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Obama and Reagan: Time Magazine’s Flimsy Comparison

Posted on February 7 2011 1:30 pm
Jeff Jefferson is a carpenter who lives with his family in rural Illinois. He is a Tea Party participant and blogs at his site:
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The Left has a tenuous relationship with the truth. Truth is not only a problem with left-leaning media. It is a problem within the liberal mindset. Much of their worldview is drawn through a prism of projection. This is a foundational difference between the Left and the Right. Conservatives work with reality as it is; leftists demand the world be as they think it should be, or otherwise synthesize realities to fit their point of view.

A perfect example of leftist media delusion can be found in the February 7th issue of TIME. Due to the anniversary of his 100th birthday on February 6th, the issue is dedicated to Ronald Reagan. The fantasy begins with the magazine’s cover.

The table of contents introduces the cover story: “Learning from the Gipper Obama has made Reagan his political, if not ideological, model.” The article eventually abandons this thesis, but below the commentary there is a diagram that claims to demonstrate the many parallels between the two Presidents. In a stretched attempt to equate President Obama with Reagan, what the author of the illustration considers parallels, most clear thinking people would call contrasts.

For instance, the author believes there is a parallel between Reagan’s intact, working-class family and Obama’s broken, politically inclined family.

Reagan: Religious, loving mom; struggling alcoholic father

Obama: Idealistic, social working mom; disappearing father

Another “parallel” the author gives concerns the two figure’s early political life.

Reagan: Fought the reds in the Screen Actors Guild

Obama: Worked as a community organizer

If ever a night vs. day comparison were needed, Reagan’s opposition to communists in the Screen Actor’s Guild to Obama’s work as a community (Alinsky?) organizer would suffice. Among other less relevant -yet still faulty- parallels, the diagram also compares Reagan’s mid-term loss of 26 House and 1 Senate seats to President Obama’s loss of 63 House and 6 Senate seats. The author of the illustration intends to show equivalence between the two Presidents but gives divergent examples believing that they are somehow congruent.

Although it is Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, and the theme of the magazine was to commemorate that event, the leftist bias of TIME’s editorial staff prevents them from revisiting Reagan without viewing him through the prism of our current President. Two years into the job, the enthusiasm surrounding Obama’s Presidency has stalled. The Left, unable to separate their ideological hopes from empirical realities, chooses to believe that Obama’s Presidency will follow the same pattern as Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, and to do this, they must make themselves believe that the two Presidents are somehow similar.

With the ongoing recession, and revolution in the Middle East, the current political climate is becoming reminiscent of a previous decade. President Obama’s focus on arms reduction treaties, automobile company bailouts, and energy conservation would put him on a real parallel with an administration that was quite different from the Reagan administration. If a comparison of Obama to a former president were needed, clear thinking people would surely find Jimmy Carter to be a more appropriate choice.

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