OK, now that we've buried Ronald Reagan, we can return to the primary task at hand: burying his successor.
I have to confess I was rather intrigued with all the coverage of Reagan's demise. To hear the press tell it, I'd simply forgotten how much I loved Ronald Reagan. He was the ultimate president. Let's put his face on the $20-bill. Isn't there room for another bust on Mt. Rushmore? Maybe it's time we renamed Washington, DC. I wonder if they'll include Bonzo when they build the Reagan Monument...??
Personally, I don't recall the Reagan years all that well - certainly not in the relentless videographic detail that the media have ground out over the past week. "Rawhide and Rainbow" (the Secret Service code names for Ronnie & Nancy) really didn't have all that much direct effect on my own life. Those were, after all, the years I spent wrapped in a rather singular bubble, living 2,000 miles away from Mainland America, taking yuppie tourists sailing and snorkeling in the warm waters around the Hawaiian island of Maui...
For me, the 80s were pretty much an extension of the 60s, and by the time the drugs started to wear off late in 1987, the Reagan years were pretty well winding down. All I remember is something about "trickle down" economics and selling missiles to Iran and sending the money to Nicaragua, which is now a retirement haven for all those yuppies, according to the Wall Street Journal .
Then there were some hearings, at which Reagan famously had little more to say than "I don't recall..." -- which has led some uncharitable commentators (me, for example) to suggest that the Alzheimers might may have actually may have set in well before Reagan left office.
But what has most nauseated me in the past week has been the attempts to compare the current occupant of the White House with his conservative Republican predecessor.