Ronald Reagan has nearly reached mythic status in this early part of the 21st century as something of a Republican's Republican. Every year in Congress, no matter which party controls the House, at least one representative introduces a bill to name something big after Reagan, or to build a monument, or make space on Mt. Rushmore, and so on. But looking at Reagan's domestic agenda reveals that his rhetoric was a lot closer to current Tea Party talking points than his actual politics. Reagan may have been the first President to cast doubt on the sanctity of "government," but are conservatives overstating the man? And when we look at the candidates in the running for the White House, do any of them meet the new standards of the extreme right wing?
Up until now, I've looked at people who have for better or worse had their time in the spotlight of Washington, DC and who have, for the most part, faded from view, or at least have made their ways to the back of our collective memory. And starting next month I'll take a gander at folks who were not as much on the national stage but who have affected policy or political expectations more regionally.
So far going through the scandals and politicized campaigns of yore has been relatively straightforward. Not so this time around. Because I'm taking up the sordid story of Oliver North.