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A message from Captain Spaulding

Obama-socialism Joker

I have been “asked” to relay the following message:

Dear Gentle Readers:

My name is Captain Spaulding.  On behalf of the Fraternal Order of Jokers, Jesters and Clowns I want to express our outrage over the above poster.  We are an ancient brotherhood of professional entertainers who specialize in easing stress by mixing humor with subtle political and social commentary.

Barack Obama is not one of us.  He is a talentless poser who belongs in the Union of Puppets and Ventriloquist Dummies.

Best wishes

Captain Spaulding

PS:  If you call Obama a clown I will harvest your kidneys with a dull knife while you’re still conscious.

Captain Spaulding009

I wouldn’t make Captain Spaulding mad if I were you.

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This is an open thread

79 Responses

  1. Eeeekkkk! No, please don’t harvest my kidneys!

    Where did that poster come from anyway? Captain Spaulding looks better in clown makeup than Barack Obama does.

  2. Did someone really photoshop President Obama as a clown? Also, what is up with you and kidneys?

    • It’s not me – Captain Spaulding has a freelance organ transplant business.

      It’s his way of teaching people not to hitchhike.

  3. Obama ‘Joker’ Poster Causing a Stir in L.A.

    Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson is calling the depiction, politically mean spirited and dangerous.

    Hutchinson is challenging the group or individual that put up the poster to have the courage and decency to publicly identify themselves.

    “Depicting the president as demonic and a socialist goes beyond political spoofery,” says Hutchinson, “it is mean-spirited and dangerous.”


    Obama Joker Poster Popping Up In Los Angeles

    Update: A version of this poster showed up in Atlanta


    • This is definitely going viral…strong imagery.

    • What, he didn’t say it’s racist too?


      • must be saving a charge for tomorrow, when the posters keep multiplying 🙂

      • Yah, he’s in white face, but so’s the entire Zulu krewe in New Orleans (and they toss, gasp, rubber spears and coconuts!) . If Barry’s got a problem with that, let him take it up with Big Chief and the guys down in NOLA.

      • Obot friends are already telling me it’s all about racism. When all you have is a hammer….

      • OK, I am going to get it for sure, but hear me out. I went to sleep after reading another blog with a little Ole lady seeming to blame President Obama for ‘Death Care’ and the inference was that she would be offered a ‘pill’ if Single Payer passed. Well, we know HR 676 Single Payer, was blocked out of the discussions by President Obama, and that meme is a lie.

        My next thought is, how in the world are they trying to scare people with ‘Death Care’??? Then after a nightmare or two, it dawned on me. They are trying to do image playing, with him as the Joker, subliminally the bringer of ‘Death Care’ to little Ole ladies. It was much like what Dick Morris’ story about his uncle and how under Obama his little Ole uncle would be denied care via Obama’s plan, because he is 70.

        Firstly, President Obama isn’t supporting HR 676 Single Payer, but 76% of Americans want a Public Option like it. Secondly, Single Payer is based on the MEDICARE model, and I haven’t seen any little Ole ladies or Dick Morris’ uncle being denied care and offered a ‘pill’ instead as the inference is being played out.

        So, the GOP and the Health Insurance Companies got the memo (76% of Americans want a Public Option) and so the meme is to make President Obama into the Grim Reaper… bringing little Ole ladies and Dick Morris’ uncle ‘Death Care’. They are trying to play on our sympathies, yet these same people putting out the meme are willing to leave 50 Million uninsured,11 Million children uninsured (they will loose coverage via HR 3200), 25 Million will remain under insured, 2/3 of bankruptcies due to lack of health insurance will rise, and 60 people a day will continue to die due to lack of insurance. The objective is to confuse people, because they don’t want the American people to have real choice if they learn that HR 676 Single Payer is not evil, it’s MEDICARE, the same care that has kept seniors ALIVE and WELL for decades.

        Take another look and then see the Joker as he was played by the late actor Heath Ledger and comparison to another Joker:

        Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker had everyone impressed. He really transformed into a creepy murderous clown, and is worthy of being a Batman’s rival. Heath Ledger also became worthy of being Jack Nicholson’s rival for the role.

        The Joker is one of the most sinister and most deranged villains of all time.


    • Really? How does it go beyond political spoofery? He should have explained that it’s blasphemous.

    • Would there be the same objections if it were Sarah Palin in the poster with something insulting written underneath?

      • Remember the Palin effigy that was hanging for days? People thought it was “funny.”

  4. Rachel Maddow – GOP’s only remaining option – Hooliganism at town halls

    • This is exactly the same argument they pulled out for the Palin “hate rallies,” and the tea parties. Anyone who disagrees or questions their representatives is an ignorant red neck winger. I am so sick of the elitist, and patronizing attitude of the supposedly enlightened “progressive” Left. They are only fueling the anger and a grassroots backlash that is gaining strength.

    • Ironic, they are using the term “thug” to describe the Obama opposition…

    • What’s so sad and so frustrating about the health care debate is the assumption is if you’re a liberal you endorse Obama-Care. I oppose Obama-Care from a liberal prespective. Indeed, I think the best argument against Obama-Care is a liberal one.

      • I tried to talk to Doggett at his meeting to push Medicare for All but getting through all the yelling wingnuts was impossible. I’ll get to him at some point during August, if I have to run over a wingnut to do it.

      • Good point masslib. Just like the Right thinks Obama is too far Left. He’s not, he’s a corporatist compromiser, not a principled Dem. That’s why this health care plan is an ambivalent mess that will only hurt progressive policies in the future.

    • What about hooliganism at Democrat caucuses, Rachel?

      • Oh that doesn’t count Mike, because that was for the “right” cause. End justifies the means, doncha know.

    • And what does she mean GOP’s only option. Actually the GOP doesn’t need to do anything. The Dem/GS/GE cabal is just as bad as the Repubs and are doing it all to themselves. Obots just can’t come to terms with that.

  5. How on earth does Obama get taken as a socialist? I think the poster is mean spirited. But, how on earth does Obama get taken as a socialist? Is it because he’s black? i mean, is that how conservatives can get away with these outrageous claims. Frankly, Obama’s too conservative, too corporate friendly by far for my taste, but honestly, where do they get the “socialist” thing from? I don’t see it.

    • People mistake fascists for socialists all the time in the US. Now lots of people are just repeating wingnut talking points.

    • They call everyone a socialist, probably including McCain and Giuliani. It’s their universal “insult.”

      • Yeah, but I’ve never seen it hold like this. I mean, I think many Americans actually believe that when there is no evidence at all to support it. It’s weird. maybe part of it is how bad things are right now. People are angry, and since the Democrats refuse to make significant course corrections, maybe people just latch on to whatever expression of anger they can find.

        • I don’t think most people even know what “socialism” really means.

          • True. What do they think it is? Why are they so gung ho for living in a plutocracy?

          • What’s the name of that book by Hartz? I forget, but his thesis is that because we were founded on principles of classical liberalism, we really don’t have a socialist tradition and as a result, nobody here knows what socialism is. It then becomes this universal catch all for everything any given person is afraid of, and politicians exploit that. When they say socialism, we mentally fill in whatever we fear, even though our fears are totally opposite.

        • Is there ever any evidence to support it, though? I’ve become very fond of Big Dawg over the past year and a half, but he’s no socialist either though millions of Americans are convinced otherwise. Same with Hill. It seems like maybe it’s just taking hold because he’s POTUS and he’s become the focus of their hysteria.

          • Yeah, true. It’s just I think Obama is to the right of those two on every domestic policy. I think it’s the anger, with nowhere to place it. That and Obama was a Rorschach who was going to make everyone’s personal problems dissipate. The bigger they are the hard they fall. Bill and Hill never had a media propping them up. They had to work very hard for every success.

          • Yeah, those are really good points. It’ll be interesting to see long term if what sticks is “socialist” or more like “shameless fraud” or something.

    • Its to discredit socialism not Obama. I believe the Republicans saw Obama as a way to discredit the democratic party, liberalism and socialism from the beginning.

      Its one of reasons they keep getting elected despite their polices they have excellent message control. In 04 they made sure to say good things about Kerry because they felt Dean would win, in 08 they supported Obama to destroy the democrats and to stop Hillary. If you hear a message coming from the media or the Republicans believe the opposite, because odds are they would not be saying it if it was not part of a plan.

      • Socialism has been a right-wing boogeyman for over 100 years. It was originally connected with foreigners (Germans and eastern Europeans) and was used to suppress unions.

        It was used to oppose the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society.

        • That is true myiq2xu but they still have to work to keep people thinking
          that way.

          in the thirties they linked Socialism to the anarchists, in the sixty a lot
          people were starting to like Socialism, so they tied it to communism.

          personally I think a major reason they did want Hillary was because her competence would have made that much easier for socialism to become common and respected in the democratic party of the future, which in turn could have led to the destruction the republican party.

  6. The Big Dawg is heading to North Korea to seek the release of the two journalists. He is still willing to serve …I hope he is successful and brings them home. I read that one of them isn’t doing too good and may need medical assistance.

    • Bill’s trip was on the news tonite. They made sure to point out that all the heavy lifting was done (By Obama? ) and Bill’s going was just dotting I’s and crossing T’s.
      As to the joker poster, I’m all for anything that gets O-bot panties in a twist.

  7. I watched a few of these town hall meetings on you tube, and they did not look good for single payer. The one in St. Louis was lead by a group of leaners shouting against government involvement in health care issues. Looked like a bunch of people very anxious to go against their own interest.

  8. Bill Clinton is in North Korea to negotiate for the release of the journalists being held there.

  9. If the right wing controls these town hall meetings and this is reported nightly on the media, it will appear to many that the overwhelming push is against single payer.

    • I think the biggest problem is that Obama had no idea what he was “selling.” Rahm & Pelosi are running the show, he doesn’t read the bills, and he doesn’t exactly have a lifelong investment in the issue–they just push him out there to sell sell sell. On top of it, he’s inviting all his lobbyist friends from the insurance and pharma industries (no offense RD) to muddy the bill, and he has to sweeten the deal to bring on as many Republicans as possible for political cover, so what you end up with is this mish-mosh. Since the strategy and message are not clear and consistent, it is ripe for manipulation. Now they are on defense, fighting off each new distortion.

    • I think it’s sinking in with more and more voters that Obama wouldn’t touch single payer with a twenty foot stethoscope. Far as he’s concerned, the Repubs are doing him a big favor by letting him off the hook.

  10. Could this be the Obama as Joker poster guy? He’s sure got the merchandise.


  11. I am a fan of riverdaughter and The Confluence. But this image bothers me. I wish you hadn’t posted it. It is whiteface…even if it is also a clown face. For me, it is over the top.

    • Uh oh, here it comes. Didn’t take them long.

      • Lol It’s a clown? Captain Spaulding is a clown, that there’s an American icon, buster.

    • I’m really hurt.

      You’re a fan of Riverdaughter but not me?

    • RRF,

      Did you see the movie?

      I assume you did not because, if you had, you would know what The Joker symbolized and what the creator of the poster is trying to convey.

      Clearly, what the poster maker is trying to say is that Obama’s “socialist” project for America is as wrong-headed as The Joker’s experiment trying to show that Americans will behave out of SELF-INTEREST when faced with a prisoners’ dilemma.

      Frankly, if I was an Obamaphile, I’d love the poster. It is a deliciously ironic display of the poster creator’s inability to appreciate that the message in the movie is that Americans would choose to sacrifice themselves, rather than act out of self-interest and sacrifice their fellow citizens. In other words, Americans will sacrifice the free market principle of behaving out of self-interest, if that is what is required to achieve a social good.

      For those who have seen the movie, the notion that the white face is racist is silly at best.

      I feel no need to address the ridiculousness of perceiving Wall Street’s president as a socialist.


    • And the many images of Obama all but hanging himself from various crosses with a halo of lights around him and that saintly look plastered on his face didn’t bother you? I find those images far, far creepier and disturbing than this obvious joke. Obama himself distributed flyers of himself looking all Christlike in front of crosses, with accompanying text affirming his state of near divinity, this in a country based on separation of church and state. Please get back to us when you can discuss the difference between an obvious joke in whatever state of taste, and a complete blurring of lines between church and state, something completely at odd with all liberal belief.

  12. You know what makes the poster so creepy and upsetting, esp. to Obots? It’s because it really shows Obama’s flat affect. Think about the joker character and how it was played in the last movie, and then look at that poster again. If that were an actor trying to look like a sociopath, he’d get an award. Just saying.

    • I didn’t see that movie so I’m not sure what the implication is … I just know that particular version and look is extremely creepy.

  13. I was just over at Barnes and Noble and saw one of the news magazines (think it was Newsweek) with a cover showing B0 in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck and a caption reading “calling Dr. Obama.”

    Gag me. He’s not Christ, he’s not Superman, he’s not a feminist, he’s not a physician, and I’ll trust MyIQ that he’s no clown either.

  14. “it really shows Obama’s flat affect”


    so shepherd fairey’s poster is art and this is hate speech?

    puleeze. some critics need to go back to art school.

  15. This poster creeps me out because it defames Heath Ledger’s memory.


  16. The poster creeps me out because of the word “Socialism” under it. How much tax money does he need to shove to Wall Street CEO, how much Pharma favors in writing legislation for people to get it that – while he favors a dictatorship, it ain’t the one of the proletariat?

  17. Just got back from our trip and I haven’t read everything here but as I was opening the weekend mail yesterday, there was a mailing from the DNC – I now open them and send my thoughts on how I’ll treat my elected officials during the next election based on the way they treated us last year.

    So don’t you know the mailer (no envelope) was card stock and when opened it was a poster of (wait for it) Obama – with the insipid grin and the words this home supports President Obama – just ready for hanging.
    Talk about narcissism!

    I then received the following from a colleague:

    “Dinner with Obama”

    Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

    I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly
    reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

    “Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

    “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty.. It was just
    a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

    “And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.

    I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind. My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

    “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”

    With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

    “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

    I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

    “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.

    I wanted to shout – that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport.. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned
    shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home.

    Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

    “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted
    on a sub-prime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”

    My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine.

    I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

    “By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

    I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his Creme Brulé. He drained the last drops of his wine.

    As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us. What had I done wrong?

    As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

    “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

    Wake up America!

    Don’t just sit on your hands – call, write, email, text, tweet, send smoke signals, meet and talk face to face – no matter how, make sure you contact your elected officials to let them know you are not happy and that, party-loyalty-be-damned – you will be turning them all out of office at the next election!!!

    The Don’t sit on your hands – bit is my addition. 😕

  18. Ok, my last comment didn’t get posted – I’m not sure why.

    Did anyone else get the latest DNC mailing – no envelope – the mailer is actually card stock and when opened it’s a poster of (can you guess?) O with something to the effect of “This Home supports President Obama” above it – talk about narcissism! 😕

  19. OOOps- there it is – It just showed up late – sorry 😦

  20. I think so ;?

  21. Everyone,

    I do check this webpage often, but not so frequently that I can keep up with the comments.

    BTW, I am not an Obama supporter; I wrote in Clinton for president.

    I didn’t see the movie, so I am not in on all the implications of the poster, true.

    No harm meant in favoritism. Since riverdaughter’s name is in the URL, she’s the one I think of when I use the site.

    I still feel the way I do…images are so powerful. I don’t really have the stomach for the kind of PR wars that dominate politics. Those of you who are fighting the Obama PR actively, , may feel this kind of image is necessary and deserved. But I sitll reacted badly to the image. And of course the idea of Obama as a socialist is laughable.

    Not sure I can add anything else useful on this. I wanted to share my reaction because this web page is one I really like checking in on..three to four times a day. Once in a while the posts go somewhere I can’t follow and this was one.

    • RRF,

      Fair enough. Seeing the movie changes everything and, because it was a blockbuster, and widely regarded as the best of the series because of its philosopic dimension, which is tied to Ledger’s brilliant performance, The Joker stands a cultural icon whose make-up transcends the race association.

      hat said, I’ve not seen E.T., so I am aware of what it’s like to be out of the loop, which is why I asked if you’d seen the movie.


    • Images can be powerful. They are a form of communication (as in “speech”)

      I don’t see anything particularly powerful in this message (YMMV) nor is the message coherent let alone deserved.

      It’s silly. But what is even sillier is the controversy over it.

      It is not racist nor inappropriate. It compares the President to an infamous comic book villian. That is a fairly common device in political imagery.

      The Joker from Batman comics has no connection to minstrel shows or lynching, which Obama supporters are claiming the image evokes thought of. Their goal is to render all criticism, mockery or other negative treatment of Obama off limits.

  22. “Defamation of clown is no laughing matter.”

    But is it a hate crime?

  23. Bush ll as the Joker?


    If they hadn’t claimed it was him, I wouldn’t have been able to tell!

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