Setting Up Shop

If you are under the age of 45 and haven’t picked up a copy of In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World, then stop reading this and go buy the book.
Hugh Hewitt’s latest book should be the vade mecum for any young Christian aspiring to a life of influence. The advice ranges from the obvious but often ignored (#36 – Be slow to show your knowledge) to the practical but often ignored (#9 – Tatoos: Don’t).
This blog was inspired by #32 (Start and maintain your own Web log (blog)). “At present,” Hewitt notes, “no great blogger has emerged with a distinctly evangelical worldview.” Point noted, Mr. Hewitt.
I’ll be here, holding down the fort, until such a blogger shows up.

Act 1 — The Early Years (Pgs. 6-26)

(Note: As a service to all four of my faithful readers, I’ve decided to try to summarize all 213 pages of the script for “The Reagans.” I’ll skip most of the dull stuff and try to highlight any juicy details. This is part one of a who-knows-how-long process. So bear with me, dear reader.)
Year: 1949. Reagan walks into the MGM studios passing two actors in black-face working on a tap dance routine. He meets a producer, Leroy, who points out Nancy Davis. She’s “extremely conservative. Extremely Republican.” She’s also been mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter as a communist sympathizer. Leroy asks if Ronnie, since he’s the president of SAG can help. (SAG, by the way, is the Screen Actor’s Guild, a front for the CIA). Leroy suggests Ronnie take Nancy out to dinner. Nothing expensive but she needs to get out, she’s a wreck. Reagan groans but agrees since “she doesn’t look like a wreck.” Rowrr.

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Act 1 — The Early Years (Pgs. 6-26)

Act 2 — The Early Years (Pgs. 27-39)

Years 1953-54: Warner Bros. Fires Reagan. His chimp movies weren’t doing so hot. He’s offered a job working for a pre-Jack Welch GE. He’s depressed. But it’s a lot of money, he’s told. Well, yeah, but the government is going to take 94% of it in taxes. Damn commie pinko government.
Patti, age 2, is a brat. Spills cereal on Nancy’s copy of “Dr. Spock’s Child Care.” Nancy screams.
Scene: — Scottsdale: Reagan sips highballs with Barry Goldwater. Goldwater puts down Hoffa and the unions. Reagan says the guv’mint is worse. Republicans killed the movie studios and stopped all the Reagan-monkey movies and the liberal Democrats are leading the country to socialism. “Isn’t that right Patti?” says Ron. Patti, age 2, agrees. Socialism bad, monkey movies good.
Nancy’s mom, Edie, tells her that once Ronnie starts working for GE they can hire a nanny (presumably for that brat Patti). Apparently in ‘53, 6% of a paycheck goes a long way. Nancy wants to be a good mom. Edie scoffs. Kids come and go, she tells her daughter. (Edie, I should remind you, is a pro-choice anti-Semitic, homophobic Republican.)

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Act 2 — The Early Years (Pgs. 27-39)

Act 3 — The Early Years (Pgs. 39-49)

Nancy gives birth to Ron, Jr. “I have a son,” says Ronnie, forgetting that he already has a son named Michael.
GE thinks Reagan’s speeches are getting too extreme. He’s told that he is starting to sound like a “right-wing reactionary nut and that “Democrats buy GE products too, so lay off the Commie-thing.” (Note for the kids: In the 1950s Democrats were commie loving toaster buyers.)
Patti the Brat almost gets slapped by Nancy. Instead, Nancy just screams.
Ronnie quits GE to go back to making monkey movies. His agent won’t take his call. He’s been black-listed, or is that red-listed, by the commie-loving, light bulb-using, Hollywood Democrats.

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Act 3 — The Early Years (Pgs. 39-49)

Act 4 — The Early Years (Pgs. 50-61)

Year: 1964 — Some guy named Holmes Tuttle says, “Nancy , we want to put your husband in the Governor’s seat, and keep him there for 8 years. Then we’re going to put him in the Presidency for another 8 years. By the time he’s done, Communism will be dead, the Republican Party reunited, and “conservative” won’t be a dirty word anymore.”
Holmes Tuttle is a prophet.
Tuttle: “Sure, it’s nice being the wife of a movie star. But think what it would be like to be the Governor of California. (pause) First lady of California – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? There you’ll be, in the Governor’s mansion – ”
Maria: “It’s a dump.”
Tuttle: “Then we’ll get you someplace nicer, somewhere in Sacramento—
Maria: I hate Sacramento
(Oops, I typed Maria when I should have typed Nancy. That’s a future movie.)

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Act 4 — The Early Years (Pgs. 50-61)

Act 5 — The Early Years (Pgs. 62-77)

Year: 1967 – Reagan faces student protesters. He says he’s sick of sit-ins and walk-outs and thinks it’s time for a few throw-outs! A student yells, “Go back to Hollywood, Bonzo!” (Note to student: Bonzo was the monkey, you drugged out hippie.)
Newspaper editor looks at two headlines: “Fancy Nancy Turns Up Her Nose at Governor’s Mansion” and “Nancy Eats Out, While Hubbie Cuts School Lunches.” Editor says to go with the “Fancy Nancy” one.
Nancy-pants is ushering Ron, Jr. to school in the limo. Demonstrators throw a tomato at the window causing Nancy to scream. Apparently, vegetables are the bane of the Nancy-pants monster.

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Act 5 — The Early Years (Pgs. 62-77)

Act 6 — The Middle Years (Pgs. 78-90)

1973: Ron, Jr. the Lord of the Dance is playing reporter. He asks his dad what was his most significant accomplishment as Governor. Making California fiscally responsible, says Reagan. But you closed down two-thirds of the state mental hospitals, says Jr., and all those people ended up on the street. (Historical note for the kids: This is where the population of San Francisco came from.)
But you raised taxes more than any Governor in U.S. history, Jr. continues, I mean you’re a Republican, you’re supposed to be against raising taxes. (Ron, Jr. the Lord of the Dance obviously never met Uncle George Herbert Walker Bush) “Well, I’ve got a theory about economics, says dad, “If the rich have more money to spend on buying things and building businesses, it will naturally end up helping the poor people. It’s called “trickle-down.” (The screenwriters have mistakenly inserted the Streisand “Raise Taxes” theory of trickle down economics for Reagan’s.)
Nancy pops another valium. Just because.

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Act 6 — The Middle Years (Pgs. 78-90)

Act 7 — Pre-Presidency (Pgs. 91-106)

1978: Reagan tells a dumb joke about President Carter and Teddy Roosevelt’s ghost.
Ronnie tells a reporter that more pollution is caused by rotting vegetation than by so-called-polluters. (Note: Reagan’s environmental advisor was Bonzo.)
Reagan campaigns for the presidency. Nothing exciting happens. Nancy-pants fights with the staff, tells Ronnie that John Sears is the Devil. Reagan says that Sears problem is he won’t look him in the eye. Sears the Timid Devil.
Patti the Brat asks Nancy-pants if she has any dope. I’ll take anything. Darvon. Valium. Quaaludes. Anything at all, she says. Patti the Junkie Brat.
Patti the Brat bends over with stomach pains. Nancy-pants, horrified, asks if she had an abortion. No, Patti says, I had my tubes tied. (That Gerry Ford really had an effect on her.)

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Act 7 — Pre-Presidency (Pgs. 91-106)

The First Five Pages

Int. Reagan Bedroom — White House

Mike Deaver
I got a call from John Tower…He wants to talk to you, Mr. President…

Reagan is still staring into the tv. It’s a cowboy movie.
Nancy
It’s okay, Mike. Go on.

Deaver turns to Nancy, lowers his voice
Deaver
(in a whisper)
They’re beginning to talk about impeachment.

She begins to tremble.
Nancy
They’ll never impeach him.
They won’t have the votes for it in the Senate.

To spare you the trouble, I’ll summarize the rest of the scene:
Deaver tells Reagan he needs an attorney. (The White House counsel apparantly had the term off).
Reagan calls Ollie North a bastard and a “lying son of a gun.” The President has some mouth on him.
Nancy says Ronnie will only talk to the people, not the press. The people love him. The press, not so much.
Reagan says they got Nixon but they won’t get him. He’s not Nixon, he’s not.
In what is soon to become an annoying habit, Ronnie refers to his wife as “Nancy-pants”. He tells her not to worry. She worries anyway.
Nancy talks to Deaver in private. She says she needs to consult her psychic because they are “surrounded by traitors.”
She catches a security guard watching a TV program about Oliver North. She immediately fires this traitor. (No explanation for why the White House is being protected by security guards.)
Close up on Reagan’s eyes. He looks confused.
So are we. Confused about why we are watching this mess.