In Screed against Weiner and Spitzer, Pat Buchanan Whitewashes Reagan’s Adultery and Nancy’s Pre-Marital Pregnancy

The Reagans’ wedding photo: From left matron-of-honor Brenda Marshall, Ronald and Nancy Reagan and best man William Holden — Nancy was about two months pregnant when this photo was taken

In a post titled “Pat Buchanan’s caliphate,” P.M. Carpenter has some fun with Buchanan’s lambasting the decadent immorality of liberal pols like Anthony Wiener and Elliot Spitzer compared with what he views as the minor moral failures of good Christian Republicans like Ronald Reagan:

Just strike up the paleoconservative, theocratic band and for heaven’s sake “Consider how far we are along the path that liberalism,” [Buchanan writes in a post at a wingnut site], “equates with social and moral progress”:

Ronald Reagan was the first and is the only divorced and remarried man elected president. But the front-runner in the New York mayor’s race today quit Congress as a serial texter of lewd photos to anonymous women. The front-runner in the city comptroller’s race was “Client No. 9” in the prostitution ring of the convicted madam who is running against him

Leaving aside the fact that the office of mayor of New York cannot aptly be compared with the U.S. presidency, Buchanan left out the worst of Dear Leader Reagan’s personal moral failings, which were far worse by Buchanan’s standards than consorting with prostitutes and sending naughty text messages.


The Reagan Legacy: Can We Talk?

reaganWhile folks born from the late ’70s on reflect fondly on the 100th birthday of Pres. Ronald Reagan, I wanted to inject a little reality on the subject of the Gipper.

As someone who was already around when he was in office, I have a different view of the golden age conservatives now see as the greatest in our country’s history, except of course, for the halcyon days of 3/5ths personhood and what-not at our country’s founding. Reagan gave us:

  • Voodoo economics, aka trickle-down economics, aka supply-side economics, aka tax breaks for the rich
  • Tripling the national debt within two years (see “voodoo economics”)
  • Just Say No
  • Creating a new demographic of Americans: The Homeless
  • A 4,370-piece set of dishes (19 pieces per setting), costing $209,508
  • Bombing Libya and killing 60 people, including Leader Muammar al-Gaddafi’s 15-month-old daughter
  • Ketchup as a vegetable in public school lunches
  • Lt. Col. Oliver North
  • Selling arms to Iran and using the money to overthrow the government of Nicaragua
  • Using astrology to plan presidential trips, functions, speeches, etc.
  • […]

McCain’s Extramarital Affair with Cindy Ended His Friendship with Reagans in the 1970s

Strained: Reagan with McCain before she endorsed him earlier this year
Strained: Reagan with McCain before she endorsed him earlier this year

The Los Angeles Times published a story today, front page above the fold, detailing the adulterous personal history of a presidential candidate, a story that would be upending the dynamics of the 2008 presidential campaign — possibly even throwing the election to the other party — had the story been about a Democratic candidate.
The media will ignore this story, even when McCain campaigns in California for a constitutional amendment that protects marriage — not from adultery, the real threat to marriage — but from gay people seeking equal rights.
Instead, the story is about John McCain, the Republican, and is therefore bound to be ignored by the rest of the mainstream press.

The only possible interest the story might generate in the corporate media — and in conservative circles, where McCain is already not particularly well-liked — stems from the fact that McCain’s extramarital affair with his current wife, Cindy, permanently ended his friendship with Ronald Reagan and, especially, his wife, Nancy, around the same time Reagan was running for president 30 years ago.

The Times article opens with the strained moments around Nancy Reagan’s tepid endorsement of McCain earlier this year:

Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant — but less than exuberant — endorsement.

“Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed,” the Republican matriarch said in March. “Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party.” They were the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo op.

In a written statement, she described McCain as “a good friend for over 30 years.” But that friendship was strained in the late 1970s by McCain’s decision to divorce his first wife, Carol, who was particularly close to the Reagans, and within weeks marry Cindy Hensley, the young heiress to a lucrative Arizona beer distributorship.