WWRD: What would Reagan do?

Anthony W. Hager
Even the casual observer will notice the regularity with which President Obama invokes the ghost of Ronald Reagan. When Obama speaks about American leadership he'll call on Reagan. If he's focusing on fiscal solvency he'll call on Reagan. Both are ironic, since America has become tepid internationally and experienced exponential spending growth under Obama's administration.

Obama cites Reagan rather easily for such a decidedly leftist president. You have to wonder how many people are falling for his bluff. Obama needs to alter his image if he desires to prove his affinity with Reagan. The union showdown in Wisconsin grants the President an opportunity to achieve that goal. Failing to follow a Reagan course will confirm Obama's rhetoric as politically-driven hot air.

Thousands of Wisconsin's public employees, most notably teachers, have walked off their jobs. Union bosses claim the employees are demonstrating for their collective bargaining rights. Actually, they're staging a de facto wildcat strike. Employees have called in sick when they aren't ill, and doctors are allegedly providing excuses so those employees can receive their sick pay. In short, the public employees and their sympathetic physicians are irresponsible, undependable liars. The protesters are receiving paychecks from public funds under false pretenses, which make them cheats and thieves as well.

Many Christians wear "WWJD" bracelets. When they face a moment of truth they ask, "What would Jesus do?" Wisconsin is a moment of truth for Obama. A "WWRD" bracelet will remind him to ask, "What would Reagan do?"

He needn't guess. History shows him exactly what President Reagan would do under similar circumstances. When air traffic controllers walked off their jobs in the summer of 1981 President Reagan told them not to let the door hit them on the way out. Controllers called Reagan's hand and discovered that he wasn't bluffing. If Obama truly desires credibility as our 40th President's disciple--a President whose popularity is waxing, by the way--he can build it in Wisconsin.

Obama, however, hasn't embraced the attitude toward Wisconsin's public employee unionists that Reagan held toward air traffic controllers. Actually, he has taken a diametrically opposite position. Not only has he refused to denounce the protesters, he has embraced them. And for what cause other than the unionists' demand that Wisconsin continue to fund their wants with money the state doesn't have? That's not Reagan-like, Mr. President.

To be fair, Obama can't follow Reagan's example in practicality. The Madison marchers are state employees whereas the air traffic controllers were federalized. But he can adopt Reagan's attitude. Don't bet the farm on that happening. Obama is light years from filling Reagan's legacy in this area, or any other for that matter. Each reference he makes to Reagan is as much smoke and mirrors as his claim that healthcare reform reduces the deficit or the stimulus package created jobs.

If Obama possessed even the slightest interest in emulating Reagan he would support Governor Walker's attempt to restore fiscal discipline to Wisconsin. The Governor's plans aren't unreasonable. In fact, they reflect nothing more than what millions of private sector employees deal with every day. Poor economic conditions affect private sector pay and benefits. Budget constraints should have a similar affect on the public sector. Carrying a union card and paying a monthly tribute shouldn't shield public employees from fiscal reality.

What would Reagan do? He would support Gov. Walker's attempt to address Wisconsin's fiscal reality. He couldn't deal with these strikers like he dealt with the air traffic controllers, considering they are state employees. But he wouldn't hold them up as the supreme example of America's work ethic either.

What will Obama do? He'll cater to the unions who keep his campaign coffers flush with cash and he'll bolt from any proposal that promises to slow government's growth. Obama will prove that his budget hawk rhetoric is as empty as Nancy Pelosi's head and that the only commonality he shares with Reagan is having parked his derrière in an Oval Office chair.

Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 300 articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. Contact him via his website,
www.therightslant.com.
Even the casual observer will notice the regularity with which President Obama invokes the ghost of Ronald Reagan. When Obama speaks about American leadership he'll call on Reagan. If he's focusing on fiscal solvency he'll call on Reagan. Both are ironic, since America has become tepid internationally and experienced exponential spending growth under Obama's administration.

Obama cites Reagan rather easily for such a decidedly leftist president. You have to wonder how many people are falling for his bluff. Obama needs to alter his image if he desires to prove his affinity with Reagan. The union showdown in Wisconsin grants the President an opportunity to achieve that goal. Failing to follow a Reagan course will confirm Obama's rhetoric as politically-driven hot air.

Thousands of Wisconsin's public employees, most notably teachers, have walked off their jobs. Union bosses claim the employees are demonstrating for their collective bargaining rights. Actually, they're staging a de facto wildcat strike. Employees have called in sick when they aren't ill, and doctors are allegedly providing excuses so those employees can receive their sick pay. In short, the public employees and their sympathetic physicians are irresponsible, undependable liars. The protesters are receiving paychecks from public funds under false pretenses, which make them cheats and thieves as well.

Many Christians wear "WWJD" bracelets. When they face a moment of truth they ask, "What would Jesus do?" Wisconsin is a moment of truth for Obama. A "WWRD" bracelet will remind him to ask, "What would Reagan do?"

He needn't guess. History shows him exactly what President Reagan would do under similar circumstances. When air traffic controllers walked off their jobs in the summer of 1981 President Reagan told them not to let the door hit them on the way out. Controllers called Reagan's hand and discovered that he wasn't bluffing. If Obama truly desires credibility as our 40th President's disciple--a President whose popularity is waxing, by the way--he can build it in Wisconsin.

Obama, however, hasn't embraced the attitude toward Wisconsin's public employee unionists that Reagan held toward air traffic controllers. Actually, he has taken a diametrically opposite position. Not only has he refused to denounce the protesters, he has embraced them. And for what cause other than the unionists' demand that Wisconsin continue to fund their wants with money the state doesn't have? That's not Reagan-like, Mr. President.

To be fair, Obama can't follow Reagan's example in practicality. The Madison marchers are state employees whereas the air traffic controllers were federalized. But he can adopt Reagan's attitude. Don't bet the farm on that happening. Obama is light years from filling Reagan's legacy in this area, or any other for that matter. Each reference he makes to Reagan is as much smoke and mirrors as his claim that healthcare reform reduces the deficit or the stimulus package created jobs.

If Obama possessed even the slightest interest in emulating Reagan he would support Governor Walker's attempt to restore fiscal discipline to Wisconsin. The Governor's plans aren't unreasonable. In fact, they reflect nothing more than what millions of private sector employees deal with every day. Poor economic conditions affect private sector pay and benefits. Budget constraints should have a similar affect on the public sector. Carrying a union card and paying a monthly tribute shouldn't shield public employees from fiscal reality.

What would Reagan do? He would support Gov. Walker's attempt to address Wisconsin's fiscal reality. He couldn't deal with these strikers like he dealt with the air traffic controllers, considering they are state employees. But he wouldn't hold them up as the supreme example of America's work ethic either.

What will Obama do? He'll cater to the unions who keep his campaign coffers flush with cash and he'll bolt from any proposal that promises to slow government's growth. Obama will prove that his budget hawk rhetoric is as empty as Nancy Pelosi's head and that the only commonality he shares with Reagan is having parked his derrière in an Oval Office chair.

Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 300 articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. Contact him via his website,
www.therightslant.com.