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View Diary: Bill Maher DESTROYS the myth of Reagan (video + full transcript) (127 comments)

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  •  I wouldn't have voted for him (11+ / 0-)

    even if he had a bucket of water and I were on fire.

    I still don't understand anyone who claims they were fooled by him.  How could you be haflway sentient and not know what he stood for?  

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 10:39:15 AM PDT

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    •  Never voted for Reagan (21+ / 0-)

      and curse him to this day for his lying sonofabitchery. If it hadn't been for St. Ronny of the Goddamned Raygun, we would NEVER have had a VP named Dick Cheney.

      That bastard destroyed my nation.

      Remember when he appointed James Watt to Interior?
      Remember when he made Ed Meese attorney general?

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 11:06:43 AM PDT

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      •  You're getting my blood pressure up (6+ / 0-)

        when you mention Meese (the Bill of Rights was just an amendment) and Watt.

        "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 11:16:29 AM PDT

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      •  Mr. Gorbachev .......Tear Down This Wall (0+ / 0-)

        You write:

        "That bastard destroyed my nation".

        Some would say quite the opposite, Blacksheep. Some might even say that he helped SAVE the nation.

        There seems to be collective amnesia on this thread.

        Have we all forgotten that, although Reagan was a domestic policy turkey, there was a Cold War going on back then.

        Nobody really knew, (for CERTAIN), how that was all going to turn out.

        One of the reasons why he won a LANDSLIDE re-election victory in 1984  (remember ..... he carried 49 states) is that people saw him as a strong leader who was not going to let the Soviet Union win the arms race.

        The Soviets, back then, were doing an incredibly massive arms buildup. They were continuing to produce relatively sophisticated jet fighter planes and a huge amount of conventional weapons like tanks and armored vehicles. They were also furiously increasing there nuclear arsenal as well.

        While simultaneously keeping hundreds of thousands of Russian troops in Poland and other eastern European countries ........ just in case those countries got any stupid ideas. You know, ideas like democracy or withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (something the Russians would NOT have allowed).

        Reagan put the Russians on notice that we were not going to be intimidated. Nor out spent by them on arms. He told them that the U.S. wanted no part of a totalitarian form of society and that we were determined to preseve democracy (unlike the police states that existed in Russia and in the countries of eastern Europe, back then).

        Though I'm a liberal Dem, I'll always be grateful to Reagan for at least that much.

        "Love Is Why We're Here"

        by Paniolo Joe on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 01:33:00 PM PDT

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        •  Please don't be grateful to Reagan. (11+ / 0-)

          Look up your history. It wasn't Reagan's tough guy act that made the difference--it was Gorbachev's basic humanity and his willingness to allow the police state you refer to to be challenged, as Lech Walesa was doing in Poland, and ultimately to change, without using the massive force against the people that had been repeatedly deployed by the Soviet State up until then.

          Reagan took advantage of a particularly fortuitous historical moment to create an unfortunately persistent, if misleading, photo op.  Sorry, but "tear down this wall" was nothing but grandstanding, and everyone in the world knew this (and knows it today) except for the Americans (out of touch as always with everything but their own hero mythology) that Reagan was attempting to impress back home.  

          Once an actor, always an actor.  

          I lived in Germany through the entire Reagan/Bush era, and watched the whole thing unfold in a city an hour from the East German border where, believe me, people were paying close attention.  The reasons for the fall were complex, manifold, and foreseeable--and not in any real way due to Reagan, whom people there mockingly dubbed (oddly enough, prescient of a later, similarly embarrassing president) "The Cowboy."  Reagan was feared only for his lack of comprehension of the complexity of the world combined with the trigger-happy finger he had on the (nuclear) Button --which was seen as a dangerous, lethal, and unpredictable combination.

          I vividly remember the night the Wall fell--a Sunday night when, throughout the city, traffic halted because the streets had suddenly flooded with honking Trabbis (East German plastic cars) filled in turn with jubilant people yelling and waving from their car windows.  

          But I also remember how everyone saw it coming--including Reagan, who used it to position himself as relevant to the sequence of events--and how, to anyone living outside the U.S. at the time, it was clear that Reagan had very little to do with the momentous events that were transpiring, despite his tough-guy rhetoric.

          In fact, as far as Reagan is concerned, "Tear down this wall" is pretty much the equivalent of "Mission Accomplished."  

          "If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life." — Albert Schweitzer

          by mozartssister on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 05:45:13 PM PDT

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          •  I'm commenting here (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mozartssister, Ginny in CO, Matt Z

            so I can find your post later any time I need to respond to some Reagan sycophant.

          •  More History "Realpolitiks" (0+ / 0-)

            You post"

            "it was Gorbachev's basic humanity and his willingness to allow the police state you refer to to be challenged,..... "

            Gorbachev only belatedly developed a sense of "humanity" after the U.S. government (Congress, the Reagan administration and previous administrations as well) made it crystal clear that they (Soviets) could NOT win the arms race.

            That's not just my assessment. That is the assessment of many scholars who lived through that era and who were well informed and who had a good long term historical view of how and why the Soviet Union fell apart.

            Do you really think that the Soviet Union would have withered away when it did if the U.S. and NATO had not maintained a strong military alliance, including highly sophisticated American miltary aircraft and large amounts of conventional weapons and a huge nuclear arsenal deterrent ?

            Reagan played a role in that ........... but so did Thatcher. So did a lot of people.

            The Russians gave up their dream of communizing the world ONLY when they saw that they could not acheive that goal ..........  militarily.

            Then, ...... we stated hearing words from the Russians like "glasnost" and "perestroika".

            But I  don't believe we would have heard those words in the 1980's without a tough NATO and American response to the Soviet arms buildup during the Cold War.

            The Soviets showed, time and time again, that all they really respected was force.

            "Love Is Why We're Here"

            by Paniolo Joe on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 02:04:08 AM PDT

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            •  that must be why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mozartssister

              The Soviet response to the strikes of Solidarnosc was exactly the same as their response as the Czech Spring, then.

              I'll never forget the Soviet tank running over Lech Walesa like that, and then the bloody massacre in the square....oh, wait. Wrong communists. We made that dictatorship a Most Favored Nation.

              Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

              by kamarvt on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 05:00:14 AM PDT

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            •  I don't deny (0+ / 0-)

              that military alliances around Western Europe, and longstanding American willingness to arm themselves and their allies to the teeth--also long before Reagan--played a role in keeping the Soviets in some kind of check and balance on the world stage.  

              But the Soviet Union did not fall because of Reagan's willingness--eagerness--to show belligerence.  That's more myth than Realpolitik.  

              You write

              The Soviets showed, time and time again, that all they really respected was force.
              Seems to me the same is true for a large faction of Americans.  Including and especially those who perpetuate the myth that it was primarily Reagan who "won" the Cold War by rattling the sabers in his greatest role as Mr. Tough Guy.

              "If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life." — Albert Schweitzer

              by mozartssister on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:08:29 AM PDT

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        •  I don't believe Reagan or his troupe made (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nailbanger, caryltoo

          much difference. In studying the Soviet Union in intel school in the 60's it was pretty obvious that the USSR could not hold on much longer as a single state. In fact many were surprised it lasted as long as it did The "solid wall" of communism was largely a myth promulgated for political reasons in the West.

          What really brought it down was the desire of a few Eastern European states for a different type of life. The real heroes in bringing it down were the workers of Gdansk and countless other places.

          "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do..... Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." Grant

          by shigeru on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:38:38 PM PDT

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        •  Some who have read the declassified (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caryltoo

          documents from that era, and written books about them, have exposed what even the CIA missed (or ignored) about the USSR in the years leading up to it.

          While every situation has multiple contributions, the central one was how debilitated the USSR economy was due to their Afghanistan war. There was no way they could keep up with Reagan's military spending - which made it all the more ridiculous waste of our taxpayer dollars. Just ballooned the MIC to an even higher level of government capture.  

          No there is no collective amnesia here. The Cold War was completely manufactured out of the Dulles' brothers dreams, a Secretary of the Navy and others. The MIC kept it alive and well.  James Carroll:
          House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:58:57 PM PDT

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    •  Yeah, I don't get it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snazzzybird, Munchkn, Matt Z

      how could anyone be conned by Reagan?  These "Reagan Democrats", WTF?  I'd hate to see how bad they get taken when they shop for a used car.

      I do understand that for most Reagan-Democrats, Reagan was about race.  They hated the democratic party for supporting civil rights and along came Reagan with his bullshit about welfare queens.  That much makes sense.  But Reagan also conned plenty of people who were not racists, and those cases just make you shake your head in disbelief.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 11:15:09 AM PDT

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    •  I didn't vote for him (4+ / 0-)

      He scared me to death.  I was 11 when Goldwater ran against Johnson, but that was old enough to understand that he wanted to turn back decades of progress.  By the time Reagan got the nomination, I knew we would be in a lot of trouble if he got elected.  :::sigh:::

      George W. Bush: Commit war crimes, then paint pictures. Reverse of how the other fellow did it. — billmon

      by snazzzybird on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 11:58:52 AM PDT

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    •  Heh, I don't want to be flamed for this, (0+ / 0-)

      even Ayn Rand knew he was NOT what conservatism needed. She went to CA and had some face time with him, went back to NYC very upset. She didn't have the spine to speak out against him. Mondale was SO much worse!

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 09:13:12 PM PDT

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