Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama campaign apparently run by irony-challenged idiots

The flap over the recent New Yorker cover featuring the Obamas strongly suggests that the campaign is being run by small-minded people who don't understand satire.  A reasonably intelligent middle school student with a passing knowledge of Western humor - the kind that comes, from, say, living in the United States - would immediately recognize the cartoon as supportive of the Obama campaign through an obvious mocking of wacky right-wing conspiracy fairy tales.

Obama people have called the cartoon "tasteless and offensive."  I don't think it is.  I think calls for reverent self-censorship are tasteless and offensive.  I think Obama's repeated votes to fund the Bush wars in the Middle East , his vote to renew the PATRIOT Act and his vote to shield the telecoms and Bush administration from the consequences of violating our constitutional rights are tasteless and offensive.

The readership of the magazine is widely known as being pretty darn liberal, and it's safe to say that most of the staff and readership were planning to vote for Obama, at least up until this point.  (That is, if they could stomach the series of right-wing positions Obama has embraced since clinching the Democratic nomination.)

Obama supporters are bizarrely claiming that "addressing" the cartoon might sidetrack Obama from dealing with real issues.  Here's some video of him taking on the hard issues:

If the campaign truly wants to address some serious issues, then they will allow Ralph Nader and Bob Barr to debate Obama and McCain.  Don't hold your breath; the last thing the two major campaigns want is to lose control of a narrow definition of acceptable debate issues.

Ironically Senator Obama appears to have the same aversion to irreverent cartoons and/or free speech displayed by actual radical Muslims.  Could there be any worse misstep by the campaign than taking the condescending position that Americans can't understand satire, which therefore makes use of it inappropriate?  Frequently Obama is accused of being an out-of-touch elite, and frequently the campaign responds to this by acting like out-of-touch elites.  "Brilliant!"
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Johnny (Li'l Roy) said...

Funny. What a douchebag.

Hunter said...

Chris, sorry to arrive late to the party here, but you're making an error in judgment on this. If you look at recent polls, the fact of the matter is that a surprisingly large number of Americans believe Obama to be a Muslim. Yeah, most New Yorker readers will get the joke and most who believe Obama to be a Muslim will vote for McCain anyhow, but why fan the flames? In the hit-and-miss world of political commentary, this, in my opinion, was a wild swing which did not land.

QuizMasterChris said...

What's the "error in judgment" here? Free speech? Free speech for people in a country where some people are dumb?

Two things that continue to amaze me:

1) Obama supporters tend to be more upset about this cartoon than his bat-shit crazy right wing votes (including those limiting the freedom of America citizens) this past year, and...

2) That this is the same position, in effect, that real-life radical Muslims took toward those Danish cartoons. Hey, satirical speech is never an error in judgment when you're dealing with actual censors and bullies.