Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2011 11:00 AM
The centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth on February 6 will make this a memorable Super Bowl for fans of the Gipper.
What would have been his 100th birthday has sparked a media frenzy. It's being celebrated, of course, by the Ronald Reagan Library and Foundation; predictably by Fox News; civically by GE, which has a long history with Reagan and is funding scholarships with the Reagan Foundation; opportunistically by HBO and other networks; and broadly by the millions of Americans who remember him fondly as (depending on their politics) perhaps the greatest president of their generation. Even the Super Bowl telecast will make room for a Reagan tribute, above.
But leave it to TIME magazine to commemorate Reagan with a jaw-dropper.
TIME's cover story looks at how and why Barack Obama admires the 40th president. The cover itself is a chummy Photoshopped image of Reagan putting his arm around Obama. But the very notion being represented — that the lion of anti-socialism, champion of capitalism, and reinventor of American exceptionalism somehow would cotton to a president that stands for exactly the opposite of Reagan’s principles — is breathtaking in its dishonesty.
It does a disservice to Reagan’s memory, certainly. Reagan was famous for being able to get along with political combatants, as in renowned anecdotes about his breaking bread with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill on St. Patrick’s Days. But Reagan was even more reliable in his stalwart support for what he believed – and in his stalwart opposition to those who didn’t agree with him.
And while Obama has expressed admiration for Reagan’s ability to enact an agenda, and clearly desires to have the same effectiveness, the current president would be insulted as well by any confusion of his actual agenda with that of the Gipper’s.
Well, at least TIME got one thing right – a collection of some of Reagan’s most memorable quotes.
Let’s hope that, between now and Sunday at least, TIME will now let RR rest in peace.