Monday, February 12, 2007

Patrick refuses to play along, angers wingnuts

Today's manufactured outrage comes in response to news that Deval Patrick refused to christen February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day."

The new icon of Massachusetts Democrats has rebuffed efforts to commemorate a day for Ronald Reagan, the last Republican to win the Commonwealth in a presidential election. And Reaganites are not happy.

Governor Deval Patrick decided not to sign a proclamation recognizing Feb. 6 as "Ronald Reagan Day." A month into his term as governor, snubbing the Gipper's birthday has left Patrick open to partisan sniping.

Partisan sniping indeed. According to Massachusetts GOP News & Views "Deval Patrick has chosen to spit on the grave of Ronald Reagan" with his refusal to honor the 40th president with a day of his own. The site sums up the issue succinctly: "Deval Patrick - You are a Loser."

Had you heard that there was a move to honor Reagan on that day? No? Neither had I, until I read about it in this morning's newspaper. Who's idea was it to honor the former president in this way?

"It's the difference between a little more sophisticated guy who's governor and a guy who's still playing partisan politics after a campaign," said Grover Norquist, founder and chairman of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project.

Thirty-three governors -- 20 Republicans and 13 Democrats -- inked the agreement to recognize Reagan's birthday in their states, Norquist said. The 17 remaining governors either didn't reply or refused outright; Patrick was a frank "no," Norquist said.

Grover Norquist? He maybe the "founder and chairman of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project," but he is much better known as one of the most influential Republican activists, founder of the conservative "Americans for Tax Reform" organization, and a colleague and associate of Republican felon Jack Abramoff.

In other words, he's a political figure through and through. And it's appalling that he is playing politics with Ronald Reagan's memory. Republicans should be outraged. Let's face it, one of the reasons for an initiative like this is to be able to plant stories about those governors who did not play along. It's a great scam, either alienate some of your liberal support by commemorating Reagan with a day, or get hammered by the right a week later for refusing to play along.

It would be the equivalent of or George Soros pushing all 50 states to commemorate John F. Kennedy with a day. I think we know how that would go over in the South and parts of the Mountain West.

Well, good for Governor Patrick for not playing along.

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