Except for the emphasis (mine). Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
REAGAN’S LIBERAL LEGACY, CONT’D . . . . California Republicans will nominate their next gubernatorial candidate today, and by all indications, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman will have little trouble defeating state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. The L.A. Times’ George Skelton takes note of a candidate who would have fared poorly in the primary, had he run on his record.
As governor, Reagan was the biggest California spender of the last half century. Under him, state spending leaped 177%. And as president, he spent like the proverbial drunken sailor to expand the Navy and the nuclear missile arsenal while winning the Cold War. He left Washington with a then-record national debt.
His first year as governor, Reagan raised taxes equal to 30% of the state general fund, still a modern record. And as president, he increased taxes several times, although conservatives pretend to remember only the one big tax cut.
As governor, Reagan also helped create the nation’s first tailpipe emissions standards, signed an abortion-rights bill, and expanded Medi-Cal, the nation’s largest Medicaid program (socialized medicine). Immigration, not surprisingly, has been pretty important in this year’s gubernatorial primary, which also makes it worth mentioning that Reagan also backed an amnesty bill in 1986.
As Skelton put it, “Today, Reagan would be branded ‘just another liberal politician’ by the likes of Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner.”
Reagan biographer Lou Cannon conceded “Reagan would be hard pressed to get nominated today. Today he would not be in the conservative mainstream. He just simply would not be.”
Actually, today he’d be drawn and quartered and burned in effigy at Tea Party rallies.