Here's a great piece by President Reagan's son:
son of the fortieth president of the United States takes a hard look at
the son of the forty-first and does not like what he seesBy Ron Reagan, Esquire, September 2004
may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes
clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash.
Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers
itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the
neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots
with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration
of craven sociopathy likely played a part. ... I began to get calls from
friends whose parents had always voted Republican, "but not this time."
There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim
Lehrer sneering at the "Orwellian language" flowing out of the Pentagon.
Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of
Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's
misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number
of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush
administration was dishing out. A fresh age appeared on the horizon,
accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt
something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives
and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent."
even my father's funeral contributed. ... People were treated to a
side-by-side comparison—Ronald W. Reagan versus George W. Bush—and it's
no surprise who suffered for it. Misty-eyed with nostalgia, people set
aside old political gripes for a few days and remembered what friend and
foe always conceded to Ronald Reagan: He was damned impressive in the
role of leader of the free world. A sign in the crowd, spotted during
the slow roll to the Capitol rotunda, seemed to sum up the mood—a
portrait of my father and the words NOW THERE WAS A PRESIDENT. "
IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH and confusion of 9/11, Bush, who on that day
was in Sarasota, Florida, conducting an emergency reading of "The Pet
Goat," was whisked off to Nebraska aboard Air Force One. While this may
have been entirely sensible under the chaotic circumstances—for all
anyone knew at the time, Washington might still have been under attack—the appearance was, shall we say, less than gallant.
So a story was concocted: There had been a threat to Air Force One that
necessitated the evasive maneuver. Bush's chief political advisor, Karl
Rove, cited "specific" and "credible" evidence to that effect. The
story quickly unraveled. In truth, there was no such threat. "
If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it.
Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually
believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by
constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can
keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term."