Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Barack Hashem Obama’s followers still don’t get it, beside showing themselves to be as humorless as Satmar and easily the most paranoid and thin-skinned political operators since Richard Nixon.
Some of the Obama people fancy him as a new Kennedy but both John and Bobby Kennedy’s campaigns sparkled with self-deprecating humor. The Kennedy camp never took such an elitist offense to jokes and cartoons the way the Obama people have jumped up and down taking offense over the cartoon on The New Yorker’s cover. Of course, by the logic of the Obamaphiles, I can’t say what was on the cover because that might add to the smear every bit as the cartoon itself added to the smear. So I silence myself.
The contempt and elitism that Obama showed for religious working-class Americans in his “bitter” remarks during the Pennsylvania primary is echoed in the contempt for Americans that his followers, in and out of the media, exhibit when they insist that most Americans are too stupid to “get” The New Yorker cartoon.
Americans have a great tradition of mass populist political humor, from late night talk shows to newspaper cartoons (from Herblock to Doonesbury) to stand-up comedians that have skewered, smeared and exaggerated politicians in a distorting fun-house mirror from Lincoln to both Roosevelts to Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush. Somehow the Republic survived. Suddenly when a cartoon is about Obama, Americans are too stupid to understand the incredibly difficult concept of a political cartoon.
When, during a time of black-chasidic tension (I won’t say black-Jewish tension because few secular Jews acted like it was their fight, only their embarrassment) The New Yorker had a similar cover cartoon, equally circulated, about a chasidic man smooching with a black woman. Plenty of chasidim took offense but you didn’t see liberal Jews lining up to say Americans were too stupid to get it, only that chasidim ought to lighten up and see the brilliance. Only when the satire is in the vicinity of Obama do liberal Jews think Americans need George to explain about the rabbits.
Two of the most self-flattering fantasies of liberal American Jews is that there is such a thing as a black-Jewish alliance and that Jews have a sense of humor, a great tradition of comedy. The black-Jewish alliance, based on Freedom Riders in a flicker of time in the early 1960s, has become as much of an old man’s fantasy, as much of a one-sided alliance as the Jewish-Spanish alliance in the 1930s when Communist Jews in New York signed up for the Lincoln Brigade in Spanish civil war. Now we see that the great Jewish tradition of satire and wisecracks is just as meaningless and antiquated, rendered unfit for service in the Jewish sycophantic phalanx that has been set up to protect the “Negro” from what is made out to be a satirical lynching.
In the Obama administration prepare to see enemy lists of the sort that Nixon had. Except that Nixon’s enemy list was comprised of real people with real names who really hated Nixon. The Obama enemy list is being comprised of anonymous e-mails and even liberal and creative people at The New Yorker who actually like Obama. And of course, the infantry troops for Obama’s enemy list will be the progressives, those who love the First Amendment until the other guy – even a liberal cartoonist — gets protected by it, too.
The Obama people, the professional offense-takers, really see themselves as the good guys, and many of them are good guys. But it is ironic, if irony is still permitted, that after these good guys hurled around the word “fascist” to describe every conservative policy of the last 40 years, we’ll be seeing some very real repression in the next four, from attempts to shut down conservative talk radio, to making Reichstag fires out of anonymous, unsourced e-mails. All in the name of progress, in the name of being liberal.
George Carlin once said that fascism won’t come to America in jackboots, it will come wearing a smiley face. A smiley face that doesn’t like cartoons.