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Thread: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

  1. #151
    MarsArmyGirl RosieRed's Avatar
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    Re: President Reagan’s health said to have deteriorated

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    So if you want to argue, then go right on ahead. I'm a "battle hardened" veteran, and I know when to stop because it gets everyone nowhere.
    In all honesty, I am not trying to "argue," just trying to understand a viewpoint different from mine.

    With that said, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. #152
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Add the Chernobl disaster to your list, M2. That had quite an impact. In addition to the economic, human, and environmental costs, Soviet technology, alleged to rival that of the West, was revealed to be horribly outdated.
    Last edited by Johnny Footstool; 06-10-2004 at 03:29 PM.
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  4. #153
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Add the Chernobly disaster to your list, M2. That had quite an impact. In addition to the economic, human, and environmental costs, Soviet technology, alleged to rival that of the West, was revealed to be horribly outdated.
    Excellent point. Having much of their leadership drop dead in a five-year span didn't help either. The oil price jump of the late 70s, early 80s also hit them hard. They needed affordable oil more than we did.
    Why not Tromp?

  5. #154
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    RB, one thing I ought to clarify, just so you understand where I'm coming from here, clearly there was an arms race going on and Reagan did spur our efforts. The Russians did respond and attempt to match our pace as well.

    Yet, and this is the part that's crucial from where I sit, they didn't have to. No one can win a nuclear war on the scale the two nations would have fought. The earth would have become unlivable for us. It doesn't necessitate direct hits or anything like that if you can kill the planet.

    So Reagan certainly practiced one-upmanship, causing the Russians to try to keep up at a time when pretty much everything else was going wrong for them. Yet they always had the option of letting us run the arms race by ourselves and it was their internal problems not directly of our making which caused their power base to erode. Without those other factors I'm fairly sure the Russians would have figured out to put their digits together and escape the fingertrap, leaving Reagan with an arms gambit that got us nowhere.

    What I give Reagan far more credit for is keeping cool when Konstantin Chernenko was itching for a fight and for negotiating earnestly with Gorbachev. Fred Kaplan wrote an excellent piece in Slate yesterday on that latter point. Here's the link:

    http://slate.msn.com/id/2102081/

    It really was a case of two leaders who bluffed their own advisors and recognized their most natural ally was the guy on the other end of the table.
    Why not Tromp?

  6. #155
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    I'd just like to thank each and every one of you for reminding me why I never post in political threads

    Carry on
    Go Gators!

  7. #156
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    M2, while I obviously regard Reagan as having been a much greater president than do you, Kaplan's article is not that far off of Kissinger's analysis. Reagan by every account I've read sincerely believed the Soviet Union to be an evil empire, but he also sincerely regarded nuclear weapons to be ultimately immoral and never accepted the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. As Beschloss speculated, had Romanov become the Soviet leader instead of Gorbachev, the Cold War would have proceeded differently; as both Beschloss and Kaplan apparently believe, had Carter or Mondale been president rather than Reagan, the Cold War would not have ended when it did.
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  8. #157
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Carter had an interesting, and I'd argue ultimately correct, take on the Soviets. His view was that the U.S.S.R. was doomed to failure, that sooner or later it would collapse under its own weight. As such, his main concern was getting ready for a world in which we were the only superpower. That's why he cut loose some of the butchers we'd bolstered in the name of opposing Communism and worked so hard to bring the Israelis and Egyptians together.

    Reagan pulled a reverse in his second term when he negotiated with Gorbachev. I'm certain Mondale would have done the same. What would have been harder for Mondale was selling it to Congress and the nation. Carter wasn't able to get SALT II ratified due to hawk opposition (finally pulling it from consideration when the Russians went into Afghanistan). Reagan had hawk credentials so he was able to rally the natural domestic opposition to such deals behind him -- much the same way Menachem Begin did with the Camp David Accords in Israel. The crucial difference between Reagan and the Democrats who'd have been there in his stead may very well have been that Reagan's core followers wouldn't have followed someone doing the same things from the other side of the political aisle.

    And I agree that Reagan was sincere about breaking the Communist bloc and scaling down the nuclear threat. IMO it's what separated him from many of the neocons and John Birchers who seemed to relish the conflict more than they wanted to find a solution. As divisive as Reagan was on the domestic front he followed through on good intentions on the foreign policy front.

    I don't think he was a bad President, more a mixed bag guy. Clinton fits the same bill. I'd toss Ike and LBJ into that mix as well. Almost by definition, you had to do something right to get re-elected.

    IMO, the top tier guys are Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR with Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman on their heels. Grant, Coolidge and Nixon are the only guys to get re-elected whom I'd list as bad presidents (possibly McKinley too because he ran a fairly corrupt administration).

    What'll really be interesting is how presidents from our era get judged in the future. We're living through a particularly divisive period of American history. My guess is it will tar both sides equally and future generations will look back on the leaders we chose with a certain amount of disappointment. None of these guys plays well when they're not in front of their home crowds.
    Why not Tromp?

  9. #158
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Carter had an interesting, and I'd argue ultimately correct, take on the Soviets. His view was that the U.S.S.R. was doomed to failure, that sooner or later it would collapse under its own weight. As such, his main concern was getting ready for a world in which we were the only superpower. That's why he cut loose some of the butchers we'd bolstered in the name of opposing Communism and worked so hard to bring the Israelis and Egyptians together.

    Reagan pulled a reverse in his second term when he negotiated with Gorbachev. I'm certain Mondale would have done the same. What would have been harder for Mondale was selling it to Congress and the nation. Carter wasn't able to get SALT II ratified due to hawk opposition (finally pulling it from consideration when the Russians went into Afghanistan). Reagan had hawk credentials so he was able to rally the natural domestic opposition to such deals behind him -- much the same way Menachem Begin did with the Camp David Accords in Israel. The crucial difference between Reagan and the Democrats who'd have been there in his stead may very well have been that Reagan's core followers wouldn't have followed someone doing the same things from the other side of the political aisle.

    And I agree that Reagan was sincere about breaking the Communist bloc and scaling down the nuclear threat. IMO it's what separated him from many of the neocons and John Birchers who seemed to relish the conflict more than they wanted to find a solution. As divisive as Reagan was on the domestic front he followed through on good intentions on the foreign policy front.

    I don't think he was a bad President, more a mixed bag guy. Clinton fits the same bill. I'd toss Ike and LBJ into that mix as well. Almost by definition, you had to do something right to get re-elected.

    IMO, the top tier guys are Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR with Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman on their heels. Grant, Coolidge and Nixon are the only guys to get re-elected whom I'd list as bad presidents (possibly McKinley too because he ran a fairly corrupt administration).

    What'll really be interesting is how presidents from our era get judged in the future. We're living through a particularly divisive period of American history. My guess is it will tar both sides equally and future generations will look back on the leaders we chose with a certain amount of disappointment. None of these guys plays well when they're not in front of their home crowds.
    That I rank Reagan more highly than you should be no surprise.
    There is a new book, published by The Wall Street Journal, entitled "Presidential Leadership:Rating the Best and Worst in the White House." I haven't seen a copy yet, but Northwestern University's James Lindgren, who analyzed the data obtained from polling 78 history scholars, has stated they tried to poll a balanced group of scholars, with equal numbers who leaned left and right politically.
    Anyway, three presidents were ranked as "great" in the book: Washington, Lincoln and FDR (no surprises there-I would rank them as great too). Eight presidents were ranked as "near great," but I don't have the list. Reagan was included as a "near great" president, ranking 8th overall.
    Four presidents were ranked as "failures": Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Harding, and, dead last, Buchanan.
    Among recent presidents, only Reagan was ranked as "near great." LBJ at 17th and JFK at 18th were ranked "above average." George H.W. Bush (21st) and Clinton (24th) were ranked as "average." Ford (28th), Carter (30th) and Nixon (33rd) were ranked as "below average."
    William Henry Harrison and Garfield were not ranked, serving too short a period of time. George W. Bush was also not ranked.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  10. #159
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    RB, just wanted to say it's been fun hashing this around with you. Nice to have an enjoyable political discussion with someone from the other side of the fence.
    Why not Tromp?

  11. #160
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    In the 6/11/04 issue of The Wall Street Journal there is an article by Lech Walesa, former head of Solidarity, winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, and president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. Walesa writes that the Polish people "owe him [Ronald Reagan] our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989."
    Walesa writes that he has "often wondered why Ronald Reagan did this, taking the risks he did, in supporting us at Solidarity, as well as dissident movements in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, while pushing a defense buildup that pushed the Soviet economy over the brink." He concludes that Reagan did so because he was convinced that freedom was a value worth living and even dying for, calling Reagan "great." "In the Europe of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan presented a vision. For us in Central and Eastern Europe, that meant freedom from the Soviets. Mr. Reagan was no ostrich who hoped that problems might just go away. He thought problems had to be faced. This is exactly what he did."
    Walesa concludes by writing that "Reagan must have realized what remarkable changes he brought to Poland, and indeed the rest of the world. And I hope he felt gratified. He should have."
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  12. #161
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    RB, just wanted to say it's been fun hashing this around with you. Nice to have an enjoyable political discussion with someone from the other side of the fence.
    Thanks. Same here. I've found the more recent posts on this thread to be civil discussions/disagreements, without the name calling or questioning of someone's motives that unfortunately has been a part of many political debates on RedsZone. I've posted before that I really enjoy debating political issues with one of my partners, who is a liberal Democrat who supported Clinton and dislikes Bush. While he and I disagree, we keep it civil and include a lot of laughter.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  13. #162
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Just a general question I've always wondered about: how much of a President's legacy is defined by the times he presided over versus actual accomplishments? For example, Bill Clinton's legacy will always be related to the economy of the 1990s (yes, in the long-term folks will forget about Monica). I've stated before that I think Clinton helped create an environment that allowed a 90s type of boom, but it was probably going to happen either way. But, was it even possible for a guy like Clinton to BE a great president through a perioid of peace and prosperity where we weren't faced with the types of challenges we've faced in other periods of time? Most of the challenges came in the form of overseas financial crises that will probably be lost in the history books as non-US problems. But I still wonder what Bill Clinton could have possibly done to be GREAT during his administration.

    By contrast we have Geroge W Bush. His years as President have marked a time when we've needed a great leader and the potential for greatness is there for the taking, unlike hte Clinton years. I don't want to say that he's done everything wrong, but I would argue that he's failed and in a pretty big way at steering us through these times. The damage he's done by his foreign policy alone will take years to repair. I've heard many comment that they're glad we don't have Clinton or Gore in the White House now for the war on terror. I might agree on Gore, but I think Bill Clinton would have done very well during this time. Would he have taken on the task with GREATNESS, I don't know, but I think this nation's perception of Bill Clinton would be completely different if he would have been President over the last three years. In contrast, had Reagan come along in 1992 instead of 1980, how would he be viewed?
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  14. #163
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: President Reaganís health said to have deteriorated

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Just a general question I've always wondered about: how much of a President's legacy is defined by the times he presided over versus actual accomplishments? For example, Bill Clinton's legacy will always be related to the economy of the 1990s (yes, in the long-term folks will forget about Monica). I've stated before that I think Clinton helped create an environment that allowed a 90s type of boom, but it was probably going to happen either way. But, was it even possible for a guy like Clinton to BE a great president through a perioid of peace and prosperity where we weren't faced with the types of challenges we've faced in other periods of time? Most of the challenges came in the form of overseas financial crises that will probably be lost in the history books as non-US problems. But I still wonder what Bill Clinton could have possibly done to be GREAT during his administration.

    By contrast we have Geroge W Bush. His years as President have marked a time when we've needed a great leader and the potential for greatness is there for the taking, unlike hte Clinton years. I don't want to say that he's done everything wrong, but I would argue that he's failed and in a pretty big way at steering us through these times. The damage he's done by his foreign policy alone will take years to repair. I've heard many comment that they're glad we don't have Clinton or Gore in the White House now for the war on terror. I might agree on Gore, but I think Bill Clinton would have done very well during this time. Would he have taken on the task with GREATNESS, I don't know, but I think this nation's perception of Bill Clinton would be completely different if he would have been President over the last three years. In contrast, had Reagan come along in 1992 instead of 1980, how would he be viewed?
    In general I believe the times/challenges a president is faced with greatly affects how he is regarded by history. Had Reagan defeated Ford for the GOP nomination in 1976 and then defeated Carter for the presidency that fall, while I believe he would have been a better president than Carter, I'm also confident he would not have been nearly as successful as he was in the 1980s. Had Reagan been elected in 1976, it would have been by a very narrow margin, not the landslide he enjoyed in 1980; he would have faced a Congress totally controlled by the Democrats, rather than having a Republican controlled Senate and enough "Reagan Democrats" to allow much of his program to get through the House as was the case in the early 1980s; and he would have lacked any mandate. Most likely Reagan would have then been a one term president, perhaps to be followed by the Ted Kennedy administration in 1980. Reagan was fortunate to lose to Ford in 1976 IMO.
    Regardless of how well he did, and regardless of his abilities, Clinton did not face the challenges of a Lincoln or a Franklin Roosevelt or a Truman or even of a Reagan. Had they failed, they wouldn't be regarded as great or near great presidents, but if they hadn't have come to office facing those challenges they would not be regarded as achieving greatness either.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."


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