Please put your computers on standby, get up out of your chairs, and go spend the time instead campaigning or registering voters. But if you insist on sitting there, read editor David Remnick's interview on the Huffington Post or Andrew Hunt's blog post on the subject. And THEN get off your asses and do something constructive rather than whining over every little perceived insult to poor Obambi.
Addendum: I elaborated a bit on my attitude in the comments section in response to a post from Anne, but some readers might not see that--so here is what I said:
I fully understand why bloggers and other Obama supporters are complaining. My point is that true free speech requires that anyone be able to publish and express themselves in any way they wish, satirically, offensively, or otherwise, and nowadays people spend just too much time telling other people what they should and should not say. It leads to huge hypocrisy, because everyone ends up dishonestly apologizing for saying what they really mean (the Jesse Jackson episode is a good example.) Let everyone say what they want to say, and move on, rather than all this finger wagging and scolding nonstop.
Update: The New York Times publishes a piece today about how difficult comedians are finding it to make jokes about Obama. Here are a key couple of grafs:
Why? The reason cited by most of those involved in the shows is that a fundamental factor is so far missing in Mr. Obama: There is no comedic “take” on him, nothing easy to turn to for an easy laugh, like allegations of Bill Clinton’s womanizing, or President Bush’s goofy bumbling or Al Gore’s robotic persona.
“The thing is, he’s not buffoonish in any way,” said Mike Barry, who started writing political jokes for Johnny Carson’s monologues in the waning days of the Johnson administration and has lambasted every presidential candidate since, most recently for Mr. Letterman. “He’s not a comical figure,” Mr. Barry said.The truth is, Obama supporters don't realize how good they have it. Their candidate weathered Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and all sorts of other setbacks to beat Hillary Clinton decisively, and their candidate is polling 4-12% (depending on the poll) ahead of McCain despite the much ballyhooed and much repeated claim that 10% of Americans think he is a Muslim (racists don't usually vote for Democrats anyway, remember?) Frankly, too many people are just too thin-skinned these days, and that goes for some of the Obama supporters who are screaming the loudest about this New Yorker cover. Meanwhile, their candidate, while not happy, is keeping a stiff upper lip and carrying on. Isn't that the kind of president we want? If so, we need his followers to be just as tough.
More on the New Yorker cover: From James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times, who says that Obama supporters are suffering from an "irony deficiency." Please read it.
Obama and Afghanistan: The New York Times also carries a sobering story about the Taliban attack on a NATO outpost that caused the death of 9 American soldiers. The article makes clear that U.S. and Afghan troops are being deployed out in isolated areas where they are very vulnerable. The U.S. is in big trouble in Afghanistan, the kind of trouble that sending thousands of additional troops is not necessarily going to solve. Just ask the Russians. At the moment, Obama has no good ideas about what to do in Afghanistan other than draw down troops from Iraq and send them into this new brewing quagmire. His supporters, and all Americans, should be very worried about this.
More on Afghanistan: And the wisdom, or lack of it, of shifting the war effort there from Iraq, in a commentary by Tom Hayden in The Nation.