Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Remember when President Reagan sold all those weapons to Iran and then funneled the proceeds to a Latin American paramilitary group? Good times. It's been on my mind for a couple of reasons. First, Reagan has been absolutely lionized by the right, especially since his death. And it seems that this shameful episode has been completely white-washed. When the Iran-Contra hearings were taking place I was just old enough to begin to have an awareness of politics and political figures. I remember seeing him on the TV every day, saying "I don't recall, I don't recall" and I was absolutely bewildered that you could just lie and get away with it. I didn't have any concept of left-wing and right-wing, or even Democrat and Republican. It was just the audacity of him pretending not to know anything about it that struck me. I was so incredulous that I remember asking my folks about it - "You can just lie and get away with it?" Maybe this first impression of Reagan is one reason why I've never been able to idolize him.

A second reason it's on my mind is that I was imagining what the reaction would be if Obama had authorized such acts. A little thought-experiment for right-wingers: if you woke up tomorrow morning and read that Obama had sold weapons to Iran and funneled the proceeds to a left-wing paramilitary group in Latin America (say, FARC), what would your reaction be?

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