Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obe Lincoln - new political cartoon

I just launched a new blog for what I hope to be a monthly political cartoon: Obe Lincoln. You may remember my rant about Obama's Lincoln Complex in the 2008 Review Post. He's taken it one step further - he'll be arriving in DC via train from Philly, ala ... Abe Lincoln. C'mon. As VTK reader lc put it: "kind of a niche thing to be perturbed about". Yes. But it's my niche, dammit! Here's the first one (click for larger view):


Dewy24 said...

This is mean spirited and unfair (but funny too).

Dan said...

What do you have money on the Obama Administration or something? What's with the over-protectiveness?

(I guess the whole world's got money on him in a sense)

BTW, I don't know if the Cabinet Report Card Part 2 is going to happen. I've got a handful of hours before I leave for the Inauguration and I'm not sure if I'm going to feel like doing it afterwards. Plus, apparently Part 1 was so big that it deterred almost everyone from reading it.

Dewy24 said...

Someone's got to stick up for him in your comments section.

You did so much work for round 1 I think you can skip round 2 with a clear conscience.

Dan said...

Did you know he's eating Lincoln's lunch? Literally. The Inauguration Day Lunch Banquet is being catered to resemble a lunch that Lincoln would have eaten.

I may end up doing an abbreviated version just to bring some closure to it, to draw some broad conclusions. I will say this: His pick for head of the FCC, Julius Genachowski seems to be a great pick.

akboognish said...

Whether it was the length of your post or the length of my comments, something scared folks away. Dewey24, you didn't even comment! I promise not to hog the discussion if you do it again, but maybe it's better just to post as things come up that piss you off and remind you that this guy, as good as he is, is not our savior.

More importantly, how is this cartoon mean-spirited and unfair? I don't think it's either. If anything, it's not biting enough: all it's saying is that Obama is obsessed with trying to be like Lincoln (and that Michelle is trying to keep him real). That is only a slightly stronger version of the obvious, which is that Obama is very aware that the first president from Illinois was Lincoln, who so happened to have signed the emancipation proclamation.

What the cartoon doesn't do is make a value judgment of that obsession. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? What are the consequences? I suppose you can read into it that it's a bad thing, and that Obama is silly or petty for trying so hard to conjure Lincoln from the grave. I don't know if I see it that way, and probably would have liked a stronger signal as to whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. Personally I'm fine with him obsessing about Lincoln so the cartoon doesn't offend me.

Dan said...

And I practically instructed people not to pay any attention to it by declaring myself completely unqualified to write the post in the first paragraph.

As for the cartoon, I think if you have to explain a political cartoon or have to give it more context or value judgement than it has, it has probably failed. It's supposed to be a self-contained satirical commentary. Ultimately, I don't think his Lincoln obsession is that big of a deal, it doesn't warrant that much of a value judgment, and that it's mostly just ridiculous, which is what the cartoon attempted to suggest. I think it's ridiculous that he's associating himself with Lincoln and that people are fine with it. His presidency has not even begun and he's comparing himself to a man that most of the world considers to be one of the few greatest US presidents ever. Gravitas by association? Greatness by association? I guess that his very election is an epic accomplishment, but in terms of leadership, policy, etc, he hasn't even taken his seat in the Oval Office yet. The statement of the cartoon then is channeled through Michelle's comment.

akboognish said...

Interesting. Obama has been pushing this Lincoln thing since he announced his candidacy from Springfield, IL. I take it as standard political theater. I'm sure Reagan (another president with an Illinois connection) did the same thing when he was running.

Beyond the Illinois thing, you have Obama's race and the historic nature of his candidacy. Lincoln freed the slaves. A black man is now going to be our president. They almost have to go together. (Nobody is associating Obama with Grant, another Illinois'an, for instance).

Then on top of that add the whole "purple state" thing, healing a divided nation, his bringing cultures and people, etc... and again I think you have to look at Lincoln as the main presidential association. He not only kept the country from tearing apart but he was a Republican to boot.

The only other president I've been hearing compared to Obama is FDR, which makes sense given the economy. But it made no sense in the beginning of 2007 when Obama started his candidacy, and is still so loaded I'm not sure is worth doing even now (far better to stick to comparing Bush with Hoover).

I have to admit to rather liking the idea of Obama "finishing" Lincoln's train ride to DC, and having the same meal that Lincoln did. Why not have some powerfully symbolic theatrics that help get your message across as part of the ceremony? I hope he does wear a top hat at the swearing-in. How cool would that be?

Now, if he goes and suspends habeas corpus I'll stop thinking the comparison is that cute...

Dan said...

more koolaid, mr. akboognish? I can't believe you're buying into this crap.

also, there were tons of JFK comparisons being made during the campaign.

Well, that'll have to be my parting shot for now. I'm off to the Inauguration in the AM and won't have access for a few days. As much as I think the Lincoln stuff is ridiculous, the Warren selection is outrageous, and the cabinet appears to be a mixed bag, I'm excited that Obama is going to be our president and ecstatic that I'm going to be in DC to give Bush the finger on his way out of town!

joel said...

Akboognish is right,

Akboognish is right,

Obama feels that this will be closure with regard to the Emancipation Proclamation.

Thats cool but I thinks it kind of stupid to take it to the length that Obama has.
And I think the cartoon shows the absurdity of the whole thing.