Skip to comments.Reagan ‘Neglected Minorities’?
Posted on 02/02/2011 10:57:40 AM PST by Kaslin
Sam Donaldson and the left run roughshod over the record.
On January 24, USA Today published nine commentaries on Ronald Reagan’s legacy. One of the selected contributors was Sam Donaldson. Why McPaper thought the former ABC White House correspondent deserved a place among the other eight (President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, biographer Lou Cannon, and scholar Leon Aron) is a mystery.
The former ABC White House correspondent deserves some credit. In his retrospective, titled “My Respect for Reagan Only Grew,” Donaldson confesses that many underestimated the Gipper. “I must admit,” he ruefully notes: “I was one of them.” (So were many in Reagan’s own party. Example: after the former California governor finally won the GOP presidential nomination in 1980, Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes, along with the entire Republican establishment, barely lifted a finger to assist in the general election effort. Reagan’s grassroots supporters in the Buckeye State did virtually all the work. I suspect that this was also the case in many other states.)
But Donaldson can’t seem to offer Reagan more than backhanded compliments. When it comes to “running up the national debt, it was Reagan, not George W. Bush or President Obama, who put us on the upward trajectory” — even though “forcing Soviet communism onto what Reagan called ‘the ash heap of history’ wasn’t such a bad way to spend the money.” Did Donaldson feel that way when it mattered? As it is, he conveniently forgets that Tip O’Neill’s Congresses repeatedly broke promises to rein in spending, and completely overlooks the fact that even after adjusting for inflation, our current president’s deficit spending, which is on track to break yet another record this fiscal year, is historically unprecedented. Worse, it has accomplished virtually nothing for the economy.
These errors, and others, are bad enough. But Donaldson’s worst offense occurs when he shows that he has fallen hard for a false meme that has achieved gospel status within the historically revisionist left:
History will continue to assess his performance, particularly his policies minorities and women were neglected….
This is one of those “everybody knows” assertions that apparently no longer requires anything like evidence or support. It happens to be utterly baseless.
I’ll try to leave the female element of Donaldson’s dumb declaration alone after making two points. First, while they covered his presidency, cynical establishment press members like CBS’s Mike Wallace thought that the wonderful way Ron treated Nancy, the most important woman in his life, was some kind of public act. They had to quickly backtrack when Nancy published a collection of her husband’s incredible love letters in 2000. Second, the economic points I’m about to make with minorities can also easily be made about the economic progress of women during The Seven Fat Years.
There’s plentiful support for the idea that Reagan was personally concerned about the vestiges of racism that lingered in some Americans’ hearts. In 1982, a cross-burning incident five years earlier in Maryland troubled him so deeply when he read of it that he felt compelled to visit the affected family to “tell them this isn’t the way it is in America.”
The best information available about the economic progress of minorities comes from the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Census Bureau. Here’s just a sample of what their statistics tell us about the period between when Reagan finally got most of the tax cuts he wanted and when presidential successor Bush 41 stalled the economic expansion by breaking his 1988 presidential campaign’s “no new taxes” pledge in 1990 (all figures seasonally adjusted):
It’s obvious that not only did supposedly “neglected” minorities benefit significantly from Reagan’s policies; they also benefited disproportionately.
By contrast, through December 2010 under Barack Obama:
Obamanomics has hurt millions of Americans and their families. Minorities have not escaped the pain. Everyone would welcome a bit of Reaganesque “neglect” at this point.
What really bothers Reagan’s detractors isn’t that he didn’t pander to minorities. It’s that he was conservative and a Republican. In the naysayers’ world, “everybody knows” that neglecting and oppressing minorities is in the right’s DNA; facts don’t matter. In the real world, however, it’s as clear as can be that Ronald Reagan’s policies did more to improve the plight of America’s minorities than anything Barack Obama’s administration has done or is on track to do.
Exit question setup for Sam Donaldson: Ronald Reagan’s economic policies led to impressive progress for Americans of all races, creeds, and colors. Reagan was also staunchly pro-life. Jesse Jackson believed that we need more, not less, of the economic statism that hasn’t worked and isn’t working. More crucially, Jackson’s early-1980s repudiation of his previously courageous pro-life views effectively ended the black civil-rights movement’s involvement in attempts to curb abortions. Largely as a result of that horrible shift, “black women (today) are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.”
Exit question: who “neglected minorities” more, Sam?
And the contempt held for Donaldson by the lower level staffers I encountered was palpable.
I know that Regan gave current Detroit mayor Dave Bing some kind of minority business award.
“It happens to be utterly baseless.”
Doesn’t matter. Race-class-gender is the left’s obsession, and they will use it to beat the heads of everyone—including other leftists—from politicians to entertainers to scientists to little Timmy down the block. Next time you hear someone bemoan the “dark days” of the 1980s, when blacks and whites couldn’t use the same lunch counters and women had to go to back alleys whenever they were raped by their fathers and didn’t want to birth flipper babies, remember they might as well be Catholics talking about Satan. Which is to say, their villain will be responsible for everything imaginable, real or fake. Even things that contradict eachother.
RE: Sam Donaldson and The Gipper-
I remember a press conference that took place on Reagan’s birthday. At the end, someone rolled out a birthday cake and that was the end of the presser. Donaldson’s remarks were something to the effect of: “You don’t expect to buy us off with birthday cake, do you?” Reagan replied in his usual casual manner: “Now Sam, you know we’ve bought you off for a lot less than that before,”
It figures that as Sam got it all wrong at the time, naturally he remembers it wrongly today. In his dotage, he sure hasn't gotten any smarter.
If they can’t benefit from the things the rest of America benefits from, to Hell with them.
One law for everyone.
Of course he neglected minorities. I tell you the golden labrador retrievers caucus is still upset.
USA TooGay is still around? What a biological waste..
Sam’s still a commie. Reagan publicly made a fool of Sam several times, and Sam’s still mad about it.
Sam, what uncivil things are happening on your NM ranch these days?
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