"Tom Carson got [Gina] Arnold's goat when he pointed out, in the wake of 1986's putatively progressive Lifes Rich Pageant, what seems undeniable -- that R.E.M.'s 'tendentious appeals to a cloudily glorious past' and 'wishful confusion of cultural might-have-beens with historical truth' were 'the emotional syntax of Reaganism, pure and simple.' Not that R.E.M. were Reaganites, of course (you knew that, right?) -- just that they didn't escape Reaganism's cultural climate. Fans of both band and pol shared the habit of closing their rapidly moving eyes and wishing stuff would go away, not to mention a disdain for the moral weaklings on the other side of the fence."
-- Robert Christgau