Amid the Tumult and the Shouting: Part One

Posted by on April 21st, 2010 at 9:40 AM

National furor has calmed slightly since Barack O’Bama’s signing of the health care reform bill, and before we have another spate of discontent sufficient to elbow teabaggers off public thoroughfares, let’s pause and look at a few cheerful editorial cartoons on recent excitements.

While an editorial cartoon need not deploy imagery metaphorically to make its point, I insist, mildly, that the best single panel editoons do just that. Above, we have R.J. Matson depicting the progress of the health care reform legislation through Congress, concluding with a memorable image; and below Matson, Steve Sack vividly makes his point that the Gripey Old Pachyderm is an old hand at using “reconciliation” to achieve its legislative goals.

Once the Democrats were poised to jam the bill through, Gary McCoy and Brian Fairrington, both arch conservatives, deliver their verdicts using similar suppository imagery. The consequences for the nation’s health after the administration of this medical procedure remain a mystery worthy of Sherlockian attention, but we assume the outcome will be alimentary, my dear Dr. Whatsit.  Fairrington, by the way, is a superb designer of cartoons and draws beautifully. As any fool can tell. I can tell.

Tom Toles uses no notable visual metaphor in the above cartoon (except, perhaps, the melt-down lean of the capital dome) but his speaker makes a hilarious point about the archaic and cumbersome rules that conspire to destroy democracy in the Senate.

Congress, by the way, has a revealing archaic meaning of its own: people in congress are committing sexual intercourse. And so now we all know what Congress has been doing to all of us all this time.

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