On this day in 1987, the Tower Commission released its report on the Iran-Contra Affair. It “held Reagan accountable for a lax managerial style and aloofness from policy detail.” I think the only one who actually went to jail over the whole thing was Oliver North. Of course, he’s a great hero to conservatives. There is nothing that conservatives love so much is people who break the law in the name of overthrowing democratically elected governments.
I remember Reagan testifying before the Tower Commission. Basically, he just couldn’t remember anything. Not that it matters. It’s kind of like Chris Christie. Everyone knew what the big man wanted. And what he wanted was for his people to break a law that Congress passed specifically to stop the administration from doing what it was doing — and did.
The only reason the power elite put up with democracy in America, is because they know they control it. When democracy actually works in other places — when the government isn’t completely beholden to our government and corporations — well then, democracy is a bad thing. It’s a very Animal Farm kind of thing: democracy is something we completely believe in — as long as it results in what we want. What the people want doesn’t matter in the least.
So the Tower Commission found that Reagan was incompetent. But almost no one today knows what the Tower Commission was. And they think that Ronald Reagan was a super keen president. This is despite the fact that during the Tower Commission, Reagan was doubtless already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. But what does that matter when he was so great in front of a television camera? The truth is, he seemed deeply confused in the first debate he had against Mondale in 1984. He probably wasn’t all there in 1980. But maybe a president doesn’t have to be — at least a Republican one.