Given that Democrats often kept portraits of John F. Kennedy and even Franklin D. Roosevelt in their homes well into this writer’s lifetime, the mockery seems a bit misplaced. But there’s a simple explanation.
Reagan had a combination of political skills, electoral success, conservative principles and policy accomplishments that Republicans have been struggling to replicate ever since.
He is also arguably the last figure widely admired on the right who had considerable appeal beyond Republicans and conservatives. There’s a reason we talked about “Reagan Democrats” and not “Romney Democrats.”