Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ronald Reagan the Compromiser couldn't surive in this GOP

Bloomberg Insider has a cover story this week offering a retrospective of Ronald Reagan's presidency contrasting his style and rhetoric with his record. A record of compromise that would make him unelectable in the GOP of 2012:
Bloomberg Insider cover Tuesday, August 28, 2011

"During Reagan’s eight years in the White House, the federal payroll grew by more than 300,000 workers. Although he was a net tax cutter who slashed individual income-tax rates, Reagan raised taxes about a dozen times. His rhetoric matched that of many of today’s most ardent Christian conservatives, yet he proved to be a reluctant warrior on abortion and other social issues. Perhaps most tellingly, he was willing to cut deals, working closely with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts to overhaul Social Security and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois to revamp the tax code."

Reagan didn't just cut deals with Tip O'Neal, he respected Tip O'Neal. And while Reagan drove Tip crazy, Tip O'Neal actually repected Ronald Reagan and his 1980 victory mandate. Compare this with the treatment Obama got from Republicans upon taking the oath of office.

O'Neal spoke about his feelings for Reagan in his memoir, Man of the House. It's an easy read and very entertaining for a political memoir.

For a shorter version, Gloria Borger wrote a piece in 2004 about Reagan and O'Neal for U.S. News.

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