Did you hear that Nancy Reagan climbed out of her... whatever it is she would climb out of, and is pissing and moaning that footage of her husband, former president Ronald Reagan is being used in a campaign ad for the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Virginia, Jim Webb?
It's a thirty-second introductory spot for Webb (according to a recent Mason-Dixon poll, 65% of those polled are either 'neutral' or 'don't recognize' Webb) in which Reagan's voice is heard for 16 seconds and his image appears for about five seconds. Nancy requested (through Joanna Drake, the former first lady's chief of staff) that Webb refrain from using any footage or photos and suggests that the video is being used for a "very negative" ad. Former Reagan advisors have also chimed in saying that Webb is "dishonoring the memory of President Reagan."
So, exactly what footage did Webb use for his 'negative' ad that dishonors the memory of President Reagan? Here's the text: "One man who sat where you do now is another member of our administration, Assistant Secretary of Defense James Webb, the most decorated member of his class. James' gallantry as a Marine officer in Vietnam won him the Navy Cross and other decorations." Reagan said this during a commencement address at the Naval Academy back in 1985. Wow, can't you just feel the negativity and dishonoring going on? You can check out the offensive 30-second spot and decide for yourself over at Daily Kos.
I'm picking on Nancy because she sends this letter out for no other reason than Webb is the Democratic candidate. Webb's GOP competitor, George Felix Allen Jr., has sent out mailers featuring a photo of a Allen standing next to Reagan many years ago. The same photo is apparently also featured on his campaign website. (In fact, I'd recommend going by the Felix campaign site just to check out how the entire front page is nothing but wall-to-wall coverage of this "issue". Good thing there's nothing important like a war going on or something.) Now, is Nancy sending letters to Allen asking him to refrain from using any images of dear old Ronnie? Of course not. Her panties are in a twist, as are Reagan's former advisors because the use they feel that the of Reagan's image implies an endorsement of Webb. My question is, who's to say that he wouldn't have supported Jim Webb? Simply because Felix is a Republican, does that mean that Reagan would have automatically endorsed him? Assume for just a moment that Reagan were alive and his mind weren't suffering the ravages of Alzheimer's disease - would Reagan look at the current political landscape and consider for a moment that Webb could be an emminently endorsable candidate?
If Nancy and company find that sort of supposition offensive, then I find it equally offensive that they would presume to know that Ronnie would automatically support a man who did not serve his country during Vietnam (unlike Webb) and has demonstrated on several occasions something of a predelection towards racist ideologies and slurs?
Alright, he probably would have supported Allen, but the point is that no one knows. Not me. Not Webb. Not Felix. So Webb decides to use sixteen seconds of footage in which Reagan basically reads Webb's resume. How offensive. Yet Reagan's surrogates, and Felix himself are practically wrapping themselves in Reagan's very essense as the one true "heir" to Reagan. Ironically enough, if Felix were such a Reagan fanatic, perhaps he shouldn't have voted against the stem cell research that could potentially cure Alzheimers, the disease that destroyed Reagan's final years.