Here are some of the best political cartoons 2013, by Matt Wuerker.
Dating back to the beginning of organized society, cartoonists etched jokes onto walls, ridiculing their political élite. Editorials belittling leaders and politicians are as old as the game of politics itself, and it’s a tradition that is sorely needed in a time of intense debate over the future of civilized society in the technological age.
The draw of political satire has lasted centuries since its inception. In many ways this art form is an expressive outlet for cartoonists and artists to expose the often absurd and comical happenings within our political landscape. With elements such as caricature and illusion, artists can redefine the political consciousness with a simple eye-opening parody.
Matt Wuerker, a POLITICO editorial cartoonist and illustrator, has a unique perspective on American politics, framing our politicians and leaders as playfully ignorant dingbats who do worse for their country than good. Sometimes using child-like nursery rhymes, his political cartoons 2013 attack both the left and the right, the political atmosphere of our time, and institutions that harm American liberty and progress. His satire of the Washington establishment does well to shed light on some of the comical, although unfortunate, nature of our political leaders.
Below are a select few of some of my favorite political cartoons by Matt Wuerker from the year 2013.
1. “Who cares if it’s a suicide mission?!” decries the Washington establishment. “Default? Government shut down? Bring it on!!” the politicians say. Meanwhile, a wide array of citizens, ranging from soldiers, to the elderly, to contractors, to farmers, to school teachers, stand in line strapped to the teeth with explosives. One concerned individual brings up the obvious question, “Doesn’t suicide work differently?”
Matt Wuerker’s political cartoons 2013 illustrations hit the ridiculous notion that leaders in Washington would actually be affected by a government shutdown, and that their defiance would only “hurt themselves.” This cry of “victim” over their own negligence underpins the disconnect most people feel from Washington and their leaders. It also underlines the fact that Washington fails to address how those most affected by such an event are average American citizens just trying to get by. Following the 2013 government shutdown, the American economy lost billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed, and many services and areas were closed off to the public. None of this had any real effect on politicians, who continued to receive their paychecks, and a majority of whom will be re-elected in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.
2. Ah yes, the proverbial “kick the can down the road” bit. Matt Weurker’s political cartoons 2013 of a football teamed Congress, with field kicker President Obama kicking a can labeled “budget” speaks for itself. Tea Party protesters at the goal line look to block the budget from making it through, only to have Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in their way. In the end, the budget did make it through for the 3 point field goal – which with last-minute provisions is set to last us all of about three months.
3. While most people would say that Congress and its dysfunction is probably the biggest threat to American government, most overlook the expanding powers of the executive branch and their use of aerial drones for surveillance and instruments of the military. New technologies make a growing market for drone technology not only more efficient, but affordable and accessible. Whether these drones are used for unmanned surveillance of neighborhoods, to attacks of targeted leaders on foreign soil, observers note that in a “not too distant future,” these drones could be circling over our communities here in America, prompting the question, “Remember when people considered reigning in Presidential drone powers?”.
4. The Gerrymander is one that I, as a political science geek raised in the field of comparative politics, was enlightened to as one of the underscoring causes for the political dysfunction in Washington. A political class which is not worried about its career being threatened by unruly and damaging national votes is one that can not effectively address the grievances of an entire nation. Matt Wuerker’s wild interpretation of a salamander drawing manufactured, ideologically driven lines, is actually a common occurrence behind the scenes in Washington.
The art of Gerrymandering dates back to Elbridge Gerry, the 5th Vice President of the United States (1813-1814), when as Governor, he redrew district lines so odd and contorted, observers said it represented a “salamander.” Bring Elbridge Gerry and a salamander together, and you get – The Gerrymander.
The objective of Gerrymandering is to draw and shape lines around sympathetic voters to ensure that your seat is safe from competition. Politicians often horse trade on “bipartisan committees,” who, made up of the politicians who benefit from such redistricting, ultimately decide how district lines should be drawn. So, much like Wuerker’s nursery rhyme, “Incumbency’s preserved by his partisan pencil that draws districts wildly distorted, the status quo stays imbued by lines so skewed, the government gets much contorted,” it’s more of a government drawn by its leaders, than elected of its people.
5. “Well, he’s not George Bush” say my friends on the left. “He’s not doing the things Bush was doing in Iraq” they continue. While yes, they may not be completely wrong, they are most certainly not right. While President Obama has done things like whittle down the numbers of active combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (a plan set in motion before his term), he has done other, more insidious things, like increase the scope of the NSA, neglect Guantanamo Bay’s abuses, and enhanced covert drone strikes, extra judicially assassinating dozens of individuals. He may be no George Bush, but he certainly didn’t change much either.
So there you have it. Some of the best political cartoons from Matt Wuerker in the year 2013. To check out more of his work, go to Politico and look him up. I promise you’ll find more political humor than Washington would want you to see.
By John Amaruso