Thursday, June 26, 2008

Explain This Bill Day Cartoon To Me

First of all, this image's official home is here; I only host these editorial-cartoon images myself these days because the originals sometimes disappear. If you are UFS Inc. and you disapprove of this use, e-mail me at the address to the right and I'll switch to a hotlink to your image (for as long as it lasts).


So, in this cartoon, our president is coming out of a building (the Department of Justice, maybe? the Supreme Court? does it matter?), and comes upon the traditional statue of justice, depicted as a svelte, robed, blindfolded woman (a grandmother in this case) holding a sword and a set of scales.

(I'm not mistaken than the figure is George W., am I? It's a loose caricature, but I thought it was supposed to be him.)

W. is carrying a briefcase marked "Jobs/Resumes," for whatever reason.

Looking at the statue, he whistles (presumably a wolf-whistle, which is not really plausible, given that particular statue) and thinks about an elephant (representing the GOP), blindfolded and wearing a bikini.

Every single element of this cartoon is confusing:

What does the star-spangled bikini stand for? (Is that a reference to hiding behind the flag, and the tininess of the bikini shows that the cartoonist thinks there's very little justification?) Or is it just there because it's hard to drawn an elephant in a robe?

Does the fact that the elephant's scales are much much smaller than the original statue's scales mean anything? The elephant's sword is also shorter and stubbier, if that means anything.

Does the briefcase have anything to do with anything?

And what is the message of this cartoon -- that W. needs a job after the end of his term, but has jut realized he can get a sex-change operation and massive plastic surgery in order to become a Supreme Court Justice? That W. has just this second realized that he has the power to appoint judges, so he thinks that he should pick ideologically friendly ones? Or what?


Unknown said...

The other day there was a big to-do in the news media that the Justice Department was turning down a lot of highly-qualified applicants newly graduated from major law schools because they were Democrats or liberals or had worked with liberals or were otherwise perceived to have "leftist" ties. (Go to Google News and search "justice dept. hiring" and you'll get a lot more. This is specifically against the law, but par for the course for the partisan politics of the GWB/GOP administration.

I think maybe the bikini is to signify that in W's administration's eyes being a Republican (elephant) is desirable (sexy) and patriotic (stars and stripes), and justice (small scales) is farther down the list of priorities at Justice.

Andrew Wheeler said...

Lois: I'd missed that story, somehow, but I've seen another cartoon or two on the same subject since (somewhat less muddled) and got the gist.

I still think this cartoon is too full of unexamined symbolism...

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