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Ronald Reagan Is Back From the Dead

Taylor Marsh: The GOP's obsession with Reagan as some sort of Christ figure is revisionist history at its worst.
 
 
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This post, written by Taylor Marsh, originally appeared on Taylor Marsh.com

Republicans are doing their damndest to bring the Gipper back to life. In case you weren't aware or simply don't care, twenty years ago today Ronald Reagan delivered his Brandenburg Gate address. Since Reagan uttered his "tear down this wall" line, Republicans have credited Mr. Reagan with everything short of inventing tactical nukes. But today the nostalgia goes from worship to an almost creepy fetishism. We all know that Republicans aren't exactly thrilled with their candidates for '08, but trying to resurrect Ronnie won't make their choices look any better. For one thing, there isn't one chance in a million that any of their candidates are going to inspire, let's just say, McCain Democrats or Rudy Democrats; as for Romney Democrats, that should come complete with a full on spew alert.

Powerline has a blog post featuring the man who wrote Reagan's speech that day, Peter Robinson, complete with pictures, which actually are very cool, if only for history's sake. They're compliments of the Reagan Library. But I simply cannot equate the rhetorical flourishes like this one with the Reagan reality of that year.

The Bible instructs us that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Something of the meaning of that simile is brought home to us in Reagan's great speech of June 12, 1987.

But I guess as conservatives look at Mr. Bush, the "great communicator" would probably sound like "apples of gold in pictures of silver" right about now.

Rick Moran starts his commemoration with a traditional spiritual: "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho." At least Rick realizes that Reagan hardly did the job alone: I like the idea of Reagan as Joshua, sounding the ram's horn of freedom which spurred a mighty shout from the host of oppressed peoples, bringing the whole rotten edifice of Communist tyranny crashing down. Of course, it was much more complicated than that. More than a 40 years of spadework had been done under both Democratic and Republican Presidents that gradually ate away at Soviet authority and the myths that kept the tyrants in power . Rick should phone Sean Hannity immediately, before the man makes a bigger drooling fool of himself.

NRO keeps it simple: Our Hero.

It's important to remember that when Reagan said the words that resonated similarly to John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" ( which, by the way, is exactly the way it should have been said), it was 1987. To say that Republicans and conservatives today have a selective memory about Ronald Reagan is an understatement. Having voted for him in 1980, I recall vividly the disillusionment after that vote and it didn't take long before Ronnie's mystique began to unwind. But 1987 was a particularly bad year.

Two words for you: Iran Contra. True historians, of which I am not one, can add their own.

Taylor Marsh is a radio show talk host, national blog reporter and author who’s been a consistent political, social and cultural force on TV and radio for over 15 years.

 
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