On this day in 1967, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as governor of California. Mostly I think he was elected because he was going to go after those dirty hippies. But on the plus side, at least he thought it was a good idea to become a governor. Now it seems that Republicans think that anyone could be the president. According to these fools, unlike being a boiler tech, being a president doesn’t require any training or experience.
There were things to like about him as governor. As Alex Seitz-Wald has noted, he made abortion far more available in the state. Of course, then he ran for president stating that abortion should only be allowed when the life of the mother was at risk. And then as president, he didn’t do much of anything. The truth is that he didn’t care. But as we know, Reagan would do anything to get power.
Ronald Reagan also limited gun rights because he was terrified of the Black Panthers. It would be wrong to imply that Reagan was a racist; it should be stated clearly: Reagan was a racist. But lucky for him that he lived in a racist country.
Reagan also existed in that great period when Republicans were still honest about their tax policies. He raised state taxes in a big way while governor. And, of course, the taxes weighed most heavily on the poor. For example, he raised the top income tax rate by 43% and the corporate tax by 27%, but the sale tax by 67%. It was the same thing when he was president, Reagan’s Legacy: Tax Cuts for Rich, Tax Hikes for the Rest.
Overall, Ronald Reagan was terrible in every way imaginable. But it isn’t just what he did directly. I don’t think that Clinton would have ended welfare as we know it if it hadn’t been for Reagan. And despite his terms as governor of California, Reagan was unqualified to be president. And the sad thing is: he’s infinitely better than the bozos who the Republicans are looking to nominate.