Ok, so you love Ronald Reagan …

… but you’re unsure whether Reagan’s overall bestness-at-everythingness necessarily means that you have to love George W. Bush as well? Well fret no more. In this masterful hard-news piece (really, it’s “news” not “commentary” or “analysis”), CBS kindly solves your dilemma: Reagan and W. Bush are exactly the same:

  • “Two decades separated their inaugurations, but the similarities in the speeches are among several common threads of their presidencies.”
  • “Reagan and Mr. Bush were both governors before becoming president…in matters of style and substance, there is much common ground. Both men carry themselves with swagger, projecting a masculinity closely tied to images of the American frontier, and reflected in tough talk like Reagan’s ‘make my day’ to tax-raisers and Mr. Bush’s ‘bring ’em on’ to Iraqi insurgents.”
  • “Both men have consistently defied critics who dismissed them as lightweights.”
  • “The first President Bush brought a managerial style to office, often having to fend off criticism that he lacked, in his words, ‘the vision thing.’ His son is dubbed an ideologue, by friend and foe. The first President Bush battled ‘the wimp factor,’ while his son pilots his own plane to aircraft carriers and pumps iron.”

    “And while Bush I evoked an air of patrician New England, his Texas-dwelling son and the Californian Reagan exude the egalitarianism of the new West: The 41st president was not known to sport cowboy hats, but both Reagan and Bush II favor Stetsons.”

  • “Like Reagan, ‘this President Bush is not particularly good at press conferences, is not highly articulate,’ notes Sabato. But like Reagan, he also ‘manages with a wink and a nod and a joke to get his point across.'” [ed. note: WTF? Seriously, W-T-F? Reagan was, of course The Great Communicator; George W. Bush is decidedly not a great communicator. Reagan’s substantial oratorical skills are now posthumously redacted just so some hack at CBS News can draw more parallels between W. and Reagan? Note that the writer takes a legitimate quote from Sabato contrasting W. and Reagan, breaks it up, twice prepends “Like Reagan”, and throws in an “also” for good measure.]
  • “Mr. Bush and Reagan are the only two recent presidents to refer to both God and taxes in their inaugural addresses.” [ed. note: At the risk of repeating myself, WTF? I only checked for Clinton (1993; 1997) but I’m willing to bet that every inaugural speech mentions “God”, so the writer here just gratuitously throws God into the mix in order to link Reagan, W. Bush, God, tax cuts, and chewy cream-filled goodness together in the reader’s mind).]

I don’t know much about Jarrett Murphy; the name rings a bell, but that’s it. In any case, he should be fired. Posthaste.

Oh, and the title of the story? It’s Reagan & Bush, Father & Son.