Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hysterical Documents

A batch of Reagan letters has been put up for sale and, as the author mentions, they hint at the "hidden side" of Dear Departed Ronnie, our designated senile old TelePrompter Reader of the 1980s, whose combined mean-spiritedness and idiocy has proved to be such an inspiration for the Bushies.

he letters to George Murphy span a period beginning in the late 1970s and ending in the early 1990s. In one, Reagan dismisses the nation's biggest newspapers as biased liberal distributors of "daily poison."

In others he offers help in "deep-sixing" Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), "the playboy from Massachusetts"; accuses Walter Mondale of "lying through his teeth"; and lambasts President Carter over a disastrous attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran.

In later letters, Reagan expresses disbelief over the "fuss" created by the Iran-Contra affair, and castigates a Democrat-controlled Congress for repeated investigations of Republican presidents.

"Well they haven't gotten the noose around my neck, and they won't because I've been telling the truth," Reagan said.

Reagan and Murphy, both conservatives, appeared together in the 1943 screen version of Irving Berlin's musical "This is the Army," and made parallel jumps into politics. Both were presidents of the Screen Actors Guild (news - web sites). Murphy served as a U.S. senator for California from 1965 to 1971.

The two continued to correspond after Reagan left office. In one 1990 note, Reagan complained about declining morals in Hollywood.

"If it was what it used to be the Guild members would refuse to read lines with 4 letter words and profanity," Reagan wrote. "I'm sure we would have ruled out the nudity and sex too."

It's all in there in the correspondence, that which many of us knew so well, and all along: the agreed-upon deceit, the self-pity, the revisionism, the paranoia, the crudity of thought, the willingness to engage in dirty tricks. Yeah, Good Old Ronnie, who could always make up for such things by smiling and being "optimistic".