Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 02/20/08

Artist's Statement

Well this is turning out to be a very weird electoral year, isn't it? In some ways it’s been a surprising triumph of participatory democracy over our wonky, rigged electoral system—voters are turning out in record numbers with genuine enthusiasm, primaries like my own home state of Maryland’s have actually mattered for the first time in my life, all the supergroomed big-haired millionaire white guy candidates have been defeated early (though unfortunately one of them was the only candidate whose platform I supported), and the insurgency of the Obama campaign has wrecked the presumptive inevitability of a Clinton restoration. It’s also shaping up to turn into another 2000-style historic mess without clear rules or precedent.

It’s cheering to hear so many people saying: “this is the first time my vote has ever counted”—but it’s also, if you think about it, infuriating. Why should this be? Isn’t this, you know, America? Aren’t we all citizens? How come for decades people in Iowa and New Hampshire have gotten to decide who the rest of us were allowed to vote for? It’s unnatural and insulting even to have to think about Iowa. Not ever having to think about it is one of the many charms of not living there.

I’ve never understood by what shadowy process the initial group of uniformly conservative, hawkish, pro-corporate candidates emerges: do the Masons/Illuminati/Trilateral Commission vet them all before giving them permission to declare candidacy? Note that only Dennis Kucinich refuses to kowtow to the Guild Navigator. This is what dooms him to marginality. (By the way, in doing a google image search to get Dennis Kucinch’s silhouette right, I learned something shocking: Dennis Kucinich has a hot wife. Elizabeth Kucinich is a tall, leggy, redheaded dish, twenty-nine years younger than he is. Why am I always the last to learn about these matters of national importance?)

I never did come up with quite the right panel to express our very real trepidation and outrage at the unwelcome possibility that the party nomination might come to rest in the hands of “superdelegates,” about whom we are all suddenly learning rather a lot. Ideally this panel it would’ve illustrated the threat of having all our votes rendered irrelevant by party insiders, but this was just too much fun to draw. I trust you will all agree with me as to Plasticman’s choice of candidates. I don’t like to say it, but I think Batman would probably vote for McCain.

Next week I’m out of town, and you get treated to Jim’s annual birthday cartoon.


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