Susan Douglas at In These Times raids the clip file in order to point out that the Republican presidential candidates, in flight from the monumentally incompetent incumbent they’ve all supported, are wrapping themselves in a tattered, soiled flag:

“Reagan was a dunce and a fabricator. One of his most famous assertions was, ‘Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do,’ and he maintained, wrongly, that sulfur dioxide emitted from Mount St. Helens was greater than that emitted by cars over a 10-year period. (In one day, cars emit 40 times what Mount St. Helens released in a day even at its peak activity.) In 1985, Reagan praised the P.W. Botha’s apartheid regime of South Africa for eliminating segregation, a blunder then-Press Secretary Larry Speakes had to correct a few days later.

“Other examples abound: During a 1983 Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony Reagan told a story about military heroism that New York Daily News columnist Lars-Erik Nelson wrote never happened. Nelson had checked the citations on all 434 Congressional Medals of Honor awarded during WWII. The scene Reagan described did appear, however, in the 1944 film A Wing and a Prayer. Larry Speakes’ response? ‘If you tell the same story five times, it’s true.'”

There’s more, including his administration’s willingness to trade arms for hostages, something Jimmy Carter didn’t do. But Douglas can’t acknowledge the fact that Reagan was the John F. Kennedy of the 80s generation: a shining symbol of something that didn’t really exist, a glamorous deceiver albeit in a different cause. Kennedy did only what he had to do for civil rights; Reagan did as little as he could get away with for the worshippers of the unborn.

The parallel isn’t perfect. By their fruits ye shall know tham, and roughly speaking, Bill Clinton is to Kennedy as GW Bush is to Reagan. ‘Nuf sed.