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Ted Rall: Generalissimo El Busho

Rall, Ted. Generalissimo El Busho: Essays and Cartoons on the Bush Years (New York: Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing, 2004)

Generalissimo el Busho is a series of essays and cartoons from the early Bush era--hence its title. (I bought my copy directly from Rall during the 2004 campaign, and had it inscribed "Friends don't let friends vote for Bush!") Rall is quite successful in this format, with his essays and cartoons providing context for each other and clarifying his thoughts. I appreciated America Gone Wild! more than Wake Up...You're Liberal! for its greater exhibition of Rall's talents in the graphic medium.

From Rall's essays, I particularly appreciated his comments on Bush's post-2000 illegitimacy:

"Call him Governor Bush--once a governor, always a governor. Call him the Resident, the Thief-in-Chief, whatever. Just don't call him President." (p. 29, "The Resistance Begins Now")

and his reference to the Bush era as a "Supreme Court-ordered political occupation" (p. 111, "Drout du Seigneur: Bush As God").

This early 2004 cartoon (p. 177) is one of my favorites from the book. It's a prime example of Rall's snark:

Here's another cartoon (p. 182) that deftly illustrates Americans' differing perceptions of Bush:

Rall occasionally misfires, as in this comment on the Iraqi occupation from page 202:

I appreciate his point, but Godwin's Law nevertheless applies. (Rall published a similar cartoon, "Wehrmacht Funnies," a few months earlier.)

Overall, Rall's cartoons and comments have held up well over the past several years; they will likely continue to do so. If you enjoy political cartoons with an unblunted edge, Rall's work should prove to be satisfyingly incisive.

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