Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reagan, Iran and Republican impunity

Robert Parry reminds us of the long-term consequences of St. Ronald Reagan's shady deals with Iran in The Tricky October Surprise Report Consortium News 06/17/2010:

The significance of Reagan’s victory on modern American history can hardly be overstated. For instance, while Carter wanted to use his second term to press for U.S. energy independence and to secure a lasting Middle East peace, Reagan had little use for such policies and instead pushed through an anti-government agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation of corporations.

Three decades later, the United States remains addicted to oil, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to bedevil U.S. policy-makers, Reagan’s (and later George W. Bush’s) tax cuts have contributed to massive federal deficits, and the concept of corporate self-regulation has led to financial and environmental disasters.

Today, as Republicans anticipate major congressional gains in November, Reagan’s anti-government mantra has become a Tea Party and GOP rallying cry again.

Perhaps even more important, the notion of Republican impunity – to get away with pretty much whatever audacious action they undertake – pervades national politics.

Since the 1970s, Democrats have shied away from holding Republicans accountable for a string of national security scandals, with the failed investigation into the 1980 October Surprise case serving as a kind of template, not dissimilar from President Barack Obama’s refusal to investigate President George W. Bush’s complicity in torture and other war crimes.

The Democrats seem to believe that if they "look forward, not backward" regarding Republican crimes that they can secure some measure of bipartisanship, even if there is little evidence of that.
As Perry explains, the famous bipartisanship Democrat, former Congressman Lee Hamilton, played an important role in constructing that dubious record of achievement. The kind of "bipartisanship" that allows Republican officials to break the law with impunity is a very bad thing.

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