Well, Reagan did host Gorbachev.

Time Magazine cover

What could Reagan possibly be saying?

Time Magazine’s latest cover depicts Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan sharing a laugh, with Reagan’s arm around Obama’s shoulders.

First and foremost, it’s funny in light of the recent “revelation” by Ron Reagan that his dad showed early signs of Alzheimer’s way back during his first term. So on the one hand you have one liberal outlet talking about how Obama is trying to emulate Reagan and even pro-actively associating the Won with the Gipper, while on the other hand you have another liberal outlet saying the man Obama is trying to emulate had Alzheimer’s while POTUS.

Whatever. Obama is no Reagan by any stretch of the imagination–there’s a massive integrity gap, for one, then there’s that whole socialist/anti-socialist thing, and trusting the American people rather than an elite class of technocrats appointed to run everything.

But it is funny that all of a sudden Reagan is worthy of emulation and is someone even liberals want to be associated with… Anyone see comparisons to Carter as a good thing? Heh.

Secondly, I think this photo calls for a caption contest. What did Reagan say just a moment before?… Some ideas:

• “There you go again, trying out that socialism thing once more.”

• “That’s a tele-prompter? I always thought it was a fancy spatula.”

• “So I said to Gorbachev, the American people love freedom too much to embrace socialism.”

• “You know, Barack, perhaps that socialist thing will work this time since you have such a winning smile.”

• “I will not exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Share yours in the comments.



  • Linus

    The whole Catholic vs. partisan thing reminds me of the last call from bartenders “you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.” The Democratic Party, as part of its official and implemented platform, supports things that no faithful, practicing Catholic can support. Therefore, if you want to be Catholic, “you don’t have to vote Republican , but you can’t vote Democrat.” However, Paul Phillips has a point that there is a LOT for which to criticize prominent Republicans. Personally, the only GOP presidential candidate I’ve ever voted for in my whole life was Ron Paul. And that was despite the fact that he dropped out after being shamelessly attacked by the Republican party “leadership” for being a real conservative.

    • Brian C

      Exactly. Just because you can’t vote Democrat doesn’t mean that you can’t agree with Democrats and disagree with Republicans, when the issue being discussed is not part of the reason you can’t vote Democrat.

  • Linus

    “Well, I’ll be darned…people ARE still reading TIME magazine! Hilarious. I owe you a coke, Barry.”

  • Paul Phillips

    You know, I am becoming increasingly disappointed with CatholicVote. Last time I checked, this group was supposed to be non-partisan; yet, liberals are constantly being attacked. However subtle those attacks may be (“on the other hand you have another liberal outlet saying the man Obama is trying to emulate had Alzheimer’s while POTUS”), it is still unacceptable. CatholicVote should attack the positions of liberals AND conservatives on issues that affect the Church and Church teaching. Conservatives also take stances that are in opposition to Church authority (i.e. global warming, the War in Iraq, etc.).

    And another thing, in regards to health care reform: CatholicVote advocated for its repeal. Yet, the Bishops (including Cardinal DiNardo) were pushing for it to be reformed. How is CatholicVote different from the Catholic Health Association who went against the bishops during the first health care vote? Seems to me there is a bit of hypocrisy here. It seems to me, CatholicVote is no different from other cafeteria Catholic organizations. Just my thoughts.

    Oh, and so you know, I am not one of those “liberal” Catholics. I vote Catholic–always have, always will!

    • Tom Crowe

      Paul Phillips, “liberal” is not a party, ergo mentioning them in a negative light is not being “partisan.” I would ask you to consider the nature of the sorts of things on which liberals differ from the Church versus the sorts of things conservatives tend to differ. More often than not, liberals differ on things like contraception, abortion, gay ‘marriage,’ and other things that there is a definite, uncompromising, clear teaching. By contrast, when conservatives differ with bishops it tends not to be on doctrinal matters, but on the manner and level to which the government and society as a whole ought to help those in poverty or just war theory. So conservatives will differ over things like the appropriate level of taxation, how long unemployment benefits ought to go before they violate the person’s dignity, whether a given war is justified, the justice of the death penalty in a given society, and other things on which there can be legitimate discussion within a range. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to differ on, well, abortion and gay ‘marriage,’ as far as matter of secular politics are concerned. —- This perhaps help with the second part of your critique: the “Cafeteria Catholics” charge. We (or at least I) don’t disagree that something must be done to bring down the cost of health care and make high quality care as accessible to as many people as possible. But the Obamacare law as passed is not a good structure to begin from and merely to “tweak.” It is so flawed that the only way forward is by tossing it out and starting over. If Cardinal DiNardo or any other bishop disagrees with that, I am not in danger of being a cafeteria Catholic because it is not a matter on which I am bound to obey as an article of faith. The same goes for the war in Iraq and global warming: neither is a matter of doctrine, therefore disagreement is not entirely out of order.

      • Rick

        Good point. But still, is it not interesting that the liberal/conservative positions in Catholics in the US fall also clearly within party lines? Why do most pro-lifers disagree with global warming? Why are the more “orthodox” lay Catholics in the US at odds with their bishops in issues like inmigration? I bet that the correlation between people who are pro-life and people who are against gun control is very high. Doesn’t all of this strike you as odd? Haven’t we bought into a bunch of policies and ideology from a specific party that does not go well with our Catholic faith? Because you’re right, those issue are not doctrinal, but funny enough both JPII and BXVI would disagree and disagreed with “conservatives” here in the US on global warming, the Iraq war, inmigration, social and economic policy, etc.

        • Tom Crowe

          Heh. Rick, perhaps most pro-lifers disagree with global warming because global warming, as sold by our intellectual, governmental, and scientific elites, is a sham, and abortion is wrapped up in the false struggle for “women’s rights.” So the more orthodox Catholics tend also to be more orthodox on climate science and abortion than less orthodox Catholics and political liberals. I think you are seeing the issue backward, at least for some. My political convictions and propensities are entirely secondary to my Catholic faith and arise from/are informed by my Catholic faith. While a few decades ago it was possible to find a home in either political party and still be faithful Catholic, one of the parties has largely made itself a bastion of pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, pro-sham science, pro-wealth redistribution politics, and that is not a hospitable environment for a Catholic. I really do wish it were otherwise, because a party without competition for your allegiance will take you for granted (just ask American blacks over the past 40 years). But as it is, most orthodox Catholics find themselves aligned with one of the two major parties by default, not because they aligned their religious faith to agree with the party platform. As for the specific policy areas you enumerate at the end of your post, I think you would find less disagreement between the popes and conservatives if both sides were able to fully explain their positions. On immigration, conservatives are not at all opposed to immigration, but oppose completely open borders or carte blanche amnesty for those here illegally. It’s a national sovereignty issue. I don’t think either Benedict or John Paul II would disagree. The problem is the immigration system is presently broken and needs to be fixed, but that is a very difficult thing to do. On the Iraq war, of course the popes are going to oppose war. No one exactly loves the prospect, but nation-states are in their rights, if their duly empowered leaders deem the conditions met, to wage war to protect themselves and their important interests. The war in Iraq met those conditions in a lot of people’s minds (that’s an entirely other looong discussion, of course). On “social and economic policy,” I’m not entirely certain what you mean, because conservatives aren’t advocating for laissez-faire capitalism or a complete ending of the social safety net. And the popes never advocated for a social welfare state based on wealth redistribution. The virtue lies in the middle, but where, exactly, in the middle it lies is a matter of legitimate debate. So we debate it. Fact is, no nation on earth does as much through both private charities and government spending to raise up their poverty-stricken as the US, both at home and abroad. The difference is that conservatives believe charitable giving ought to be encouraged, while government confiscation through taxation and redistribution is not charity. Governmental safety nets make it a cold transaction rather than a free-will giving and a personal gift to another. There’s no beneficent generous face associated with a monthly government check, and there’s no thankful, humble face associated with the tax man. So while levels of giving can be debated it is not accurate to say conservatives “disagree” with popes on social and economic policy. Both want to help the person to help themselves and not merely subsidize their poverty.

          • Brian C

            Tom, I think Paul and especially Rick are onto something here, regarding the alignment of many Catholics’ political opinions on negotiable issues with the party (Republicans) that agrees with them on the non-negotiable issues. The best way to illustrate this is to look back at the period from Frankin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson, a 36-year period when all but one president was Democrat, and prior to abortion and gay-marriage being political issues (or, as you stated, it was possible for a faithful Catholic to find a home in either political party). During this time, Catholics supported Democrats in greater numbers than Republicans. To me, it appears that at least some Catholics are siding with Republicans on certain issues based on the partys’ positions on other issues, instead of discerning their positions on each issue independently.

          • Rick

            I agree that as orthodox Catholics we cannot vote for a political party that is for abortion, period. My observation is that we should therefore vote Republican with somewhat of a reluctancy in knowing that we are also voting for other issues (albeit not as essential or doctrinal as abortion or marriage) but in which we should at least not all agree blindly. In exchange for the Republican party’s vote for pro-life issues orthodox Catholics over the last generation have become more pro-guns, pro-war (with whatever “just war” arguement you want), xenophobic than the average when it comes to inmigration (btw most illegal inmigrants are Catholics!…are pro-life! agree with you an me in more issues than not, except with the notion of sending them packing. Again, none of these issues are doctrinal, yet by having to side with a political party because of doctrinal issues we have bought many non-doctrinal ideologies or opinions blindly and it has changed who we are and what we think of these issues.

          • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

            Rick, you assume too much. You seem to assert that any Catholics who hold many conservative/Republican positions have adopted those positions as a result of tending to vote for the GOP. Not true in the slightest. For starters, please note the great difference among GOP politicians on many issues: hardly monolithic on abortion, immigration, gun control, gay marriage, and many other social issues. I, and many others, are politically conservative Catholics. The only party in which our kind has a chance to be heard and have an impact on who wins the primary is in the GOP. The GOP tends to nominate more conservative candidates. As a consequence we tend to vote GOP most every time because they agree with us, not we get in lockstep with them. You also seem to assert that being in favor of the right to bear arms and the legitimate defense of the nation are ipso facto bad things. Pacifism certainly has a strain in Catholic theology and tradition, but it’s far from the default position. And if you’ll note, there are some GOPers who are for increased gun control and who oppose war as a matter of course. As for immigration, it has nothing to do with the political or religious leanings of the immigrants; it is a matter of the right of a sovereign state to regulate immigration, while never losing sight of the society’s obligation vis-a-vis the whole human family. Immigration can and should be done appropriately so that as many people as possible can immigrate legitimately and for healthy reasons. This not at all at odds with being a good person, a good Catholic, or a good follower of any pope. In short, your thesis is wrong, and you assert many things which simply are not true.

    • Bruce

      Paul Phillips said: “I am not one of those “liberal” Catholics. I vote Catholic–always have, always will!” So, pray tell, what did “voting Catholic” mean in 2008 and 2010. Last I checked, “Catholic” was not a political party. So what do you mean here?



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