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What’s Old is New – and not in a good way

*TO PUMAs everywhere:  Please use the below images to your heart’s content!

obamas-daddy1

This is why:

And this is what progressive Villager Matt Stoller of Open Left had to say about it on January 16, 2008:

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. Lots of people don’t agree with this, of course, since it doesn’t fit a coherent narrative of GOP ascendancy.  Masking Reagan’s true political underpinning principles is a central goal of the conservative movement, with someone as powerful as Grover Norquist seeking to put Reagan’s name on as many monuments as possible and the Republican candidates themselves using Reagan’s name instead of George Bush’s in GOP debates as a mark of greatness.  Why would the conservative movement create such idolatry around Reagan?  Is is because they just want to honor a great man?  Perhaps that is some of it.  Or are they trying to escape the legacy of the conservative movement so that it can be rebuilt in a few years, as they did after Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I?

I don’t know.  But if you think, as Obama does, that Reagan’s rise to power was premised on a sunny optimism in contrast to an out of control government and a society rife with liberal excess, then you don’t understand the conservative movement.  Reagan tapped into greed and fear and tribalism, and those are powerful forces.  Ignoring that isn’t going to make them go away.

But Obama’s Reagan worship didn’t begin here, let’s take a look at an excerpt about Reagan in President Obama’s Mein Kampf Audacity of Hope:

As disturbed as I might have been by Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, [edited by me: pfft!  yeah, right] as unconvinced as I might have been by his John Wayne, Father Knows Best pose, his policy by anecdote, and his gratuitous assaults on the poor, I understood his appeal.

It was the same appeal that the military bases back in Hawaii had always held for me as a young boy, with their tidy streets and well-oiled machinery, the crisp uniforms and crisper salutes. It was related to the pleasure I still get from watched a well-played basketball game, or my wife gets from watching reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show. [edited by me: Dick Van Dyke Show? Is this why FLOTUS dresses like this?] Reagan spoke to America’s longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies, so long as we rediscover the traditional virtues of hard work, patriotism, personal responsibility, optimism, and faith.

That Reagan’s message found such a receptive audience spoke not only to his skills as a communicator; it also spoke to the failure of liberal government, during a period of economic stagnation, to give middle-class voters any sense that it was fighting for them. For the fact was that government at every level had become too cavalier about spending taxpayer money. Too often, bureaucracies were oblivious to the cost of their mandates. A lot of liberal rhetoric did seem to value rights and entitlements over duties and responsibilities. Reagan may have exaggerated the sins of the welfare state, and certainly liberals were right to complain that his domestic policies titled heavily toward economic elites, with corporate raiders making tidy profits throughout the eighties while unions were busted and income for the average working stiff flatlined.

Nevertheless, by promising to side with those who worked hard, obeyed the law, cared for their families, and loved their country, Reagan offered Americans a sense of a common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster. And the more the critics carped, the more those critics played into the role he’d written for them – a band of out-of-touch, tax-and-spend, blame-America-first, politically correct elites.

Yep -from the Horse’s, rather Republican with Donkey-Breath’s mouth.

Like the 1980s, even though I was a tweenie then, I remember  the great 80s recession.  My mom was recently divorced from my dad, he took off to Dominican Republic with his new wife, then my mom was laid off from the factory she worked at in Massachussetts.

Whoa, wait up, am I having Deja Vu or you mean it’s actually happening again, like, right NOW?

WASHINGTON – The recession is killing jobs at an alarming pace, with tens of thousands of new layoffs announced Monday by some of the biggest names in American business — Pfizer, Caterpillar and Home Depot.

More pink slips, pay freezes and other hits are expected to slam workers in the months ahead as companies desperately look for ways to survive.

“We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg — the big firms,” said Rebecca Braeu, economist at John Hancock Financial Services. “There’s certainly other firms beneath them that will lay off workers as quickly or even quicker.”

Looking ahead, economists predicted a net loss of at least 2 million jobs — possibly more — this year even if President Barack Obama’s $825 billion package of increased government spending and tax cuts is enacted. Last year, the economy lost a net 2.6 million jobs, the most since 1945, though the labor force has grown significantly since then.

The unemployment rate, now at a 16-year high of 7.2 percent, could hit 10 percent or higher later this year or early next year, under some analysts’ projections.

Here’s the Wikipedia take on the 1980s recession:

Economic effects of the recession

The Federal Reserve’s extremely tight monetary policy intentionally plunged the American economy into a deep recession.[9]

Employment conditions deteriorated throughout the year. The unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 10.8% in December 1982—higher than at any time in post-war era. Job cutbacks were particularly severe in housing, steel and automobiles. By September 1982, the jobless rate reached 10.8%. Twelve million people were unemployed, an increase of 4.2 million people since July 1981.[5] Unemployment rates for every major group reached post-war highs, with men age 20 and over particularly hard hit. Blacks and Hispanics suffered proportionally greater job losses than whites.[7]

What’s old is new, and now we have a Reagan wannabe who calls himself a Democrat running the show.   Liberals who remember Reagan, like myself, shuddered when Obama professed his Reagan Worship to the Reno paper sourced above.  That was when I KNEW I couldn’t vote for Obama, not now, nor ever.  No self respecting Liberal Democrat would ever effuse such illustrious praise for a MFer who, because of the lack of everything, made me forge my birth certificate from 12 years old to 14 years old (with the help of an ink eraser and a typewriter) just so I can get a PT job at a discount department store to help my mom pay the bills while she was laid off due to a work injury.  She worked her hands, LITERALLY to the bone and the result being multiple surgeries every few years.  The latest was last week due to the same problem.

And now in 2009, I’m the one that’s laid off.  I’m still helping mom get by due to her health and my daughter’s in her tween years.  I don’t want my daughter to do what I did in the 1980s.  I want her to become what she wants to be to her fullest potential, no matter the cost.  I want her to keep her mind on her studies, not on survival.  I can’t allow that to happen to her, despite whatever life throws my way.

Now with Universal Healthcare off the table as KatieBird reported, with the bailout only helping CEOs guaranteee their golden parachutes while the rest of us get golden showers, what is going to happen to the working/middle class of this country?

History has a way of repeating itself, but dammit, this is not the way I wanted it to be.

I know this may be futile, but f__k it:

sos-help

Could Obama and Hillary trade places for like, say, oh about a year or something?

(Custom posters created on the http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/ website)

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53 Responses

  1. Hillary called Obama on his Reagan worship. And she was laughed out of town by the “liberal” media.

  2. Thanks for posting this SM — there’s so much truth in what you’re saying (always) , I’m already ready for change….

  3. Sm – I’m glad your back with your pithy remarks and your right-on-the-money focus. Thanks 🙂

  4. ((((( to the k-bird )))))

    I wanted to originally make the comparison between foreign vs. domestic…but then I blurted this out.

    With all the news with 40,000 job losses TODAY alone, I had to write about Obama = Reagan with a tan and a Ceasar Hair cut.

  5. sm, thanks for looking into Aud of Hope so I don’t have to…. What’s really scary is that Obama uses the word “entitlement” to describe benefits supported by liberals.

    Recently, with the very scary articles suggesting that Obama may try to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare, I have seen the press reporting on these programs as “entitlement” programs (a la the Repubs). I have been wondering whether or not Obama used that particular term or whether the press has just been so brainwashed after 8 years of Bush that use of that word just slipped out. Thanks to your quoted segment, I now believe that the reporters were repeating, verbatim, what Obama really said.

  6. DYB:

    Hillary certainly did – and SHE was on the money as always.

    Joanelle: Thank you! I’m living this struggle in every sense of the word, call me a “method blogger.”

  7. GraysLady:

    That’s no mistake, Obama did say “ENTITLEMENTS” with regards to Social Security.

    He is destroying FDR’s New Deal.

  8. SM – you are the best. Talk about wanting to slap somebody – I just want to reach in that tape and choke the guy. The Reagan myth continues to this day.

    One of the editors on our paper that loved Obama is complaining about Pelosi and Reid not joining the unity party Obama wants and being too partisan. She quotes Fred Barnes:

    “Make Obama an ally by using his words, from the inaugural address and speeches and interviews, against Democrats and their initiatives in Congress. Obama is for bipartisanship. [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and their cohort are heavy-handed partisans with no interest in accommodating Republicans. Obama favors transparency. They don’t. Obama says he wants ‘to spend wisely’ and promises that ‘programs will end’ if they don’t work. That’s hardly the philosophy of congressional Democrats.”

    She obviously missed him saying, “I won.” And like Reagan worship, she wants to blame everyone but The One.

  9. crap SM that hillary poster brought tears to my eyes

    Damn damn damn….

    the only Reagan redux I want Obama to do is Bed time for Bonzo!

  10. Obama has said he doesn’t want to fight the same old fights of the 60’s. I guess we can look forward to ketchup being a vegetable again.

  11. Jmac:

    FUCK BI-PARTISANSHIP!

    When you have a so-called “liberal Democrat” say that bi-partisanship is essential, they are a Republican wannabe.

    And PLEASE write a letter to the editor in response.

  12. FUZZY:

    😦

    I just had to do it – SOS HILLARY!

    That “SOS” title isn’t a coincidence. It’s the Creator calling out!

    SOS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, save us!

  13. Another great one, SM.

    Especially the SoS call to the SoS.

  14. I don’t think Obama will get away with being Reagan Redux. He’s too testy, he gets snippy and he gets his feelings hurt. He has a soft underbelly and I think it’s going to get ripped.

  15. SM – that editor just posts on the newspaper’s blog – she wanted Obama for the same reason my sister wanted Obama – so we can have harmony and sing kumbyah. It’s like they’re looking for a religion.

  16. The Pope is clearly disappointing.

  17. Distress signal: Hillary, save us!

  18. SM, so much in your post. My admiration grows by the day.

    But before jumping in on the economics, want to ask a stupid question about the these posters (the image ones I mean). Didn’t the original one with BO get its inspiration from Che Guevara’s poster, and wasn’t it used by Hill’s campaign to signal BO’s lefty leanings, during the primaries at least. Told you it was a dupid question, but I’ve never really sorted that out.

  19. The Reagan adoration and the “entitlements” bullsh*t were in B0’s books for all to see — if read without kool-aid. I was constantly pointing out these examples during the primaries, to no avail.

  20. Regency –

    Only SHE had the Solutions for America.

    S.O.S. HILLARY!!!!!!!!

  21. F*ck Matt Stoller and the rest of the “creative class”.

    “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.”

    No shit…Reagan didn’t open his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Miss. because he liked boiled peanuts. The Reagan/Rollins/Atwater “Southern Strategy” was based on r*cism and resentment.

  22. Three Wickets, thank you always and YES you are correct. O-joke’s poster was inspired by the Guevara image.

    I saw on Gawker how you can create your own “Obama Hope” poster, so I did.

    I put the link up if you want to creat your own.

  23. Solutions America deserved. Psych, America! You don’t deserve anything.

  24. BTW — great post, sm. This Reagan channeling can’t be emphasized too much.

  25. Ditto that, PS. Great post, SM.

  26. Jmac, on January 26th, 2009 at 8:13 pm Said:

    I don’t think Obama will get away with being Reagan Redux. He’s too testy, he gets snippy and he gets his feelings hurt. He has a soft underbelly and I think it’s going to get ripped.
    ***********

  27. PumaInSeattle & my lil sis Regency:

    I swear, it’s like I’m reliving my childhood. Same shit, different day, or like a very Boricua (Taino name for what is now Puerto Rico) friend of mine says:

    La misma mierda, pero diferente peste.

    (the same shit, but with a different smell)

  28. Regency,

    I’m sure in 2 years the refrain will be “we did this to ourselves.” It will be right up there with “no, we couldn’t.”

  29. SHV, on January 26th, 2009 at 8:41 pm Said:

    Jmac, on January 26th, 2009 at 8:13 pm Said:

    I don’t think Obama will get away with being Reagan Redux. He’s too testy, he gets snippy and he gets his feelings hurt. He has a soft underbelly and I think it’s going to get ripped.
    ***********
    I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t have the psychological stamina to get through the next four years. The bad news is really just beginning and he is in-charge. How soon before he takes his first vacation??

  30. Monetary policy is at the heart of so much, and I am not a specialist in this field. But in the late 70s and early 80s, there was too much money in the system, double digit inflation was getting out of control. Not sure that was about liberalism as much as it was about oil, always oil. Volcker had to tighten money supply by aggressively raising interest rates. and the adjustment resulted in the pain of the early 80’s. Lower rates made private investments more attractive, and the junk bonding investment banks were born, and the financial orgy of the past two decades was underway. What we are now experiencing is the massive popping of that bubble. There should have been a correction under Bush I, but we had a minor recession and the Gulf War both distracted and lifted us out of that correction. There should have been a correction early in Bush II, and we were starting to have one with the dot com crash, but 9/11 happened, and we were off running again with lower interest rates and war spending in Iraq. If BO really wants to emulate Reagan, he might begin showing queasiness about the stimulus bill, and at some point in the near future he might pull the emergency brake on the current flooding of money from Bernanke by pressing for Fed’s target interest rates to spike back up again (pulling a Volcker). But none of that will matter one bit if the country cannot get its engine started again. So the stimulus package is pretty essential as a primer for that. What we probably need is a deep Krugman move, followed by an equally severe Volcker move. Sort of like starting a manual transmission car by rolling it down the hill, then jerking it into first.

  31. wow, SM, have I missed reading your stuff, this is great!

    I put a new post up for yall when you’re done with this great discussion!

  32. SHV:

    Reagan was coddled and protected by the media, the gov’t, everyone. But Reagan was a professional actor before his stint as California Governor, so he had some training to diffuse, rather, give off the aura of impervious-ness.

    Of course, Reagan had developed Altzheimer symptoms in his presidency, so he didn’t know what the F__K was going on anyway, let alone WTF the public & media were saying about him.

  33. yup 3 wickets … great metaphor too

  34. Should be “Lower rates that followed…” in the fifth sentence above.

  35. SM — Great post, and your Hillary poster rocks!

  36. Three Wickets – with that insanely brilliant comment, you used SLAM DANCE at Save the Robots too?

    wow.

  37. I made this image a many many months ago. Obama as reagan.

  38. Wonderful post SM! The Obama posters do seem to be modeled on old Communist posters. I’m not sure why they did that. Maybe they are trying to prepare us for his new Stalinist policies?

  39. Thank you Jules!

    DakiniKat – the discussion is still in its infancy. And thank you! I’m living this economic hit and it’s like I’m rewinding time back to the 1980s recession again.

  40. Sarah – OMG – that shit is SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BB: Thank you – I disagree on the Stalinist policies, but definitely & absolutely Reaganist policies – and BOTH SUCK.

  41. betty jeans show was good!

  42. SM,

    Stalinist as in suppression of free speech, government spying on individuals, and torture.

  43. BB:

    OH YEAH !!!!!!!

    Defintely Stalinist – by that definition.

  44. Do not forget that Bill Clinton recognized that underlying theme of the Reagan great communicator years—that Reagan was using the passions people had about liberal “excess”—-people did want order; they always do. One of the things conservatives and liberals at the edges of both philosophies held against Clinton was his move to coopt the center of American politics. Remember Clinton’s thing about putting cops on the street? balancing the budget? etc. That center and his own communicating skills and personality got him 8 years. Clinton used this information to return Dems to power to solve problems; improve people’s lives. O is using it to promote himself in perpetuity.

  45. Fuzzy:

    Betty Jean?

    Where?

    PLEASE GIVE DETAILS!

  46. It cannot be said often enough!

  47. Hey, Matt Stoller, know Iwhat is extremely disturbing for me to hear? The fact that YOU are pretending that this is the FIRST time you ever heard of Obama’s Ronnie worship. As DYB so rightly observed upthread when Hillary tried to discuss this during the primaries YOU were among those who laughed at & derided her. Get stuffed a–hole.

  48. Jangles:

    Bill Clinton – recognized – but not ADMIRED Reagan’s ways. Different to what Obama is doing. Obama admired Reagan.

    Look at Clinton’s presidency during the 90s. Did he emulate Reagan with his policies? NO.

    Is Obama, especially with his Reagan Worship – eliminating the “excesses of the 60s and 70s (civil rights, feminism, strong middle class)?

    YES.

  49. Edge:

    Obama WANTS to be Reagan, BADLY.

    And it’s probably the reason why he rose to power so soon.

  50. our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies, so long as we rediscover the traditional virtues of hard work, patriotism, personal responsibility, optimism, and faith.

    Speak for yourself Buddy. I find all those crisp, clean salutes and streets creepy. I like messy, artistic, creative, individualistic spontaneity. Now he’s talking about “traditional values?!” What’s next, James Dobson doing the next invocation?

  51. Reagan may have exaggerated the sins of the welfare state, and certainly liberals were right to complain that his domestic policies titled heavily toward economic elites, with corporate raiders making tidy profits throughout the eighties while unions were busted and income for the average working stiff flatlined.

    Nevertheless, by promising to side with those who worked hard, obeyed the law, cared for their families, and loved their country, Reagan offered Americans a sense of a common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster.

    WTF? Reagan “MAY” have exaggerated the sins of the welfare state?! & then BO goes on to say that he basically raided the Treasury for his wealthy friends, and screwed average Americans, but hey: his rhetoric was sunny and optimistic! It doesn’t matter that his actual policies turned the mentally ill on to the streets, creating an unprecedented homeless problem, because his SPEECHES were buoyant and inspiring. Sound familiar? Each time I think it can’t be possible for me to dislike this guy anymore, I find new reasons.

  52. I hope somebody can answer this because I’d really like to know.

    What would happen if the banking/finance system was nationalized? We already own a big chunk of it, why not just take it all?

    I ask because it seems with the great infusion of TAXPAYER money that was used to bail these greedy bastards out – they still haven’t learned. John Thain was on the news tonight defending the big bonuses executives at Merrill Lynch got just before BofA bought them out. These two companies have taken more than $45 billion in taxpayer bailout $$$ and they may be back for more. So why not just kick the @ssholes out and nationalize the banks, stock market and credit companies. Put in people who make resonable salaries (NO bonuses) who work for the American Taxpayer?

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