March 8, 2010

Reagan 50_c89c2_0.jpg

Good gravy...they've got an airport, a highway, the largest federal building in Washington DC and a freeway and that's still not enough honor for those Gipper-worshiping acolytes:

(S)ome of the late president's admirers are launching a new effort to add another honor: printing his likeness on a $50 bill in place of Ulysses S. Grant's.

In polls of presidential scholars, Reagan consistently outranks Grant, said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), who introduced legislation to make the change.

But at least one Democrat who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where the proposal has been sent, isn't ready to jettison Grant for "someone whose policies are still controversial."

"Our currency ought to be something that unites us," said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).

They never stop finding ways to keep throwing Reagan up as some weird conservative messiah (never mind that they sneer at Obama for being messianic). In fact, there is a peak near me called Mt. Diablo. A man--who professed to object to the obvious satanic overtones of the name--has been trying to get the county to rename it Mt. Reagan. Thankfully, the county has so far been unpersuaded.

I've never really gotten the rosy-eyed nostalgia for Reagan. I came of age during Reagan's presidency, and I don't remember things being all that great for most Americans. I do remember being concerned about the cognitive powers of the president when he played dumb for reporters during the Iran Contra scandal, a fear that was--in retrospect--not entirely unfounded. I remember thousands of developmentally disabled individuals dumped on the streets of California, when Governor Reagan turned the mental hospitals over to the Correctional Department, leaving families at a loss as to how to care for them, and the number of homeless in California shot up. I remember watching friends get sick and die of a new and mysterious disease that Reagan wouldn't even acknowledge by name. I know there's a lot of mysticism surrounding "It's Morning In America" meme, but does that really make all these numbnuts forget the massive deficit spending they clutch their pearls over now? Do they forget Iran-Contra when waxing rhapsodic over the end of the Cold War?

Sorry, Grant has his detractors, but I'd much rather keep him on the $50 than give Reagan this particular honor.

The Nation has more on the truth of Reagan's legacy. If you're a Facebook denizen, you may want to join the group "JUST SAY NO" TO RONALD REAGAN ON A $50 BILL OR ANY CURRENCY - EVER!

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