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.