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Journal Le Marteau's Journal: Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor? 1

This quote deserves a place near the top of the list of Sara Palinisms.

"I mean, 'Bozo, something?'" would be something Tina Fey would say, doing her schtick on SNL.

From Peggy Noonan's column on the WSJ. Emphasis mine.

Conservatives talked a lot about Ronald Reagan this year, but they have to take him more to heart, because his example here is a guide. All this seemed lost last week on Sarah Palin, who called him, on Fox, "an actor." She was defending her form of political celebrityÃï½Â½Ãï½ÂÃÂÂreality show, "Dancing With the Stars," etc. This is how she did it: "Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn't he in 'Bedtime for Bonzo,' Bozo, something? Ronald Reagan was an actor."

Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I'll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.

The point is not "He was a great man and you are a nincompoop," though that is true. The point is that Reagan's career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him. He wasn't in search of a life when he ran for office, and he wasn't in search of fame; he'd already lived a life, he was already well known, he'd accomplished things in the world.

Here is an old tradition badly in need of return: You have to earn your way into politics. You should go have a life, build a string of accomplishments, then enter public service. And you need actual talent: You have to be able to bring people in and along. You can't just bully them, you can't just assert and taunt, you have to be able to persuade.

Americans don't want, as their representatives, people who seem empty or crazy. They'll vote no on that.

It's not just the message, it's the messenger.

This Palin girl seems to have learned her history on daytime TV, or something. But that's covering old ground.

Ms. Noonan's point was dead on, though. I have a hard time voting for a candidate who has not actually
DONE anything, besides, perhaps, work for the gumbent and maybe taught at school. We have plenty of politicians who have literally done nothing more than work for the government all their adult years.

Why people fall for these guys lines is disheartening to me. I fear it is too late for this country... it is our "decline and fall". I hope I am wrong, but all the signs are there, for students familiar with the concept of nations and empires having a rise, a glory, and a fall. And I am unable to see what is happening these days as anything but the decline and fall of the American Empire. I can't see it turning around... the electorate has been so conditioned to accept that men of no real accomplishment are fit for the highest position in the land.

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Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor?

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  • Reagan had it to a fault. His role during the McCarthy era isn't exactly something I would look up to. And of course all his other abuses are well documented, but virtually ignored by his idolaters.

    Charisma also worked for Obama, especially since McCain had none at all.

    That people are all panicky over Palin makes me want to vote for her. I hope it catches on. A little excitement is just what this business needs.

    Toppling the empire is a good thing. The faster the better. And she can unwittingly "lead" the wa

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court