Barack Obama

Make-Believe Presidents


Pay no attention to that man behind the desk.

There's the real Barack Obama, and then there's…those other guys.

The prescience prize for this one goes to Virginia Postrel, who identified the same dynamic early last year.

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  1. Obama should get that prize, not only because all prizes are his divine right, but because that’s how he used to describe himself, back when he didn’t lie quite so much.

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  3. Let’s be clear about one thing: the ruler of make-believe is King Friday.

    1. Let’s be clear about one thing: the ruler of make-believe is King Friday.

      He says he’s the ruler, but I have it on good authority that he’s just a puppet.

      1. Fred Rogers was a Mason, you know.

      2. For the win

        1. Jesse’s comment on the puppet. That Rogers was a Mason (and a somewhat creepy one at that) is less material if fascinating.

  4. I don’t know. The evil Obama seems pretty real to me. Unintentional, but real.

  5. I’ve squeezed my eyes shut *really* tightly, I’ve crossed and uncrossed my fingers, clicked my hee;s together 3 times and I’ve repeated over and over how he’s not real and HE’S STILL THERE.

  6. He is the fantasy man for weak-willed bitches everywhere.

    Doesn’t matter how many times he beats them because in their hearts they know it isn’t possible for fantasy man to treat them badly.

    Pin all your hopes and dreams on one person and you end up with nightmares. Believe in yourself.

    1. Unfortunately, I have an abusive relationship with myself too, so I can’t believe in myself either. Complete and utter nihilism is all that I have left.

  7. It’s incredible how tightly some hold to their preconceived notions despite voluminous evidence that they were hopelessly and completely mislead.

    1. Not really hard to believe. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most uncomfortable, intolerable psychological states, and most humans will do anything to eliminate the attendant anxiety. That includes some mighty far-fetched rationalizing, lying and denial.

      1. True. It’s not easy to have to admit to yourself that you’re a gullible bonehead dipshit. I mean, how many people, even around here, have come to terms with their Obama support? Some even just left.

        1. I’ll be honest: I kind of envy everyone for their ability to do this. It’s gotta be nice being able to fool yourself and avert existential angst.

          It can suck when you’re stuck with a hyper-rational brain that doesn’t let yourself get away with anything.

  8. I love the fact that he is swarthy and has a pencil thin moustache. Well, I see it.

  9. Of course, a lot of Reason readers really do believe that Obama is a Marxist attempting a left wing socialist coup so this cartoon will probably go over their heads.

    1. True, we’re all too distracted by his actual or attempted takeover of the banks, Wall Street, car companies, health care, energy, etc. to notice what an Adam Smith-type he truly is.

      1. At least he was not dressed up like a free marketeer like Bush whose actions were hardly better.

        1. At least he was not dressed up like a free marketeer like Bush whose actions were hardly better.

          And you expect the readers of this blog to find your revelation surprising? Do you think this a blog full of rabid partisans ready to defend Bush or the Democrats in Congress who enabled him?

      2. See you’ve made my point. It’s not enough to be disappointed in Obama, on this blog you have to be convinced he’s a dangerous leftist even though his economic policies are essentially warmed over Bush (i.e. harmful and stupid, but not doctrinaire “socialist”). There’s no difference between you and the whackos in Norway in the way you are emotionally invested in believing in a President who doesn’t exist. Try to consider the possibility that he’s not the Messiah or the anti-Christ.

        1. That’s a false dilemma. On the one hand, there are plenty of people on this blog who are reasonably critical of Obama. Some of them were even mildly enthusiastic about him in the beginning. Characterizing a whole community by the vociferous idiots who can dominate the discourse is a straw man.

          On the other hand, ‘disappointment’ implies that there was some expectation to begin with. Speaking strictly for myself, I never believed that he was more than a well-spoken eloquent empty suit. So far he has proved to be just that.

        2. If Obama was a leftist he would probably have a bunch of friends and associates that were former members of various far left and socialist and/or communist organisations. He might even have assiciated with people like Hilda Solis, Vernon Jarrett, Valerie Jarrett, Timuel Black , Frank Marshall Davis, Sam Webb, Ron Bloom, etc.

          None of that is the case, so I think he probably believes in the principles this country was founded on.

          1. Of course. Why judge someone by their actions when you can make spurious connections to people they’ve associated with? By your logic Ron Paul is a Nazi, and Mitt Romney must favor polygamy and making blacks second class citizens.

            1. Wow, vanya, that’s quite a stretch. As noted above Obama has many, many connections with socialists. True, they’re (mostly) not “raise the red banner and collectivize the farms” socialists, but in the USA you don’t get much more socialist than Van Jones, the New Party, ACORN, Ayers, Wright, etc. outside of college dorm rooms. If you can’t see the difference between that level of socialism and the Bush sort, you’re not looking hard enough.

              1. It seems clear enough to me Obama associated with the people he needed to to get ahead and then changed his stripes as soon as it was convenient. Radical leftists don’t leave people like Geithner and Bernanke in charge of Wall Street and they don’t pursue wars in Afghanistan. Obama, like most politicians, cares about one thing – getting reelected. If Obama deep down really is a radical socialist then he clearly has no idea how to go about implementing it.

                1. Ever hear of the Fabian socialists? Incrementalism works pretty well for implementing socialism (and boiling frogs). And even in Chicago, is the way to “get ahead” to associate with radicals like the New Party, Ayers, Wright, etc.? Chicago isn’t Berkeley, where that’s considered mainstream. It seems to me that someone wanting to get ahead in politics there or nationally would be wise to be more moderate… unless that’s what he really believed.

        3. he’s a dangerous leftist even though his economic policies are essentially warmed over Bush (i.e. harmful and stupid, but not doctrinaire “socialist”).

          Given you hate the free market, Vanya, what other choices do you have?

          You either embrace the stagnation that is the inevitable result when ‘purely’ socialist ideas are implemented, or you support corporatism as Obama does, and cross your fingers that you don’t create such a great extension of inequities in society that you have an entirely new set of problems to deal with in the next generation created by your original policies.

          Or, maybe that is what you aim for in the first place.

    2. Yes, it’s over *our* heads.

  10. “I love the fact that he is swarthy and has a pencil thin moustache. Well, I see it.”

    Very off-topic, but the Michael Jackson autopsy report indicated that MJ’s lips were really tattoos.…..scalp.html

    1. Stamokap spelled backwards is pakomatS.

  11. Pin all your hopes and dreams on one person and you end up with nightmares. Believe in yourself.

    But what if the one person I’ve pinned all my hopes and dreams on is me?

    1. It’s nightmares all the way down…

  12. The idea of Obamba has a fake birth certificate too?

    1. According to the many birfers, the birth certificate is just a distraction. Obama can’t be a natural born citizen because his birth father wasn’t a natural born citizen.

      Remember, no matter what happens, the birfers will always come up with another excuse as to why a zebra (their word, not mine) cannot be president.

      1. Why do you hang around people of such ill repute that you know so much about them? It’s going to tarnish your own reputation some day. Find something better to do with your time.

        Abyss. Stares. Monsters.

        You know the drill.

  13. What!? Now there is two Obamas? Isn’t the one true messiah enough for all you natsacks?

    1. We still need one more so we can have a Trinity.

      1. The 3rd is the Obama we all have within us. We just need to listen to him.

      2. “Which one? The real one, the dead one, or the one I’m having sex with?”

      3. We will get the third when the mutual narcissism between the two Obamas becomes powerful enough to gain self-awareness.

  14. The 3rd is the Obama we all have within us. We just need to listen to him.

    I’ll start listening to him when he stops raiding my wallet.

    1. He only takes money out of it to make room for love.

  15. Anyone else think Reason should hire this guy to do the comics from now on?

    1. He’s a pretty good cartoonist, I’ve got to admit. But considering what a raging left-wing statist he is (read his blog if you want to puke), it probably wouldn’t be too copacetic with free minds or free markets. Tom the Dancing Bug and Slowpoke are ok too, but I’ve been reading them a lot less these days.

  16. Tom Tomorrow is by far the most tolerable cartoonist who is published in alt-weeklies. That is high fucking praise, my friends.

    Wait, you’re not my friends. Fuck you.

    1. Tom Tomorrow always came off as your run-of-the-mill lefty fuckwits. I stopped bothering with that strip years ago.

      *I’m* your friend Warty. The others are just jealous of you.

      1. run-of-the-mill lefty fuckwits

        Exactly. High praise.

    2. Speaking of alt weeklies, has anyone else noticed how they are EXACTLY THE SAME all over the country?

      Exact same cartoonists. Exact same columnists (Savage Love!). Exact same format.

      How alternative is that?

  17. I think the prescience prize should go to joe for his comments on the Postrel thread.

    1. Like this one?

      joe|4.3.08 @ 4:34PM|#

      If you don’t immediately realize that Obama is to the right of Kennedy, Feingold, or Boxer, you don’t know very much about politics.

      1. I’m sure a component of why joe left was that he knew we could beat on him all day with his past, “confident” predictions, let alone for his Obama love.


      2. And joe was correct. Obama is clearly to the right of those politicians and he’s demonstrated it every day he’s been in office. Give me one scrap of evidence to prove me wrong.

        1. Were your parents brother and sister?

          1. Not really. He wasn’t Senator long enough to get much of a record. I live in Massachusetts – Ted Kennedy was far more old school statist left wing than Obama, I have no doubt on that score.

  18. Good cartoon, but the question marks coming from the real Obama don’t make sense. He knew/knows exactly what he is doing. He has studied successful candidates and presidents for a long time.

  19. stuartl, Obama thinks he knows what he’s doing, but he’s drawn the wrong lessons from candidates/presidents of the past. He needs to ponder Lincoln’s dictum about fooling people.

  20. Make-believe presidents
    Never turn you down
    When all the others turn you away
    They’re around
    It’s my private pleasure
    Midnight fantasy
    Someone to share my
    Wildest dreams with me
    Make-believe president
    You’re mine anytime
    Make-believe president, oh yeah

    When ordinary presidents
    Don’t feel what you feel
    And real-life situations lose their thrill
    Make-believe ‘s unreal
    Make-believe president, Make-believe president
    You’re mine anytime

    Make-believe presidents never disagree
    They always care
    They’re always there when you need
    Satisfaction guaranteed
    Make-believe president, Make-believe president
    You’re mine all the time
    My Make-believe president
    You’re mine anytime

  21. Tom Tomorrow is by far the most tolerable cartoonist who is published in alt-weeklies.

    I like Tom the Dancing Bug best myself. Didn’t he once do a strip about a superhero who fights crime through Coasian bargaining?

  22. The far left (20% most left) is seriously fantasy driven. They have a long history of emotionally investing in highly detailed fantasies. Marxism and Freudianism would be two obvious examples but you also have grimmer examples such as believing that the people of Cambodia would be better of living under the rule of Pol Pot than in fighting him.

    The projections upon Obama are merely another manifestation of this rich fantasy life. A big part of this fantasy is that all the solutions to life’s problems are (1) easy to determine and (2) easy to implement if a person is just intelligent and moral enough to grasp the truth. In this fantasy view, Obama deserves the Nobel Peace prize and other accolades because he is obviously the kind of person who can solve all the world’s problems.

    At present, we’re basically being governed by D&D geeks with the difference that most D&D geeks realize they’re just using their imaginations to play a game.

    1. Thank you. I agree. There’s sort of this romanticized idea of revolution. Good guys vs. evil greedy money-grubbing cartoon villians, and themselves in the starring roles. Worse, their understanding of history is largely shaped by their own fantasies. Instead of actually sorting out the real fact, they just follow a narrative that fits into the most self-glorifying storyline.

  23. “Cult of Personality”

    “And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk, right down to earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” (Malcolm X)

    Look in my eyes, what do you see?
    The Cult of Personality.
    I know your anger, I know your dreams,
    I’ve been everything you wanna be, ohhh,
    I’m the Cult of Personality.
    Like Mussolini and Kennedy,
    I’m the Cult of Personality.
    The Cult of Personality,
    The Cult of Personality.

    Neon lights, Nobel prize,
    When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies.
    You won’t have to follow me,
    Only you can set me free.

    I sell the things you need to be,
    I’m the smiling face of your TV, ohh,
    I’m the Cult of Personality.
    I exploit you, still you love me,
    I tell you one and one makes three, ohh,
    I’m the Cult of Personality.
    Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi, ohh,
    I’m the Cult of Personality,
    The Cult of Personality,
    The Cult of Personality.

    Neon lights, Nobel prize,
    When a leader speaks, that leader dies.
    You won’t have to follow me,
    Only you can set you free.

    You gave me fortune, you gave me fame,
    You gave me power in your God’s name.
    I’m every person you need to be, ohh,
    I’m, the, Cult, of, Per, Son, Al, Ity.

    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of
    I am the Cult of

    “Ask not what your country can do for you?” (John F. Kennedy)
    “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
    “I’m a Nobel laureate, bitch.” (Barack Obama)

    1. That’s just racist.

    2. Neon lights, Nobel prize


      I forgot that’s one of the lyrics in that song.

      Shit that really scares me.

  24. Shouldn’t Make-Believe Obama have a goatee?

  25. No, dude, that’s Evil Mirror-Universe Obama. The libertarian.

    1. It is far easier for a libertarian to pass for a statist than for a statist to pass for a libertarian.

      1. Damned straight. We have so many current examples of barbarian, statist thinking to work with, after all.

  26. I must say I like how the Democrat in the cartoon is well-dressed and sports fashionable specs and a neatly-trimmed beard; while the Republican guy is wearing some kind of smock and an exposed undershirt that probably has stains on it lower down. So much for class warfare!

    1. WTF cartoon are you looking at??

    2. I think your comment says a lot more about your notions than the cartoonist’s.

      1. Yeah, well your notions suck! Nyaaaah!

    3. On closer inspection, the Democrat looks an awful lot like Jacob Sullum.

  27. You know, Obama would have made a damn good president if American wasn’t so racist and elected Yet Another Geriatric White Guy.

    Who knows what he would accomplished. He would have set off a vigorous proactive campaign of positive government involvement to do what the private sector can’t and end the recession; job growth and economic activity would be booming just like we had under the last reality based president, Clinton.

    We would have our troops back from Afghanistan and Iraq, and we would be building a new foundation of peace in the Middle East. Cynics say that the Israelis and Palestinian conflict is intractable, but with the right level of leverage, encouragement and trust, built on keeping our promises, Obama would settle the matter once and for all, just as Clinton did in Ireland. Cynics said you could not solve that one either.

    He would have been a damn good president, but Republicans stole the election with their odious lies, claiming Obama would take over the auto industry, the banking sector, the energy sector, the health care sector, as if he was some kind of raging socialist, and not the moderate centrist easily to the right of John Kerry.

    He would have made a damn good president, easily deserving the Nobel Prize in 2016 as a bow the civilized world would gladly take to honor his accomplishments.

    1. The government took over the auto industry and the banking sector under Bush. Why do people keep trying to forget that?

  28. I’m still waiting for that unemployment rate to drop like he was talking about. Apparently government jobs are available!

    Did you know that since the recession began in December 2007, private sector employment has declined 5.74 percent, while government payroll has grown 0.83 percent.

    Join me:

  29. “Raaaaacist!!”

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