The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for August 17th, 2011

This Week’s Cartoon: “The Octangulator”

I didn’t really want to do another cartoon about Obama since I’ve done several lately, but I read a couple things recently that induced much brow-furrowing and teeth-clenching. One was this post by Robert Reich about what he’s heard from White House insiders:

So rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it’s politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama – to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington’s paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public’s attention from the President’s failure to do anything about continuing high unemployment and economic anemia.

Then there was this NYT article:

A Democratic Congressional adviser, granted anonymity to discuss party deliberations, said: “We’re at a loss to figure out a way to articulate the argument [for economic stimulus] in a way that doesn’t get us pegged as tax-and-spenders.”

Everyone knows that Democrats can balance budgets until the end of time and still get tagged as tax-and-spenders. So this strategist’s solution is to stand like an unblinking cow in the middle of the train tracks and do nothing? For this, he or she actually gets paid?

I tend to catch some flak when I’m critical of Obama, and this week will probably be no exception. I often feel trapped between defenders of bad policy and poor strategy from the Dems, and those who seem to have unrealistic expectations without taking context into account. And by “context,” I mean that the cheese has fallen off the nation’s collective cracker. But we have to try to change that context instead of echoing it, as Obama has done far too much.

Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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