Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Reagan is a foreign policy RINO

It's odd how Ronald Reagan fits for the conservative story of U.S. Cuba policy.  From recent remarks by Ileana Ros-Lehtenin (via Cuba Money Project) regarding how somehow Reagan would be better for Cuba:

President Reagan knew what it took to fight Communism without having to concede on our values or pander to demands from these tyrants.

First of all, it is important to note that Obama's policy toward Cuba is more or less identical to Reagan's (though, to be fair, Obama has not invaded any country as part of his Cuba policy like Reagan did in Grenada). Changes have occurred only at the margins.

More to the point, it is unfortunate that so many people believe that Reagan never negotiated with or conceded to U.S. enemies, including the Soviet Union. He did so all the time*. The Reagan-era Cold War is marked by meetings with both sides looking for avenues of negotiation and concession (i.e. "pandering to demands") though obviously with self-interest in mind. It is dangerous to pretend otherwise.

This is like immigration policy, where conservatives claim to channel Reagan without realizing that he and George H.W. Bush publicly advocated humane policies. Reagan triumphantly signed IRCA in 1986, and actually was much more moderate on immigration policy than Obama is now.

Imagine the intense beating Ronald Reagan would take in the Republican primaries now. His true foreign policy record, unlike his mythical record, was often extreme (just peruse his policies in Central America) yet still only RINO in today's context.

* And, of course, pandering to Iran was a major part of Reagan's foreign policy toward Nicaragua.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP