Why Do You Hate Obama?

There are lots of reasons to dislike Obama —€” but his dead-end Democrat supporters insist that the only true motivation for opposition is racism.

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  • Good question.

    Because he is the embodiment of spineless Democrats who obediently and repeatedly spread their (and our) cheeks for violent insertion of the neo-fascist probe.

  • I know you have no spy apparatus, as the Obama’s NSA does, but this sounds suspiciously like quite a few conversations I’ve had over the years.

    Great cartoon.

  • Will Ted continue using his new non-racist Obama in future cartoons? Time will tell.

  • Okay, so who wants to post this to DailyKos.com?

  • People will point out that Congress is obstructionist. But some of these actions don’t involve Congress.

    One of my biggest objections is how he has so often given away the game, starting from a position of compromise and then backing down further.

    And my first objection, while he was first running for office, was the FISA vote.

    And another was about it being so creepy to see how people reacted to listening to him speak (I have almost never done so, though I’ve read text of what he has to say). The whole thing just screamed “demagogue.” It reminded me of 911 when people’s warmongering reactions seemed so programmed and mindless.

    • Ooo! I want to add to the list.

      Support for Uzbekistan and Egypt’s military junta. Persecution of Mr. Snowden. Keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich. No meaningful financial reforms. No prosecution of Bush war crimes or Wall Street. Allowing the Fed to continue printing money. Not protecting the environment. Not actually ending the war in Iraq. Violating agreements on chemical and nuclear weapons. Kidnapping people to secret prisons. Not protecting Palestinians. Doing basically nothing against BP for the Gulf spill…that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more others can think to add.

    • He is a poor negotiator by design I think.

      I really don’t understand why people think he is quite such a great orator. I HAD to stop listening to him because it was so repetitive and I was tired of his condescending (press conference) or determined (grand speech) stares and dramatic pauses. I remember 2007. I was only 18 but I was leery when people talked to me like this politician out of nowhere was going to save us all. Something didn’t seem right. I don’t like to look at him anymore. I see dark contempt in his eyes and all I can think is of what a lying monster he is.

      • Yeah. I knew someone back then who was a big supporter and actually said to me “Yes, I drank the Kool-aid.” I had no idea how to respond.

        Later she invited me and some other people to her house to watch Biden and Palin debate. What I saw was this kind of shiny dishonest-looking dude and this insane woman who refused to follow rules of order. Eventually I had to leave the room.

  • All of the above (some of which is below)

    For not being the guy I thought I was voting for (in 2008, anyway. By 2012 I’d wised up)

    For setting me up to make a public fool of myself. I defended the guy at first – two days after being sworn in lots libs were whining “But gitmo’s still open” and “the rich are still getting richer” – I snidely pointed out how ridiculous their expectations were. I defended him whenever he got blamed for actions taken by congress. It still bugs me when people do that, but I’m much slower to point it out.

    The one good thing he’s done is to hand the GOPranos enough rope to hang themselves. Time and again he’s done the political judo thing which exposes just how stupitt and corrupt those bastards are. It ain’t enough to save my opinion of him, but one should give credit where it’s due.

  • alex_the_tired
    December 14, 2013 7:26 AM

    Why I don’t like Obama.

    He squandered one of the largest amounts of goodwill an incoming president has ever had.

    He calls me “folks.” If I called him “boy,” I would be crucified for it because it is demeaning and inappropriate to call a grown man such a thing. Fine. As a white male of non-color, I genuinely find it demeaning and inappropriate for someone who purportedly works for me to call me “folks.” It is offensive to be spoken to like I’m some quaint hayseed with only 12 teeth in my head, a rube who can be swindled without knowing what’s going on until it’s too late. I hated it when W, that swaggering drunken buffoon did it. I still hate it.

    He reads all my e-mails, checks my Internet browsing, frisks me at airports and subways (and on the street), but demands that his children’s right to privacy be respected absolutely. (Because he supports these policies, he’s just as guilty as the minions who perform the actual scut work). When the president lets me stop him, “Excuse me. Where are you going? Do you have identification? What’s in the bag? You haven’t been using, have you?”, fine, we can have a slightly different discussion. But my right to privacy is right the fuck in the Constitution. Perhaps the prez should read that document once or twice before he leaves office.

    He hasn’t gone after the bankers.

    He keeps blowing up children.

    He keeps blowing up children.

    He keeps blowing up children.

    He’s about as secretive as Richard Nixon.

    He completely fucked up health care reform.

    He threw away all the unemployed people. (That’s right, there’s millions of people who are now part of a permanently unemployed or underemployed class.) He could have started a Depression-era work project to get people re-employed. He did not.

    I could go on until my fingers were bloody stumps. And don’t even get me started about what I don’t like about the Obama supporters. Hang on, here’s one:

    I read the other day an item about how it is not acceptable to call Mr. Obama “dickless” or “ball-less” or say that he should “grow a pair.” Why? Because of all the lynchings and castrations in the South back in the 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, 1930s … Apparently, saying the president should grow some balls is equivalent or something (I couldn’t quite follow the, um, “reasoning”) to approving of castrations.

    I love the arrogance of the language. It’s never a statement of what the individual finds unacceptable. It’s what a self-empowered splinter of a group decides. Democracy by diktat. And it’s always non-negotiable. And it’s always completely divorced from any contextual analysis whatsoever.

    • Well put, alex_the_tired san. The dude’s greatest failure is not to have seized the opportunity to be a truly transformational actor in US politics. The squandering was epic and represents a lost opportunity of historic proportions. The gap between the promise and the product could hardly be much wider. Your repeating the child assassin thing powerfully clarifies and sets the perspective correctly. That he received the Nobel Peace Prize makes clear how distorted a world we inhabit.

      As far as his “growing a pair” goes … there’s a part of me that agrees BO’s diffidence, his seeming impotence, is a symptom of cowardice. On the other hand, noting his desperate need to avoid offending the powerful, part of me wonders at the possible evil he might have instigated had he a pair and enjoyed the exercise of power.

      • With the benefit of hindsight, I think it is pretty clear that Obama is not really selling out his core principles. He was always a conservative Democrat, in the Hillary Clinton mode. He was very closely aligned with the old Democratic Leadership Council, the so-called third way democrats.

        Nevertheless, I think that upon assuming office in January 2009, at the peak of an economic meltdown that threatened the entire economy and the capitalist system, he had a political and moral obligation to save capitalism from itself. Tens of millions of people were losing their jobs and their homes. Even though helping them would have run counter to his corporatist principles, Obama ought to have broken with those monied interests and banks and sided with the interests of the people overall, who then could have become his new base.

        What most people characterize as his unwillingness to fight for “his” liberal principles is really a refusal to recognize that our core principles and liberal ideas needed to become his.

    • Two points: first, the English language has no second person plural pronoun, so we get stuck with stuff like “you people” and “you folks” and “y’all.” “You people” is widely construed to be hostile, so the options are limited.

      Secondly, “grow a pair” implies that being able to impregnate women is a measure of power, which is bullshit. It’s also lazy language usage and an invitation to a fight, as are all references to people’s genitalia. Similarly, if you call me a cunt, I know you’re trying to pick a fight. Doesn’t mean I have to bite, but let’s not be disingenuous here.

      • alex_the_tired
        December 14, 2013 7:55 PM

        “so we get stuck with stuff like ‘you people’ and ‘you folks’ and ‘y’all.’ ‘You people’ is widely construed to be hostile, so the options are limited.”

        “Folks” is also hostile. For the reasons stated: it’s dismissive. It implies a condescension. Other perfectly acceptable alternates exist: “the people” “citizens” “voters” “the electorate” “the American people” “the nation” I can go on with plenty of examples. Obama’s choice, much like Dubya’s, is an implicit shorthand that says the people he is speaking to are somehow inferior. I’m supposed to believe that in D.C., where every single thing is supervised, focus-grouped and overanalyzed, “folks” hasn’t been selected SPECIFICALLY because it puts the people in their place as serfs? What’s next? Hat-doffing? Genuflection?

        “Secondly, ‘grow a pair’ implies that being able to impregnate women is a measure of power, which is bullshit. It’s also lazy language usage and an invitation to a fight, as are all references to people’s genitalia. Similarly, if you call me a cunt, I know you’re trying to pick a fight. Doesn’t mean I have to bite, but let’s not be disingenuous here.”

        Yes. Let’s not be disingenuous. The phrase “grow a pair” (which I’ve heard women use about women–when I asked a woman about this she laughed at me. “Not testicles! Breasts.”) has a perfectly clearly understood meaning totally devoid of gender, impregnation or castration. It means that someone should grow up, be mature, act their age, take on the responsibilities of an adult; to stop avoiding responsibilities or delaying necessary decisions.

        The crucial point isn’t about castration or whether being able to impregnate women matters. The point is that Obama keeps getting elevated above the struggle: A self-selected group of arbiters (as mentioned before) unilaterally cordon off sections of the language and other aspects of expression that are vague. Today, they forbid “grow a pair.” Tomorrow, a cartoon is unacceptable. The next day? Don’t worry; there’s always a new outrage to manufacture. The end result? Those who disagree are unable to make any arguments because all the avenues to genuine, non-artificial debate and discussion are poisoned.

        Obama Supporter: “… and that’s my decision. Obama is perfect. Do you have a response?”

        Critic: [long pause as critic tries to construct a sentence completely devoid of any language that is not absolutely devoid of any secondary meanings, insinuations, concepts or connotations.] Well, I think …”

        Obama Supporter: “Excuse me! I find it obscene that you would use the word ‘I.’ Clearly, you’re saying that the president isn’t a human being; that he isn’t, in your sick mindset, worthy of a personal pronoun. I’m sorry, but I will not stand by while you say ‘I.’ ”

        Critic: You just said it three times.

        Obama Supporter: I did not.

        Critic: You did it again!

        Obama Supporter: I came here for a discussion, and this hate-filled monster has turned the debate into a farce. I am leaving.

        [The next day in DK: I shed tears of boiling-hot rage when I saw how that horrible pig kept using the I-word. I was shocked. I was disgusted. I started crying tears of molten lead. I … I … I can’t go on.]

      • Okay, first I was referring specifically to the second person plural usage. When “folks” is used as the subject in a sentence, your arguments apply well. I was thinking about how I sometimes “you folks” in order to avoid “you people.” Maybe I should just give up and use “ustedes.”

        I appreciate and support your position on censorship. But my experience is that “grow a pair” is used about genitals and them’s fighting words. It implies a lack of strength, not a lack of adulthood. YMMV.

        I have, on the other hand, never seen anyone whip out the censor for calling someone spineless.

        A lot of where they’re at over at That Blog has to do with cultivating the easily intimidated, and thus they have gradually drifted into this kudzu-like growth of rules, intended to herd people into being nice. Of course that doesn’t work, it just teaches people to be sneaky.

      • Also, if there’s anything language usage does, it’s change. So that could be part of what we’re talking about here. Interesting if so, I hadn’t thought of that.

      • To dwell on this some more, what does it mean to call someone “ballsy?” It means they got in someone’s face, showed attitude, didn’t back down. It is similar to “badass.” It’s a kind of compliment. And it’s not about age, but it definitely is about testicles.

        This term may will be falling out of usage, but it is at least a predecessor to “grow a pair.”

      • One more thing (sorry, I kind of obsess at times) one of the funniest things anyone said to me after they kicked me off was “You’ve never really blogged until you’ve been banned from Daily Kos.” So they are like training wheels.

      • Personally, I say “he needs to grow some balls” or “she needs to grow some ovaries”.

      • Heeeeey! It’s Russell! Good to see ya.

        Completely agree, Alex. I’m tired (teehee) of the arrogance and sleaziness of focusing on what words are allowed rather than spending those resources on the issues.

  • Being a good deal older than Comrade Rall, I envy his callow optimism.

    Some believe that winning is everything, that it is perfectly justified to lie and cheat in support of a cause you believe in. In a just world, that wouldn’t work. Liars would be branded, and no one would ever believe them again. Cheaters would lose all trust, and never again be able to cheat. But the world ain’t just. Liars and cheaters often win.

    Rall only tells the truth. But that doesn’t always work.

    I ask, is it racist to say, ‘When Bush, jr used the NSA to spy on us in our bedrooms, he was a paternal figure, watching over us and protecting as we slept, but Obama is a prurient snoop watching our most private acts.’? This is a common trope of the rwnjs, but is it really racist, or is it just partisan? I’m not sure (but I’m inclined to label it racist).

    Comrade Rall is absolutely NOT a racist. He never approved of Bush, jr, and drew him as a snotty-nosed monster. When Obama does the exact same things, Mr Rall condemns them and draws an unflattering caricature of Obama (but far less unflattering than the caricatures he drew of Bush, jr). There is absolutely no racism in Mr Rall’s work.

    But the goal is to win. And the Obamabots’ calling Mr Rall a racist seems to have struck a nerve. Mr Rall is worried: Am I a racist? And many Daily Kos readers and editors have condemned Mr Rall as a racist.

    So, as Bush, jr once said, ‘Mission Accomplished.’

    • Michael, you’re absolutely right: being called a racist absolutely struck a nerve, and although I know I am not a racist, even the smear-perception that I might be one is so upsetting that it forced me to reconsider everything I do, including the way that I draw Pres. Obama, from scratch.

      However, I have had some time to think about it, and I have talked to a numerable trusted readers and fellow artists about it, and I have carefully considered The source of the criticism and the motivation of the critics, and I have come out on the other side more confident and willing to kick neoliberal ass than ever before.

  • uh.. what? at least it wasnt shoved down our throat!

    but seriously.. my problem isnt that obama is a middle of the road technocrat… it is that he is so bad at it…

  • What I Like About Like Ted Rall

    The way he portrays women who aren’t famous or anything. They come off as ordinary-looking, perceptive and aware, albeit often mildly stunned. But never inarticulate.

    The stark street portraits.


    The way he is so careful to draw everyday people of different hues, not just two.

    The high-end skew line humor contrasts.

    He’s open to at least some engagement in his comments.

    He lets people comment on his blog relatively freely.

    He says thanks when you try to do something to have his back.

    He sees the dark sides of what we want to be shining.

    He knows being an especially edgy political cartoonist puts him at risk economically and socially. And yet he does it anyway. 

  • Spot on, Ted ! I’d never have believed it if I didn’t participate in certain online fora. There certainly are a lot of people out there who hate Obama because he’s «black» (but his mother was «white» ; I guess whiteness, unlike, say, Judaism, is not inherited through the maternal line) and doesn’t bomb enough people or engage in enough wars to suit their tastes ; however, those who criticise him on the opposite grounds, i e, precisely those points you mention above, are also subjected to (dare one say it) a touch of the racist tar brush….


  • Ted, the bottom middle panel looks like both characters are shouting “Racist”. I’m probably one of the few who didn’t read it correctly but each time I’ve glanced at it I have to rethink why both guys yell that.

    Otherwise, good comic and you’re not a Racist, you’re an anti financial elitist,

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