George Bush and his handlers have grasped the Reagan mantle every which way they could in the aftermath of the Big Gip’s death. But happily, Nancy Reagan and her children will have none of it. It’s interesting that Reagan’s children from his first marriage to Jane Wyman were dyed in the wool Reaganites, while Ron, Jr. and Patti seem to have an independent streak and a mind of their own.
Ron, Jr. especially lambasted the Republicans (though not by name) for mixing politics and religion to create public policy. This was code for “my father died from Alzheimer’s and you jackasses are closing off the single most promising avenue of research that will lead to a cure of this horrible disease. Get a grip!!”
At his father’s funeral last week, Ron was in high dudgeon: Reagan By Association? His Family Won’t Allow It
[Though] Dad was a deeply religious man,” he told mourners gathered at sunset at the Reagan presidential library. “He never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians – wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.”
You tell it, Ron!
And no one should doubt that Ron, Jr. made such strong remarks at his own father’s funeral with his mother’s blessing. Nancy, as we all know, if a VERY STRONG woman and doesn’t take shit from anyone. No doubt, after Bush’s mealy-mouthed compromise over stem cell research, Nancy felt terribly let down (as did anyone who feels that such research is the key to trmendous future medical advances). Reagan’s eulogy is the result. Nancy’s telling George: “if you think this is over buddy, you’ve got another thing coming.” Good on ‘ya, Nancy!
In an earlier Salon.com interview Reagan spoke even more overtly about his feelings for Pres. Bush:
“The Bush people have no right to speak for my father, particularly because of the position he’s in now,” Mr. Reagan said then. “Yes, some of the current policies are an extension of the 80’s. But the overall thrust of this administration is not my father’s – these people are overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive and just plain corrupt. I don’t trust these people.”
Patti Davis has been no easier on George:
She wrote passionately about her father’s illness in the online version of Newsweek, this week and last month. “A messy, horrible war that has spun out of control could very well determine the next election,” Ms. Davis wrote before her father’s death. “So should the miracle of stem-cell research [determine the next election] – a miracle the Bush White House thinks it can block.”
It is somehow hard to believe that a President whose political life was so deeply infused with ideology would’ve raised children who’ve gone their own way and not embraced his political straight jacket. But all I can say is hossanah–children who think for themselves and don’t feel subservient to the ideas and opinions of their parents.
Of course that beacon of purity and light, Newtie Gingrich sees things differently through those rose colored glasses of his:
“Ronald Reagan has to be looking down from heaven and smiling at the way the current president, generally speaking, stands and the things he’s doing, even though they might well disagree on some specifics,” Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, said Monday. He added, “In eight days of nonstop nationwide focus, you get on the ninth day a slight hiccup.”
Hmmm, Ron Reagan, Jr. as “hiccup.” Wonder what Ron and Nancy will think of that insult?