As you might guess, it's not quite what his supporters have in mind. Despite Republicans' long-standing claims of being the party of fiscal responsibility and growth, Bush has overseen eight years of economic disaster.
In the late 1990s, Grover Norquist and some other conservative activists realized that all across the country, Americans were landing in airports, driving on roads, and attending junior high schools named after such non-conservatives as Thomas Jefferson, John Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt. To remedy this state of affairs, they started the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, whose primary goal was to get something named after the 40th president in every last county in America, not to mention getting Reagan on the $10 bill. (And yes, they have a Web site.
You may have heard recently about the interesting case of Chip Saltsman, the candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, who as part of his campaign sent around a CD of song parodies, including one called "Barack the Magic Negro" that came from Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
Since the remarkable results of Nov. 4, there has been much discussion about the new progressive moment in which America finds itself. But it has actually been evident for some time that we're talking about old issues in new ways. Let's take just one -- health care reform-- which could actually happen next year. One thing we know is that there will be a serious, even vicious fight over the issue. What we don't know is whether President-elect Obama will seize the moment, or succumb to the same fear that has stayed Democrats' hands for so long.
President-elect Barack Obama, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Barack Obama hasn't even taken office yet, and progressives have been debating his presidency with such energy it almost feels like it's time to start arguing about his legacy. Let it never be said that we're not forward-looking.
When the latest issue of The American Prospect came out -- with a picture of Barack Obama on the cover, and the headline, "Our Moment" -- occasional TAP contributor Spencer Ackermanwrote that although the headline referred to progressives in general, it might have referred to TAP itself. "Right now I think it's fair to say that the Prospect best captures the political zeitgeist of any opinion magazine out there."