Sure he supported apartheid--but he had a GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR!
My favorite Reagan legacy cartoons so far + a few non-Reagan toons
And other alternative views on Reagan
When I wrote my earlier Reagan post, "Jellybeans in Heaven", almost every cartoon (and column) I could find was a glowing Reagan tribute, and this was symptomatic of most television and newspaper coverage of the Reagan legacy. Even in mourning, there must be space for the truth.
My favorite Reagan-related cartoons:
Kirk Anderson ponders the whole "sure he did bad things, but HE WAS SUCH A GENTLEMAN" phenomenon. When I saw this brilliant toon, I (a) cried because I hadn't done it, and (b) printed it out and hung it on my wall (update: he's got another great one, "Supply Side Journalism"). Ted Rall imagines what the afterlife might look like under the Reagan administration (see also his column this week, and his second toon on the subject). See also: Tom Toles, and this sketchbook piece from Scott Bateman. Joel Pett has a great one, wrapping in the whole "Reagan on Rushmore" angle. Signe Wilkinson finds history getting fuzzy. Mark Fiore says: "Don't be sad, we've got President Reaganesque!".
And there's more! Lalo Alcaraz isn't so sure Reagan will be getting into Heaven. Rob Rogers has his own idea for a Reagan memorial, and Matt Wuerker has another. Also, Brian McFadden did a Remembering Reagan toon over a year ago in prediction of this event. Tim Kreider gets out his stake and gets ready for the hate mail. Kevin Moore picks up a broom. Ann Telnaes is getting a bit tired of the non-stop Reagan news coverage, and so is Rob Rogers.
Ted Rall, by the way, has been royally blasted by Rush and thousands of rabid, homophobic, and often dimwitted Republican email-writers for a certain quickly-written blog post. And he also explains why liberals really can't wait until the funeral is over to be critical. (Counterpoint: Body and Soul isn't so sure about that.) (Update: oddly enough, another cartoonist found this controversy exciting enough to cartoon about, but concluded in the toon that Ted was boring.)
I of course support stem-cell research, and I do think it's hypocritical of conservatives to talk about how much they love Nancy and Ronald while ignoring Nancy's pleas for stem-cell research. BUT I'm a little nervous about focusing on stem-cell research when talking about the Reagan legacy--this seems like it could be a way of deflecting criticism by avoiding what Reagan actually did and stood for before he got ill, an odd way of using a conservative's legacy for liberal ends. That is, it's a way to draw a cartoon that's both liberal and pro-Reagan. So it's a good point to make, but it shouldn't be the only point. That being said, Scott Bateman's got a good one, and so does Jeff Danziger. See also: Bill Day, Matt Davies, Joe Heller (and others). (Counterpoint: August has a compelling argument for why this IS an important angle to take.)
For the tribute cartoons, and my initial thoughts on the coverage of Reagan's legacy, please return to the "Jellybeans in Heaven" post.
A few good blog posts:
Over at No False Medicine, Amardeep Singh has a great roundup of "Alternative Views of Ronald Reagan" (found via Yves). Tom Tomorrow always has good stuff to read. So does Atrios, who's frustrated by the factual errors in all the media fawning (please scroll down and go into his archives for more excellent Reagan-related commentary). See also The Bitter Shack of Resentment, and Wonkette, who has some interesting posts on what she calls "Gipperporn." Demagogue also has a lot of good stuff (start here and scroll up for more).
A few good articles and columns:
Women's E-news has a commentary piece from Martha Burk about Reagan's war on women (link via Ms. Musings). Over at Truthout, William Rivers Pitt writes on the triumph of image over the truth. Salon.com's Eric Boehlert has a must-read article on "Reagan porn"--the unprecedented gushing over Reagan by the so-called liberal media. One particularly relevant quote:
The media's blissful coverage this week "serves a strategic function," Parry says. "When the press is under attack for being liberal, the logical response is to prove you're not." If ever there's been a time when the press handed the reins over to the Republican sensibility, it was this week.
Salon also has great pieces, from Joe Conason, James K. Galbraith, and others. The Nation has a whole new issue devoted to "The Real Reagan Legacy". The Village Voice is at it too, with "Death of a Salesman" and Bush Takes a Ride in Reagan's Wake. And there's so much more out there--try Alternet and Common Dreams, for starters.
More later, including my own cartoon.