Would the Tea Party embrace Reagan?

No. No. No. No. No.

Every couple years, I get roped into debates with tea partiers who aren’t old enough to remember Jersey Shore who try to convince me that if candidates were “libertarian like Reagan” all would be right with the world.

And I laugh and tell them if Reagan was President right now, the tea party would be protesting, blogging, and whining against him, and probably wanting him impeached.

It’s easy to prove.

I pull this quote out from 1988.

”I listened to Ronald Reagan in the ’70’s. He told me that he would balance the budget, cut back and get the Government off my back. They are not off our backs, they are in our wallets and into our bedrooms and into our private lives more than ever before.”

Yikes! Who is that attacking Reagan with such furor?

Ron Paul.

Or I can show this quote after Reagan’s first year in office, and he was getting reamed for his performance.

“Today, in a report assessing the President’s first year in office, the foundation criticized the Administration for decisions concerning personnel that it asserted had hindered efforts to carry out many of those recommendations.

In almost every Federal agency, it said, ”delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies” had delayed or thwarted policy changes. Problems Caused by ‘Failures’

What Foundation went after Reagan with such fire?

The Heritage Foundation

Or the absolute excoriating he got from this magazine:


“Even Ford and Carter did a better job at cutting government. Their combined presidential terms account for an increase of 1.4%—compared with Reagan’s 3%—in the government’s take of “national income”…

The budget for the Department of Education, which candidate Reagan promised to abolish along with the Department of Energy, has more than doubled to $22.7 billion, Social Security spending has risen from $179 billion in 1981 to $269 billion in 1986…

It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight.


If we look at government revenues as a percentage of “national income,” we find little change from the Carter days…


For all the administration’s talk about deregulation , it has done little.


Today, there are 230,000 more civilian government workers than in 1980, bringing the total to almost three million.

That’s from conservative periodical “The Free Market” who laced into Reagan’s conservative performance.

You can even read this piece where conservatives in 1987 were attacking Reagan for not being anti-communist enough. Really! The man who won the Cold War wasn’t anti-communist enough?

So don’t tell me now that Tea Party conservatives would be praising Ronald Reagan if he was in office today. Ronald Reagan who raised taxes, increased the debt, approved amnesty and preserved social security.

I lived through the way ultra-conservatives attacked Reagan. People older than I am did too. And none of you would so much as wear a Reagan sticker if he was in office today.

But I sure would.