The GOP worships Ronald Reagan the way liberals adore Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Just about every speaker at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) enthusiastically invoked their idol. Or, as MSNBC’s The Ed Show puts it, fervently tried to “out-Reagan” each other.
But was Ronald Reagan who conservatives think he is? Bruce Bartlett — an adviser to both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White House — doubts they’d even recognize him. In fact, Bartlett told Ed Shultz on Monday’s edition of The Ed Show that today’s GOP would have “booed” Reagan “out of the crowd.”
I think he [Reagan] probably would be booed out of the crowd. If only because he gave amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986. Nativists like Representative Steve King routinely denounce Reagan for that.
And what else would today’s conservatives have had to say about Reagan? Bartlett suspects they’d do an awful lot of denouncing.
They would have denounced him for raising taxes eleven times. They would have denounced him for raising the debt limit. They would have denounced him for running budget deficits. They would have denounced him for supporting labor unions. … And we are not even getting into all the liberal things that he did as governor such as signing the most liberal abortion law in the United States.
Wow. When Schultz suggests that perhaps the Tea Partiers at CPAC don’t know their history, Bartlett agrees.
Well, I guess they have completely forgotten about George W. Bush whom they defended to the heavens when he was in office.
Then he cuttingly adds:
Yes, they are really rather stupid and not very well read. To them Reagan is a distant figure in history.
Bartlett: CPAC would have “booed” Reagan “out of the room.”
Featured photo: Video screen grab/MSNBC.