TOONGATE

Drudge reports that the Secret Service is “concerned” about the following cartoon from the LA Times:


Courtesy

Now, this may be in slightly poor taste. But it’s hardly a call to arms against the president. Lighten up, guys.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kevin Drum says:

    Just the opposite, in fact: it’s an indictment of political posturing doing damage to a serious person.

    That’s the intent, anyway. Ramirez is very conservative cartoonist, odd though that may sound coming from the LA Times.

  2. Katewerk says:

    I wonder what sort of response a ‘caricatured naked, napalmed Hillary Clinton running down a village road with arms spread and face wide open in a scream would have?

    (to jog the memory)
    http://www.katewerk.com/temp/napalm.jpg

    I’m sure someone could drag up some word to write in the cloud behind to license it.


    Kate
    http://www.katewerk.com

  3. Analogy doesn’t work. Naked body of a little girl isn’t equivalent EVER to that of a naked adult post-pubescent female.

    Also: Kevin is right. This cartoon’s intent is to support the President and his Iraq policy. There’s no way such a cartoon about Hillary (or anyone–think of a Vietname-era female who supported that effort) could be read as an endorsement of the action there. Or a reasonable critique. It would just be silly and pointless.

  4. Katewerk says:

    > This cartoon’s intent is to support the President and his Iraq policy.

    Well, that’s not immediately obvious. I know that upon viewing it, I really didn’t have the stomach to analyze the intent.

    > There’s no way such a cartoon about Hillary (or anyone– think of a Vietname-era female who supported that effort) could be read as an endorsement of the action there. Or a reasonable critique. It would just be silly and pointless.

    I didn’t say that any cartoon featuring Hillary in the role of napalmed little girl would have to apply to any specific issue. Pick one. Wouldn’t matter. To place a current politician in a historic photo where the violence and fear is so uniquely human, so completely personal, is crossing into territory that I think political cartoons should stop short of.


    Kate
    http://www.katewerk.com

  5. I can see your having that sensibility. But I’m not sure I agree: political cartoons are supposed to provoke thought and inflame (possibly dormant) passion. I can’t really think of a more effective way to do that than to employ a familiarly brutal situation, and place a public figure there.

    On second thought: I’ll bet there’s a line that could be crossed for me. When that happens I’ll probably be saying all the same things you are now, and you can call me a hypocrite.

    Let’s say I feel Ramirez played footsie with the line, rather than actually crossing it.

  6. Matthew says:

    Heh, guess I’m late to the game — I just posted that the Ramirez cartoon is pro-Bush. The cartoon is in bad taste, as James says, but the people who should be outraged are Dems.

  7. Suspects says:

    I know exactly what would happen if the object of this cartoon had been Hillary. I was on Hardball a few months ago debating the issue of free-but-offensive speech. Some sports guy said he wanted some athlete’s wife to be “smacked,” and during the Hardball debate I mentioned that, after listening to one particularly annoying screed by NY’s junior senator “I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron.”

    For a month after, I was pounded on lefty websites for “threatening the life” of Sen. Rodham. What I couldn’t get the dopey lefties to admit was that, whatever they thought of the comment, it was ridiculous to call it a “threat.” Please.

    But they never backed down: “Idiocy in the defense of ideology is no vice” is the new liberal mantra.