As we’re upon the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, a President that many of us believe represented everything positive about America, it seems like an appropriate time to do the customary comparison between the President we knew and the President we have.

I first thought of doing this posting during Obama’s State of the Union address this past week.  Listening to Obama say many of the things that so easily came from the lips of Ronald Reagan, such as simplifying the tax code, corporate tax relief or entitlement reform, I wondered why such things were so easy to believe when said by Reagan and just so much pandering when spoken by Obama.  Perhaps the reason is that no one ever wondered where Ronald Reagan stood.  The man was what he appeared to be.  He didn’t have a chameleon bone in his body.  From the first time I heard him speak in the 1970’s until the day he left office, there was never any question about his beliefs.  He didn’t change to fit the audience.  He didn’t change his purported values to better suit re-election.  There’s a big difference between adapting to a situation and changing your base values.  Reagan never did.  Has Obama?  I doubt it.  But he’s quite capable of making people believe he has.

Obama and Reagan are both quite good at public speaking.  I’ll give them both a B+ on that score.  However with Reagan I knew his words were heartfelt.  With Obama it feels so scripted.  My own bias?  Perhaps.  But the similarities between them end with the economic circumstances they walked into.  Both came into a  financial crisis.  Reagan went to work on day one to change government’s intrusion on the lives of Americans.  Obama saw the economic strife as a way to unleash the powers of government for the betterment of Americans.  The only problem with Obama’s thesis is that government doesn’t improve lives, it sucks the very life from those who become dependent upon it.

It’s been said that Reagan did not have an angry bone in his body.  I personally cannot attest to that.  However he had a public persona that was always positive.  He made you feel good and proud of your American heritage.  Obama, seems to have quite a thin skin.  Comments Obama make show his disposition to be far from Reagan’s.  He seems defensive or bothered when being questioned.  He seems ready for a fight, as if someone has discovered that the Emperor is in fact naked.

As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, we can’t help but wonder what he would think of the current administration.  Reagan had a few goals when he came to office: bolster the economy, restore the military, defeat communism and reduce the effect of government on business and the public.  He never, even for a moment, waivered from those goals.  Reagan was smart enough to compromise, but resolute  and never deviated from his values.

In Obama’s first two years in office, other than a radical left-wing value system, it is difficult if not impossible to identify his goals.  He throws out generic ideas, but he allowed Pelosi and Reid to write the laws that will likely keep him a one-term President.  He clearly believes that government’s role is to take care of us.  He clearly believes that he and his fellow liberals know better than you and I.  But where is his roadmap?  Does he meander about to keep us from knowing ultimately where he wants to go, for fear that the majority of Americans will put a quick end to it?

Whether I agree with Obama’s views or plans, I could at least respect him for following his hardcore beliefs, if only he’d lay them out for all to see.  I say this tongue-in-cheek.  I believe I do know where he stands.  And I believe he plays to the center, because that’s his best hopes at election time.  But I also believe the inner Obama is every bit as left-wing as Pelosi and Reid.  He believes he can be stealthy.  And he was able to pull that off in 2008.  In 2012, the American electorate will be far more realistic.  The feel-good Obama of 2008 will be transparent to those fooled then.  People will see him for his deeds and not his rhetoric.

I miss Ronald Reagan.  I had my doubts about putting an ex-actor in the Whitehouse, but there was just something about his words and his style that told you this was an honest man.  Reagan was a man that spent every day doing what he believed was right, and let the chips fall where they may.  God rest you Ronald Reagan.  A country still mourns for you.