The Bile Toles For Thee: When Editorial Cartoons Attack

Editorial cartoons in newspapers are a long standing tradition. They can help capture the emotion, attitude, and cultural essence of a particular point-in-time in an often humorous way– or they can just be completely around-the-bend poli-gristle.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post, and one of his latest toons has probably accomplished what it was intended to do: caused a big public stir. Toles’ cartoon prompted a rare protest letter to the newspaper from all six of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States. Here’s the letter.

What’s the cartoon?

Aren’t liberals supposed to be the “sensitive” ones? Aren’t they the caring ones? Well, not if you’re a U.S. soldier they’re not.

But wait, many say that this cartoon was drawn because the toonist cares deeply about the U.S. soldiers.

The wacky left, from Michael Moore on down, will tell everybody that this is a commentary on Donald Rumsfeld and Bush Administration policies which have gotten young men and women maimed and killed. Here’s a blogger who thinks that, if this cartoon upsets you, it’s a terrible thing that a cartoonist cares more about the troops than you do.

We can take the examination of some liberal editorial cartoons a bit further.

How about all the good, caring, inclusive minority-hugging liberal cartoonists who consistantly depict Condoleezza Rice as some sort of plantation slave, exaggerating features in the vein of 19th and early 20th century racist “art”? If a conservative cartoonist drew a liberal black woman as some shufflin’ down the street, scarf on the head, buck-toothed mammy, libs would scream “See, told ya they were racist!”

When many on the left proclaim to be the only champions of minority rights, this has always been a gross facade, but now it’s getting so obvious that they’re embarrassing even their lawn jockeys.

Many other cartoons also feature Rice speaking in what could best be described as “slave language”, with Bush treating her like George Wallace talking to a shoeshine kid in Birmingham. Bush even calls her “brown sugar” in one Doonesbury cartoon.

Notice that neither does Rice speak that way, nor has Bush ever said any such thing. Then why do these people say, write and draw those things? Because that’s how they view blacks, and that’s how they treat them. You can fool some people, but you can’t fool Mr. Freud and his slip.

This brings us back to the Toles cartoon. What’s more likely? That a liberal like Toles really, deeply cares about the troops, who volunteered for the service– or that he’s mocking them, consciously or subconsciously, because they were dumb enough to enlist in the military and fight in an unjust war for a moron like George W. Bush?

Here’s something interesting. The Washington Post will no doubt defend Toles’ right to free speech, and they should, but I’ll bet the ranch that they’d never consider running the cartoon containing a caricature of the prophet Mohammed that has caused an uprising in Europe and angered many in the Muslim community.

There are the “right” people to offend, and there are the “wrong” people to offend.

All the confusion makes sense though when you take the haughty, artistic, self-appointed intellectuals among the liberal left for what they are.

After all, this is a group of people who can consider a cartoon depicting a maimed soldier as being a truthful and necessary statement against violence in war, but if somebody drew a cartoon depicting a maimed fetus, this would be considered a horrendous statement– against a woman’s right to choose.

So, the liberal left can continue to pretend to love soldiers, minorities, children, the handicapped, etc, but the proof is in the pudding– or, in this case, the drawings.

Where would minorities be without liberal sensitivity?

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: