Reagan’s back

The ghost of Ronald Reagan is haunting the Capitol.

“But he’s not even dead yet,” you say. “Besides, I don’t believe in ghosts.”

And you are reasonable and probably correct in both of your observations, but still, Bites is convinced that somehow, some way, The Great Communicator has found some supernatural way to influence the decisions being made in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

It’s been bad enough that conservatives have tried to canonize Reagan and elevate his disastrous deregulation and supply side economic policies into some kind of undeniable gospel truth. But now we all have to contend with Reagan ruling over us from some unknown astral plane?!?!

Reagan has Alzheimer’s disease? Phffttt, yeah right! Bites ain’t buying it. It’s probably just some kind of deep trance he’s in that allows him to telepathically enter the brains of President George W. Bush and Governor Gray Davis.

Now, being the more feeble-minded of the two leaders, Bush has been almost wholly taken over by The Gipper, espousing his ideas and uttering his lines as if they were written on cosmic cue cards. Reagan may have been the puppet of Corporate America, but Bush II is the puppet of a near-comatose ex-president with an anti-government grudge who has cut some kind of deal with the devil. And that, in Bites’ view, is far more scary.

But Davis, being a little more strong-willed and tough-minded, has resisted actually allowing Reagan to channel through him. Still, the influence is clearly there, as Bites has seen in Davis’ unwavering support of a barbarously free market and tough-on-the-poor policy predilections.

Yet it wasn’t until last week that Davis actually acknowledged being influenced by the specter of Reagan, who occupied the governor’s office before going on to bigger and better things (a path Davis himself is hoping to follow).

On May 9, Davis had a long meeting with the electricity generators that have been gouging Californians. His post-meeting press conference was even delayed for hours as the meeting dragged on, triggering hopes in foolish optimists like Bites that something of substance might actually emerge.

When the press conference finally got underway, Davis had a mouthful of nothing to say about what happened, other than claiming that he talked tough, and asked the generators to accept 70 cents on the dollar for what they’re owed (although he inexplicably maintained that he neither sought nor received any feedback on the request).

But that wasn’t the interesting part. No, the interesting part came when SN&R contributor Elizabeth McCarthy asked Davis whether he supports the proposed windfall profits tax on generators, and whether he expressed that support to them.

Davis responded that, well, let’s just cut to the official transcript: “I raised that issue. I said that as the son of two Republicans it was not in my nature to seek a windfall profits tax. But I was not ruling it out. My attitude on that would depend a lot on whether or not they showed good faith and they cooperated throughout this process. Then I showed them the picture that I stare at everyday of Ronald Reagan, I face it when I sit in my conference room everyday.”

OK, it’s craven that he essentially told the people he has labeled untrustworthy thieves that he’s likely to block the excess profit tax bill, dismissing one of the few leverage points we have against these capitalist jackals. But it’s downright creepy that he cited Reagan as a reason. Or at least it seemed creepy until Bites figured out the telepathic truth.

“Well, I mean, he’s watching over me,” Davis continued on about Reagan.

Clearly, that picture is the psychic portal that Reagan is using to lull Davis into some kind of laissez faire stupor. So, for the good of the state, Bites hereby offers a cash reward to anyone who steals Reagan’s picture from Davis’ office. Only through drastic action can we rid ourselves of Reagan’s unholy influence.