I wouldn't read too much into that. FR has always had its rabble of professional contrarians, who delight in undermining collective positivity. They idolize Reagan but you can be sure that, if the Intertubes had been around back then, they would have directed just as much venom at the Gipper.
Nope, sorry—I was a diehard Reagan supporter. Nice theory you had there, though.
In 1980, our venom was not aimed at Reagan. Rather, it was aimed at George Bush, who for all of his liberal positions, was still to the right of Romney.