Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Batter Up!

Under the headline Activist once swam with GOP, Scott Sonner of the Associated Press provided this:
RENO – Bob Fulkerson was leaving President Reagan’s inaugural ball a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol in January 1981 when it hit him.

The fifth-generation Nevadan and George Washington University student had earned an invitation to the gala because he was working for Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt and had volunteered for Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.

“I was walking home from this very opulent, lavish party, and I was literally having to step over homeless people on the way to my dorm,” Fulkerson said.

“It was a turning point,” he said. “It made me realize I was batting for the wrong team.”

Today, Fulkerson, 45, is the executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance for Nevada, a non-profit group he co-founded in 1994. Last week, he received a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, which selected him as one of 17 winners of its 2005 Leadership for a Changing World Award…

It’s hard to imagine that Mr. Fulkerson was able to keep a straight face while Mr. Sonner took interview notes. In any case, some actual facts relevant to the period in question seem appropriate.

Ronald Reagan became President of the United States on Tuesday, January 20, 1981. The inaugural ball Mr. Fulkerson attended was held that evening.

Prior to the 1980 national election, the Democrat Party had controlled both the Senate and House of Representatives (thus also the creation of and spending for US welfare programs) for 25 consecutive years. When Jimmy Carter, also a Democrat and Reagan’s predecessor, came into office in January 1977 the "misery index" (the sum of the inflation rate and unemployment rate for a given year) was declining. The index reversed direction and rose to its highest point in history during the Carter administration.

Ronald Reagan had been in office for twelve hours when Fulkerson left Reagan’s GOP - a team yet to bat - to join another team; the article never makes clear whether that team had a name or ideology.

An aside

“Within a few months… [Fulkerson] was back in Nevada at the age of 23 working as state director of Citizen Alert, leading rallies for a freeze on nuclear weapons”
Ronald Reagan negotiated and signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Treaty. The INF Treaty was the first nuclear arms control agreement to actually reduce nuclear arms. President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev signed the treaty on December 8, 1987. The INF Treaty resulted in the verified elimination of 846 longer-and shorter-range U.S. INF missile systems and 1846 Soviet INF missile systems, including the modernized U.S. Pershing II and Soviet SS-20 missiles.

It would appear that the GOP never missed Fulkerson’s bat.

[Ed. – the excerpts above are paragraphs from an article printed on page 2B of yesterday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper. The digital version of that article is nowhere to be found on the Web (at least I can’t find it). I don’t know if that is an indication that someone at AP realized the incongruity in Fulkerson’s epiphany and pulled it, or, that the piece never made it to the Internet.]

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