Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A day That Will Long Live In Infamy

Do you remember where you were 30 years ago?  What you wore? Had for dinner?  Thought about on your way to work, school, or the nursery?

Of course not.  Neither do I.

But I have been reminded that this is the 30th anniversary of Reagan firing the entirety of PATCO - 11,000 air traffic controllers who had been on strike for 2 whole days.  Michael Moore provides the history.    Moore reminds us that PATCO was one of only 3 unions to support Reagan.

But I learned something back in the 80's that everyone - even Michael Moore has either forgotten, or never knew.  When Reagan was a candidate for president, he promised PATCO that he would work in close cooperation with them to assure public safety.   Wha . . . ????

Here is the letter he wrote to the president of their union.  It only took a minute to find, but you sort of had to know it was out there.

Source: Thom Hartmann

Reagan was not only rat, he was simple-minded before he became senile.  The Reagan presidency was an absolute disaster, and either the root or the second stage of everything that has slowly eroded America's greatness across decades.

I certainly hope you knew that.


Suzan said...

And provided a role model for Bush.


The man was quite a success for his mediocre talents, wasn't he?

I guess he must have looked good in a swimsuit.

Jazzbumpa said...

It was the whole Morning in America charade.

What he looked good in was a fucking cowboy hat.


Squatlo said...

I believe there was a hateful bigotry to Reagan that rarely gets discussed, along with all of the anti-union philosophy he brought to the White House. Find a black person in America who has fond memories of Ronald Reagan, and I'll show you a guy who's trying to make it in the corporate world by being the blackest white guy in the board room.
Reagan sucked, and it's high time we stopped having his sainthood tossed in our faces like warm spit. His actions in the PATCO strike killed American labor relations and the middle class.

BadTux said...

Reagan was smarter than you guys are giving him credit for. The "Aw Shucks" thing was just a put-on. The man was an *actor*, after all. He came to the White House with the Reader's Digest thumbnail plan for Morning in America -- bust the unions, tax cuts for the rich, tax hikes for the working class, the whole right-wing agenda, convert the South to solid Republican via whistle-calls to racists. The only reason he couldn't dismantle the New Deal was Tip O'Neil, but he could set things in motion for after O'Neil retired, and he did.

The overall result of the Reagan presidency and his use of that bully pulpit to push the right-wing agenda into the mainstream has been disaster for ordinary Americans, but extraordinary riches for our elites. Which was the plan all along. The man was an expert political operator and no idiot. (Well, not until after he bled out after Hinkley shot him, anyhow).

Now George W. Bush... GWB had a brain, but apparently used it only to keep his hair out of his eyes. He certainly didn't use it to think with. But that's another story.

- Badtux the Operator Penguin

Jazzbumpa said...

Hinkley shot Reagan on the 69th day of his presidency, puncturing a lung. So "after" was pretty much the entire term.

It's pretty clear that by Reagan's second term he was losing it badly. Nancy had to whisper in his ear when he answered questions in the Rose garden. (I remember this sad event vividly, but can't come up with a video.)

I love this: "While Ronald Reagan's speechwriters had a special place in his administration, they were often at odds with senior staff - who angrily accused them of trying to make policy."


Yes, he was an actor. He acted presidential, and fooled a nation. I'm not talking about "Aw, shucks," though that was the persona that fooled the rest of the simple minds. I'm talking about truthiness and disguising that he was a vacuous cipher.

We won't be able to reach a verdict on his level of intelligence. But I say he was simple. His solutions to complex issues were empty slogans. He was a figurehead, not a leader. I felt from the beginning that W was irrelevant to his own presidency, and the Rethugs learned how to control from behind the scenes when St Ronnie was on the throne.

All the rest of what you say is spot on. All Reagan had to do was read the script.


BadTux said...

His solutions to complex issues were empty slogans.

That was part of the genius of Reagan. He understood that Americans don't want to hear that problems are complex and will require time and money to solve. Americans want simple answers to complex questions. He gave Americans what they wanted, simple answers to complex problems, which is the whole point of democracy -- to give the people what they want, good and hard.

The fact that his answers were wrong, and served to benefit only a wealthy few... well. That was part of his genius too. 50% of Americans are below average, and average ain't so smart.

Now, you're right that Reagan was absent for most of his administration. But the wheels he set in motion before that day he bled out, the people he'd hired to craft the message to push that agenda set before he was ever elected, were enough to keep his political agenda going. Which just goes to show that hiring the right (wrong?) people is just as important for a President getting his agenda put into place as himself being in place... Reagan was basically absent for most of his Presidency, yet his agenda kept on.

- Badtux the Not-underestimating Penguin

Jazzbumpa said...

Tux -

The only thing we're disagreeing about is whether the evil genius was Reagan himself or a cadre of behind-the-scenes handlers.

My recollection of Reagan is that he was a simple-minded, vacuous script reader. And I'm talking about his first campaign. There was never any indication that he had a serious grasp of issues, or any depth of thought.

With JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and even the rat Nixon, you could love or hate them, but you knew they were smart.

I didn't know Reagan was smart, any more than W. And look what the Rethugs are offering now - Palin, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Perry - frankly stupid, sociopathic, and/or insane.

You might be right, but I'm not aware of any evidence to verify your position.


BadTux said...

Remember, I'm living in California, and Reagan was governor here for two terms. He started out as a fairly standard Goldwater Republican but gradually refined his "oh shucks" act. The man was a wily political operator during his two terms as governor -- and it *was* him, not his handlers.

Your problem is that you expect the President to tackle complex issues with intelligent solutions. But that wasn't Reagan's goal. Reagan's goal was to use whatever issues were in the news to further his goals of transferring wealth from ordinary Americans to the rich while doing everything in his power to repeal the New Deal or at least discredit it as much as possible. Actually talking intelligently about the problems America faced would not have furthered that goal. You assume that Reagan wanted to solve the problems of America and made no intelligent attempt to discuss and solve them because he was a dolt. But there's no evidence to support such an assumption.

George W. Bush was a fitting successor to Ronald Reagan. Bush's terms of office as Texas governor showed that he was a wily operator, and his debates with Ann Richards showed that he could intelligently debate issues if he wanted to. The deal, though, is that he didn't want to. He had a brain, he simply saw no reason to use it as President, because his goals as President had nothing to do with solving problems facing America and America. He had learned the lesson of Reagan, which is that the American people want answers to complex problems that are simple, easy to understand, and wrong. And lest you think that he was a tool, well... actually, yes, he *was* a tool. But he was certainly capable of putting his foot down when he felt like it. For example, Cheney wanted an invasion of Iran, or at least a bombing of the Iranian nuclear facilities. After hearing out the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the likely consequences of such, Bush replied with a simple answer to Cheney: "No." But the deal is, governing was not really a goal for either Reagan or Bush. Rather, destroying the ability of government to govern was their goal. They certainly accomplished a fair amount of that, didn't they?

- Badtux the Not-misunderestimatin' Penguin

Jazzbumpa said...

I haven't spent a lot of time in CA as you have, so maybe you have some insights I lack. But weren't you born during the Reagan governorship?

Anyway, like I said - you might be right.

But the deal is, governing was not really a goal for either Reagan or Bush. Rather, destroying the ability of government to govern was their goal. They certainly accomplished a fair amount of that, didn't they?

What I say is that they were terrible at governance because of their contempt for government - which is pretty much the same thing.*

Thanks for your insights.

* And a big part of why WASF!