I simply have a had time wrapping my head around this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaoYD7iZG9w
Matt Stoller explains:
The video clip above is Barack Obama explaining his admiration of Ronald Reagan. I’ve transcribed it here.
I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what’s different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.
There are many reason progressives should admire Ronald Reagan, politically speaking. He realigned the country around his vision, he brought into power a new movement that created conservative change, and he was an extremely skilled politician. But that is not why Obama admires Reagan. Obama admires Reagan because he agrees with Reagan’s basic frame that the 1960s and 1970s were full of ‘excesses’ and that government had grown large and unaccountable.
Those excesses, of course, were feminism, the consumer rights movement, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, and the antiwar movement. The libertarian anti-government ideology of an unaccountable large liberal government was designed by ideological conservatives to take advantage of the backlash against these ‘excesses’.
It is extremely disturbing to hear, not that Obama admires Reagan, but why he does so. Reagan was not a sunny optimist pushing dynamic entrepreneurship, but a savvy politician using a civil rights backlash to catapult conservatives to power.
Astounding isn’t it? Yep, let’s put the guy who brought us “Iran-Contra, “Star Wars,” and “the largest deficits then ever known” up on a pedastal and claim he transformed this nation with “clarity” and “optimism.”
Natasha took the words right out of my mouth: “Another Liberdem?” Nothing like selling out the party that put you up on the national stage to try to sell your vision of unity to the party that sold out this country. Read Big Tent Democrat on Talk Left and SusanUnPC on NoQuarter.
The entire interview is here.