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Obama's Oval Office speech


infamy.gifFirst, a word of thanks to all you readers who kept faith with the blog while the Lowe-Down was off in the lush, rain-kissed mountains of Western Massachusetts attending his college reunion.

To those who posted comments hoping to see their deathless prose online, my apologies. Even cartoonists have to take a break once in a while to rest the fingers.

As for President Obama’s speech last night, I found myself unsatisfied. Sure, we elected the guy partly because he was cool and unflappable under fire, but sometimes circumstances call for more than a reasonable, analytical approach. They call for a little kick-ass.

Some say we shouldn’t blame him, because there really isn’t much a president can do besides show up at the scene and look concerned.

They are wrong. Were the president an FDR-style leader⎯a man with a sense of theatricality who was not afraid to display his emotional side with a nation in need of an emoter-in-chief⎯he could harness the inchoate babble of public anger and⎯like a laser mirror⎯forge and amplify it into a monochromatic, coherent beam of pure political energy.

He could focus this beam ⎯ a beam so white-hot that no lobbyist could quench it, not even with a fire hose spewing campaign contributions⎯on an inert and fearful congress, making its seats sizzle to the point where members would jump out of them to pass a set of meaningful laws that would finally break our addiction to fossil fuels and get us on the road to sustainable, clean energy, Manhattan Project-style.

Oh, well.

Artist's note: Why no color today? I was evoking a speech given in 1941. Everything back then happened in black and white...just ask your grandparents.

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Comments

CHAN- WELCOME BACK...You've been missed...Yes- I heard Obama's speech and now I'm really starting to worry..When someone tells me to start praying real hard, I then bend over, grab my ankles,and kiss everything goodbye..The environment, the Gulf,jobs,tourism,etc,etc.
Will we still have tar-balls in Dec. or beyond.? In our Xmas stocking.? On our tree.? When I was a kid,I got a lump of coal in my stocking,if I misbehaved...Maybe we should sending those to Obama,lobbyist, the Pol's.
Don't think we're going to see, or hear, a FDR moment anytime soon...


I thought the most depressing part of the speech was announcing yet another blue ribbon panel to find out what went wrong, followed almost immediately by a reference to the crony-ism and corruption in the government agencies responsible for oversight. Duh. What does he need the blue ribbon panel for? And how do you stop the corruption? OK. You can put a pit bull in charge this year, but next year there will be poking and prodding from lobbyists about the unreasonable climate, and they'll keep chipping away, and we'll be right back here again in no time at all. "Eternal Vigilance" is easy to say, but I don't know how to implement it.


Oh, come ON, Chan. It's okay to be a bit disappointed by Obama's response to the crisis, but consider two things:

1. It wouldn't matter what he did; there would be those who would criticize it. There's still a decent percentage of the population who hasn't gotten over the fact that he was elected in the first place. If you want proof, come to the corner of Oakland Park and University any Sunday.

2. Ask yourself: suppose McCain had been elected--what would have changed? Perhaps he does "angry" better than Obama, but considering that the Republicans don't, for the most part, give two hecks about the environment...or even one...and that their attitude is, if you don't have a hell of a lot of money, don't bother us... dollars to dimes you, or someone, would be bitching about HIS response.


Chan,
I think you're plagiarizing a cartoon by someone else 6 years ago where Gen. Patton was in a tank outside of Paris and saying: "I don't think those germans are so bad. Let's wait and see what happens"
Are you telling me that you finally see Obama like the spineless jelly fish he really is? I told everyone that 2 years ago. Everyone said I was crazy.


Chan says:
Dear Drajeu,

Just FYI, I drew the Patton cartoon that you refer to, so even if this one had some connection to it--which I guess I'm too dense to see for myself--no plagiarism was committed.

I only said I was disappointed in his speech. I did not say he was a spineless jellyfish. Your interpretation of my meaning, I'm afraid, is wishful thinking.

Thanks for your comment.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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