Doonesbury has turned on Obama

Usually not a good sign.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Griffon

    “President Obama has done a lot of what he promised to do”

    In point of fact, he has not.

    “I’m not at all unclear on the concept of leadership, but thanks for the tutorial.”

    Your earlier abrupt condescension would certainly lead one to believe otherwise; particularly juxtaposed with the equally abrupt change in tone to appearing curiously reasonable. It does very little to strengthen your position and even less to persuade.

    Obama has actively sought to discourage legally compelled torture investigations, to continue bush’s policies despite the plethora of options available, to lie to the public concerning GITMO when he continues those very policies at Bagram. Those are a minuscule percentage of citable instances.

    “However, his pursuit of the perfect over the good has essentially neutralized him as a force for change in the House.”

    This fallacy is cited frequently to placate the corporations and special interests involved in skewing solutions to their advantage. Kucinich pursues what has proven to work which is far from “perfect,” yet the corporate lobby portrays it as “perfect” which serves not only to associate it with the unachievable, but to encourage settling for less; in virtually all cases a great deal less. It is a canard and the language of misdirection.

    “And I’m not sure what you mean by “the corporate cashflow that an Obama has freely availed himself,” but if you expected him to run a presidential campaign and get elected on the crumbs I and others like me were able to throw his way, it wouldn’t have happened.”

    Your assertion, that no qualified leader gets elected without corporate servitude and bottomless obligation, establishes my point. Obama’s pledge, for example, to keep lobbyists at a distance (which he has sole authority to decide) endured almost until he was elected. Such laughably blatant hypocrisy renders Obama’s promises mere cardboard detritus employed to gull an abused people into casting away their votes.

    The prominence of your evasion to Obama’s several transgressions and starkly pro-corporate choices is the most notable aspect of your post.

  • Butch1

    I supported him from the moment he won the primary. After waiting for him to take charge, nine months have gone by and we are still waiting for him to do something. He has continued the Bush signing statements, he didn’t change anything about Iraq. He is using Bush’s time table for removing troops, It seems, he has no ideas about Iraq or he would talk about them or implement them. He has no intention of leaving Afghanistan anytime soon. He will be sending around 60k more troops in the next month or so, there has been no plan laid out for the military to follow, He has called himself the “fierce advocate” for gay rights but, refused to do anything about DADT or DOMA in spite of all the support for it. He’s proven to be very stubborn and unbending when it comes to his base and the democrats who voted him into office yet, lets the republicans walk all over him. . When he came into office, he moved that gay “equal rights” kettle to the back burner, now, it’s not even on the stove anymore. He promised affordable health care with a government option, and then met with the insurance companies and pharmacies before Congress had a chance to start putting a bill together and worked out a deal to their benefit without any option for a government plan yet, he keeps telling the public he is for it. One hears that the insurance companies have been reassured by the white house that they have nothing to worry about since the public option will not be in the bill. Just who’s side is Obama on? He is acting more and more like a republican president than a democratic on and that concerns me. His actions have certainly not been in favor of the people. In nine months, he, with the help of Congress, have given up many of the democrat parts of the bill only to get one republican on board. One republican is worth more to them than their democratic base. I do not see leadership at all and I think nine months is plenty of time to see how well a president is going to act and hand adversity. This poor fellow isn’t even at the helm of the ship. We need real leadership and someone with the cojones to slap down those republicans that think they can get away with anything because he is black. The cantidate I voted for is not the same man in the White House. If he can not get he act together and soon, He’s going to lose many more loyal democrats. I’m very disappointed in his behavior and inability to lead. He had bettern give up courting one republican and giving everything up for her vote when there are countless more votes in the democratic base. Who ever is advising him, needs to be fired or he needs to start listening to people outside of his bubble. He has gone back on most all of his campaign promises. That is no way to win the sujpport of the people. If you wish to wait and get him time without holding his feet to the fire making him do what he said he would do, that’s fine. I, on the other hand, will not shut up and sit down. I will let him know every step of the way until he starts acting like a “democratic” president. This fence-sitter we have now is as useless as teats on a boar.

    You are correct, this may be our last chance to really get change. That is why it is important not to sit back and let “business as usual” continue. These folk need to know we are watching their every move and that we hold them responsible to get it right without the typical DC two-step Congress, this President, and the lobbyists do representing big business.

  • “a President who upholds the Constitution fully” scratch out Kucinich then.

  • Mum48

    President Obama has done a lot of what he promised to do, but some of the things he had hoped to do have become tangled up in the legal morass that the Bush administration has left behind. It takes time to do things the right way, and I trust that he will do things the right way. The past eight months have not disillusioned me, because I have the past 30+ years as a type of inoculation.

    I’m not at all unclear on the concept of leadership, but thanks for the tutorial. With regard to Feingold, he is an excellent Senator, one of the best we have, who usually walks his talk. (I’m a big fan and I follow his voting carefully.) Kucinich may be an excellent legislator for his constituents, and I consider him a thoughtful and intelligent man. However, his pursuit of the perfect over the good has essentially neutralized him as a force for change in the House. Actually, there are quite a few others who work hard for the people, but we don’t hear enough about them over the tsunami of tabloid reporting on the idiot factor in Congress.

    And I’m not sure what you mean by “the corporate cashflow that an Obama has freely availed himself,” but if you expected him to run a presidential campaign and get elected on the crumbs I and others like me were able to throw his way, it wouldn’t have happened. What we need is true campaign finance reform. The McCain-Feingold bill, as good as it was, didn’t go anywhere near far enough. And I’m not very optimistic about the outcome of the Citizens United v FEC case. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Citizens United, we might as well kiss any chance of getting the corporations out of our government.

  • Mum48

    Frankly, I think that if people are willing to stop supporting him after only 8 months, given the horrendous inheritance he received from the Bush administration, which accrued on top of the follies of at least the three previous administrations (yes, including Clinton), then those people probably never really supported him. What makes anyone think that 8 months can overturn 30+ years of malfeasance, ignorance, and greed. If he had come in gangbusters, writing executive orders left and right, issuing signing statements by the dozens, and ramping up fear of whatever he thought would cow the American public into fearful idiots, would that have made everyone happy? Given what he is faced with on both the domestic and international fronts, plus the insanity of the birthers/teabaggers/right-wingers and their abettors in the media and Congress, I think we could be a little more patient and do what we can to help him return this government to the people. If not . . . well then, we deserve everything that happens. Because I can guarantee that we are not going to get another chance.

  • Griffon

    Leadership involves more than reneging on your promises and continuing the very policies; state secrets, unConstitutional detainment, rendition, stripping detainees of all rights; that you pretended to ‘revile’ as a candidate.

    You appear to be unclear on the concept and attributes of leadership. As a guideline, the aforementioned presidents, with the possible flawed exception of Clinton creating 22 million jobs and a surplus under an adversarial congress, were not contenders to which I would attribute leadership.

    A leader walks his talk. Obama doesn’t.

    For example, Kucinich has voted as promised and made efforts to introduce substantive legislation including impeachment proceedings and investigations. Feingold also walks his talk.

    There are precious few others but they exist, in direct opposition to the corporate cashflow that an Obama has freely availed himself. A cashflow that costs the public true representation.

  • 538EV

    The first two panels did not appear in most newspapers. They were a separate set-up–a sarcastic dream sequence, if you will. The whole strip was a jab at wingnuts and their insane idea that Obama’s by-the-book governance somehow resembles Nazi Germany. Your interpretation is simply wrong–no doubt colored by your own disappointment with Obama, but absolutely wrong nonetheless.

  • 538EV

    Mmmm. Not so much. The whole strip is mocking the wingnut crazies, because you’d have to be crazy to characterize Obama’s approach to governance as Hitler-like.

  • superstition

    Perhaps one of the reasons why Bill Clinton is suddenly pro-gay again is because he’s done what the Democratic Party loves to do over and over — hold out the carrot to gays before an election.

    He may be trying to position Hillary as the favorable candidate for the gay vote, just so we can be suckered again. In any case, what an unelectable ex-President says after signing DOMA and DADT matters little to me. He and many of the leading Democrats carry no weight when it comes to their statements regarding gay rights.

    Actions, not words, are what matter.

  • superstition

    No, a President who upholds the Constitution fully and opposes all forms of heterosexist discrimination is not going to be elected any time soon.

    If you think being a woman or being black is no different politically from being openly gay or 100% non-heterosexist, you’re mistaken. Certainly, perhaps in the future this will be different.

  • superstition

    Shouting in caps is not the way to get the response you’re supposedly looking for.

  • akreventlov

    You must be smoking crack if you think that is turning against Obama.

  • Butch1

    Obama has been asleep at the helm for long enough. You may see it as a generalization but, I see him not doing anything of significance until he has to do something. His latest health care speech to Congress is only one example. He sat on it without doing much except fly a few trail balloons to see which way the wind was blowing. He promised gays and lesbians a “fierce advocate” for our rights once he made it to the White House, and we all know what he’s doing about that. Absolutely, nothing. I helped vote him into office and this type of non-leadership is not what I voted for. His solution presently, is just give a speech and all will be well. He will learn very fast that once you start losing the support of the people, especially, your base, speeches aren’t going to get it, but action will.

  • G

    < >

    I keep asking. What would John DO.

    You complain, you object, but you don’t object on policy grounds, you object to “mushyness.”

    ?? ?? WWJD ?? ?? ??

    1. How do you suggest the Obamaites “rebut” the idiotic charges they are tyrant Nazi-Marxist-Stalinists?

    —Bill and Hill did so well labeling it a vast right wing conspiracy that they ended up Impeached.

    2. There are 40 Repugnants IMPLACABLY against ANY health care, and several Democrats who for reasons of perfidy or fear of homestate right wing electorates (e.g., Lincoln) any one of whom MIGHT vote with the Repubs to sustain a filibuster.

    —-a true TYRANT, the REAL Hitler, simply rounded up his enemies and SHOT them, some it was claimed himself. I presume we neither want nor expect Obama to do that.

    WHAT (please be quite specific) do you want OBAMA to do?? And please don’t suggest BE FIRM because that is not an answer. News reports say the WH staff is doing a full court press on the Dems in the Senate to hold all (now 60) to vote cloture even if the Repubs filibuster. THAT is DOING SOMETHING.

    What more, John.

    AND FINALLY DO YOU KNOW GARY TRUDEAU? DID HE PERSONALLY TELL YOU HIS STRIP HAS TURNED AGAINST OBAMA? If not I still believe you’re projecting your own position on Sundays, and the people I talked to IN THE REAL WORLD think it is 100% anti-teabagger.

  • Bingo. That’s exactly what it is. And he’s criticizing those who compare what’s going on today to gassing millions of Jews and others.

  • The last panel mocked Obama for saying that his response, after mulling whether he should use “force,” was instead to give a speech. That was not praising Obama. It was clearly criticizing him for not fighting back, but for thinking that speeches are sufficient.

  • A and B are right, C is not. I wasn’t kidding. Doonesbury has turned on Obama, and that is not a good sign for him.

  • Mum48

    Wow, how quickly people turn. We suffer through 30+ years of ineptitude, corporatocracy, and creeping executive power and then, when we get someone who has given every indication of trying to work in a bi-partisan fashion to deliberately and patiently and intelligently move us toward fundamental change, we give him a New York minute to get it done. I’ve been a progressive/liberal/leftist all of my life, and I’ve been around for a while, having worked on the presidential campaigns of both Kennedys and George McGovern, and been an anti-war and environmental activist. I’ve never seen such a lack of patience and stick-to-ivity as I’ve seen in the past eight months. There are times when I don’t know who I’m more irritated with – the birthers/teabaggers/right-wingers who are ignorant and seem to merely want to obstruct or the left-wingers who say they want a revolution, as long as it happens yesterday, and “if I don’t get it I’m going to hold my breath.”

    If Garry Trudeau has turned against Obama then . . . big deal. We’ll just add him to all of the right-wingers, the Republicans in Congress, and the cry-baby leftist pretenders who think that something can be accomplished just by wishing it were so. He won’t even make a ripple. And finally, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps it wasn’t just the right-wing neo-con racists who were perpetrating the myth of the “Magic Negro.”

  • blackjackbrisco

    What if: Iran told Obama that he MUST let “international inspectors” go into our Los Alamos(sp?) labs and our Area 51 and snoop where ever they want to? Just asking.

  • Mum48

    Those of us who are paying attention do.

  • Mum48

    Really? Give me some examples from our recent past. Bush II, perhaps? Clinton? Or how about Big Daddy Bush? After all, he did give us the big vision thing, didn’t he? Oh, I know. Reagan. It’s got to be Reagan. After all, he lead us into those big tax cuts for the rich, and all that deregulation, and then there was that breaking of the backs of the unions, and who can forget the whole Iran-Contra deal. Now, there’s leadership.

  • Mum48

    Whoa! Talk about sweeping generalizations.

  • Yeah, because we don’t need no freaking free speech up in here, up in here.

  • Cha, right? A woman President? A Gay friendly President? About as likely as a Black President!

  • superstition

    We don’t have options. The only candidates who truly support us are people like Kucinich who won’t be elected.

    Besides, you forgot the “told a group a lesbians that they don’t deserve marriage as a senate candidate” Hillary.

  • Butch1

    I disagree. Obama’s solution to every issue is to wait until it is past fixing and then, thinking if he makes a speech, all will be well again. I think Trudeau was spot on.

  • G

    Just to add some more history, Gandhi called for the Jews to commit collective suicide because that would create world sympathy. On Britain to lay down its arms. And, to be fair, on Hitler not to make war.

    One great “fictional history” I read had Gandhi welcoming the Wehrmact to India since it displaced the British Raj.

    Oops on that, at least in the fictional version.

  • Gridlock


    *best Stewie Griffin voice increasing in pitch*

    Oh, you mean Ms. “Doesn’t have time to meet, talk with, or even mention the gays during her campaign cuz she’s too busy dodging fake bullets in Bosnia at the same time being misled into voting for the Iraq war because she’s a apparently a complete retard who didn’t know her ass from a hole in the floor while the whole world knew it was a crock and is therefore probably just a lying sack of shit”?

    Yeah, that would have been much better.

  • bob

    hell, *I’ve* turned on Obama, and why not? he’s turned on me. DADT, DOMA, Public Option. The man has no spine at all. Trudeau never draws the president, but instead draws something that represents the president. In Obama’s case, he should draw a jellyfish. I voted for Hillaryin the primary and i wish to god she’d won.

  • akaison

    The official term is plutocracy, which often descends as we saw with the bailout of wall street into kleptocracy. These sorts of systems can happen in any system, including democratic ones, regardless of the veneer.

  • G

    Was it ever?

    Has ever one been?

    Where? When?

  • G

    Before Hitler and his immediate henchmen could make war and murder millions, they obtained and consolidated power by the most brutal of methods. They cut their own friends throats.

    The contrast between Obama giving a speech on health care reform to the Congressional Black Caucus—and a wingnut yelling a school class is being indoctrinated as Nazi Youth for Obama is what the Doonesbury cartoon was about.

    Read and weep for an America that tolerates calling Obama a Nazi-Stalinist-Socialist Tyrant.

    Raise your own voices against the wingnut parade.

    After taking power Hitler was forced by the Wehrmact to “deal with” the actual “Socialism” of the Brownshirts, led by Ernst Rohm. Many of the SA leaders, like Rohm, were known homosexuals. While that probably bothered the High Command, of greater concern was the millions of armed members.

    Hitler was told by the High Command that they would institute martial law, unless the “Socialist” inclined SA was neutered.

    June 30, 1934 Hitler ordered action. The SS, Gestapo, and Army moved, and all major figures in the SA were arrested, then killed. Hitler himself (aided by SS guards) arrested Rohm, who was given a pistol with one bullet and ordered to commit suicide (he refused and was shot, his last words: “Mein Führer, mein Führer!”) Gestapo records were destroyed. The body count is unofficially estimated between 200 and 1,000. It was called the “Night of the Long Knives” and elevated Himmler and the SS to great influence and power.

    Read more, if you wish, at:

  • akaison

    I thought this was the case too, but I can see how others may view it differently. That it is about Obama’s leadership style consisting of being the bystander President who can give good speeches, but does little else.

  • PeteWa

    I musta got something wrong if I’ve got bb agreeing with me.

  • Gridlock

    Corporatocracy with a pretty Democracy bow.

  • Gridlock

    Corporatocracy with a pretty Democracy bow.

  • Griffon

    “Every one of your points is valid and troubling.

    Every one of my points is actually one point: This is not a Constitutional Democracy; only the useful veneer is perpetuated.

    Constitutional Democracy does not operate on popularity.

    Constitutional Democracy does not allow for detention and absence of Constitutionally mandated Habeas Corpus based on what a man might do.

    Constitutional Democracy does not allow for torture nor does it withhold legally compelled investigations.

    Constitutional Democracy does not allow for a publicly supported option to unilaterally be removed from consideration, supported by a majority of the population and demonstrably better and cheaper by nations whose longevity and infant mortality are superior to the 37th-placed nation in world healthcare ranking.

    Constitutional Democracy does not allow lobbyists to occlude and severely slant the democratic process by pouring millions into the pockets of what is purportedly my representative voice in the nation.

    Constitutional Democracy does not allow perpetually injurious practices and continued deregulation of horrific insurance industries at the expense of the public and fostering the biggest healthcare crisis in US history.

    This is most certainly not a Constitutional Democracy

  • Obama isn’t Hitler.

    Obama is like the cowardly neighbors of Jews, who just stood there and said nothing as those Jews were being hauled off to the concentration camps.

    Or worse, he’s like one of the Jews on the way to the death camp, telling the other Jews: “Quiet down! Do you have PROOF that Adolf Hitler is going to exterminate us? Well then, you’re JUST AS BAD AS HITLER for suggesting he’s going to barbecue us all! Who knows, this Hitler guy may be just a nice guy inviting us all over for a barbecue! That smoke may not smell like pork, but you haven’t given me proof that it’s humans!!”

    Worthless Gandhi pussy.

  • Jody

    I find it disturbing that there are a number of posters here who don’t get that A) the comic is satirizing the hysterical fearmongering of the right wing, B) it is also satirizing Obama’s mushyness, and C) John was kidding.

    I loved it. It put things into perspective.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    we do?

  • Gridlock

    Explain the last panel then.

  • Gridlock

    No, he didn’t.

  • Griffon

    Obama’s first day in office had him blocking CREW’s attempts to recover bush’s missing emails.

    Obama apparently found the time to defend bush, derail substantive investigations and bury bush’s spy crimes with the turncoat push for telecom immunity.

    Admonishing justifiable criticism of Obama by citing an opposition party is tantamount to urging silence in the interest of collective protectionism at the expense of justice; something any corrupt police force knows well.

    A repugnant practice.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    that didn’t add a thing to the discussion going on here.

  • Austinrunn

    whoa there John. That cartoon in no way turns on Obama. In fact, just the opposite – it makes fun of people who compare his intentions to Nazis.

    I’m actually in agreement with you on being disappointed in his administration on a lot of issues.

    But you are wrong on your interpretation of this one.

  • G

    Every one of your points is valid and troubling.

    I’m for war criminal trials, but that’s not a “popular” option.

    I’ve wrestled with the “preventative detention” issue, which is byzantine.

    The Bushies tortured Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. He’ can’t be tried in our Federal Courts because the torture would result in dismissal of charges. Yet I’m convinced he’s a really dangerous man who would go right back to terrorism.

    Now my choice would be to room him with Cheney and Bush in the lockup, but that’s not gonna’ happen. I’m not for letting him loose; I’m against permanent detention. I blame Bush/Cheney for creating this legal nightmare (I’m a lawyer), and I, for one, have no good answer. I’d like to hear yours, if you have one.

    As to “unilaterally”opposing single payer, I think that’s just wrong. There are 40 Repug Senators who seem implacably opposed to ANY health care reform, which means that any one Democrat joining with them to filibuster puts us right back to when the Repugs killed Clinton’s efforts.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are differing points of view in the Democratic Party. There’s been a lot of fuss about Senator Lincoln from Arkansas. When the Dems took back the Senate in 2006 it was by one vote. EVERY Dem counted then, and some come from places conservative indeed.

    So on unilaterally scratching single payer, not so much, and SINGLE PAYER wasn’t even on Obama’s pledge list.

    I’m for it. The $ numbers are clear it is the way to go. Get Enzi’s and Cornyn’s pledges to vote YES on single payer, and maybe it would happen.

    My own “Members of the C Street Christian Brotherhood” Senators Dr. Tom and Inhofe are voting no. Inhofe said he doesn’t have to read the bill or know what’s in it, he’s voting NO on health care reform

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    the only people who can save obama right now are the serious liberals, not the apologists. he won’t save himself. what validates the wingnuts is obama’s failure. people are trying to prevent that.

  • G

    Thanks. Obama hadn’t even selected a transition team when the yell “FASTER FASTER” began.

    I wasn’t even an Obama supporter through the primaries. When the Democratic Party settled on him, I started sending money to the DNC and to the Obama campaign.

    MAYBE because I wasn’t an “Obamaite,” I never imbued the man with mystical powers, or invested extreme hopes for instantly having my every Progressive wish granted.

    It is a harsh world in politics. The Repugs are implacably against everything, BECAUSE their goal is to defeat Obama’s Presidency AND regain control of, first, Congress, then the White House.

    Those of us on “our side” who are snarking and undermining will just help the Repugs.

    The folks here who thought this Doonesbury was anti-Obama and a shot at his “weakness” just validate the wingnuts yelling he is a Stalinist-Nazi-Socialist-Tyrant.

  • naschkatze

    But it also makes fun of Obama. It is tougher being president than he thought, but his very ineffective solution to our problems . . . give another speech.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    right. if trudeau didn’t mean to mock obama, he would have done something different in the last frame (which mocks obama). in that case, the strip wouldn’t have been funny and we wouldn’t be talking about it.

  • News Nag

    Griffon’s right.

    And though the cartoon is slightly nuanced, it is much more clear than was the New Yorker cover satirically portraying Barack and Michelle as black liberationist radicals.

  • Griffon

    Obama’s inherent weakness contrasted with the Tausendjähriges Reich makes the Nazi comparisons all the more ludicrous.

    The punchline putting the fine point on it is Obama’s ‘definitive call to action’ in the guise of impotent speech-making.

    Leadership involves far more than Obama has displayed.

  • GWMustGo

    WTF?!? Sunday’s strip was NOT about President Obama. It was making fun of the scheiss-for-brains that compare President Obama to Hitler!

    Think about it… Thoreau shows the inhuman acts of Hitler, followed by a reaction by President Obama (“I’ll make a speech”). They could not have been more different.

    You had a BAD read on that comic (a rarity for you). Try again.

  • bill

    Not! Both cartoonist and president are thinkers beyond such limited views. Re-read.

  • Name

    Not! At all!

  • Jennifer

    Well said. I am so tired of supposedly progressive bloggers screaming “faster, faster”, while undermining the administration at the same time. This is a crucial moment for the entire world. Criticism is called for. Sustained snarkiness and accusations of “weakness” are no.

  • Busboy

    PeteWA has nailed it! (first cherry)…

  • Solitary

    I’ll admit, I don’t get the strip. I’ve never been a Doonesbury fan, finding it rather overly proud of it’s own cleverness. There have been a few strips that I ‘got’ but most of the time…not so much. Today…what exactly was Trudeau trying to say? That Obama, like Hitler, is a rousing and persuasive speaker and that it’s a slippery slope? Huh? That unlike Hitler, who destroyed Europe and murdered billions, and despite what wingers believe, Obama is a bit of a poof? I can see that, but if that’s the message, Trudeau wasted a lot of ink to get it across.

    Do I think Trudeau as ‘turned on’ Obama? Not yet, but he most likely will soon and he will most likely find a appropriately vitrolic way to go about it. The savage pen, red in ink and nib.

  • Jennifer

    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, I find that this blog sometimes errs on the side I didn’t think it was on. I identify with the frustration, but I don’t share it. This administration is sorely tried and we all know it.

  • PeteWa

    I’m not really sure how you read that cartoon and thought “ah, even Doonesbury has turned on Obama” when it’s clearly a cartoon ridiculing the right wing’s feeble and insane attempt to paint Obama as the new Hitler.

    although what Griffon said makes sense, I would still not consider that “turning on Obama”.

  • An_American_Karol

    It was a confusing strip, evidenced by the differing opinions here.

  • Dave

    I think you,re misreading the point here. Its more a critique of the Far Right’s comparison of Obama to authoritarian figures such as Stalin or Hitler. It is calling such claims hyperbolic. If anything, it attacks (in a mild way) Obama’s opponents-not Obama himself.

  • JohnnyG

    The kool-aid drinkers only see what they want to see and nothing more.

    They’re also kinda, um, dumb.

  • Name

    We need FDR. We have Jimmy Carter.

  • Moncusa

    Whatever. Doonesbury has long been an overrated strip, not nearly as caustically on-the-mark as some seem to feel they have to believe.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    by joe, i think you got it.

  • Griffon

    “Maybe Cheney did that when he invaded Iraq and tapped your phones, but in a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, it ain’t like that.”

    Please reconcile this claim of a Constitutional Democracy with telecom immunity, preventative detention and a backroom pharma deal that undercuts price negotiations; not to mention a dearth of consequences for torture and unilaterally blocking single-payer from consideration.

    There’s more, but those will suffice.

  • katsat

    I disagree that Doonesbury has turned on Obama. The comic strip is pointing out the sheer absurdity of the far right comparing Obama to Hitler. The possibly implied criticism of Obama giving speeches is an extremely minor point.

  • Gridlock

    THIS! A thousand times this. Exactly.

    How did this go over the heads of so many? lol

  • Griffon

    My interpretation of Doonesbury’s strip does, in fact, demean the Nazi comparisons, but it does so by highlighting Obama’s ineffective leadership.

    The juxtaposition of a dominating madman imposing horrific circumstances on the world only amplifies the timidity of a president with majorities in both houses being incapable of passing anything, even when 77% of the public demands it.

    Contrast this with bush ramming through congress violation after Constitutional violation, torture, illegal spying, rendition, black sites, and over 1 million citizens slaughtered for a complete fabrication. With no consequences whatsoever.

    Obama, gives a speech.

    The joke is on us.

  • Gridlock

    It’s actually mocking both.. the Nazi aspersions coming from the right wing, and his inability to do anything but give pretty speeches instead of strong-arming when he needs to.

  • akaison

    The more I think about it- the more I think the strip is confusing. Your view is as valid as mine, which means, the strip itself was not well crafted.

  • synical

    I took at as a shot at both. The Nazi shot was at the idiotic Beck Zombies, but the last panel struck me most definitely as a sideswipe at Obama. His response to the problem: “That does it–I’m giving a speech.” For me it harked back to the primaries when Obama was accused of being nothing more than a good speechmaker–a talker, not a doer/fighter. I didn’t believe it then, I’m more inclined to now.

    Given that people could see it as snark on the Zombies or Obama’s penchant for using speeches instead of action it pretty much failed.

    You and others read it as Zombie only, I read it as mixed, my spouse read it as a shot at Obama based on the last panel. However, strangely enough, it reads differently with the first two panels, which our paper dropped for some reason. I can see the Zombie snark more prominent but I still think the “That does it, I’m giving a speech” does Obama no favors when some of us still remember the “he’s all speech” criticisms.

  • G

    Hours before John put this post up I put a link to the Doonesbury cartoon in the post about the CBO.

    So there’s the vast right wing conspiracy distributing pictures of Obama as Hitler, thank YOU, Lyndon LaRouche.

    And there’s the guy at the school suggesting that the kids singing the little ditty about Obama and “making our economy strong again” is like indoctrination that went on in the Hitler Youth. And there’s the Chairman of the Republican Party comparing it to Stalinism.

    So Doonesbury reminds us just a bit of what the Nazis were really like.

    And has Obama concluding he needs to give a speech.

    See, John, and crew, your repeated theme that Obama is weak has addled your own perceptions.

    You seem to think that the President of the United States can command actions. Maybe Cheney did that when he invaded Iraq and tapped your phones, but in a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, it ain’t like that.

    Good, bad, or indifferent, the Repugnants have drawn lines in the sands. They are going to vote NO on everything proposed by the Democrats. They could barely restrain themselves from filibustering Sotomayor, hardly a William O. Douglas.

    So lose the snark. If you think that cartoon was “Doonesbury Turning on Obama,” you’re so far wrong you’re a dehydrated shrunken head.

    Take Back that Header, Mr. Aravosis!

  • akaison

    I read it as pointing out how men like Hitler came to power while appeasers remained on the side lines or the “All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” President Obama sitting idly by in the WH wondering about giving a good speech while evil acts occur in Baucuscare. Maybe I am wrong, but that’s how I read it.

  • veedub

    i wouldn’t say that sunday’s strip was “turning against” obama. simply poking a little fun, gently.

  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    John, perhaps a trip back to the eye doctor is in order. That was clearly poking fun at the teabaggers.

  • MG1

    Actually, I found the cartoon confusing and therefore not particularly successful. I’m actually not sure what he was saying. And I think the differing interpretations also suggest that his message was not so clear.

  • Clivejw

    I disagree with your assessment. Surely this cartoon is sending up the ridiculous people who compare Obama with the Nazis, not Obama himself.

  • dratthecat

    Definitely snark to the Obama=Nazi pushed by fox and beck. He uses words not force.

  • jacbi

    I also read that as a clear indication that all the rightwinger hysteria over “nazi” Obama is way past rediculous. But the Malkin, Coulter, Hannity, Beck crew at Faux Snooze show themselves to be bad cartoons of Joe McCarthy. There isn’t a reicht-wing parrallel they won’t conjur up to stir up the uninformed and boost their own ratings. It is all a money making scam from amoral con artists. I expect any time to hear… “yes my friends, we have TROUBLE right here in River City”.

  • Indigo

    It was a joke, John! You’ve been in overly serious Europa far too long this summer. Come home now!

  • Steven Rhodes

    Ja, I /hope/ John was being facetious…

  • John, that wasn’t really a criticism of Obama…more like making fun of those comparing him to Hitler and such.

  • Jim Olson

    Yeah, I agree, you missed the point John.

  • christopher

    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or completely misinterpreting the strip, but the clear target of the joke is the “Obama=Hitler” conservative meme.

    I does make sense that you would misread this, though, as this site has recently been directing anger best targeted at conservative democratic senators at Barack Obama, as if the president had some sort of special power to control Max Baucus and Kent Conrad, which he does not. If you are working under the mistaken assumption that the president has some kind of magical power other than persuasion, it would not be a big leap to interpret the “I’ll giver a speech” punchline to assume this was a criticism of Obama himself, despite it making no sense in the context of the strip.

  • VJBinCT

    The link doesn’t display the strip, but if you are referring to today’s (Sunday’s strip) with the atrocities of the nazis, then you are way off base. This strip is pure and simple snark comparing the nazi evils (genocide among others) with Obama (I think I’ll make a speech). Untwist your knickers and take three cleansing breaths. Now look at that strip again.

  • pricknick

    Insert medical insurance companies in place of Nazi and most of the cartoon fits.

  • BCPipes

    This points out the sad irony that speech should be enough.

  • Name

    Against Obama? It was clearly poking fun at the teabaggers and their wild Nazi comparisons.

  • Blah

    That comic is pure sarcasm, poking fun at those who seem to think there is an equivalency between giving a speech and mass murder…

  • Yeah, I took it as total sarcasm and thought it was pretty funny, myself.

  • Name

    I guess sarcasm eludes those here at Americablog.

  • Fuz

    That’s a complete misreading of the strip, as Tom indicates. Trudeau’s really saying that there are no parallels between the Obama and Hitler, in spite of the right wing noise machine insisting that there are.

  • Tom

    Uhh, no he hasn’t. He’s mocking the comparison of Obama to Nazis. Nazis did terrible things, Obama gave a speech. Just put a tag around the yellow-boxed punchline.

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