Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heckuva job, Bushie

Michael Cavna of Comic Riffs asked cartoonists what they will most miss about George W.

Some of the responses are predictable, some are pretty interesting, several are funny. And if you aren't the sort to read the Comments section -- I'm pretty ambivalent about them, nor do I listen to talk radio -- it's worth scanning down to see that a couple of conservative cartoonists were asked for their input but didn't offer any.

For my part, what I will miss as an observer of political humor is that the guy didn't require a whole lot of distortion. The riffs I've seen so far on Obama have, for the most part, required that you either work with half the facts or purposely misconstrue something -- much as cartoonists and humorists did with Dan Quayle and Al Gore. For that matter, while Nixon provided plenty of fodder for cartoonists, he wasn't clownish, and you had to come up with ways to distort him in order to make him funny.

But through eight years of the Bush White House, the jokes wrote themselves. You'd see some gag and, if you weren't 100% sure of the incident that provoked it, you'd check it out and find out that the actual fact was more outrageous and ridiculous than anything the cartoonists had been able to come up with.

Example: The most over-used gag has been Cheney shooting the guy in the face. That could have been openly and honestly announced and dealt with as you would deal with any accident. However, by the time they tried to find ways to hide it and spin it and turn it inside out, it became a farce that surpassed anything the late night comics and the editorial cartoonists could come up with -- I mean, who would dare create a skit in which the guy who gets shot in the face ends up apologizing?

Ah, well. The Bush Years will soon be over, and as they leave, I guess my farewell to his crew is a sincere wish that they will all follow the wise advice that Vice-President Cheney offered to Senator Patrick Leahy that day on the Senate floor.

(Postscript: Sigh. As so often is the case, Jon Stewart has made the case even better.)

1 comment:

ronnie said...

Interesting article. I can't feel as good about the end of this toxic administration because I can't believe nobody is going to face repercussions for spying on US citizens, ordering torture, and other war crimes. ("Renditon", anyone?) The Democrats have no stomach whatsoever for making that criminal gang responsible for their illegal and immoral actions. Nixon's crimes were schoolboy pranks compared to what these evil men did. Now they will retire to a rubber chicken dinner circuit where the remaining true believers will pad their pockets and gaze adoringly up at them as they tell stories of their glory days as Front-Line Warriors in the Global War on Islamofacistic Terror.

It makes me physically sick to think about it.