Hagiography: St. Ronald the Reagan

Cliff May at the NRO Corner highly recommends this post by “The incomparable Amir Taheri”, which says, among other things…

Ahmadinejad’s second assumption is that Bush is an atypical American leader who, if slapped, would not turn the other cheek. However, Bush is already a lame duck, forced to spend more energy countering domestic foes than promoting pax Americana. All that Tehran has to do is wait another year or so, in the hope that whoever succeeds Bush will be another Jimmy Carter, Bush the father, or Bill Clinton.

The point of this is that American leaders tend to be wishy washy wimps. GW is not a wimp, but the next President will be, and therefore all the Iranians have to do is wait out the end of his term. And his resolve is being strengthened by “Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha, Barrack Obama, and other American luminaries such as Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Jane Fonda who would rather see Bush destroyed than the mullahs restrained.”

Blah blah blah whatever. We’ve all heard this before. GW’s incompetence equated with resolve, and anyone who questions the wisdom of whacking oneself over the head with a hammer labeled a traitor.

But I was thinking of something else when I read this… there was another President in the middle of “Jimmy Carter, Bush the father, or Bill Clinton.” And St. Ronald the Reagan in some ways behaved as the biggest weenie of them all. As an example, consider what happened when 241 American service personnel were killed in Beirut. St. Ronald’s Vice President told the world: “We will not be cowed by terrorists.” But St. Ronald was cowed by terrorists. And not long after, St. Ronald was selling weapons to the sugar daddies, trainers and backers of the folks who did the deed.

When it comes to the economy, as I noted in a number of posts recently, St. Ronald was the beneficiary of just about the most favorable Fed policy in the post- WW2 era, and yet, real growth, once you account for debt and population, was below that of every Democrat administration for the same period.

Some credit him for the fall of the USSR. And perhaps Star Wars was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the camel’s back was overdue for breaking. The really big expenditures that the Soviets were making – defending a vast and unpopulated border with a vast and populous China eying the empty space, keeping the helots down in Eastern Europe, and maintaining an inefficient economic system… those are apparently are mere footnotes of history compared to St. Ronald’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

And then there is the evidence we have for his patriotism. While most male Americans his age and even older were visiting Europe, North Africa, or Pacific islands during the early 1940s, Reagan’s contribution to the cause was to refuse to make more than four movies a year for fear of moving into a higher tax bracket.

So… what exactly is the fascination with this man? What made St. Ronald this great hero to the right?