald Reagan holds a sacred place in the hearts of everyone who finds themselves on the Republican spectrum, from the most die-hard Tea Party Conservative types, to the "RINOs" and the libertarians like myself, in between.
Yet in the time of this debt limit debacle in Washington it is liberals, and their media cohorts who have carved out a temporary place in their heart for The Gipper.
So why such a change of heart? Well, to use Reagan against the people who hold him so dear, of course.
Anytime you hear Reagan's name of late, it's about how, "He raised the debt ceiling 18 times! He raised taxes several times, he compromised with Tip O'Neill on so many issues!"
Sure Reagan did all of those things, and understood that he was not going to get everything he wanted, 100 percent of the time. But the liberal media's current portrayal of one of conservatism's precious oracles, bends over backwards to distort the context in which such "compromise" happened.
It's intellectually dishonest to insinuate to the American public that if Republicans really wanted to be like Reagan, they would cave on tax increases in this debt ceiling debate, and they could have their weekends back.
It's unfair to try and parallel Reagan's statesmanship in the 1980s with the need for compromise on this one, tiny issue that we face in 2011.
Sure, Reagan raised taxes, but never before cutting taxes in the year's prior to these tax increases that have conveniently become the center of Reagan's legacy according to the mainstream media.
He never negotiated with the Soviets unless he was standing on a position of strategic strength. And of course he used the same platform in his negotiations with Tip O'Neill.
What the mainstream media's current reporting on Reagan's legacy conveniently omits the fact that the ol' Gipper was always, and I mean always thinking, negotiating, and yes, compromising with his larger goals of smaller government and lowering the tax burden on Americans.
What might be even more aggravating is President Obama's recharged penchant for getting in the tiny Reagan jabs similar to those of the media's in his speeches and press conferences.
To the media, I'd say that you can continue to take Reagan's statesmanship out of context in order to prove a point to a faction of the current Republican party that will be of no avail. Try all you like to conveniently use Reagan as what you mistakenly perceive as a beacon of conservative compromise, you'll never sway the minds of those who know how Reagan operated.
To the President, I'd simply say you need to stop conveniently using your predecessor thrice removed to suit your own political agenda. After all, in the most comparable two quarters, economic growth under Reagan was at 5.3% and 9.1%, you were just saddled with your second comparable quarter of sub 2-percent growth. Perhaps you should stop suggesting Republicans should be more like Reagan out of context, and start being like Reagan yourself, in context.