It’s Nasty Time: Part One

Posted by on October 25th, 2010 at 9:30 PM

I’m calling it “nasty time” because the attack ads are in full flower on tv: it seems we can’t have an election anymore without the candidates throwing garbage at each other. Editorial cartoonists are not above the fray, but they are not miscreants because of their participation: they always attack, so their behavior is not only justifiable but necessary. How else can we know the scallawags from the criminals?

Now that we’re just a mere eight days away from proving, once again, that the Giddy Old Pachyderm, confident of its victory at the polls, is wrong wrong wrong, we take advantage of the occasion for its auspicious opportunity it affords to examine a handful of editorial cartoons as they pass in review, herewith.

The GOP’s much vaunted attitude about budgets and deficits and kindred financial malfeasances is the subject of Bill Day’s comment, which demonstrates, beyond quibble, just what the Republican so-called “record” on fiscal restraint is. Air. Day’s image is more vivid metaphor than David Fitzsimmons’ picture just below Day’s.

Fitz evokes the arrogance of a one-time queen of France, who, told that the starving multitudes had no bread to eat, advised, “Let them eat cake.” To the jobless in 2010, Wall Street seems similarly arrogant, relying, it seems, upon the confection of an economic recovery that has, so far, benefitted mostly Wall Street. A bit more complicated an array of meanings than Day’s simple visual message and therefore lacking quite as much impact. But I like it anyhow.

Conservative fiscal policy persists in our next pairing.

Tony Auth’s last panel gives “trickle down” a meaning we’ve all suspected it embraced, but Pat Oliphant immediately below Auth carries the metaphor a step further to the logical conclusion only implied by Auth. And the laugh inspired by Oliphant’s antic here goes beyond the sneer inherent in Auth’s cartoon, deploying ironic puns to give the gag a second and even third bounce. (The tiny man at the bottom walking off to the left, in case you can’t make it out, is saying: “Republicans make a big Splash don’t they?” To which Punk the penguin says: “Way out of proportion to their numbers.”)

MEANWHILE: In Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller has carried the tale of the miraculous ekert forward another chapter, leaving us, still, dangling in expectation of some ultimate resolution some day in the future. And Sally Forth’s husband Ted verges on straying once again.

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