Had I posted the blog entry that's been floating in my head this past week and a bit, it would have seemed so prescient - I was mulling over the difference between the junior Bush and the senior Reagan.
Ronald Reagan had dodgy credentials for such a powerful position, he was simple - dangerously so at times, he was inappropriate in his humour, had his own scandal/illegal conduct, a fair share of disastrous policies and a string of gaffes.
Libya and Cuba's response to his recent passing are a reminder of the weight of opposition to Reagan in the eighties.
I guess, though, that he had redeeming features - he could deliver stirring speeches that didn't just endlessly rehash the same references to enemies and 'war on terror' and he was personable. When I read that Gorbachev kept meetings purposely short to avoid Ronnie's jibes about the Soviet economy, I thought that was hilarious. His sense of mischief is a long measure from Bush's mocking of a death row inmate. Reagan's humour was undiplomatic, Bush's is just fucked. And he wasn't all gaffes and awkward posturing like Dubya - he could deliver some genuinely funny lines.
Probably Dr Helen Caldicott[October 12 2002 entry but this blog looks like a velvet goldmine]'s appraisal was fairest (this was some months ago). She, like so many, found him good company but opined that he would be better placed as a kindly old chicken farmer than ruler of the Free World.
I've exhausted my Bush references. You can pull negative references to Bush at random he's so bad. I'm sure you can name two million people more worthy of my ongoing attention. It's just that none of them are leader of the free world. And if he stays in much longer, that phrase will become meaningless anyway.
Posted by berko_wills at 6:32 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 13 June 2004 3:22 AM NZT