Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Chimp Cartoon

There's been a bit of a controversy over a cartoon in the New York Post that seemingly implies the stimulus bill was written by a rabid chimp. Of course, thoughtful and sensitive types like Al Sharpton are arguing that it is, in effect, calling the president a rabid chimp while implying violence, and is therefore racist. A couple of points immediately come to mind. First of all, the stimulus bill was not written by the president. Congress wrote it. And if we can't call a body whose current 31% approval rating is considered HIGH a bunch of chimps, well, I just don't know who we can mock anymore. Secondly, which has greater racial undertones, implying the a wasteful spending bill was written by a chimp, or calling a black man "childlike" and "unthreatening" as Chris Matthews did to Michael Steele?

I do agree though, that comparing a president to a chimp is wrong. We know it would never be done to a white president. Nor should political cartoons ever dabble in racism. And don't even get me started on how inappropriate it would be for someone to toy with the idea of assassinating a sitting president. The only thing that might be worse would be to portray a US president as Hitler.

I don't think this cartoon meant what people are reading into it. If it did, it's inexcusable. But I would just like people to get some perspective. The left has been engaging in full-throated anti-Bush nuttery for the past 8 years. If they're in for some of the same, I think it's regrettable, dishonorable on the part of those on the right who engage in it, and a sad sign of the times. But it is hardly new or uniquely based on Obama's race.