My readers will be happy to learn that I am finally on the mend–and none too soon considering how fast Christmas will be upon us. And I’ve got shopping to do! As I announced last week, Thursday’s cartoon will be my last of the year, and we’ll pick up again on January 11 and believe me, the break will be much appreciated!
For this next-to-the-last outing of this very disappointing year of 2009, let us turn to the disappointment engendered by that sterling idol of millions, Tiger Woods, turning out to be a mere human after all. Tiger, otherwise known as Mr. Clean, seems to have had a veritable stable of mistresses and when Mrs. Woods found out about one of them, she took one of his irons and started to take some practice swings at his head. Fortunately for Tiger, there was a car windshield between them. Since then, hardly a day has gone past without yet another mistress emerging from the woodwork. The first few all seemed to be cookie cutter blondes, like his wife, which I was tempted to lampoon, but since then, we’ve found mistresses of many more flavors and now I understand there are plans underway for a new reality TV show, "The Real Paramours of Tiger Woods."
Now frankly, if I were a young, pretty, superstar athlete, I’d probably be tapping as many kegs as I could fit into the PGA tour schedule, but then again, I’d probably have a sleazier image than Tiger Woods to begin with. But there are two problems with Tiger doing it–first of all, he IS married–with a child to an extraordinarily beautiful woman, who deserves a little more than sloppy seconds. And then there is that image of perfection that he displays–the aura of good sportsmanship, unflappability, moral upstandingness–Mr. Clean. In some way, it really negates that image to be a serial adulterer with enough girlfriends to fill an entire TV season. Now, I suspect most of his fans are highly titillated by these circumstances, but some are mighty disappointed. Particularly those fans who pay him large sums of money for product endorsements. Now you could say, "why are you disappointed–he’s just a man, after all. It’s your fault if you can’t accept that." But I would counter that he’s a man who worked very hard to project the image of rectitude than is now crashing in flames around him. In other words, if his fans had unreal expectations of him, Tiger himself was responsible for it to a large degree because that was the kind of image that he wanted.
Which brings me to another person who has been disappointing his legions of fans, though not through any actions worthy of the tabloids. I’m referring to the Great Mocha Hope himself, President Obama. Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Obama pushed the idea that we could change the direction our country was going in through the mismanagement of Bush, Cheney, & Co.. He offered us hope that we could make the country a better place with the rallying cry of "Yes we can." But after almost a full year in office, those hopes have turned to disappointment for many. In some ways, yes, change has taken place, but in so many others, we seem to be continuing the policies of the prior eight years, and in other ways, real accomplishments have been compromised further and further away and the status quo has been cemented more solidly in place. Now, many apologists have said, "What are you disappointed about? Obama has never been a progressive, he’s always been a centrist. He’s not doing anything that he didn’t say he was going to do." And to this I say, BULL! According to the National Journal, Obama was the 16th most liberal senator in 2005, the 10th most liberal in 2006 and in 2007, he was the MOST liberal senator. That’s not exactly what I’d call centrism. That’s what I’d call a trend to more and more liberal as we got closer and closer to the 2008 election. And when you speak so much about change and hope in the wake of a disastrous rightwing administration, a mere return to the center could not possibly negate any of the excesses that had been committed–the pendulum has to swing in the other direction to correct the injustices, not just merely stop them. Just as Tiger Woods worked hard to burnish his image of perfection, Obama and his team worked hard to present him AS the liberal/progressive choice. And it is disingenuous at best to claim now that all that had been promised was a return to the center.
Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS!