In a post HERE the other day, I took pleasure in noting that President Obama was echoing my familiar refrain that Ronald Reagan would be seen as unacceptably moderate, if not downright liberal, in today’s Republican Party.
Blogger extraordinaire Steve Benen is out with an ARGUMENT today that the question of Reagan’s political viability in the current right-wing GOP climate is not even a close call:
Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times, and he supported the precursor to the Buffett Rule. In his first term, Reagan raised taxes when unemployment was nearing 11% — imagine trying this today — and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. It’s a fact the right finds terribly inconvenient, but “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.
Reagan gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants, expanded the size of the federal government, tripled the deficit and added trillions to the debt, bailed out domestic industries, and called for a world without nuclear weapons. Reagan also met with our most hated enemy without preconditions, criticized Israel, and illegally funneled arms to Iran.
And then there’s his gubernatorial record.
In California, Reagan increased spending, raised taxes, helped create the nation’s first state-based emissions standards, signed an abortion-rights bill, and expanded the nation’s largest state-based Medicaid program (socialized medicine).
Reagan “could not get through a Republican primary today”? Reagan could not get through a Republican primary without being laughed off the stage today.