Monday, June 07, 2004

Begin the Beatification

It's actually been underway for years now. The renaming of National Airport. The attempt to get a street in every town renamed. Redesigning a coin with his likeness. But now that Ronald Reagan is dead, the movement among the right-wingers to make him some sort of national saint will pick up speed and momentum.

Get ready: over the next week it's going to be All Ronnie, All the Time.

To hear them speak about Reagan, in hushed tones more suitable to a church than to politics, is to see visions of his face peering down from murals and up from coins in a sort of reverse Soviet cult-of-personality. To the wingers he is "The Gipper," or "Dutch" or "The Great Communicator."

What you won't hear pass their lips are phrases like "October Surprise" or "Iran-Contra" or "ballooning deficits." And if you look at the old photographs of Number 40 in office, you'll see a eerily familiar and infamous cast of characters... faces that haven't changed in the intervening years as though they've made some sort of Dorian Grey deal with the devil.

Some great things happened while Reagan was in office, as did some very bad things. There is more evidence that he was directly responsible for the latter than for the former.

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