I realize creative destruction happens when technology changes, and to some extent it's inevitable. (The kind of "creative" destruction Romney practiced at Bain: not so good.) But some people become cheerleaders for economic disruption without the appropriate amount of empathy for affected workers, and that annoys me.
If you think the pundit in the cartoon bears a passing resemblance to Thomas Friedman, I won't argue with you. Friedman isn't as empathy-challenged as they come, but he's pretty bad. He endlessly fantasizes about retraining Americans to be high-tech imagineers, even though our current unemployment woes are broad-based, not structural.
"In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle... Average is over," he wrote in a recent tone-deaf column that glowingly referred to the above-average workers in China who were roused in the middle of the night to work a 12-hour shift installing iPhone screens. Aside from his apparent lack of concern that such labor conditions totally suck, it's kind of haughty to imply that the unemployed are suffering from a case of averageness. There are plenty of highly-educated Americans who can't find jobs -- never mind the fact that many jobs out there barely utilize your education. If we are to dismiss the average or subpar, then perhaps Friedman's column should be the first to go.
I assume most people have heard about Mitt Romney's dog-on-car incident, especially now that even Newt Gingrich is attacking him over it, but to recap briefly: back in the '80s, Mitt stowed the family pooch in a carrier on the roof of the family station wagon for the duration of a 12-hour drive to Ontario. After several hours, the dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus, developed gastric distress that made itself evident on the windows of the station wagon. Mitt stopped at a gas station to hose down the dog and the car, and continued on his merry way, Seamus still riding aloft.
As I drew Mitt's bus, I got to thinking about the Romney campaign logo. I find the symbolism of these things fascinating. The Romney logo divides the "R" into red, white and blue stripes. It sort of looks like three people standing in a row, or an abstractly-shaped waving flag. But what I see most is an R within an R within an R: the rich protecting the rich protecting the rich.
I swore I wasn't going to do another Occupy Wall Street cartoon since I've done so many of them lately, but I couldn't help myself. I find that there's much to say about the Occupy movement and surrounding issues, while I don't have many exciting insights yet about the Republican candidate-buffoons beyond pointing out that they are, in fact, buffoons. I'm sure they will inspire cartoons as the race heats up.
I feel this one violates my policy of trying to show rather than tell, but it makes a point about something that's been driving me nuts. (See related cartoon from 2007, "The Mental Welfare State," about people too lazy to pull their brains up by their bootstraps.)
The "Protect Life Act" was back with a vengeance last week, not that you'd know it given the scant amount of attention it seemed to get. Maybe Republicans are trying to bore us with their never-ending displays of unborn baby-kissing so that we simply stop noticing when they pass bills deeming women's lives expendable.
Even though the bill would face an Obama veto, House Republicans apparently considered it a higher priority than a jobs bill. But here's the real kicker: just one week earlier, the House passed H.R. 2681, which exempts cement plants from the Clean Air Act and encourages the burning of industrial waste. Via Earthjustice:
"Does the House of Representatives think that not enough babies are being born with developmental damage due to mercury poisoning?" asked Earthjustice attorney James Pew. "The House essentially just opened up all the doors and windows in homes across the country and urged polluters to blow their toxic emissions right in.
So evidently we should sacrifice a mother to save a fetus, but pumping that fetus full of heavy metals is just dandy. Okay, then! I really wanted to work this point into the cartoon, but there's only so much inanity you can address in four panels.
A few Obama supporters on Daily Kos took umbrage at this one. Personally, I think it's a pretty mild warning about the dangers of not having a jobs plan. So what if it's not politically feasible right now? He could at least try to make the case, instead of gratuitously invoking Republican falsehoods about the economy (see Krugman's posts on this tendency here and here). It's time to play offense at least rhetorically, Republican obstructionism be damned.