Smarmy Alligator

Politics, pop culture, and self-deprecation

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Alright, curse me if you will for being irreverant in the face of a man’s death, but, truth be told, I never had much love for Mr. Reagan, anyway.

I can’t help but reflect on the irony of the false security alert that occurred just before Reagan’s service in Washington. Todd Purdum, in the New York Times, describes it like this:

In a vivid sign of the intense anxiety over security, a little more than two hours before the service was to begin the entire Capitol and adjoining offices were hastily evacuated in what turned out to be a false alarm. The Federal Aviation Administration said a radio transmitter had malfunctioned on a Beech King aircraft belonging to the Kentucky State Police as it neared Washington airspace. The device is supposed to identify the craft to air controllers, but it failed intermittently, prompting a heightened alert.

Capitol police officers, shouting “Airborne threat, four minutes out!” ordered an evacuation as loud alarms sounded, and dozens of dignitaries and former Reagan aides gathered in a reception room near the Senate floor went running down the north steps of the Senate wing. In dark suits and black dresses, mourners including former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, former Vice President Dan Quayle and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the former ambassador to the United Nations, hustled into the muggy late afternoon sunshine, with men shucking their jackets and women under orders to remove high heels if they could not run in them.

“They came in screaming at us like you can’t believe,” said Margaret D. Tutwiler, the former State Department spokeswoman, who with the others returned to the building when the alert was lifted after several minutes. “They said, ‘you can’t walk, you have to run.'”

The irony’s not immediately clear?

Reagan’s administration was responsible for some of the worse foreign policy offenses, especially in the Middle East. I’m not saying the intense hatred for America in Islamic countries is the fault of Reagan and his ilk; the reasons for that go much farther back and are the fault of far more than one person. But Reagan sure didn’t help, and I do think that the “war on terror” we’re currently facing likely wouldn’t be happening were it not for some of the decisions and movements made during his administration.

Now we live in a state of constant alert, constant fear, seeing danger in every malfunctioning state police aircraft. It seems fitting that this fear should disrupt the funereal atmosphere of a man who helped make it so.

Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee this morning, and am making random, unfeasible connections here. Whatever. I thought it was funny.

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Written by laura k

June 10, 2004 at 11:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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