Mike Luckovich, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Pulitzer-Prize-winning political cartoonist and, as we learned recently, a huge Daily Kos fan, has revealed his genius again.
He has created the most devastating post-election cartoon that is as brilliant in its messaging as it is in its sophisticated layering.
I have some words for this masterpiece, but first, simply enjoy:
Greetings, by Mike Luckovich (with permission)
Where to begin? The first masterful step was Luckovich evoking Clint Eastwood to represent Republican disconnect with the reality of our nation as a whole. Whereas Eastwood's rambling chair monologue revealed the false, illusory Obama that only Fox-News-fed conservatives see, the GOP's treatment of our electorate revealed their false, illusory understanding of our nation's myriad and diverse communities.
Using Eastwood as analogous to the entire conservative intellectual framework – and transposing the GOP elephant to represent that fact – is Luckovich's stroke of genius.
The disconnect Luckovich playfully shows is so deep that, a mere 24-hours ago, most conservatives truly felt Mitt Romney would win, based not just on the "white vote," but on the fact that he'd have enough support from some of the other demographics Luckovich treats.
But they were all talking to their own, empty chairs.
- Latinos? The GOP's empty chair version is that they'll move toward you if you just speak a bit of Spanish, put on a fake tan and talk about self-deportation.
- Women? The GOP's empty chair version is that they're down with religious restrictions on abortion, not so concerned about equal pay and really (if they'd only tap into their own innate selves) are interested in fulfilling their housewife destinies.
- African-Americans? The GOP's empty chair version is that they'll still vote for you even if you're racist because, well, trickle-down and master knows best.
- The Youth? The GOP's empty chair version is that they eat up Ayn Rand, love the idea of personal responsibility and (the white ones) will fear brown people and gays if you train them to.
- Gays? The GOP's empty chair version is that they're...oh fuck it, there are plenty of gay conservatives to nab some votes from.
Luckovich's use of Eastwood is also brilliant in that it he represents a disconnected, elderly white GOP stumbling blindly, seeing supporters where none exist...
...seeing "other" Americans not as they actually appear, but as they have been made to appear by conservative (and often evangelical) ideologies.
It is a sharp-penned, pointed evisceration of the current GOP in a singular, constructed image.
Yes, it's fair to say I'm a fan of Luckovich's work.