The Politics of FEAR – Barack and Michelle Portrayed As Militants « E Pluribus Unum

15 Jul

obama-and-michelle-militants The Politics of FEAR takes as its starting point the satirical cover of the latest New Yorker. The post goes on to cite the Huffington Post on the matter:

The illustration, by Barry Blitt,is called “The Politics of Fear” and, according to the NYer press release, “satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.” Uh-huh. What’s that they say about repeating a rumor?

Presumably the New Yorker readership is sophisticated enough to get the joke, but still: this is going to upset a lot of people, probably for the same reason it’s going to delight a lot of other people, namely those on the right: Because it’s got all the scare tactics and misinformation that has so far been used to derail Barack Obama’s campaign — all in one handy illustration. Anyone who’s tried to paint Obama as a Muslim, anyone who’s tried to portray Michelle as angry or a secret revolutionary out to get Whitey, anyone who has questioned their patriotism — well, here’s your image.

The companion article by Ryan Lizza, who has written extensively about the campaign, is very long (18 pages!) and probably won’t thrill a lot of Democratic party faithful, either, since it advances the image of Obama as a skilled and calculating politician who advanced by becoming a master of the game:

“[P]erhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them….he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist. He runs as an outsider, but he has succeeded by mastering the inside game.”

I have read some absolutely mind-bendingly and patently stupid stuff about Obama in various political blogs from the USA. There are folks over there who have no idea whatever about what a Communist is, for example, though it is a handy concept to throw at anyone who has half-way decent notions of social responsibility it appears.

I find most of the brands of “libertarianism” hawked by various pundits Over There terrifying in their self-centredness and lack of any sense of a society outside their own private fortresses. Thank God such notions appear to be rare here in Australia. May it ever be thus!

Needless to say, almost, but I should also point out that the post with which I began is also from the USA, showing they are not all mad after all.


Not since Swift proposed cannibalism as a solution to the Poor Irish question has there been such a twist about obvious satire… Well, maybe not… How can I know that? What I do know is there has been more silliness over the New Yorker cover than the editors can possibly have anticipated. Me, I think it’s a great cover — hilarious!

One of the best responses I’ve seen comes from Len in Texas, who is on my blog roll: Get the satire? He includes this cartoon.


If you visit Len, be sure to read the comments, especially the first one!  DOH!!!


Site Meter


3 responses to “The Politics of FEAR – Barack and Michelle Portrayed As Militants « E Pluribus Unum

  1. Holy Prepuce

    July 15, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    The reaction to the New Yorker cover has been absurd.

    If there is still someone out there who a) has never heard the rumor that the Obamas are America-hating Black separatist Muslim terrorists, but b) would believe as much if he heard it–is it really very likely that the cover of The New Yorker will provide his first exposure to those ideas?

    The idea that it is racist is nonsense: the Afro and fist-bump are not generalized racial caricatures, but rather direct allusions to specific accusations leveled at the Obamas. The right’s coöption of each concept is fair game for satire, and it’s not clear how artist Barry Blitt could have depicted them in a non-racially specific way.

    I have much more to say on these subjects here.

  2. jack

    July 16, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Definitely, the solution is to dumb everything down until no cracker can possibly be mistaken or misled. Whatever we do, we can’t ask idiots to live with their choices.

  3. ninglun

    July 16, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Thanks, HP. Your linked post is very interesting.

    Jack is an enthusiast for democracy, clearly. 😉

%d bloggers like this: