With the passing of Nancy Reagan, Monday morning's news shows were filled with loving tributes to a classy lady, mixed with wistful nostalgia for the Reagan presidency in general. The coverage was, of course, appropriate and yet also served as a harsh dichotomy when broadcast alongside the latest name-calling, insults and attacks of this year's GOP presidential race.
In fact, the juxtaposition drove home a point that many people have made for a while: Ronald Reagan wouldn't stand a chance in today's Republican Party.
Reagan was lauded for his statesmanship as well as his willingness to compromise to get things done. He also raised taxes and increased the deficit when he thought it was necessary.
Today's candidates view such qualities as signs of weakness or even heresy.
Donald Trump might call Reagan a vile name (as he did Ted Cruz). Marco Rubio might call Reagan's tax plans attempts to kill jobs and punish the successful.And Ted Cruz has repeatedly bemoaned politicians who compromise.
Also, keep in mind that Reagan is revered among Republicans for popularizing the so-called "11th Commandment: Thou shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Well, if most of these candidates followed that rule, they simply would not speak anymore. It's worth remembering as the eulogies flow about a time that now seems not only long ago, but actively despised.