by Frank Lewis
Unless you listened to The Dr. Demento Show in the early ’80s you probably never heard "Rap Master Ronnie" (as in Reagan) by Reathel Bean and the Doonesbury Break Crew, and that's a damn shame. As insightful as anything by NPR faves The Capitol Steps, and as viciously sarcastic as Will Ferrell's Bush takedowns, "Rap Master Ronnie" exposed the absurdities of conservatism and its stagecraft years before most of us had caught on.
The premise of the song is that Reagan is trying to reach out to black voters for his re-election ("Get their consent / All I need is 10 percent"). But of course he's painfully out of touch and inadvertently insulting: ("We want Ron / The guy's pure sex / He's the guy / Who signs your monthly welfare checks.") ("OK people, ease on through, Brother Ron Reagan's got cheese for you / Got a big civil service that'll hire your best / And a volunteer army that'll take the rest.")
Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau's upcoming appearance reminded me of this gem; I wish I still had my copy of the record, for him to autograph. — Frank Lewis