‘Scott Walker is a formidable addition to the Republican field’, a comment by Political Cynic

On the dubious question of ‘mis-remembering Reagan’

A quotation from his notorious ‘States Rights’ speech that opened his 1980 campaign, see this quotation that leaves no doubt, in terms of content and place, that Reagan was a Southern Strategist completely in the mold of Nixon :

I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.


On the question of Central America see these two books, one a political polemic and the other a ‘dispassionate reassessment’ according to Benjamin Schwarz of the Atlantic :


Weakness and Deceit: US Policy and El Salvador by Raymond Bonner
Hamish Hamilton, 408 pp, £13.95, February 1985, ISBN 0 241 11392 X

Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992 By William M. LeoGrande

On the politically inconvenient ‘October Surprise’

Not only did Reagan deal with terrorists as president, as revealed in the Iran-Contra scandal, the preponderance of evidence now supports the charge that his campaign negotiated with Iranian hostage-takers while he was running for president in 1980, to delay the release of hostages before the election, which could have helped Carter win reelection — what was known as “The October Surprise.” Given that Reagan wasn’t president then, but was negotiating to thwart a president’s attempt to get hostages released, this is not simply questionable behavior, it is arguably an act of treason. Democrats’ reluctance to vigorously investigate Reagan’s misdeeds — the exact opposite of GOP attitudes toward Clinton and Obama — has left much of the true story still shrouded in mystery, but what we do know is damning enough in itself, and still cries out for a truly thorough investigation.


‘Scott Walker is a formidable addition to the Republican field.’

Gov. Scott Walker is another Neo-Liberal in the mold of Mayor Emanuel of Chicago: utterly careless in the war against the Menace of Public Sector Unionism allied to an assault on Public Education: the cancel of tenure! The quotation from Arthur Brooks of The American Enterprise Institute and his book with the ludicrous title  ‘The Conservative Heart’: I’ve read his column at the New York Times and wondered at it’s complete political banality, steeped in the conservative bathos and third rate moralizing that David Brooks practices with greater fluency. One can only wonder at Gov. Walker’s popularity and his radical nostalgia, with Reagan acting as stand in for 1859, and the revival of the political career of Russ Feingold.

Political Cynic


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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