Caricatured portraits of Barack Obama wearing Heath Ledger-style “Joker” makeup, with the caption “socialism” situated just beneath the President’s image, have been displayed recently on numerous outdoor surfaces — telephone poles, blank walls, highway supports, etc.Â – in the city of Los Angeles.
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Though the identity of the Photoshop artist is unknown to anyone, the Christian Science Monitor concludes, disapprovingly, that “a conservative graffiti artist” is the culprit. Adds the Monitor: “Now, digitized copies of the portraits have gone viral, spiralingÂ across Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.Â Predictably, the right-wing blogosphere is bursting at the seams with glee.”
Even more predictably,Â leftists have begun to complain that theÂ portrait is racist. According to Bedlam Magazine, for instance: “The Joker white-face imposed on Obamaâ€™s visage has a sort of malicious, racist, Jim Crow quailty to it.”Â The good folks at L.A. Weekly, meanwhile, tell us that the portrait “has a bit of everything to appeal to the drunk tank of California conservatism: Obama is in white face, his mouth (like Ledger’s Joker’s) has been grotesquely slit wide open and the word â€˜Socialismâ€™ appears below his face. The only thing missing is a noose.”
As Matthew Vadum has already noted in NewsReal,Â in 2004 the very same L.A. Weekly ran this pictureÂ depicting President George W. Bush as Dracula, his mouth dripping with the blood of innocents from around the world:
Then there was this classicÂ published by The Village Voice in October of that same year, showing Bush as a vampire sucking the blood of Liberty from the metaphorical neck of our nation:Â
And just 13 months ago, Vanity Fair depicted Bush as none other than, voilÃ , the Joker! With no chorus of complaints from the Left!
Notably, these caricatures of Bush appearedÂ neither on solitary highway stanchions nor on the walls of buildings in vacant lots,Â but rather in major publications of the political and social Left. This is to say nothing of the many published cartoons that routinely depicted Bush as a primate. One September 2007 Huffington Post story, in fact, actually bore the title, “New Scientific Study Reveals Bush Is a Chimp.”
What would be the Left’s reaction if a conservative were to make a similar assertion about Obama?
Bush was also commonlyÂ caricatured by the Left as Adolph Hitler. The anti-war demonstrations of 2002-2004 — led by such MarxistÂ ”peace”Â coalitions as International ANSWERÂ (a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party) andÂ United For Peace and JusticeÂ (led by the pro-Castro communist Leslie Cagan) — featured multitudes of banners and placards depicting Bush as the Nazi FÃ¼hrer.
YetÂ now, the Left is vexedÂ over an anonymous artist’sÂ unflattering portrayal ofÂ its beloved President –Â a President who, we should remember, has had his image (and that of his family) plastered on the covers of adoring periodicals nationwide for many months.
Forgotten amid the current outrage over the “Socialist Joker” posters, of course, is the fact that Obama, by anyÂ objective measure, has shown himself to be, quite literally,Â a socialist in word and deed. But rather than address that plain reality, leftists prefer instead to depict the President’s detractors as sinister “racists.” This technique of diversion and demonization is taken directlyÂ out of Saul Alinsky‘s infamousÂ blueprint for transformative socialist revolution.
Matthew Vadum has notedÂ how Glenn Beck, discussing the Obama poster on his Fox News program yesterday, chided the Left for its hyper-sensitivity to the tactics of Alinsky when those tacticsÂ are used by its ideological adversaries:Â â€œDonâ€™t they know rule number five fromÂ Saul Alinskyâ€™sÂ Rules for Radicals: â€˜ridicule is manâ€™s most potent weaponâ€™? Interesting how mad they get when you use their rules against them, isnâ€™t it?â€