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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tattoo Romney - A Classic "Romnesia" Cartoon from The New Yorker

"Romnesia" is a condition whereby Governor Romney claims a particular "position of the day" while conveniently forgetting previously stated convictions. 

Like "etch-a-sketch", Romney's political campaign positions change as regularly as the child's toy shakes clear the screen images. Moreover, Romney is emotionally erratic when under political pressure. He changes positions to please his audience. These erratic changes are well portrayed on the October 29, 2012 cover of The New Yorker.

This erratic leadership is dangerous for America. Our nation is pulling out of two undeclared wars while recovering from the greatest economic crises since the 1930s Great Depression. Our nation needs consistency and truthfulness from our President. Meanwhile, The New Yorker shows a Romney cartoon image, creating a "honky-tonk" candidate image, while he's sitting in a tattoo parlor chair, like a stone model.

This "Romnesia" cover seems intentionally nostalgic, reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell image. A skillful tattoo artist is graphically removing a litany of tattoo positions on the exposed arm of cartoon Governor Mitt Romney. Many of Romney's changing political positions and the baggage he carries in his controversial portfolio are exposed in cartoon.

Crossed off Romney's tattoo bicep are his changed positions:
1. Pro- choice - crossed off

2. Tax cuts - crossed off
3. Stem Cells - crossed off
4. 47 % - crossed off
5. "Romney cares" - crossed off
6. Outsourcing - crossed off
Floating around Romney's stoic cartoon likeness are controversial political icons of his GOP candidacy. It's as though he's thinking of new tattoo images like a "severely conservative" elephant, or a high hat loaded with Monopoly money. A typical clipper ship tattoo image carries the banner of Romney's wealthy offshore investments. "Corporations are people" ruling supported by the US Supreme Court seems like an appropriate tattoo. This image is a corporate office building, because it represents the decision permitting unprecedented amounts of money to support outrageously negative advertising to convince Americans why Romney is qualified to be president (because....???? he has more money???....).

Obviously, The New Yorker cover won't influence the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election. Nonetheless, the images are certainly more effective at communicating Romney's character flaws than the billion-plus dollars wasted during this year's decadently funded campaign.

It would be a relief if political cartoons replaced negative ads. They're succinct, people of all persuasions find them entertaining, and, potentially, cartoons have a remote chance to actually influence voter opinion. 

Unfortunately, entertaining political cartoons won't replace relentless and expensive negative ads. But, unprecedented amounts of money wasted in the 2012 election is proving to be ineffective in changing voters minds.  Rather, the outrageously costly ads seem like "one upmanship", duals and tit for tat discourses.  Voters aren't paying attention to them.

This late in the campaign, flooding money to influence the small number of undecided voters is as wasteful as time spent sitting like a stone statue for an expensive tattooer, who's vainly trying to fix bad tattoos.  

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