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Ronald Reagan

Tags ››› Ronald Reagan
  • Do Fox Pundits Even Know What Iran-Contra Was?

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

    In their frenzy to take down Attorney General Eric Holder, right wing media pundits have started comparing the brewing Fast and Furious scandal, in which a failed ATF operation allowed guns to "walk" to Mexico in order to track their delivery into the hands of drug cartels, to Ronald Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.

    Naturally, the conservatives making this comparison believe Fast and Furious is much worse than Reagan's scandal, in which the Republican hero trafficked arms into the hands of a tyrannical Iranian government, negotiated with Hezbollah terrorists and funneled money and military equipment into the hands of violent revolutionaries in America's own backyard.

    Specifically, Fox News hosts are pushing the unlikely argument that Fast and Furious is worse than Iran-Contra because, as they put it, "nobody died" as a result of the latter scandal. The assertion -- that the Reagan administration's felonious dealings with terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations didn't lead to a single casualty -- is absurd to anyone with even the most elementary understanding of what Iran-Contra was or to anyone with access to the internet.

  • FLASHBACK: Facing 9.5 % Unemployment, Reagan Set Off On 25-Day Summer Vacation

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The annual summertime ritual of conservatives attacking Obama for going on summer vacation is swinging into high gear, as the president and his family prepare for a trip to Martha's Vineyard.

    Partisans are insisting the president doesn't deserve a break and that it sends an awful message to the nation for him to take ten days off.

    Context, though, is sometimes helpful in terms of highlighting how silly the cries of protest from the far-right media really are. For instance, at the same juncture of his first term, Ronald Reagan, like Obama, was battling a bad economy. Unemployment stood at 9.5%. Reagan's response his third August in office? He set off for a nearly month-long vacation.

    Not only did Reagan go on a secluded, 25-day California retreat, but his top aides reportedly stopped relaying news events to him so as to not disturb the president's sojourn.

    From the Washington Post, Aug. 22, 1983 [emphasis added]:

    As President Reagan relaxes on his mountaintop ranch northwest of Santa Barbara, tucked away from the workaday cares of Washington, his top advisers have decided to put an end to what one of them calls "unnecessary news stories."

    The negative news coverage that the president abhors was a topic of discussion at a White House breakfast the day before Reagan left on his present 25-day trip, the 17th stopover at his ranch since his election.