This is . . . stupid.

cartoon20080715.gif


I want to laugh . . . but I can't laugh with the cartoonist, only at him. It's extraordinarily sad to witness someone whose imagination is so limited, their viewpoint so parochial, that they can't even adequately parody the other side.

An effective political cartoon, or merely a funny one, would have tried to imagine what a sympathetic cartoonist would have drawn, and then exaggerated it. The core fact about the Obama cover is that it was drawn by someone who likes Obama. This cartoon is so obviously drawn by someone who hates McCain that it fails on the most basic level. It might work as a nasty cartoon about McCain (though, really, Cindy McCain's drug problem is hard to make funny). But it does not work as a parody of the cover. And the tagline, conveying "I hate you, Morlocks" with such stunning efficiency, merely makes the artist look like a mean-spirited boor. Of course, a lot of committed partisans like cheering on mean-spirited boors as long as they agree with them, so I guess it doesn't fail at every level.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.