Jack Ohman’s Cartoon and Desperate Obama Defense Derangement

Ebola cartoon

This cartoon, which should cause editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman to hang his head in shame, has made me realize that there is an odd and pervasive parallel today with the familiar Clinton Derangement Syndrome and Bush Derangement Syndrome of yore, which caused the mouth-foaming political opponents of these polarizing Presidents to make ridiculous claims undermining the many more legitimate criticisms available to them. In the case of Barack Obama, it is Desperate Obama Defense Derangement (DODD) that we are seeing. So horrible is the prospect of having to admit that this President is an unequivocal, incompetent flop by almost every measure imaginable that disappointed, panicked partisans in the media, the President’s party and bitterly disappointed hope-and-changers are resorting to obvious rationalizations, absurd analogies and insane arguments to avoid facing the miserable, depressing truth.

This cartoon can stand as a graphic symbol of the malady. In order to preemptively duck accountability when yet another government agency, in this case the CDC, proves inept and another national policy–the measures designed to keep Ebola out of the U.S— proves ill-thought out and poorly managed like so many other agencies and national policies under this administration’s stewardship, DODD sufferers like Ohman and the sad Democrats posting it on Facebook are making the argument that Ebola is no big deal.

You know, like AIDS was no big deal. When the Reagan administration was being justly criticized for its tardy and in inadequate response to AIDS, I don’t recall any cartoonists listing the stats for all of the other causes of death to ridicule gays, humanitarians and sane people who were saying that this was a national crisis. But then, there aren’t very many conservative cartoonists, for which, in that instance, at least, we can be grateful.

Look at Ohman’s cartoon, and try to translate it into a coherent statement that makes any sense at all:

How dare fat people worry about their children being wiped out by a virus that liquifies their organs?

As long as these things are killing us, why worry about a plague?

Let’s first ban cigarettes, booze and McDonalds, then worry about Ebola?

People who choose to endanger their health in one respect forfeit their right to be worried about dangers they don’t choose?

There aren’t any sensible translations. Its sole intent is an ad hominem attack on conservatives—you know, obese, middle-aged white men who drink and smoke too much while being so shallow that they celebrate the United States—to ensure that their reasonable concerns about yet another Obama-supervised fiasco can be framed as politically-motivated hysteria. The cartoon is mind-numbingly stupid, which is not a huge problem in itself, but the fact that it encourages partisans and ideologues to endorse and defend potentially deadly incompetence is. I have previously opined that the art of political cartooning has become so simple-minded that news organizations should abandon it, and this despicable drawing prompts me to reassert that belief. When an international epidemic looms, it is irresponsible for those trying to protect our government from accountability to risk the public’s heath and welfare by minimizing a genuine threat with the worst of all rationalizations, #22, “It’s not the Worst Thing,” and false comparisons.

Food? Last I checked, we do need to eat. We don’t need Ebola. Tobacco? People voluntarily use tobacco for pleasure—I don’t know of anyone who infects themselves with deadly African diseases for fun. Alcohol? If as many people get Ebola as are afflicted with alcoholism, we’re all dead in a year. The idea is to avoid getting to that point. Jack Ohman apparently doesn’t comprehend that.

In case you think it is unfair to attribute this awful cartoon to the DODD crowd, read any of the approving comments about it, and observe those who are emailing it to you and posting it on Facebook. One of the commenters writes: “Of course that obese, alcoholic, super-patriotic smoker in Jack Ohman’s editorial cartoon last Friday is yelling, “Ebola!!!” He must be tired of yelling, “Benghazi!!!”

Desperate Obama Defense Derangement. It isn’t Ebola, but it just might get us killed anyway.


21 thoughts on “Jack Ohman’s Cartoon and Desperate Obama Defense Derangement

  1. He sure is holding that hamburger funnily… his hand is in a position much more conducive to holding a pistol.

    Wonder if the artist changed his mind part way through?

  2. Just curious: How are deaths from smoking marijuana detected, attributed and tracked? We have such good numbers on deaths from smoking tobacco. It’s fishy to me, that more cartoonists don’t cite deaths per year attributable to marijuana. (But I don’t want Cheech and Chong to be sued.)

    • Given that it’s still largely illegal and has been universally illegal for a long time, I doubt that any meaningful statistics exist in order to establish a trend. Whatever the truth, it can’t be good. Tobacco residues are like fresh air compared to those of marijuana. Nor does tobacco affect the brain directly.

      • Not to argue with you, but of course since guns have been identified as a public health problem, it should be easy to come up with some numbers on how marijuana is similarly a public health problem, what with all the crimes of violence, theft and negligence associated with the trade (be it legal or illegal), never mind bodily health effects. We also know of course that relaxation of law enforcement against marijuana-related use and commerce will not slow the death toll. We’ll just have to wait for the army of hungry lawyers to mobilize with media and activists to sue Big Weed.

      • Aside from the health issues present due to inhaling any sort of burning plant matter, the long-term health effects between tobacco and marijuana just aren’t comparable. Tobacco use increases the risk of some form of cancer no matter how it’s consumed. Both nicotine and THC will be trending toward vaping, and who knows how the long-term effects will be skewed then. Otherwise, consumption of unrelated plants, be they carrots or datura, is unrelated.

  3. I saw this in Facebook, and couldn’t believe how dumb it was. I haven’t seen a political cartoon in years that I thought had a real point to make, or that made one in a clever witty way.

  4. I’m not an expert or whatever but I kind of saw the cartoon as how most people view ebola now (and I’m speaking on behalf of those who aren’t into politics and can’t see it from a political pov). I asked most students at my school what they thought of the cartoon and after some thought on their part they all mostly gave me the same conclusion, “Ebola is killing everyone in the world.” I thought it was sad and a little shameful but I think the picture kind of represented the minority who believe that when ebola was brought into the US they immediately started pointing fingers at it for all the problems and deaths. Now I understand there are some who joke about ebola, but I think the the illustration is kind of showing us how some people just blame ebola for everything. People die from alcohol poisoning, cancer, and health problems from obesity but everyone immediately tries to point the finger at a more foreign and unexplainable thing. I’m not sure I got what I meant across to whoever is reading this but again this is my opinion and some of the other students in my high school.

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