Virginia GOP group chuckles over its caricature of thuggish Obama
If Democrats in Virginia want to expand President Obama’s lead in that key swing state, they shouldn’t be fuming over the images on one county GOP’s Facebook page, which portray the president as a caveman, a rapper and a thug.
They ought to let the Mecklenburg County Republicans continue to spin out their extremist fantasies, and chuckles, about Obama. They’re not going to be a winning formula in a state where a majority of voters are too sophisticated to warm to that kind of knuckle-headed claptrap.
According to what the Washington Post reported Tuesday, even the Republican Party chairman for Virginia has a dim view of this sort of thing.
“These kinds of images have no place in political discourse — period,” the Post quoted GOP chairman Pat Mullins as saying. “They are offensive, tasteless and should never have been posted anywhere, let alone a local unit’s Facebook page. The Republican Party of Virginia condemns this sort of imagery in the strongest possible terms.”
But the chairman of the county committee depicted those who didn’t enjoy the extreme images on the group’s Facebook page as a bunch of humorless killjoys. “If that group is that sensitive, I’m sorry, they’re just not human,” R. Wallace “Wally” Hudson told the Post. “It’s not American. If they’ve got a problem with it, we’re not going to change what we do.”
Among the images the Post described in its story was one of Obama as a witch doctor. That one didn’t appear to be on the page as of Wednesday afternoon. But plenty of eye-candy remains for Obama haters.
In one shot in which Obama is caricatured with hair like the cavemen of the Geico insurance television ads, the caption reads: “Tanking the economy is so easy a caveman can do it.” A couple of other images play with the notion that Obama was not born in the U.S. One shows a hand-scrawled. “Ofishal Birth Certificat” from Hawaii, while another declares “Let’s Back Sheriff Joe,” with a note that Sheriff Joe Arpaio [of Arizona] “calls for Congress to Investigate Obama Birth Certificate Forgery.”
Another caricatures Obama with a sneer on his face, under the headline “Baby Gimme One More Chance.” The thuggish looking Obama wears a wife-beater shirt that declares: “No Job, No Gas, No House, No Food, No Problem.”
The images were discovered because the Mecklenburg County GOP committee (for the county in the south-central part of the state) helped to promote a luncheon set up by U.S. Senate candidate George Allen. Allen’s campaign condemned the images, as did a Democratic group, Progress VA, supporting his opponent, Tim Kaine.
The Democrats would be better served by letting the county GOP group keep the noxious images on its cheery Facebook page. They will tickle some of the true believers who already support the Republican cause. But those votes are already locked in. It’s not likely moderates — even those with doubts about the current administration — will warm to depictions of the president as a caveman and a thug.
MORE COMMENTARY FROM JAMES RAINEY
Get our Essential Politics newsletter
The latest news, analysis and insights from our politics teams from Sacramento to D.C.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.