Monday, February 7, 2011

"How are you, Mr. Mayor?"

Peter Dreier, writing for the National Housing Institute in 2004, marked the death of Ronald Reagan by remembering the time when, as President, he failed to recognize his own Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and how Reagan failed to recognize much else that was going wrong in public and private housing under his alleged watch.

Dreier proposed that Reagan's memory be preserved, in each city, by placing his name on a park bench where homeless people sleep. Not a bad idea. A bit like the 2008 attempt in San Francisco to name a sewage processing plant after George W. Bush, but more practical and on point. If nobody renamed any benches in 2004, it could be done now "in honor" of the man's hundredth birthday, before he gets sugar-coated out of all recognition.

You do remember, if you're over maybe thirty, that until Reagan, homelessness was not normal in America?

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