Cloning Ronald Reagan would just produce another poor fit for today’s Republican Party


Dana Milbank ARGUES that Ronald Reagan’s penchant for compromise with Democrats and his decidedly unconservative record on certain issues make him less than a dream candidate for cloning — at least by current Republican standards:

When news broke that a vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood was being auctioned online, the price quickly jumped to $30,000 as Web sites and blogs explored a tantalizing possibility: Did this mean the late president could be cloned?

Before mad scientists got the chance to perform a Dolly-the-Sheep experiment with the 40th president, the seller succumbed to criticism and decided to donate the blood to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. But this should only encourage the cloning speculation because the Gipper’s DNA is now in the hands of those who would most like to reproduce him: Republicans.


But before they go filling that mold by mapping the Reagan genome, Republicans may wish to consider some genetic flaws that party scientists should repair in the cloning process. To make the Reagan clone more compatible with today’s Republican Party, a bit of genetic engineering may be in order.


These abnormalities led Reagan to compromise routinely on arms control, the size of government, taxes and other matters of principle. In his autobiography, he criticized “radical conservatives” for whom “ ‘compromise’ was a dirty word.” He continued: “They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. . . . I’d learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for.”

Come to think of it, Republicans would need a whole lot of new genetic material to repair Reagan’s defects. Maybe they should instead put the blood in a vault and accept that they don’t want to clone Reagan but to replace him with a fantasy. Modern Republican ideas simply aren’t in their revered leader’s DNA.



  1. shawnnews

    Libertarian Murray Rothbard savages Reagan for not living up to any of his “get government off our backs” promises. The worst part of the Reagan legacy has to be the ridiculous people who attempt to claim him as one of their own while advocating their own worth, contributions and value over other citizens. We learn in both musical chairs and markets that there isn’t always a place for us in the game.

  2. shawnnews

    I found a gem of a quote upon re-reading Rothbard’s 1989 article that I posted above. “Reagan’s handlers perceived early on that one threat to Reagan’s Teflon rule would be allowing him to mix it up with members of the press. Away from his teleprompter, Ronnie was a real problem.”
    One of the dumber criticism’s of Obama is that he only speaks well with a TelePrompTer. This is only a dumb criticism if we then place Reagan as the standard of excellent communication skills.

  3. Carol Foster

    Reagan’s problem with speaking away from the script wasn’t that he needed scripting, it was his hearing. He clearly needed hearing aids to correctly understand questions being asked.
    And yes, he was a person of compromise which we rarely see within the Tea Party/Republicans today and is much needed if government is to function for the general good of this nation. – Carol Foster

  4. Least we forget he gave us the Bush family.

  5. expdoc

    And thank God he did! Right Stevo?

    I am sure you don’t want to rip on a true military hero and his son, eh?

    The hero who was one of the youngest fighter pilots in the Pacific campaign and who was shot down? Who served in Congress, as an ambassador, as head of the CIA, Vice-President and President?

    The son who served as Governor and was a 2-term President? The one who led us through one of the darkest times in our country’s history?

    I am sure you disagree with their politics but to imply anything else would prove you to be a Memorial Day idiot.

    Like this guy:


    That’s why I am so sure you must be sincere.

  6. doc: Spare us the hero-worship of Dubya. That kind of crap doesn’t comport with the actual record.

  7. expdoc

    Really Pat?

    Which part doesn’t comport? Seems like pretty straight forward history to me.

  8. Actually Bush senior was shot down twice, the second time by Clinton. As for junior he spends his retirement mumbling in elevators.

  9. Well, doc. You are the Memorial Day idiot. The day is not for remembrance of people like GHWB or GWB. It is for remembering the fallen who have fought in our wars.

    If you are to remember veterans, and their service, they are honored on November 11th, Veterans Day.

    And don’t even attempt to make GWB out as a hero. He evaded going to Viet Nam by enlisting in the Reserves. Anyone who served during that time knows that was the way to stay away from that war.

    doc said: “The one who led us through one of the darkest times in our country’s history?”

    That should be; The one who led us INTO one of the darkest times in our country’s history.

    Your link to newsbusters is way out of context. Just an attempt by that nutcase rag to portray Chris Hayes in a bad light.

    He was discussing if someone who died doing their routine job in a war should be classed as a hero, alongside someone who did a courageous act. He did not denigrate any hero.

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