One of our many, many liberal friends who is very active on Facebook posted on his wall a link to a piece from liberal-Left sweetheart and MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow with a lede that went as follows:
Where has the real GOP gone? You know...the GOP that independent, progressive, rational thinking people could vote for? Should we now call it the GOTP? The Grand Old Tea Party?
To which we responded:
I'm old enough to remember reading very similar articles back in 1980 when Reagan rose to prominence as the GOP candidate for President. "The once sensible and pragmatic GOP has been taken over by that right-wing wack-job, Ronald Reagan" or so we were told. People of Maddow's ilk absolutely reviled Reagan and for people like her to hold him up as some sort of admired figure is laughable on its face.
Remember, it was Reagan who was the original "tax cuts for the rich" guy when he slashed the top rate from around 70 down to 30-35 percent. And it was Reagan, according to people like Maddow, who was going to get us into a nuclear war with Russia. I remember all this stuff.
With respect to the alleged tea party takeover of the GOP: if that means the GOP is going to initiate some adult conversations with respect to our unsustainable entitlement programs (a' la Paul Ryan) and address the amassing of power at the executive level that started in earnest with Bush and was put into hyper-drive under Obama via executive orders and signing statements, then so much the better.
And with respect to social issues, the tea party-as-social-cons is a largely misleading narrative. Yes, many tea partiers happen to be social-cons but we had this internecine battle after the 2010 midterms and the fiscal hawk/limited government wing of the "party" won out. There is no contradiction in personally believing in socially-conservative values while at the same time believing your government ought not to dictate them. I happen to be one of those types.
As for the notion that Reagan would be considered an apostate by today's tea party, I don't believe that as priorities change: Reagan was charged with getting the economy back on its feet after the malaise of the seventies and with defeating Communism which was the existential threat to freedom and liberty around the world at that time. He succeeded on both counts.
As dead-set against entitlement reform as the vast majority of elected Democrats are (and many Republicans, also) when we really are staring at a fiscal cliff, currently, just think of the non-starter of a discussion of the same would be some 30 years ago when the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. You can only pick fights you believe you have a chance at winning.
Again, times and priorities change.