A Few Brickbats for the Public Weal

Posted by on March 12th, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Cartoonist commentary on the passing scene is fairly exuberant these days because the politics they’re commenting on are so outrageous. The arrival in the nation’s movie palaces of the latest Johnny Depp movie, the one about Alice and the Mad Hatter and other denizens of Lewis Carroll’s fantastic imagination, would seem to have afforded ample opportunity for comment on the Tea Party, but I saw only a few in that vein. Jerry Holbert’s take, which invoked Walt Disney more than John Tenniel, is a beaut of a drawing, but not quite as focused as Bob Englehart’s immediately below. Englehart sees a villain and lays into it (or them); Holbert’s villain is the principal speaker, and self-ridicule, in a manner of speaking, is the operative device. Englehart is criticizing wholesale negativism; Holbert, merely mindless hostility.

Lalo Alcaraz’s cup of tea makes his effort blatant and unmistakable. And next to him, Adam Zyglis avoids the Carroll allusion but takes an unequivocal shot at the Teabaggers with a little verbal gymnastics; the poster labels O’Bama an ogre, but, in a revealing turn, the teabagger looks like one. So which one should we fear?

Signe Wilkinson and Pat Oliphant both lambast the Supreme Court’s championing of money as the equivalent of speech but from different perspectives.

Freedom of speech for corporations in Wilkinson’s vivid image outshouts freedom of speech for individual citizens while Oliphant extends the alleged logic of the Court’s so-called reasoning to a conclusion ludicrous to condemn it. Olipant is superb at this sort of thing–exaggerating some aspect of political reality until it is supremely laughable. Well done.

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