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Jul 23 2012

Fischer Lies About History

Bryan Fischer continues his flawless record of being wrong on absolutely everything by declaring that conservatives are the ones who fight for civil rights and liberals are the ones who oppose equality. He does this by equivocating between political parties and ideologies:

Ladies and gentlemen, who was it that abolished the institution of slavery? It was the Republican Party, it was a Republican President, it was a conservative who abolished the institution of slavery.

Who was it that filibustered the Civil Rights Acts in the Sixties? It was liberals, it was progressives. It was conservative Republicans that voted in greater percentages that voted for the Civil Rights Act then Democrats did.

Who where the ones that were standing hosing people off with fire hoses? Those were Democrats, those were liberals that were doing that.

But the Republican party of the 1860s was not the party of conservatism, it was the party of radical change. The people fighting to maintain slavery, to maintain the status quo and centuries of tradition, were by definition the conservatives. Indeed, slavery was defended by Fischer’s ideological ancestors, who argued against equality for blacks with exactly the same arguments that he uses to argue against equality for gays and lesbians (tradition, morality, God demands it, this change will destroy society and decency, etc). As usual, he’s lying.

36 comments

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  1. 1
    Jordan Genso

    Are there any great conservative achievements in our counrty’s history? Ignore Republican/Democrat, but instead looking at progressive/conservative, what would one point to as a beneficial “conservative victory”?

    It seems to me that the purpose of conservatism is to moderate the pace at which change occurs, and so an argument could be made that because we didn’t drastically change into a communistic soviet member during the “red scare”, the conservatives can take credit for that. But the changes that were implemented during the mid-20th century (social security, the rise of unions, etc) were progressive in nature.

    Unfortunately, modern conservatives (in the form of Tea Party Republicans) have decided that moderating the pace of change is no longer acceptable. Instead, their stated policies are to stop all progress and actually regress.

  2. 2
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    This is one of the most frustrating things about talking politics with my father. He’ll relentlessly pull the ‘racist Democrats’ card and no matter how often I mention the party switch after the Civil Rights Act, he’ll just counter with Robert Byrd (who apologized for his KKK days, who made amends with the African-American community, and who received a 100% rating from the NAACP and ACLU for his voting record before he died.)

    It’s a cheap ploy by the Repugnicans, trying to get everyone to think they’re the progressive party, they have the best interests of minorities in mind, they will get black people off welfare.

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    It would be interesting to see how the Republicans went from being the party of radical progress to being the party of radical regress. It would be easy to blame the “Reagan Revolution” but I know that even in the 1950s, the GOP was the party of the wealthy elite. When and how did things change?

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    The GOP had become the party of the wealthy elite as far back as the turn of the last century. That’s why Theodore Roosevelt bolted the party and ran on the Bull Moose ticket for president in 1912, ensuring the election of Woodrow Wilson.

  5. 5
    Pierce R. Butler

    How did the Republicans go bad?

    Their most progressive leader took a bullet in the head; his successor was impeached as part of a messy post-war power struggle; the next guy up (Grant) was an alcoholic ex-general who let his corrupt buddies run wild.

    Rutherford B. Hayes completed the destruction by making a deal to settle a 2000-style presidential election fiasco in 1876, gaining the votes of southern states by aborting all civil rights for blacks and allowing a free hand to the Klan and other terrorists, thereby setting back both the nation and his party for almost 150 years (and counting).

  6. 6
    typecaster

    But the Republican party of the 1860s was not the party of conservatism, it was the party of radical change.

    These days, of course, they are the party of intense conservatism. On the other hand, they’ve come full circle and are once again a party of radical change. The really fascinating part is how they keep their base from understanding that by inventing fairy tales of the great conservative paradise in the past that they just want to get back to. It shows the Republican genius for long-term planning – I never realized that Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were deep-cover operations laying the groundwork for the rise of modern movement conservatism.

    DAMN you, Time Agent Karl Rove!

  7. 7
    jeremycraft

    @ Gregory in Seattle: I had conversation on this topic with a friend of a friend on Facebook. His position was that espoused by Fischer. I was completely gobsmacked that anyone could believe something so stupid and transparently dishonest (of course he was a Fundigelical, so that explains a lot about his cognitive capabilities). During the course of that discussion, I looked into the history. There’s not that much online. The Republicans were the radical, anti-slavery party up until Hayes, when they became the party of corruption. The Democrats were pretty explicitly racist until the Franklin Roosevelt administration, when that party gradually became more Northern. As near as I can tell, the Kennedy administration was the tipping point, and Johnson finally drove the Dixiecrats out of the party by ramming the Civil Rights Act through Congress. Nixon put the nail in the coffin with the Southern Strategy.

    @ Pierce R. Butler: Andrew Johnson was a Democrat. He was on Lincoln’s ticket in the 1864 election as an appeasement to Northern Democrats, so that Lincoln could say that he was interested only in preserving the Union and not in giving black people equal rights or anything, which was what the Democrats were against back then.

  8. 8
    acroyear

    I’ll also note it is unlikely that he’ll next be bragging about “Conservative” Teddy Roosevelt encouraging national parks, regulated hunting, anti-trust monopoly breakups, and unions.

  9. 9
    Chiroptera

    Wait, weren’t the Republicans responsible for the “War of Northern Aggression”?

    Anyway, I thought that Southern slavery wasn’t supposed to be all that big a deal?

  10. 10
    abb3w

    What’s really depressing is that there doesn’t seem to be a single well-researched book out there documenting this shift of the parties over time. Academic historians tend to specialize in relatively short periods of a generation or two, rather than six to ten.

    Forest for the trees….

  11. 11
    dingojack

    Fischer Lies About History
    and in other news – water discovered to be wet. Film at eleven.
    Dingo

  12. 12
    Modusoperandi

    Chiroptera “Wait, weren’t the Republicans responsible for the ‘War of Northern Aggression’? Anyway, I thought that Southern slavery wasn’t supposed to be all that big a deal?”
    Yes. It’s all True. It’s all Lies. A statement is True or a Lie based on whether it supports the Tribe’s position at the time. It’s right their in the nineteen eighty-four handbook.

  13. 13
    lpetrich

    With the Southern Strategy, the Republican Party became the party of Jefferson Davis. Senator Trent Lott stated essentially that when he stated “The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform.”

    CYCLES OF AMERICAN HISTORY – Arthur Schlesingers I and II proposed a cyclic theory of US history, a history of alternations between liberal and conservative phases.

    L: adoption of Constitution, C: Hamiltonian federalism
    L: Jeffersonianism, C: Retreat after War of 1812
    L: Jacksonian populism, C: Slaveowner dominance
    L: Civil War, Reconstruction, C: The Gilded Age
    L: Progressive Era, C: The Roaring Twenties
    L: The New Deal, C: The Eisenhower Era
    L: Sixties Radicalism, C: Gilded Age II

    We are now in Gilded Age II, with the Clinton presidency an abortive liberal era. We are overdue for another liberal era, but so far, Obama has been too cautious if not cowardly, and the Occupy movement seems to have gone into eclipse.

  14. 14
    lpetrich

    Continuing in this vein, some historians have identified several US party systems, pairs of dominant parties with characteristic policies. The creators of the US Constitution had disliked factionalism and they had wanted wanted no political parties, but they could not stop political parties from forming.

    #1: 1796 – 1824, Federalist and Democratic-Republican Parties
    Federalist Party faded away, D-R’s split in two
    #2: 1828 – 1854, Democratic and National Republican / Whig Parties
    Whig Party collapses, Republican Party emerges in the north
    #3: 1854 – 1896
    #4: 1896 – 1932
    #5: 1932 -

    Political scientists argue a lot about whether and when the US has entered a sixth party system.

  15. 15
    Michael Heath

    Jordan Genso writes:

    Are there any great conservative achievements in our counrty’s history?

    I conclude the score is incredibly lopsided, favoring progressives (e.g., the 1st Administration, LBJ’s) – including liberals (FDR’s Administration). However I do think there are some accomplishments, such as:

    1) Developing and utilizing monetary policy at the Fed. However we only get optimal results as an economy if a complementary fiscal policy by the federal government and states is based on Keynesian principles, which has recently become antathema to conservatives (and therefore Republicans).

    2) The recession that the Reagan Administration and attendant congresses inherited required some incredibly complex, seemingly paradoxical, fiscal and monetary policies. They worked like a charm. However I have complete confidence that the proper prescription required tax hikes rather than cuts, Reagan would not have promoted such, in spite of signing off on hikes later in his tenure.

    3) Reagan’s handling of the Cold War, however once again we find a paradox, which is that his prescriptions were incredibly liberal; in particular his rejection of MAD (“mutually assured destruction”).

    4) Eisenhower’s Burkean approach to sending the troops into Little Rock to integrate their public schools. However it should also be noted modern-day conservatives reject Burkeanism where are best modern-day example of someone who practices Burkean policies is Barack Obama.

    5) Sandra Day O’Connor’s swing-vote abortion rulings, which again was a Burkean approach.

    6) CJ John Roberts defense of the universal health insurance mandate as a tax. However once again we observe this classic conservative approach is one rejected by nearly all contemporaneous conservatives who’ve become radicals.

    7) Deference to business in general as the primary economic engine. However, once again the sane conservatives have left the building where we’re left with only ideologues who deny reality when it comes to dealing with matters involving business.

    8) Tying welfare to help and some responsibility to use such temporarily in most cases. However today’s conservatives have mutated to the point none of their current policy arguments have any merit. But to some degree they were right in the last-half of the 20 century. Whether they were more right than liberals is up to debate where I favor the cons on some aspects and favor the liberals are most aspects.

    Probably the greatest accomplishment by a conservative in the last 112 years was Winston Churchill’s leadership in WWII. Second was Mikhail Gorbechev’s Burkean approach to reforming the USSR. However it should also be noted that American conservatives in Congress opposed our involvement in WWII until Pearl Harbor, where a one vote swing prior to that attack would have resulted in our not being prepared to enter WWII after Pearl Harbor if the cons had got their way. It’s also ironic that Churchill was a key element in socializing Great Britain’s health care sector.

    So while the score isn’t zero, it is ironic how many qualifiers one has to apply when it comes to conservative successes. Progressives/liberals don’t predominately need such when justifiably bragging about their many accomplishments.

  16. 16
    Pierce R. Butler

    jeremycraft @ # 7: Andrew Johnson was a Democrat.

    Thanks for setting me straight – I knew I was oversimplifying with “messy post-war power struggle”, but hadn’t known of that particular complication.

    Someone in Rhinebeck, NY, once told me that the nucleus of the Republican Party began there, with a movement of tenant farmers resisting greedy landlords. They lost that round, and many of them moved to the Midwest with political ideals intact, there to organize on behalf of American underdogs of all colors. Nice idea while it lasted…

  17. 17
    Michael Heath

    lpetrich reports the Schlesingers assert:

    C[onservative]: Hamiltonian federalism

    I find the Washington Administration, mostly led by Hamilton, as one of the most progressive eras in our entire history. In particular Hamilton’s commitment to leveraging federal power to create world-class finance and manufacturing sectors. Where Jeffersonian Republicans played the role of standing astride history and yelling, “stop!”. Certainly it was an elitist form of progressivism, which favored England over radically liberal France, but it was as pure a progressivism as one could imagine for the times.

    In addition some historians refer to then-Republican James Madison as a conservative after the Constitution was ratified precisely because he was shocked at the lengths the Federalists were extending federal power to meet progressive ends and argued for the first conservative approach to jurisprudence, the term which bewilderingly escapes me (hopefully someone can help me out).

  18. 18
    Jordan Genso

    @15 Michael Heath

    Thank you for the list. I wish I was better educated to the point that I could discuss some of those items further.

  19. 19
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 17: I find the Washington Administration, mostly led by Hamilton, as one of the most progressive eras in our entire history. In particular Hamilton’s commitment to leveraging federal power to create world-class finance and manufacturing sectors.

    The net effect of boosting industrialization and financialization was to give the US a competitive advantage, thus getting a good adaptational head-start on the 19th century. Hamilton et al get points in the nationalist game, but “progressive”?

    It depends on whether you define that word in the earlier 19th-century mode (“Progress marches on!”) or the later political mode of advocacy for lower-economic-strata interests (not a viewpoint from which W or H gains a lot of glory). (Yeah, historically the terms overlap, but the interests reflected can both conflict and collaborate.)

    Please allow me to recommend William Hogeland’s The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty for a colorful case study of Founding Fathers’ Fierce Federalism.

  20. 20
    slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #15

    Reagan’s handling of the Cold War, however once again we find a paradox, which is that his prescriptions were incredibly liberal; in particular his rejection of MAD (“mutually assured destruction”

    I would not call opposition to MAD a “liberal” point of view. In fact, Reagan’s approach was totally insane as he wanted to replace the concept of MAD with SDI, a technology that was far from feasible at the time (he was sold a bill of goods by physicist Edward Teller, a man who had recurring psychological problems resulting from his role in the development of the nuclear weapon that was dropped on Hiroshima). For more on Teller and SDI, see Voodoo Science by physicist Bob Park.

    I would argue that MAD was, perhaps the most successful war prevention strategy in history. The nuclear standoff between the US and the former Soviet Union prevented WW 3. Had nuclear weapons never been developed, IMHO, WW 3 would have been inevitable and would have been more destructive then WW 2. As it was, the US and the former Soviet Union tiptoed carefully around each other, avoiding a direct confrontation, with the exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis, for which Nikita Khrushchev got the heave ho for reckless adventuring.

    Sandra Day O’Connor’s swing-vote abortion rulings, which again was a Burkean approach.

    And equally important, her persuading Anthony Kennedy to change his position and vote to uphold Roe vs Wade.

    However it should also be noted that American conservatives in Congress opposed our involvement in WWII until Pearl Harbor, where a one vote swing prior to that attack would have resulted in our not being prepared to enter WWII after Pearl Harbor if the cons had got their way.

    We were poorly prepared as it was. Had the 2 aircraft carrier task force commanded by Halsey not been delivering planes to Wake Island but, instead, had been in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the disaster there might have been fatal. There is every reason to believe that Roosevelt would have been under intense pressure to abandon Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian Islands and withdraw what was left of the Pacific Fleet to San Francisco and Seattle. Yamamoto considered Pearl Harbor a failure because it did not destroy the US aircraft carriers.

  21. 21
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Water wet.

  22. 22
    Michael Heath

    Pierce R. Butler writes:

    Hamilton et al get points in the nationalist game, but “progressive”?

    There is a vast difference between populism, where Hamilton was the opposite – he favored intellectual elites, and a progressive mindset, the latter being the opposite of the conservative tendency to thwart progress. So from this perspective, realizing opportunities for national improvement where government plays a key role is progressive. And there were few powerful people in our history who were more ambitious in leveraging federal power to advance the country’s prospects than Alexander Hamilton. And even fewer who had such an enormous and positive impact, if any.

    Hamilton was nearly everything modern day conservatives claim to hate, because he was an elitist who seized federal power in a way that had government working with business to advance a national agenda. Nowadays conservatives use government only to cater to certain business interests, which is very different from Hamilton’s approach to governance, and far worse for the country.

  23. 23
    Michael Heath

    slc1 writes:

    Reagan’s approach was totally insane as he wanted to replace the concept of MAD with SDI . . .

    Ronald Reagan rejected SDI prior to even being informed by the military chiefs of SDI. Instead he viewed MAD as merely a delay to an inevitable holocaust. SDI was also not the predominant arrow in Reagan’s quiver regarding his rejection of MAD. He did perceive SDI as a vehicle to get political support to mutually disarm and also bankrupt the USSR, but it was a mere method to get to disarmanent which was the ultimate goal I was referencing, not the mere method you reference.

    slc1 writes:

    SDI, a technology that was far from feasible at the time . . .

    True, but the chiefs he inherited from the previous administration informed President Reagan SDI was absolutely feasible. It was a few years after being informed of this project that dissenters’ voices started to resonate where by that time, the U.S. smelled blood in the water in terms of spending the USSR into oblivion. In addition and by that time, the Republican party was deeply in bed with military hardware manufacturers and while that wasn’t a cause which interested Reagan, it certainly did many of his senior people (and H.W. Bush’s who followed).

    slc1 writes:

    I would argue that MAD was, perhaps the most successful war prevention strategy in history.

    Perhaps, but a seeming law of nature is that all successful strategies ultimately fail, simply because conditions eventually change. And that was Reagan’s argument, one I find convincing. So I would argue that MAD was successful precisely because it was a temporary containment strategy. Ultimately it would have eventually resulted in being the single worst prevention method ever. We came one election and an old man’s heartbeat away from a Sarah Palin presidency so it’s not the Soviets who concerned me when it came to acting irrationally, it’s Armageddon fantasizers.

    slc1 writes:

    would argue that MAD was, perhaps the most successful war prevention strategy in history. [...] would argue that MAD was, perhaps the most successful war prevention strategy in history.

    Well you kinda just disproved your theory since we only need one holocaust to take MAD from success to catastrophe. I.e., a far better strategy would have been to not build any nuclear WMD since MAD’s defect rate to take success to failure merely needed to be 1, whereas no nuclear capabilities provides no opportunities based on one overly hasty decision. In addition you are wrong that was the only close call. The Dead Hand, based on Soviet documents released only recently, reveals there were multiple close calls where the USSR had an itchy finger on the trigger based on their perception we were starting up to shoot ours at them.

  24. 24
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 2 – I still suspect you’re conflating different definitions of progressivism, and possibly the same for conservatism.

    Hamilton did play a major role in preparing the US for the 19th century, and would today fit somewhat comfortably within the “technocratic” wing of our politics. Those who currently carry the “progressive” banner would want little to do with him (earlier generations of “progressives” – think H.G. Wells – had a lot more in common with his centralized-power mindset).

  25. 25
    Michael Heath

    Pierce Butler writes:

    Those who currently carry the “progressive” banner would want little to do with him

    I find it a impossible and a useless exercise to project past characters into present politics. Based on your approach T. Jefferson was a creationist. Making such a claim misinforms readers because the comparison is futile.

    We can compare similar approaches and mindsets, but not similar conclusions given the fact the knowledge base and conditions varied so much between time periods. My point was that Hamilton was extremely progressive in favoring a strong active central government to carry out policy, the same as today. His mindset and predilection for an activist government is what makes him progressive; and again – progressivm doesn’t equal populism where the liberal form yearns for social equality outcomes.

    Pierce Butler writes:

    I still suspect you’re conflating different definitions of progressivism, and possibly the same for conservatism.

    Of course I am on the latter, and made that vividly clear with my comments where I distinguished the varying types which are now extinct from the prevalent version which exists today. One simply can’t not conflate the various types, though the advocate should certainly frame each accordingly. When it comes to conservatism the movement has evolved, to the point some outlier conservatives who fit nicely into what was considered past conservative ideology are now making ‘no true Scotsmen’ arguments about the type of conservative which dominates the U.S., e.g. – David Frum, Bruce Bartlett, Daniel Larison, and of course Andrew Sullivan.

    In terms of progressives I was clear in framing it as an activist approach to a vibrant government which is the opposite of the classic conservative pose of “Stop!”. Where conservatives desire less government whereas progressives want more.

  26. 26
    dingojack

    Michael – Does Dead Hand cover Able Archer ’83?
    Paranoid Soviet spymasters and idiotically belligerent Presidents don’t mix. It was Reagan himself that nearly tipped the ‘successful’ MAD* into catastrophe. (BTW one of the ramping up points of that near miss was Reagan’s foolish announcement that he was going to implement SDI. He certainly did believe in it, and spent bucket-loads on the great white elephant that was SDI).
    Dingo
    —–
    * In the same way as carrying a large flask of nitroglycerin is a successful way of making sure you’ve got plenty of room to walk – up until the point you drop it!

  27. 27
    Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “The Dead Hand, based on Soviet documents released only recently, reveals there were multiple close calls where the USSR had an itchy finger on the trigger based on their perception we were starting up to shoot ours at them.”
    You forgot the twist: much like Dr Strangelove, they had a Doomday trigger (Perimeter) that we didn’t know they had.

    dingojack “Does Dead Hand cover Able Archer ’83?”
    Yes. It’s really quite a good book.

    “(BTW one of the ramping up points of that near miss was Reagan’s foolish announcement that he was going to implement SDI. He certainly did believe in it, and spent bucket-loads on the great white elephant that was SDI).”
    If memory serves, Reagan was terribly naive. He wanted so badly to remove nuclear weapons from the equation that when shown SDI he wanted to, and offered to, share it with the Soviets (which, I think we can agree, would never happen).

  28. 28
    slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #23

    I don’t know where Heath is getting his information but his notion that Reagan didn’t believe in SDI is balderdash. I suggest he read the book by Bob Park that I cited where the influence of Edward Teller on Reagan is documented. The two men knew each other well as the latter was governor of California while the former was a professor of physics at UC Berkeley. There can be no doubt that Teller was responsible for Reagan’s enthusiasm for SDI. As Park points out in an entire chapter on SDI, Teller was notorious in the physics community for an inability for critical thinking.

    Heath wasn’t even alive during the Cuban Missile Crisis but I was and can inform him that we thought that a nuclear exchange between the former Soviet Union and the US was nigh. In fact, had Kennedy followed the advice of Curtis LeMay and bombed the missile sites in Cuba, that exchange could well have taken place. Kennedy is to be commended for his cautious approach, which resulted in the removal of the missiles from Cuba and the removal of medium range missiles from Turkey. As then Secretary of State Dean Rusk was quoted as saying, “we’re eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked”. Criticism of Kennedy by the peace creeps and the war mongers is just Monday morning quarterbacking fueled by mindless ideology.

    I would note that the Red Army was not sent into Vietnam to confront US troops there while the US Marines were not sent into Afghanistan to confront the Soviet invasion there. Sans nuclear weapons, either of those events might have occurred and resulted in an escalation to WW 3.

  29. 29
    stace

    So Edward Teller was Dr. Strangelove? I love it when life imitates art.

  30. 30
    slc1

    Re stace @ #29

    Actually, it is my understanding that Dr. Strangelove was modeled on Herman Kahn, who was notorious for his view that nuclear war might not be the catastrophe that others predicted. As Nikita Khrushchev, who took issue with Khan, put it, “after a nuclear exchange, the living will envy the dead”.

  31. 31
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 25: I find it a impossible and a useless exercise to project past characters into present politics.

    Nor is it much use to apply modern labels to historic ideologies. Otoh, unless all in the dialog specialize in the relevant historic period(s), how far can we get discussing “Federalists”, “Whigs”, etc?

    Hamilton was extremely progressive in favoring a strong active central government to carry out policy, the same as today.

    I think the modern progressive is much more concerned about the policies than the mechanisms enabling them: leftie localism pops up wherever conditions favor it, from Montpelier to Bolinas. The fact that, say, FDR & LBJ made good use of strong central government does not mean such government should be seen as intrinsically good.

    … some outlier conservatives who fit nicely into what was considered past conservative ideology are now making ‘no true Scotsmen’ arguments about the type of conservative which dominates the U.S….

    During times of flux and semantic meltdown, the “ntS” argument may be the only way to hold on to any set of core principles without having to write an essay about each one.

    … conservatives desire less government whereas progressives want more.

    No, each camp wants less of certain types of government and more of others. This gets very muddled at times, such as when many in the “conservative” camp depend on Medicare & Social Security, or when a liberal-supported regulatory agency becomes corrupted, but confusing means with ends never works out for long.

  32. 32
    Michael Heath

    slc1 leads off his rebuttal:

    I don’t know where Heath is getting his information

    From the authoritative source we now enjoy and which I referenced prior to your attempt at a rebuttal, The Dead Hand. ‘Authoritative’ given the qualifications of the reporter/author coupled to his enjoying unprecedented access to documents previous historians lacked – especially on the Soviet side. On the Reagan side I’ve long been a student of Reagan, having read dozens of biographies, profiles, analyses, and Reagan in his own hand.

    I suggest re-reading my posts a bit more carefully if your response ignores the fact I’m leveraging information you lack, and then miss the fact I previously pointed this out to you.

  33. 33
    slc1

    Re Michael Heath

    I rely on Bob Park, who, unlike the biographers of Reagan and the other clowns that Heath cites, knew Edward Teller quite well and was well aware that the idea of SDI was first brought to Reagan’s attention, before he even became president, by the aforementioned Teller.

  34. 34
    Michael Heath

    slc1 writes:

    I rely on Bob Park, who, unlike the biographers of Reagan and the other clowns that Heath cites

    Please explain how David Hoffman is a “clown” within the context of his resume and the book I cite here. Why did he receive a 2010 Pulitzer for the The Dead Hand, which is my predominate source here, if he was a ‘clown”? Why is his book considered ‘authoritative’ by other historians of this period and yet should be abandoned because he’s a clown?

    How does Mr. Park, who doesn’t enjoy access to the sources Hoffman uses magically conjure up a superior understanding of the end of the Cold War than Mr. Hoffman? Just like YECs know they’re right?

    How does Lou Cannon, who is the most respected of the Reagan biographers and is certainly not a hagiographer, earn the title clown?

    Slc1, you’ve resorted to the lowest of all rhetorical fallacies here to defend a discredited worldview rather than adapting to what the leading experts understand and convey, the ad hominem. That is of course exactly what YECs and other denialists do.

  35. 35
    slc1

    Re Heath @ #34

    It’s Prof. Park, who is a professor of physics at Un. of Maryland (actually, I think he is now emeritus).

    What Reagan’s biographers don’t know is the influence of Edward Teller. Teller was the instigator of the entire SDI idea and sold it to Reagan on the basis that it would render MAD obsolete. As for Lou Cannon, he’s been in the bag for Reagan since his first run for Governor of California and I consider him to be seriously unreliable.

    Just as a matter of interest, do any of these alleged authorities even mention Edward Teller in their books about Reagan?

  36. 36
    Michael Heath

    slc1,

    Do you realize how seriously crazy your last post reads? How it reads exactly like a YEC or AGW denialist response? You do you understand exactly why I conclude your post mimics those type of responses?

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