Let me launch another hopeless attack on our national amnesia, focusing this time on the Republican Party’s holiest saint and George W. Bush’s spiritual father, Ronald Reagan.
It is from a series of Doonesbury strips published in 1986, well before the flood of indictments, plea bargains, sentencing and presidential pardons that were to grow out of the Iran-contra revelations. The talk show host is NPR’s (at least Gary Trudeau’s NPR) Mark Slackmeyer:
Yes, it’s time for “Sleaze on Parade!” Let’s start with Reagan appointees who resigned or were fired following charges of legal or ethical misconduct!
Here we go … “Rita Lavell, Joseph Canzeri, Louis Cordia, Michael Cardenas, Wesley A. Plummer, Mary Ann Gilleece, Fred J. Villella, Louis O. Giuffrida, James Watt, Michael Connolly, Robert Nimmo, Thomas C. Reed! Armand Reiser! Emanuel Savas! Carlos Campbell! Peter Bibko! Whoa, better pace myself…
…And continuing with Reagan officials who left office amidst charges of unethical behavior or criminal wrongdoing…Raymond P. Donovan, Anne Burford, James M. Beggs, John McElderry, Donald I. Hovde, Michael Karem, John P. Horton…
…John Hernandez, Shelby Brewer, Guy W. Fiske, John Fedders, Matthew N. Novick, Richard Mulberry, and Robert M. Perry!
And from our sleaze grab bag, Michael Deaver, William J. Casey, Michael Frost, Gerald P. Carmen, Robert Burford, Edgar Callahan, and Charles Z. Wick.
Is it fair to simply read a list of names cold? Are you getting the whole story here? Well, in all candor, probably not. So remember, these are just the guys who got caught…
…Donald Ellison, embezzled bank funds, imprisoned. Lee S. Varner, defrauded federal government of $53,500, convicted, Richard V. Allen, accepted money and watches, resigned. Ed Meese, aided financially by six persons later given federal jobs, promoted.
Good news, boys and girls. Here on the line with an opposing viewpoint is White House spokesman Larry Speakes. Speak to us, Speakes!
“NPR’s so-called ‘Sleaze on Parade’ is an outrage. The 103 appointees named are all victims of vicious smear campaigns by the liberal press. The president has total confidence in the innocence and integrity of every individual listed, with the possible exception of those behind bars.”