It didn't take the left long to start dumping on Ronald Reagan (search). They couldn't even wait for him to be buried.

Actor Danny Glover said Reagan would be remembered most for the Iran-Contra scandal (search).

Maybe we could ask the Nicaraguans about that since the freedom fighters we supported threw out the communists and allowed them to have a free nation.

Christopher Hitchens, writing for the online journal Slate.com, said Reagan was "dumb as a stump" and "a cruel and stupid lizard." I've found that when you have to call people names you have lost the argument.

Ask Eastern Europeans how dumb he was. Ask businesses that were freed from chokehold taxation if they think he was cruel. They were able to hire more workers and launched an economic boom that continues today.

Cartoonist Ted Rall said on his Web site, "I'm sure he's turning crispy brown right about now."

Liberal author Greg Palast blamed Reagan for the 1983 terrorist bombing of the American Marine barracks in Lebanon. He called the former president,  "Killer, coward, conman" and added, "goodbye and good riddance."

What was it about Reagan that drove the left nuts?

Several things. First, he came out of Hollywood, a notorious left-wing cauldron and he became a conservative.

Second, he used to be a Democrat. The left hates conversions unless it is to their side. Reagan with Gorby.

Third, he hated communism, which many of them thought was just fine and only in need of a tune-up.

Fourth, he cut taxes, which liberals believe is the mother's milk of their big government savior. And he did it all with a sense of humor and cheerful spirit, which further drove the left crazy.

He fact is, Ronald Reagan beat them politically, ideologically, economically and internationally. And they are still smarting from it. Their only hope now is the history books, which they will write in ways that point out his few flaws. But we have the Internet and we have lots of videotape. It's going to be difficult for the left to rewrite history when it has been written so indelibly by Ronald Wilson Reagan.

And that's Column One for this week.

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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.