1. HadenoughBS says

    So Patti Davis really thinks her father – the man, the president who wouldn’t utter the acronym “AIDS” (and much less acknowledge the disease or create federal efforts to address it) until late in his presidency – would be OK with SSM? Color me doubtful on her claim. I only wish it would have been true but, hey, it’s a bit late now for it to make any difference.

  2. MaryM says

    Is this the same Reagan we are speaking about?

    Ronald Reagan stood idly by while the AIDS holocaust annihilated hundreds of thousands of American citizens, simply because they were gay.

    Reagan is rotting in hell for his appalling failures.

  3. andrew says

    And George Washington would have opposed slavery if he were alive today. It doesn’t matter what people say we would do if we were alive. The only thing that matters is what we did while we were alive. And George sent slave hunters after his run away “property” and Ronnie couldn’t even say the word AIDS for several years let alone do anything about it.

  4. AdamTh says

    Ronnie Reagan, the guy that put A. Scalia on the Supreme Court and nominated Robert Bork to the Court (thank those Dems of the 80’s he didn’t get it), would have supported marriage equality ??

    You’re kidding me … Right?

  5. AdamTh says

    Ronnie’s idea of marriage equality for same sex couples would have mirrored arguments used against interracial marriage in the 60’s. He would have said Gays & Lesbians already have the same marriage rights as everyone else – marry a person of the opposite sex.

  6. Bart says

    I’ve always enjoyed the Reagan children fighting with each other in the press. Nancy and Jane’s children hate each other as much as their mother’s did.

  7. Yeek says

    I’m pretty sure I remember a story about Ron and Nancy laughing their chops off when Bob Hope joked “They say the Statue of Liberty has AIDS but they don’t know if she caught it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Ferry.” Mitterrand and his wife, also present, were stunned. To his credit Hope did make a public service announcement for people with AIDS as part of an apology.

  8. thepolarbeast says

    I recall at the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty that Bob Hope said “The Statue of Liberty has AIDS but isn’t sure if she got it from the Staten Island Ferry or elsewhere.” (that is a paraphrase)

    Mr and Mrs Reagan laughed robustly while President Mitterand and his wife looked on quite appalled.

    I cannot believe that Ronald Reagan would be for gay marriage. I think Patty Davis has lost an honest memory of her father in the fog of time.

  9. Lars says

    Wishful thinking. But it’s a nice thought on her part, in any event.

    And yeah as stated above, it is great fun seeing the kids battle over their dad’s legacy. An exercise the entire GOP is also engaging in.

  10. Jack says

    I think the real issue is would Reagan have bucked his new found supporters in the South, or would he have stood by his California values.
    As wrong as Reagan was on AIDS, he did strongly oppose the Briggs Initiative (If you don’t know of the Briggs Initiative, research your History).
    My guess is that he personally would not have had an issue with it, but would he have taken the political risk to publicly support it?

  11. Taxpaying American says

    Ronald Reagan became President in no small part due to the Moral Majority, whose support Reagan heartily welcomed — they were “conservatives,” like him. The Moral Majority wanted to see gay people cease to exist, in one way or another. The head of the Moral Majority of Santa Clara County, California is on film, in a news interview, advocating executions of homosexuals.

    Patti Davis — like Bill Clinton recently re his history with DOMA — fails to look past homophobia and gay-bashing squarely in the eye and admit to it and own it. I find that despicable. So her dad apparently said some non-judgmental things about gay people, but he owes his very Presidency to homophobes, and he allowed himself to be controlled by them (e.g., re AIDS) when in office. A supposedly gay-friendly person who doesn’t stand up for gay people isn’t actually gay-friendly.

    It reminds me of the Jesse Helms Center in North Carolina trying to revise the historical reality that Jesse Helms was virulently hostile to gay people (“damned lesbian” comment etc. etc.; see film “Dear Jesse”). That is not OK.

  12. Terry says

    MaryM said:

    “Ronald Reagan stood idly by while the AIDS holocaust annihilated hundreds of thousands of American citizens, simply because they were gay.”

    If we accept your Holocaust analogy, that would make Ronald Reagan the equivalent of the Allies who failed to bomb the railway tracks leading to Auschwitz. In other words, his sin is the failure to prevent the harm that others were causing. So that would make gays and IVDUs, the ones who actually transmitted the virus, the equivalent of Nazi Germany. You should think twice before you toss around Holocaust references.

    You seem very homophobic. So it isn’t all that surprising that you would suggest that , AIDS is a gay disease.

  13. Paul R says

    All the Reagan kids are nuts and always have been. Patti and Michael are the worst. Ron is OK but still a bit off—but soft-hearted at least. I can’t really blame them…imagine growing up in that household.

  14. Michael Bedwell says

    Daughter Dearest needs to make up her mind. She’s told this unbelievable “Daddy really LOVED The Gays” tale before even though she also once told The Advocate: “[My parents] think [being gay is] abnormal. I certainly don’t think they feel that whatever someone’s sexual preference is, is OK. They think that God made men and women to make love and any variation on that theme is in some way blasphemous.” THAT fits with her father’s own words during his 1980 campaign for the presidency: “An employer should not be subject to special laws such as ‘gay ordinances’ passed in some cities which in effect would compel him to hire a person because of that person’s sexual preference. My criticism is that that [the gay movement]isn’t just asking for civil rights, it’s asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.” When the reporter asked why not, Reagan replied, “Well, you could find that in the Bible. It says that in the eyes of the Lord it’s an abomination.” But here she goes again, trying again to get us to believe that, circa twenty years before, DaDa was comfortable discussing homosexuality neutrally with his grade school daughter.

    As for him and Rock Hudson, just nine months after his death from AIDS, Ronnie & Nancy attended a nationally televised rededication of the cleaned-up Statue of Liberty in July 1986. A part of the evening’s “entertainment” was Repug comedian Bob Hope. He said:

    “I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS but she doesn’t know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or from the Staten Island Ferry.” “As the television camera panned the audience, special guests French President & Mdm. Mitterand] looked appalled. The Reagans were laughing.” By the end of 1988 and the close of the Reagan years, 82,362 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States, and more than 61,816 of them had died. The man was a heartless monster when it came to my people, guilty of passive genocide, and NOTHING anyone says will change that fact.

  15. robroy says

    Reagan was an opportunist he was pro-abortion in Case but anti-abortion on the national stage. By all accounts he had multiple gay friends but he was brutal to gay interests as president.

    I don’t doubt that Nancy arranged for lesbian babysitters or that he could give a level headed explanation of homosexuality. But when the bright lights came on they didn’t suit his roll.

    In terms of Reagan children- Maureen for the win!

  16. Dback says

    Patti Davis memoir “The Way I See It” is essential reading for insight into Ronald Reagan’s mind. A key anecdote revolves around Patti “refusing” to be born and holding onto the inside of Nancy just to be obstinate; as Patti points out, this is biologically impossible, but Ronald Reagan completely believed it, because Nancy said so. Reagan was the son of alcoholics, and his psychological portrait mirrors this perfectly: the hyper-perfectionism, the drive to be a “golden boy” (his lifeguard record), his attempts at being a movie star, and then his political career. These children are also very, very good at making up their own version of reality, glossing over/denying unpleasant realities, and compartmentalizing. It is completely possible that Reagan might have been pro-choice in his private life, and that the Reagans (especially Nancy) had gay friends; it is also completely true that they were able to spin on a dime and deny all of these issues in terms of policy to keep cozying up to the Religious Right.

    So Patti Davis is not wrong in her recollections of her father being matter-of-fact about gay people in private, but she’s reaching if she thinks that he ever would’ve done a darn thing about it. (See also: Reagan’s “humorous” stories involving mincing or lisping gay people, and how he was sure his masculine virility would never “confuse” a woman about which side his bread was buttered. On the other hand, Sinatra often did the same thing.) Reagan wanted to be a shining star–to redeem himself and rewrite his sad childhood history and his parents story–and he was damn determined that nothing (certainly not Iran-Contra or AIDS) was ever going to get in his way.

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