Left Goes Ballistic Over Caricature of the Obamas
posted at 2:54 pm on February 16, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
A two-panel comic depiction of the president and Mrs. Obama has commentators on the left all wee-weed up. The strip, which originated on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism website, shows a zaftig First Lady chowing down on a ginormous stack of burgers, while the president, sporting a pair of Dumbo-size ears, nibbles at what looks like rabbit food.
The purpose of the strip was to highlight what its creators, James Hudnall and Batton Lash, perceived as the First Couple’s hypocrisy in serving bratwurst, cheeseburgers, and buffalo wings at their recent White House Super Bowl Party even as Michelle Obama crusades to alter the American diet.
Whether you agree that the Super Bowl menu was hypocritical (I don’t) or that Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign is invasive and misguided (I do), the liberal reaction to the cartoon was over the top and smacks of a double standard.
If there’s a ‘joke’ in there, I’m missing it. This is the sort of stuff most of us left at the grade school playground.
MSNBC’s easily excitable Lawrence O’Donnell devotes 6 minutes—a lifetime by television standards—to airing his grievances over what he calls a “racist obscenity” targeting the “most famous African American woman in the world, and the most admired.”
As a classical liberal (aka Libertarian) I’m opposed to the nanny state. The first lady has every right to express her opinions about obesity or try to bring awareness to the issue, but when an unelected official starts dictating what industries should do, it deserves our scorn.
Responding to the charge of racism, Batton Lash writes:
Cartooning—specifically political cartooning—has always been about exaggeration, whether it was Nixon’s prominent jowls, Carter’s toothy smile, or Bush II’s beady eyes. If our current president is exempt because of the color of his skin, I think that would be racist.
But these are arguments to which many on the left are tone deaf. They assail racism, but only insofar as it advances their political agenda. Liberals are willing to look the other way when white fellow progressives call for the lynching of a black Supreme Court Justice who happens to be conservative. They condone the use of racially charged terms—Sambo, monkey, and minstrel—so long as they are being directed at a black conservative like Herman Cain (or “house Negro” in the leftist vernacular).
A personal note in closing: Some years ago, I wrote the restaurant column for a newspaper where Bat Lash was the resident cartoonist. For one Christmas issue, he did a particularly hilarious caricature of me stuffing my face on a giant slab of cake. Going by liberal standards, I suppose I should have viewed the drawing as the obvious slur on Jews for which it was intended.
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