I’m Feeling Magnanimous

Reagan’s death is getting a lot of attention and, I think, with good reason. I do remember how despondent the country felt after losing the Vietnam War and after enduring the economy of the 1970s. I was just watching Senator McCain, every Democrat’s favorite Republican (unless he became a Democrat; they would find him just as infuriating as the Republicans do), on Hannity & Colmes and he made a number of good points about Reagan and about the war on terror.

On Reagan he said that the first time he heard about Reagan was while he was a POW in Vietnam. They would tap on the walls to send messages and apparently Reagan had taken up the cause of POWs as governor of California. That’s how McCain first heard of him. McCain then went into a good discussion of how Reagan was able to change this country from being despondent to seeing hope. I disagree with McCain from time to time – OK, a lot, if you count McCain-Feingold – but we agree on this and we agree about military spending.

McCain also went on to discuss the war on terror and to say that the country isn’t sacrificing enough and that a disproportionate burden is falling on the military. I’m starting to agree here as well. He wants to undo some of the tax cuts, which I would oppose without matching cuts in non-military spending, but if they could be matched I might go along with it. More importantly, he wants to increase the size of the military. On this I don’t see who would disagree (though I’m sure I’ll find out). The nature of the war on terror is such that the best way to win is on offense, until someone comes up with a better answer for dealing with an asymmetrical threat. That means the military. I know that they will supposedly be increasing the military by 40,000 troops in the near future but I wonder if that is enough? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I suspect the answer is “no” given that we are actually (and thankfully) removing troops from South Korea.

On another issue, I think President Clinton should be invited to speak at the funeral on Friday. For those of us who already admire Reagan, no selling needs to be done. If we want the admiration to extend to the rest of America, or as much of America as possible, the event can’t look partisan. I know Ford wasn’t allowed to speak at Nixon’s funeral (or chose not to), but Nixon was not a good President and he wasn’t to the second half of the 20th century what FDR was to the first half. If those of us who admire Reagan and his ideas want him to become something other than another Republican president, the funeral needs to be bipartisan. Kerry has been very gracious towards Reagan (he should certainly be invited to the funeral) and so has Clinton. Even Carter was able to squeeze in a good word or two, though it obviously hurt. Clinton should be invited to speak as a gesture simply because he’s an ex-President and he’s the first Democrat since FDR to get re-elected. If Carter wants to speak, he should be allowed to as well, though his praise seemed awfully tortured (Reagan had good taste in shoes!). I’m conflicted about Carter.

One person I’m not conflicted about is Ted Rall. Ted Rall is a no-good piece of shit. He completely lacks any decency. I can muster some good things to say about Clinton even now, without waiting for his funeral, and I certainly wouldn’t piss on his grave. Ted Rall’s I’m not so sure about.

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