I was delighted to have my attention called to this. I'm mentioned in a column on today's Daily Caller right wing website. Completely mischaracterizing me in the article, Civility Advocates bash the late President on his birthday, author Laura Donovan is in full pearl-clutch mode that any, anyone could say some bad about Saint Ronnie. She moans:
Pres. Ronald Reagan’s birthday did not go unremarked upon by civility advocates on the Left.
Now, for the record, I've never considered myself a "civility advocate." I'm not sure where she got that idea. I'm much more of the Alan Grayson school of "Let's not be afraid to talk about things in the same tone as the GOP." I do draw the line at violent rhetoric, so you won't find me encouraging anyone to "reload" or find insinuations that could be construed as a call to violence, like "second amendment remedies."
But unapologetic expressions of my honest feelings? Not a problem.
At issue is a tweet I posted Sunday:
Like Glenn Beck is found of say, "I'm just asking a question here!"
She also shocked–shocked!–by title of my post at Daily Kos: "Screw Reagan." I do appreciate her linking to it. People who follow the link will find a very clear-eyed assessment of five years of the Reagan administration demonstrating nothing but apathy while tens of thousands of Americans died of AIDS.
It also clearly demonstrates that yes, many of Reagan's key supporters and friends considered AIDS a God send that shouldn't be interupted by any big government interference. Like prevention or education programs, or granting money to look for treatments or cures, because it was "killing all the right people."
Dead or not, Reagan's legacy is still up for debate. The mainstream media may be helpfully airbrushing out any unflattering mentions of his epic failure to address AIDS. But I feel no such compunction and will not be intimidated by Ms. Donovan's concern trolling about "civility." My post was perfectly civil, beyond it's first two words, which are open to debate.
The headline? Not my classiest work, for sure. But it was the most diplomatic term I could come up with to describe my own feelings toward "Saint Ronnie." And in the 400 plus comments I received, there were many people, most especially from the gay community, that commended me for my restraint.
In fact, "Screw Reagan" seemed a very appropriate response to the GOP's attempt to canonize him. The move to elevate Reagan from a historical figure whose legacy we can debate, into a revered saint that is immune to all critique, is movement Ms. Donovan is clearly enthusiastically on board.
I, however, am not.
See Update.I actually wrote Ms. Donovan and told her I objected to being characterized as a civility advocate. And she updated the post with my email, which was a gracious and fair thing thing for her to do.
*Update: Daily Kos blogger Scott Wooledge has reached out to The Daily Caller and contests being considered a “civility advocate.” “I’ve never considered myself a ‘Civility Advocate,'” Wooledge wrote in an email to TheDC. “I’m much more aligned with Alan Grayson school of ‘if conservatives can talk trash, why can’t we?’ I’ve never advocated or endorsed violence, however, and am quick to condemn such talk. But a clear-eyed assessment that Reagan sat on his hands while tens of thousands of Americans died? That isn’t incivil at all, in my opinion. That’s a clear and incontrovertible, if now, inconvenient fact.”