Ronald Reagan's Ghost Tells GOP Candidates To Quit Trashing His Shining City On A Hill

Even he thinks they suck

So once upon a time, there was this guy, Ronald Reagan, maybe you have heard of him. He was kind of a dick, with his wars on drugs and poor people, and his secret deals to arm our supposed enemies so we could then spend the next three decades trying to find those weapons we sold to them. Thanks, Ronnie! Also, he yanked out Jimmy Carter's solar panels from the White House practically as soon as he got into office, mostly to be a dick, because before there was Drill, Baby, Drill! -- well, there was Ronald Reagan.

But even he -- the glorious Saint Ronald Reagan, Peace Be Upon Him, patron saint of assholing one's way into office with nothing more than a decent ability to read words out loud and put on a great performance of acting like a person who is not A Idiot -- thinks today's Republicans are a bunch of extremists. Here he is, speaking from the grave even though he is not truly dead because he will live forever in our hearts, and in our economics textbooks about how trickle-down is bullcrap:

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life. God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace. [...] In my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans. And, if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it — and see it still.

This new ad of Reagan's 1989 farewell addressed compared with Scott Walker and Ted Cruz calling for an end to birthright citizenship, and Donald Trump blowharding about his classy kick-ass wall, is courtesy of the conservative group the National Immigration Forum Action Fund, which, along with some other conservative groups, has decided to do the math. And hey, this plus that divided by stuff and ... turns out the party's nonstop hateful rhetoric about immigrants, and Latino immigrants in particular, might have sort of a downside. The downside being that Latino voters are not likely to cast their votes for a party that calls them names, blames them for the nation's crime, and thinks we should at least explore deporting all of them -- including U.S. citizens, because you gotta "keep families together" -- to Make America Great Again.

On Sunday, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus suggested that perhaps Republican candidates could watch what they say a little bit, please. Priebus didn't advocate for anything as absurd as the party re-examining its proposed policies, of course, just its words:

“The way you communicate and tone is important,” Priebus said. “Sometimes it’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it…I think at the end of the day, each candidate is going to be accountable for their own words and their own mouth. So they should proceed with caution.”

You can want to get rid of all the browns, sure, and build huge fence to keep them out, but watch how you say that, OK? And Priebus isn't tsk-tsking out any one candidate in particular; how could he? Sure, there was Trump's thing about rapists and murderers. But there was also the supposedly far more moderate and reasonable and serious Jeb Bush, explaining that "anchor babies" isn't an offensive term, and even if it is, he would never use it to denigrate Hispanics, of which he is one and of whom he is very fond. He only means to slur Asians, is all. So much better.

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We are not aware of Preibus demanding that the candidates stop advocating for A Real Big Wall on the southern border, though we're confident he must have rolled his eyes pretty hard at Scott Walker's claim that it's worth discussing a wall on the northern border too. And as for denying citizenship rights to Americans, born in America, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, well, Preibus hasn't had much to say about that. Nor has he been spreading the Gospel of Reagan all over the airwaves, reminding the candidates that Reagan -- yes, even Reagan -- was not into walls. (Not that they should need reminding, since everyone knows that Reagan ended the Cold War simply by demanding that a wall be taken down. He was that powerful.)

The candidates will have another opportunity to debate which one's the dumbest of them all, this Wednesday at the CNN debate. Or rather, the two CNN debates. There will be the kids' round, for the four remaining losingest losers -- Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki -- now that Rick Perry's campaign is no more, and Jim Gilmore (Who? Yeah, exactly) isn't invited, and Carly Fiorina managed to get herself affirmative actioned into the Big Kids' Top Ten Plus Also Carly Debate, for Donald Trump and the other guys who are losing to him. The candidates will be debating at the Ronald Reagan Library, which makes it very convenient for them to piss right on his dead corpse and his naive dreams of a shining city that didn't have a YOOOOOGE wall around it.

[WaPo / Fusion]


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