Conservatives need laughter, too, even if it makes the rest of us cry

Given how many progressive political cartoons I publish, I thought it only fair to show one of the regressive ones, too. After all, just because people block the kind of fuel economy standards that would have forced Detroit to build more of the cars that people actually want, reduced our dependence on oil, and cut climate-destroying emissions, doesn’t mean they don’t have a sense of humor.

Yes, wanting to cut oil use, emissions, and consumer fuel bills is no different than wanting to have 50 steering wheels per car. Our President is so dumb!

I guess this is what people in Birmingham, Alabama think is funny. Yes, Birmingham. It is so sad it is funny, no?

A few more thoughts upon reflecting on this cartoon while taking my daughter to the park.

First, the cartoonist, Stantis, is obviously a conservative, which makes this cartoon even more unintentionally humorous sense it is conservatives who have historically believed in states rights — and this cartoon is mocking Obama because he “let states set auto emission standards.” So one of the messages of this cartoon is that the government should not let the states enforce different laws than the federal government. Pretty unintentionally ironic for a Birmingham cartoonist, no?


Second, Stantis is of course repeating the erroneous conservative talking point that Obam has enabled 50 different standards, when, in fact, federal law is quite clear that California gets to have tougher standards than the federal government and other states must choose between the California standard and the feds’ standard.

Third, Obama isn’t the one requiring car companies to do anything here, so the target of the cartoonist’s anger is misdirected. The target should have been Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, the state that developed the tailpipe standard and that has been aggressively pursuing the right to enforce that standard in the courts, the media, and here in Washington, DC. (see, for instance, “Arnold Sues the EPA Over Vehicle Emissions”).

Fourth, relatedly, while it makes little sense to look for a racial tinge in every anti-Obama cartoon, I still ask the following question: Would this cartoon work if you replaced Obama with Schwarzenegger? Yes, I know, the cartoon doesn’t work now, but would Stantis have drawn such a cartoon for the Birmingham news? I doubt it.

Finally, the cartoon continues the Post’s lame choice of Saturday political cartoons (see “Oliphant and Washington Post ignorantly smear GM and plug-in hybrids”). But this cartoon is so stupid, so misdirected, so devoid of a coherent political view, that I can only deduce Gregory House/Sherlock Holmes/Psych/Lie to Me/Mentalist fashion that the person at the Post who picks these cartoons is in fact conservative/libertarian, is known around the office for not having a sense of humor, doesn’t much like his or her job, and in fact doesn’t bother to look at the cartoons closely — and probably lives in Virginia and owns a gas-guzzling SUV. Wow, I guess I’m ready for my own TV show, assuming there is room for another curmdugeon with a heart of gold!