Matt Drudge loves to manufacture things, this we know. Remember the story about Kerry's intern that fizzled into nothing but lies? Or the one about Wes Clark "supporting" the war in Iraq with his Armed Services Committee testimony, which actually showed the opposite if one read the transcript? A few months ago, Drudge ran a headline very very briefly that said a doctor admitted giving Kerry botox. I guess it didn't pan out because the headline disappeared within hours. This is why Drudge should check his facts before he goes to print.
Now he's running a picture of the Clinton's at Reagan's funeral with their eyes closed, captioned "Clinton's Rest Eyes During Reagan Eulogy." Of course, if you look right behind the Clinton's, you'll see a woman who I believe is Mrs. Betty Ford also with her eyes closed. Perhaps it was a moment of prayer or reflection. Perhaps the eulogies were just damned boring.
Another Drudge picture also focuses on the man republicans still love to hate (Clinton) beside Kerry and they are both--oh, horror of horrors--laughing. Heaven forbid anyone smile or laugh following a funeral.
Thankfully Ronald Reagan can only die once. You'll have to count me among those who weren't impressed with him while he was alive and find no reason to be impressed with him now that he's dead. This whole Reagan love-fest is overkill, in my opinion. The man was not the most loved president (contrary to republican claims), he did a lot of bad things while president, and while death is always unfortunate, the man was 93 years old.
Now republicans want to put his face on all kinds of currency and coin, rename the Pentagon after him, and waive the time period before a monument to someone can be erected on the mall in Washington. Some even want to carve his face onto Mt. Rushmore.
Part of this surge of Reagan-love coming from the right is an attempt to cement Reagan with Republican to supplant peoples' worsening views on republicans due to Bush's antics with their fond memories of Reagan. As Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo points out, the Bush campaign has even turned its website from a Kerry bash page to a Reagan tribute.
The Republican party is starting to recognize that Bush is a sinking ship. They are hoping that by glossing over Reagan's true historical legacy, Bush can stay afloat by holding onto Reagan's coattails. There has been much effort in the past weak to recast Bush as Reagan's heir. Of course, Bush disputed that and told Tom Brokaw the day Reagan died that he preferred to be thought of as a "Bush republican." Someone must have hit him upside the head because shortly after, he was trying to draw parallels between himself and Reagan.
Let's see. Reagan favored nuclear disarmament; Bush favors abandoning nuclear arms treaties and building new nuclear weapons. Reagan did not retaliate for the deaths of over 200 soldiers in Lebanon and in fact pulled back; Bush has avenged the deaths of 3,000 Americans against a country that had nothing to do with it. Reagan raised taxes when needed; Bush continues to cut them even when they should be raised.
Of course, there are parallels. Both men played lip service to "compassion," and it was lacking in their deeds. Both saw soaring unemployment. Both left huge deficits in their wake. Both engaged in illegal activity that they tried to shield from the American public and when confronted, both claimed to be out of the loop on the issue. Both also had a penchant for saying stupid things when they thought nobody was listening.
From reading the Drudge report, you'd think Jesus had died all over again.
UPDATE: Drudge pulled the picture of Kerry and Clinton laughing. I wonder why. Perhaps someone snapped a picture of Bush laughing so Drudge decided it would be a mistake to make someone laughing at a funeral into a negative.