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Beauchamp writes: "Though Reagan was extremely conservative (often terribly so), he bucked the sort of hardline conservative line the Tea Party has become synonymous with repeatedly throughout his career in politics."

Former President Ronald Reagan. (photo: White House)
Former President Ronald Reagan. (photo: White House)


7 Things Republicans Would Be Shocked to Learn About Ronald Reagan

By Zack Beauchamp, ThinkProgress

08 February 14

 

appy birthday to Ronald Reagan!" Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) tweeted on Thursday, swiftly followed by his Tea Party compatriot Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). While praise from this sort of Republican on what would have been President Reagan's 103rd birthday isn't surprising, it is somewhat ironic. Though Reagan was extremely conservative (often terribly so), he bucked the sort of hardline conservative line the Tea Party has become synonymous with repeatedly throughout his career in politics. Here are 7 Reagan moves that may well have led to his excommunication from today's Republican Party if he were alive today:

1. Paved the way for Obamacare

Reagan's health policy previewed Obamacare in three major ways. First, Reagan signed Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the law barring hospitals from turning away patients on grounds of their insurance or citizenship - a preview of Obamacare's ban on insurance discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions. Second, Reagan doubled the size of Medicaid over the course of his presidency to pay for all of those new uninsured patients - a huge Obamacare-style Medicaid expansion. Third, Reagan pushed something called Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), which essentially had the government set the prices Medicare was willing to pay for each Medicare admission rather than pay for reimburse doctors per cost. DRGs cut Medicare costs by $49 billion by 1986, proving a promising trial for the sorts of Medicare payment reform policies you can find in Obamacare.

2. Amnesty for undocumented immigrants

In 1986, Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, a bipartisan immigration reform bill that created a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented immigrants. Simpson-Mazzoli is now referred to by some conservatives as the "Reagan amnesty," and came up during both the 2007 and 2013 immigration reform debates.

3. Successfully pushed for an assault weapons ban

Before the National Rifle Association became what it was today, Reagan worked with them to ban guns. Specifically, automatic weapons: civilians were legally allowed to own fully automatic rifles until 1986, when Reagan signed the Firearm Owners' Protection Act banning them. After his Presidency, Reagan backed the Brady gun law establishing many of the major restrictions on gun purchases today. His support for the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban pushed the ban to its two vote margin of victory - according to two of the Congressmen who made the difference.

4. Grew the federal government, big time

Reagan's record belies his reputation as a huge foe of government. Reagan built a progressive tax system to fund Social Security, and funded the creation of a new federal department (the Department of Veterans' Affairs). Much of Reagan's spending, including his defense buildup, was funded by deficit spending. If Obama spent like Reagan, the deficit would be much, much higher.

5. Dealt with Russia to build a world free of nuclear weapons

Back when there was an actual Soviet Union, Reagan kicked off negotiations aimed at reducing the nuclear threat - negotiations that eventually morphed into the START treaty. In his memoir, Reagan wrote that "[m]y dream...became a world free of nuclear weapons." After START expired in 2009, its replacement (NEW START) was ratified over the bitter objections of a majority of Senate Republicans.

6. Wanted to make millionaires pay more in taxes

Reagan despised tax loopholes that allowed millionaires to skate around their tax obligations. "Tax loopholes," according to the Gipper, "sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that's crazy." It's crazy, he said, because the "truly wealthy" were avoiding "paying their fair share."

7. Passed environmental regulations that are now being used to fight climate change

Make no mistake - Reagan bears significant responsibility for the climate emergency. But he also negotiated the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement got the whole world to clamp down on pollution that was tearing holes in the ozone layer. Today, the Montreal Protocol is being used to clamp down on the technology that replaced the ozone-depleting kind, which turned out to be a fairly significant contributor to climate change.


 

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+30 # RMDC 2014-02-08 08:32
All of these 7 things are just part of the trends of the times. They would have been supported by a republican or a democrat. They are not what Reagan is famous for.

Reagan is really known for his venal hatred of minorities, the poor, the left-wing, and anything Russian or communist. Reagan ramped up the politics of hate that is based on mis-understandi ng or false- understanding. Reagan was famous for his personality -- a stupid and bumbling old man with a violent temper.
 
 
-2 # Winghunter 2014-02-09 06:52
LOL! Any sources at all for his 'violent temper'? No, knew better.

Any audio/video of Reagan on this 'venal hatred' towards minorities, the poor and the left-wing? No, knew better. (Please don't bother citing some racial extortionist claiming he did.)

You'll notice that I didn't ask about his rightful hatred of Communism as murdering over 100 Million doesn't leave anything more to say to the sane.
 
 
+21 # goodsensecynic 2014-02-08 10:57
This is off-topic, but you can return to it: some words from Barry Goldwater - Republican icon:

"On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name should be used sparingly.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country ... Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism.

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them...

When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2014-02-08 17:55
Not off topic at all. You're just furthering the point of how far the Republican Party has gone to the crazies.

I went to the trouble to check some of those quotes and was amazed at some of the other quotes attributed to Goldwater. Of course he became more liberal with age, but even when he ran for president, he had some opinions that are are too left-wing for Republicans now, 50 years later.
 
 
+10 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-02-08 13:47
It is setting the bar pretty low to measure up to Reagan. His treatment of women and minorities was so low it wouldn't cast a shadow. Todays tea party Republicans seem to go even lower. Read Walsh's IRAN/CONTRA REPORT if you think anyone other than George Herbert Walker Bush could go lower than Ronald Reagan. Of course like George W. Bush, Reagan was being controlled by his Vice President.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2014-02-08 16:23
As Ray-gun's close advisors (like Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson) might say...

AMEN!
 
 
+14 # Billy Bob 2014-02-08 16:22
This is just another attempt by the left to co-opt Ray-gun, rather than fight his slimy legacy. I'm telling you, it will backfire. St. Ronny was no saint, and would STILL be FAR too conservative for this country.

I wish I had time to pick the article apart more specifically, but one thing that stood out was the comment about his "environmentali sm". Yeah, I realize he "created" the "Super" fund, but try to remember that the "Super" fund was a rebranding of the fact that he CUT funding for the EPA by about 90%. Then, he unveiled his "super" fund as a way to hide what he did. People seem to forget that, but I was paying attention back then, and I haven't forgotten about it yet.

He was a champion of that kind of manipulation. The strategy is to destroy something you don't like for philosophical reasons, then, once again, co-opt the language of it, to put on a big phony show of support.

HE INVENTED THAT.

It's part of his "legacy" that should have died with him.

Instead, too many people who pretend to speak for the left, want to try it out too, only, when THEY do it, all they accomplish is to reinforce the idea that conservative dogma is right. Leave the b.s. to the masters.

By the way, it's what I honestly thought Clinton was up to in 1992, when he talked like a conservative "to get elected". I thought, "finally, a Democrat gets it and is using Ray-gun's own strategy, against the Republicans".

NOPE.

He WAS a conservative, and was playing on MY expectations.
 
 
+12 # Billy Bob 2014-02-08 16:36
By the way, my dad, who would be 90, if he were alive today, was the one who pointed all of that out to me about Ray-gun. I'm mentioning this as a reminder that the kind of mental "sophistication " necessary to decode Republican bullshit propaganda, is NOT the sole property of the young. In fact, my dad's generation was pretty good at decoding the kinds of bullshit that currently sells Twit-Party lies to far right loons.

My dad's generation were the ones who stood up to McCarthy, Goldwater and Nixon, and eventually, exposed them for what they were.

Anyway, my dad started noticing that Ray-Gun was CONSTANTLY quoting Kennedy and FDR in his state of the union speeches, etc. It got to be a calling card manipulative tactic.

My dad saw the irony, and pointed it out. That's around the time that I first started REALLY paying attention to politics.

God, I miss my dad!
 
 
-1 # Winghunter 2014-02-09 05:50
1) Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs

2) According to Ronald Reagan himself, as told to his trusted long-time friend and U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, the biggest mistake of his presidency was signing the l986 amnesty for what turned out to be more than half the five million illegal immigrants in the country. Reagan was uncomfortable with the amnesty but was persuaded by some of the leaders of his own party (still living) that it would only affect a small number of illegal immigrants and would assure that Congress would follow through with more vigorous enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The misnamed Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 was touted by its supporters as “comprehensive immigration reform” that would grant amnesty only to a few long-settled immigrants and strengthen border security and internal immigration enforcement against employers who were hiring illegal immigrants.

3) Michael Reagan, the son of the late President Ronald Reagan, said in Springfield today that his father’s signature on a 1994 letter backing an assault weapons ban came at a time when the former president’s mind was deteriorating.

“When Ronald Reagan was president and was not deteriorating with Alzheimer’s disease ..., he never took the position of supporting the Brady bill,” Reagan told reporters at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2014-02-09 10:14
You're right. Reagan was no liberal. He was about as far right looney as he could get. Thanks for pointing that out.

About his mind deteriorating, it's debatable if it was fully intact in 1980. I strongly believe that it was, and that he should be held fully accountable for his legacy and all the damage it has caused this nation.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2014-02-09 13:52
"“When Ronald Reagan was president and was not deteriorating with Alzheimer’s disease ..., he never took the position of supporting the Brady bill,” Reagan told reporters at the Prairie Capital Convention Center."

Maybe not, but as Governor of California, he pushed for and signed the Mulford Act, which banned open carry of firearms.

Of course, that law was meant to disarm blacks and lefties, so it's consistent with his policies.
 
 
0 # Winghunter 2014-02-09 05:59
4) Obama vs. Reagan: Current Administration’ s Spending and Deficits Make Reagan Seem Austere
http://atr.org/obama-vs-reagan-current-administrations-spending-a7075#ixzz2sphrn9yV

5) The Current Russian Government
"Russia’s current system of government is characterized principally by the centralization of power. Politically, economically, geographically, and culturally, virtually all power resides in “apparatchiks” or elites – wealthy individuals who are close to the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin orchestrated this consolidation, serving as President from 1999 until March 2008. He was then forced by term limits to move into the role of Prime Minister. Although his former post is officially now occupied by his long-time deputy, Dmitry Medvedev, nearly all experts continue to see Putin’s influence both in the consolidation and exercise of power domestically and in foreign policy. Many experts anticipate Putin’s return to the Presidency in the future. Most would agree that currently, modern Russia remains Putin’s Russia..."
http://worldsavvy.org/monitor/index.php?option=com_content&id=395&Itemid=689
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-02-09 13:48
" Obama vs. Reagan: Current Administration’ s Spending and Deficits Make Reagan Seem Austere"

Huh? Let's see what the U.S. Treasury reports.

National Debt by Presidential Administrations (in trillions of dollars)
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Reagan - Start, $1 (trillion):  End, $2.9: Change, nearly tripled in 8 years
Bush I - Start, $2.9: End, $4.4: Change, half again in 4 years
Clinton - Start, $4.4: End, $5.8: Change, less than 1/3 increase in 8 years
Bush II - Start, $5.8: End, $12: Change, more than doubled in 8 years
Obama - Start, 12: Years, 5: End, $16: Change, 1/3 added in first 5 years
(At current rate, Debt will go up by about 1/2 at end of Obama Administration)
 
 
-5 # Winghunter 2014-02-09 06:04
6) Reagan On Taxes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJkMOjqwxFI

Obama vs. Reagan: A tale of two recoveries
"The Reagan recovery had one of the fastest rates of growth we ever saw," said Barry Bosworth, an economist at the Brookings Institution. "If anything it was too strong. It was spectacular."
http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/06/news/economy/obama_reagan_recovery/index.htm

7) "Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in history . . .When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, and award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California-Sant a Barbara, who resigned this month from the American Physical Society after 67 years of loyal membership. His resignation letter said this: “It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientifi c fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.” http://tgr.ph/92YKOp
 
 
-2 # StuBones1960 2014-02-09 07:39
Quoting Winghunter:
6) Reagan On Taxes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJkMOjqwxFI

Obama vs. Reagan: A tale of two recoveries
"The Reagan recovery had one of the fastest rates of growth we ever saw," said Barry Bosworth, an economist at the Brookings Institution. "If anything it was too strong. It was spectacular."
http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/06/news/economy/obama_reagan_recovery/index.htm

7) "Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in history . . .When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, and award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara, who resigned this month from the American Physical Society after 67 years of loyal membership. His resignation letter said this: “It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.” http://tgr.ph/92YKOp


What trillions?
 
 
0 # StuBones1960 2014-02-09 07:39
Was number two his, or was it a bill that passed with a veto proof majority?
 

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