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Oliphant: What to do with a president you like?

We’ve discussed this issue before: how will a largely liberal editorial cartoonist community deal with a president that many were rooting for? Pat Oliphant, in an article in the Kansas City Star, admits that he likes Obama. In the article he states, “I’m now trying to deal with the dilemma of liking the new guy. Cartoonists need villains. The Bush years were better than the Nixon years, professionally.”

He does note that after the honeymoon period that all presidents enjoy, fodder will prevail. “Sadly, I’ve learned that all I have to do is wait and it will happen, automatically,” he told the Kansas City Star. “With every politician, there’s a honeymoon period. I just have to wait for that to end. It always ends.”

Community Comments

#1 Ted Dawson
November/12/2008
@ 10:47 am

I feel confident that Oliphant will be able to find plenty of things to pick on. How Obama handles the situations he will face will be the measure, and the cartoonist fodder. Cartoonists are often better able to point out a politician’s failings, and a good cartoonist makes himself look even harder at the politicians he likes.

It was political cartoonists who first started being critical of Bush. At first, the Press tried to give Bush the benefit of the doubt and later even seemed reluctant to criticize him. Cartoonists were among the first to point out the emporer was nekked and, in my view, played an important part in the changing of Bush’s popularity.

Anyways, it looks like there will still be Palin for cartoonists to pick on. She doesn’t seem to want to go away.

#2 Matt Bors
November/12/2008
@ 10:50 am

It’s nice to see the Kansas City Star interested in what cartoonists think the day after they lay theirs off!

#3 Rob Tornoe
November/12/2008
@ 11:26 am

Right on Matt!

I guess it didn’t occur to them to ask Lee Judge what he thought. He’s only right down the hall!

#4 Dan Bielinski
November/12/2008
@ 11:54 am

Good call, Matt. Didn’t even occur to me until I read your comment. By the way, love your toons.

#5 Wiley Miller
November/12/2008
@ 12:56 pm

“Cartoonists need villains.”

Well, let’s take a look at what has already happened just this week…. in their analysis of the overwhelming Republican party losses, many republican movers and shakers came to the brilliant conclusion that they lost because they “weren’t conservative enough”. That was topped by Rush Limbaugh who, despite the fact that Obama won’t take office until Jan. 20th, has labeled the economic crisis as “the Obama recession”.

Oh, I think there will be a LOT of material for editorial cartoonists… the few that are left, that is.

#6 Kevin Moore
November/12/2008
@ 3:20 pm

Wiley: I think you’re right, but that is liberal criticism of conservative media. What about liberal criticism of a fellow liberal? I think Obama has already provided plenty of fodder for liberal and lefty cartoonists, provided they recognize the areas where he has waffles, shown insufficient leadership, played politics, thrown people or causes under the bus, etc. The left should expect to be sold out at some point. That’s what the Clinton years taught us. Perhaps Obama will be better than that, perhaps his compromises will be necessary in the course of pushing legislation through democratic processes. And perhaps the war in Afghanistan will do to him what Viet Nam did to LBJ.

Plenty to fear, plenty to hope.

#7 Wiley Miller
November/12/2008
@ 3:56 pm

“What about liberal criticism of a fellow liberal?”

Did you see a shortage of cartoons on Clinton during his administration? Quite the contrary. The difference is that liberal-leaning cartoonists are far more apt to criticize a liberal-leaning president than conservatives are of conservative presidents.

#8 Kevin Moore
November/12/2008
@ 5:45 pm

That’s truth.

#9 Carl Moore
November/13/2008
@ 2:22 am

How about the vote of confidence by investors in Obamanomics? Mr. Hope and Change’s election has been greeted with a 1,300 point nosedive in the stock market. Just a continuation of the meltdown? Yes, but there’s little doubt Obama’s tired ol’ Democratic approach of higher taxes, more regulation and kissing the behind of the unions’ demands for protectionism has added to the pessimism… There’s going to be plenty of fodder for mockery of this president.

#10 Eric Allie
November/13/2008
@ 3:24 am

Wiley, making fun of Clinton’s drippings does not mean liberal leaning cartoonists are far more likely to criticize a liberal leaning president. Unless you equate his behavior to liberalism.

What self indulgence. Here, watch me me outdo you. I was a Clinton supporter (too drunk and stoned in my dorm room(s) to actually go vote). I voted for Gore then I voted for Bush then McCain. WOE, I say with theatrical grandeur, if only some people could be as open minded and self critical as I. Woe, woe.

#11 Phil Wohlrab
November/13/2008
@ 8:15 am

It’ll be interesting to see how already choked newspaper industry deals with business tax hikes… they may have endorsed their own demise.

#12 John Auchter
November/13/2008
@ 10:21 am

“Obamanomics”? Seriously? We’re supposed to pick that one up and run with it? Good heavens.

If George Orwell taught us anything it was the peril of bending language to meet a particular ideology. This incessant need to find sides and label them for every issue is both lazy and dangerous.

Don’t worry about the Obama presidency — they’ll make plenty of mistakes. Some cartoonists will pick up on them. Some won”t. And some will mail in their ideological views. Same as always.

#13 Carl Moore
November/14/2008
@ 7:42 pm

“Obamanomics” is simply a short way of saying “obama’s economic policies.” It has no Orwellian overtones, ideological connotations or put-down vibes to it. It’s used by both liberal as well as conservative writers in the same way that “Clintonomics” was use, which one would know, if one did a lot of reading.

#14 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
November/14/2008
@ 10:44 pm

…carl moore… Either grow up or shut up.
the people that post here are professional satiricists. We GET nuance.
Your right wing diatribes are ridiculous, as most are. John Auchter rightfully called your nonsense.

The world has changed. It has rejected the phony nihilism of the proto-fascists.

The only question, for you and others like you; is …will you come along, or will you die clinging to your failed theories?

#15 Carl Moore
November/15/2008
@ 1:56 am

kranky… “proto-fascists”? “…grow up or shut up”? “…will you come along or die clinging to your failed theories”? Wow. And to think you’re a “professional satirist” who “gets nuance.” Sounds more like you get sophomoric playground “mine’s-bigger’n- yours” nuance, kranky joe. Why don’t you put on display some of your “professionalism” and write something that has content rather than calling people names. Either that, or visit your nearest elementary school and get some pointers from the five-year olds who do it with more wit than you do.

#16 Carl Moore
November/15/2008
@ 5:37 am

kranky joe… I want to apologize for my previous post. You jerked my chain and I reacted in anger and I shouldn’t have.

Look, I imagine, like most cartoonists, you’re a good guy (I include myself in that group). I suspect we both want the same thing. We both want Obama to succeed. Yes, that’s right, I want Obama to succeed as much as anyone. We both want the country to prosper and stay safe. We just differ on how to go about that. As a libertarian, I’ll be saying things on this site that you don’t want to hear and vice versa. I know you’ll agree with me that we can do that without calling each other names. No, I’m not a fascist, a Nazi or whatever other slur
comes to mind. I’m just a cartoonist that likes to think I’m attacking sloppy thinking and misguided policies in my strip whether on the right or the left, though my libertarian instincts enjoys satirizing liberals more than conservatives. But, again, I’m not your enemy.

Check out my strip here:http://www.creators.com/comics/state-of-the-union.html

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