Monday, June 07, 2004

name that building
No, its not a game show. The Third Avenue is now permitting Congress and the government in general to name stuff after President Ronald Reagan, who died on Sunday at the age of 93. Too bad GOPers decided to do this 10 years ago, when the man was still alive but not the same Ronnie they once knew in the 1980s.

On one level I can understand why they did it, Reagan is the Republicans Kennedy, only Democrats didn't name everything under the sun after him until after he was killed, not years before he died of a long-drawn out disease.

True, Alzheimer's disease is a horrible way to go. It must be hard to watch loved ones melt away into a living corpse. Personally, I can't really think of a good thing he did as president. I guess reforming the tax code was good in 1986, and bankrupting the USSR was great too, but at what cost? We also bankrupted ourselves. He cast out millions with mental illness and made them the problem of state prisons and societies. Ronnie conducted a war without congressional consent, armed Saddam Hussein with WMDs and other more conventional weapons. He tried to eliminate the Department of Education, and his secretary there of (Bill "Vegas" Bennett) systematically undermined education and its funding. Reagan tired hard to break and weaken unions, subtly supported racism through his choice of campaign stops (at sights of famous lynchings in Mississippi), blamed women on Welfare for their plight, and a host of other things I can't think of at the moment because I was 9 when he left office.

One shouldn't speak ill of the dead I know, and I wish his family peace and well that Ronnie is no longer suffering. I also will let GOPers have their moments of silence and mourning this week, as they shuttle Dutch's body to and from Southern California (and the Rotunda in DC on Thursday). Its a big deal that he died, but in a sense, he was dead 10 years ago when they started naming airports, buildings, anything they could after Reagan.

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