My subject, however, is the recurring Democratic complaint—or, more properly, talking point—that the Republican Party has now ‘strayed’ so far to the right that its onetime standard bearers, from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush, would not only fail to recognize their political home but would be estranged from it.Author Philip Terzian goes on to analyze Democratic heroes using the same techniques Democrats use to criticize Republican presidents. The result aint pretty, but it sure is clever and entertaining!
This fantasy is nothing new, of course, and in the last election cycle was even said about Ronald Reagan. You might have thought that Reagan was the far right Hollywood dunce who was the cat's paw of a handful of California millionaires and couldn't tell the difference between movies and real life, thought ketchup was a vegetable, waged aggressive brinksmanship against a patient Soviet Union, and blamed pollution on trees. But that was the Ronald Reagan of, say, 1983. The Ronald Reagan of 2011 is a principled progressive who raised taxes and protected abortion, and when he wasn't helping Mikhail Gorbachev dismantle communism was swapping Irish jokes with Tip O'Neill.