“If we ever close the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”
In 1982, seven years into the Lebanese Civil War, Pres. Ronald Reagan ordered 2,400 Marines into Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping mission. As peacekeepers, the Marines operated under rules of engagement that prohibited them from firing their weapons unless they’d been fired upon first — and even then they could only respond with the same type of weapon that had been fired at them.
There were other restrictions. Violence in the city was so bad that they were confined to their base at the Beirut airport. Eventually, the entire American force, which also included Army and Navy personnel, moved into a large, modern office building that had been repurposed to house their command center as well as living quarters. (The building is referred to in many accounts as the “Marine barracks.”) And yet the gates to the facility were ordered to remain open at all times, and the sentries who manned the gates were to be unarmed.
In Washington, Reagan ignored warnings from his senior advisers that he’d put American troops in harm’s way.
I wish Reagan would rise from the dead and come back.
— Pat Robertson, on his television show The 700 Club, while noting President Obama “does not believe in America” and was mentored by “leftists who don’t really love this country.”
There was something known as Reaganism. It was a real movement within the party and then the nation. Reaganism had meaning. You knew what you were voting for. It was a philosophy that people understood. Philosophies are powerful. They carry you, and if they are right and pertinent to the moment they make you inevitable. … There is no such thing as Romneyism and there never will be. Mr. Romney has never encompassed a philosophical world. He has never become the symbol of an attitude toward government, or an approach to freedom or fairness. “Romneyism” is just “Mitt should be president.” That is not enough.
— Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal.
Republicans have taken great glee in turning the Ebola outbreak in the United States — six cases have been treated here so far, one patient has died — into an election issue this year. Blaming Pres. Obama for the outbreak fits neatly in their strategy of nationalizing the midterms by making the election about him, rather than about their party’s own lousy record in Congress.
The fact is, the Obama administration has acted rapidly and with keen efficiency in its handling of the Ebola outbreak when compared with the record of the handling of a similar outbreak in the early 1980s by the administration of GOP patron saint, Ronald Reagan.
With Joan Rivers lying in an induced coma in a Manhattan hospital, her fellow New York Republican, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, appeared to be angling for her job as host on E!’s “Fashion Police.” During an interview on Newsmax, a birther news website, King offered biting commentary about Pres. Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit at a hastily called news conference last week.
Described by one source as “seething,” King complained that, “For him to walk out — I’m not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy.”
What do Americans really care about? Not the economy, stupid! Terror, of course.
Republicans’ delusional mythologizing of Ronald Reagan made its way into the debate over Syria this week when Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen claimed on Fox News that Reagan would have never stood by while chemical weapons were used:
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.