Cartoon for August 2

McCain needs someone to his left. Obama needs someone to his right. Who will each man pick as his running mate?


33 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    We’re doomed. Copyright, We’re Doomed LLC.

  2. The Reverend Mr. Smith Says:

    I laughed until I cried. I wonder what the odds are.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Though Obama is not as far to left as many of us would like, I don’t think he ever claimed to be. None the less, to say he agrees with McCain on the big issues is absurd and unproductive. If you believe for one second that an Obama presidency is going to look just like a McCain presidency…well, I think you lost your mind.

    Though Obama is more to the center than I would like, his presidency will probably end up looking a lot like Clinton’s with the added bonus that he will be a very respectable president with very little drama.

    Obama is not perfect, but he is head and shoulders above McCain.

  4. Rory Says:

    I get really angry now watching all the Obama apologists. Now he’s flip-flopped on off shore drilling–an issue that house Democrats had actually started to show some balls on!! Obama will say and do anything to win.

  5. Rory Says:

    Obama never literally claimed to be this far left winger but he took the positions that would qualify him as one.

    Part of why he’s having trouble getting those people who voted for Hillary is because he’s now taking positions that he viciously attacked her for taking and this gets these voters angry. He’s not an honest man.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Gee. I thought this was the ticket. The only question is who the public picks as #1. The choice being a nod to Wall Street or whatever big pot of money McCain represents. That’s just a squabble among the elites.

    Still gotta go with the O guy. Those close to the M guy describe him as “emotional.” That the code word for wacko. He would, of course, be more entertaining but I’d rather not give him a supreme court pick and I’d rather have the dem shadow government take center stage than second stringers from this admin. The first stringers have too much dirt on their hands but will do nicely with book deals and the lecture circuit.

  7. Seth Warren Says:

    Rory said pretty much what I was going to say. Obama used to so-called “progressive netroots” to get himself (presumptively) nominated. Now he’s pandering to everyone and everything possible, making it even more unfortunate in that he is lurching to the right in the process. The republicans painted John Kerry as a flip-flopper; Obama is handing them a really big brush, holding his arms out and saying, “have at me!”

  8. J. A. Ludtke Says:

    One of the things I like best about Ted Rall’s work is that he does not have any problem with shooting sacred cows.

    Some of his readers (like, say, second anonymous. BTW cool name.) don’t seem to get that criticizing two politicians for having similar views on some big issues is not the same as saying they are the same.

    I mean let’s just look at one example: McCain and Obama want to do different things with our country’s overly-large military, with McCain wanting to keep it all in Iraq (apparently forever) and Obama wanting to lessen the scale of Iraq while simultaneously increasing the scale of Afghanistan and maybe even putting troops into Pakistan.

    Are either of them proposing, say, downsizing the Pentagon and Department of Defense? Or closing down the thousands of military bases our country has around the world? Or stopping Blackwater from being American thugs-for-hire? Or closing Guantanamo and CIA black sites wherein torture occurs for “our benefit”?

    Obama and McCain are not the same but neither political party wants the kind of world actual Americans do.

  9. absolva mae Says:

    all the way with Adlai. all the way.

    go, Ted – amen.

  10. Aggie Dude Says:

    I agree with Jaludtke’s last point; and cite Andrew Szasz’ point on routine regulatory failure. While the area of study (environmental policy, food safety, foreign policy, etc) may be different, the concepts are very generalizable.

    There is a huge collective effort in preventing any meaningful dialog in American public discourse. So we’ll sort of jabber around the fringes of watered-down issues, but nobody talks about the big issues, to say nothing about the really big ones:

    Why governments don’t ALWAYS work toward continually improved political relationships (the vast majority of all people on this planet want to live in peace…”they” are not anymore of a hindrance to that process than our own leaders and even “us”).

    How we’re going to solve an epic resource management and ecological crisis on a global scale

    The inherent abuses of the corporate globalization regime.

    The fact…FACT…that Nuclear weapons represent a catastrophic event if ever, whenever, and by whomever, they are used. This means it is insane to even consider keeping them ourselves.

    Not to mention infectious disease, poverty, slavery, and a whole host of other things.

    None of these get an inkling of airplay, not because we all agree on how to solve them, not because they’re already being dealt with, and not because we don’t already know how to solve these problems, but because there is an orchestrated effort on the part of leadership in all sectors to prevent a discussion of such things.

    All that being said, removing the current GOP regime from office represents our opportunity to at least pause, if not to think or act, and therefore IS imperative.

    Removing them from power 4 years ago was imperative. It didn’t happen, and we’re that much deeper in a hole because of it.

    To cite Anon….yes, we’re doomed, completely screwed….the whole planet. Now that we’ve realized that, the true nature of people comes out, whether they continue to work toward positive change knowing the reality, or use it as an excuse to sit back and be in the way.

    an Obama/McCain ticket isn’t the problem, they’re both talented individuals. The problem is that regardless of who wins, Americans will go back to sleep after January 2009, and there is an orchestrated effort to get them to do so. We need to get away from WHO is in office and start demanding that whoever it is make good decisions.

    Politicians in America don’t fear for their lives, at least most don’t. Maybe that’s why we get nowhere?

  11. Natasha Yar-Routh Says:

    Ahh the true dream ticket. We can finally have real bipartisanship with out all that messy ‘loyal opposition’ nonsense. A democracy that Stalin would be proud of.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Genius. Just pure genius.
    You should be proud.

  13. Incitatus Says:

    Once again, Ted nails it, but you know what? The game was slanted from the start, because it would be even more of the same if Hillary had snatched the Democratic ticket. Hell, one might credibly say that McCain would look dovish in comparison.

    The one issue that should be worrying American voters in this campaign, like Jaludtke pointed out, is the unnecessary war in the Middle East. Now, if the left wing of the Democratic party loved peace more than it loves socialism, it could have joined hands with the moderate Republicans, libertarians and independents that fed the one grassroots campaign this time around. Instead, you had outfits like Air America and Huffington Post trashing Ron Paul with the same gusto as National Review and the mainstream media: he was a wacko, foaming at the mouth type, after all. Of course, Kucinich would have been almost as good as Paul on war, but would be a far cry in the final two-party showdown.

    There’s not much to complain about now, and I would advise the disaffected to go with Nader, or Barr. It’s useless, of course, excet at the symbolic level. Until Americans (of all ideological stripes) decide to dump the two-party system, at least.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Best election ever.

  15. J. A. Ludtke Says:

    aggie dude’s last point at first sounds like a threat, but (saying this loudly enough for the NSA to listen in) it was a commentary on how politicians are basically members of the upper class, and the upper class never has to worry about things that the other 6 billion people on the planet have to worry about. e.g., when politicians get paid minimum wage, maybe they’ll notice that it’s not a liveable wage.

    incitatus, as a leftist, I have to say that …well, how to put this. The left does love peace more than it loves socialism. The Democratic party group closest to resembling what I want from govt, PDA, is trying to push a “healthcare, not warfare” campaign this year, at both primary and general elections, to push for non-war-mongering Democrats to get into Congress.

    Sadly, these candidates don’t make a lot of traction, because, well, because Americans have been suckered into thinking that blowing up people with strange-sounding names will get us peace.

    I appreciate Ron Paul’s non-support of the military-industrial complex. If somehow that was his only political position, I would have been as pro-Paul as I was pro-Dean in ’04. Unfortunately he is a complex person, and in his complexities I don’t see a politician I can support a majority of the time.

    Now, if Ron can inspire millions of Republican/Libertarian voters to become pacifists, that’s great. Really. I hope his campaign has that long term of an effect. I’m just …really cynical about that.

  16. Geoduck Says:

    I’d suggest the Greens and Cynthia McKinney over Nader; at least they’re trying to build something sustaining.

  17. Incitatus Says:


    I misspoke (miswrote?). I meant to say that the left wing of the Democratic party seems to love socialism more than it loves peace. I assume the “complexities” you refer to are Dr. Paul’s economic policies. That’s OK, you have your convictions. The important thing to notice is that, in electoral politics (more so in the case of the American two-party system), you’re never going to get the full load of groceries you expect, especially because other voters might not want that same exact package.

    That BTW, is why the Democratic nominee is always going look more right-wing than Ted might hope for. It doesn’t help that milintant interest groups keep cornering the Dems on issues like abortion and gun rights, effectively hamstringing their candidates in areas where a more social-democratic platform would fly, but those issues, at least as framed by the Democratic officialdom, won’t.

    Bu my point was that the really important issue in this campaign was the war. Paul, even if a longshot, was the one with the better chances, out of those actually opposing it (say, Kucinich, Gravel, Nader and McKinney). To lash out at him, just like the neocons did, was extremely miopic of the Democratic left.

    All of it would be moot if the US had a real multiple-party system with, say, a Liberal (as in Classical Liberal, the sense this word is used here in the rest of the world), a Conservative and a Social-Democratic party vying for the top spots, and a few minor parties to cater to more, eh, peculiar political tastes. Getting rid of the imperial presidency and having something more like a parlamentary system wouldn’t be a bad thing too.

  18. David Says:

    If the greens were trying to build something sustainable, they would be running full slates of candidates at the local level as more important than the pResidential race.

  19. Aggie Dude Says:

    Incitatus, Ron Paul IS a wacko. On a political level he claims society doesn’t exist, and that we’re all just individuals. He’s a libertarian, Texas Style, and that’s a SERIOUS problem. In his professional life, he is a complete hypocrite, playing the system to look good for his constituents, while perpetuating their stupid little Ayn Rand fantasies about what reality is.

    It is inexcusable for politicians to bask in, perpetuate, amplify and flourish off of the stupidity and ignorance of the public. The national discourse has been reduced so far that we’re not even capable of seeing who does and who doesn’t.

    Does Al Gore insult our intelligence for giving us An Inconvenient Truth? or is he in fact assuming we’re reasonable enough to engage in discussion over that? Contrast that with the right wing’s position on national security: “go to the mall, shop, buy stuff, we’re here to protect you, all we need is a blank check.”

    Ron Paul represents a fringe political ideology that is fringe for a reason, and he needs to stay where he is.

    The same with Kucinich, and the same with Nader. Nader doesn’t need to be president, he needs to act in civil society to create consensus over the issues that we ought to be demanding our leaders fix.

    If they don’t fix those problems after promising to, we should throw them in jail. If a prison cell awaited all outgoing politicians who failed to achieve progress in office, the least we’d get out of it is a prison system that doesn’t turn human beings into savage beasts.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I love this one, not only for the message, but also, from a purely “cartoon-y” point of view, this strip has excellent timing. The last, wordless/textless panel of Obama and McCain with arms raised, a few stray balloons in the background, is perfect–a textbook example of “less is more”. Kudos, Ted!

  21. Incitatus Says:


    I hate doing this, but would you mind coming up with a clear quote from Ron Paul stating that “society doesn’t exist”? No paraphrasing, please.

    A more credible case for “wackiness”, on a personal level, could be made for Marx, Nietzsche and Rousseau, let alone Nader. Many people would say hard-core Marxism is a fringe ideology, and you are ill-informed if you think Paul’s economic prescriptions are guided by Ayn Rand (also a credible case for wackiness) anymore than by Friedman. I assume you mean it’s hypocritical for him to assign earmarks to his constituency and then vote against them. As Paul himself put it numerous times, he’s against the system, but if the taxpayers are going to be bled anyhow, it’s only fair that his constituents get their share too.

    Anyways, I’m not here to make Paul apologetics. I simply made an observation of what, in my view, should be the primary concern for all American voters (a collective, I should stress, I’m not part of): the pointless wars in the Middle East. And my point was that an alliance between moderate Republicans, libertarians and pacifist leftists under a Paul candidacy would have a much better chance of winning and actually stopping the madness. No, you probably wouldn’t get socialized healthcare, nor Paul would terminate the IRS/DEA/NSA, none of which either could do without broad congressional support. Retreating the troops, OTOH, is somethinf the executive could do on the first day of his job.

    About your last point, I’m all for sending politicians to jail (what’s taking Spitzer so long?), the more, the merrier, but I do think you expect to much from the bastards. Progress is achieved by individuals, working in society, not by enlightened so-called leaders. This is, BTW, one of the more saddening aspects of Obamania. For the record, I do think he’s better than McCain.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Change the system and please arrange it to change someway that I feel no change.

    Soundtrack for the End times

    If Not Now,When? Todd Rundgren

    Brighter Day Jellyfish

    Goodness Gracious Kevin Gilbert

    Gather ‘Round Love

    Before The Fall The Hellacopters

    World Gone Crazy Human Radio

    Don’t Fear The Reaper BOC

    Last Plane Out Toy Matinee

    Two Suns In The Sunset Pink Floyd

    American Ruse MC5

    Gates Of Delirium Yes

    Lysistrata Utopia

    The Candidate Urge Overkill

    The Marraige Of Heaven And Hell

    Anything you’d like to add???


  23. Kurt Says:

    Okay… Before I launch into my criticism of Ron Paul.. I gotta say, ANYBODY who includes a Jellyfish song on a list of doomsday songs is clearly a genius. I would like to add “New Roman Times” by Camper Van Beethoven, just to add a little more Norcal to the mix. Also, Yoshi’s Song, by Glider just to add some instrumental angry rock. Otherwise… very cool!

    Okay… The thing about Ron Paul is that he has a 20 year association with Skinheads and Nazis, which is frankly unforgivable. He also thinks that a capitalistic society can function without any regulation or social safety net. Since several societies have tried that, and failed, I sort of wonder why Mr. Paul and Ayn Rand and Friedman think that if they try it just once more, everybody will live in mansions and dribe bentley’s. It isn’t going to happen and NONE of the models supporting this rubbish actually can be shown to have an even corralary relationship to reality. There are some economic truths but they don’t exist in either far right (libertarian) economics or in far left (marxist) economics. The truth is that economies are the most stable and treat people the fairest (and provide the most innovation) with some public and some private institutions.

    The Libertarian thing always ends up in Oligarchy that must be violently wrested from the hands of generational wealth (which results in extended periods of economic decline) and Marxism results in Oligarchy of the upper eschelon of bureaucracy. Neither is good. Both lead to systemic failure in every real world example. As I have said before, markets price labor and externalities badly and marxist economies tend to plan badly, and both tend to create powerful idiots.

  24. Incitatus Says:

    @last anonymous: OK, this is probably a generational thing, but I don’t know half of your soundtrack. The part I know (Yes, Pink Floyd, BOC) is great, but really, “Two Suns in the Sunset” is a lot more adequate to Brezhnev vs Reagan times than it is to the advent of McBama.

    Kurt, this association of Paul and “skinheads” is just a campaign libel, you should know better than that, otherwise you would fall for other baits like Rev. Wright and McCain’s “black lovechild”. He would have to be a bold faced liar, since nationalism stands opposite to pretty much everything he defends.

    Kurt, you’re not a stupid fellow and you know that this association of Friedman’s and Rand’s ideas is bogus. In the real world, Friedman is a Nobel laureate and Rand is a cult-peddler, really just a Soviet ideologist in reverse, who wished to bend everyone else’s minds to her whimsical values. In the real world, policies partly inspired by Friedman in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea helped wrest these countries from third-world poverty into prosperity and is doing the same in Chile, much more so than in the rest of Latin America. In the real world, so-called safety nets may provide for a life partially free of economic worries in Western Europe, but they also cause relative economic stagnation.

    Lastly, the biggest problem with Marxism, but far from the only one, is that it priced everything poorly. The nitpicking is pointless though: you haven’t said anything about my point on the war stand.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Ahhh, a fellow Jellyfish fan!! My favorite line from Brighter Day is “cause right behind you in the back of the fray, there’s a blade, he’s a renegade, turning bullshit into marmalade…” BTW Did you get the “elbow room” reference?? Later…Dorme bene

  26. Aggie Dude Says:

    I’m sure I’m going to get burned for heresy by laying this out there, but perhaps the war in the middle east isn’t the biggest issue, though all of the really big issues are tied together.

    I would not accept any compromises with someone of the political ilk of Ron Paul just because he’s anti-war, the man is proud of voting to impeach Clinton over frivolous charges, while he really did go along with the Bush-Cheney regime as a good republican. The time for him to have stood up for his so-called beliefs was years ago. He’s a crafty politician but his entire view of the world is off.

    I don’t feel the need to research what he has said and has not said. Very few people will openly argue that society doesn’t exist, but the American libertarian stance implicitly believes this, and it’s not difficult to see by reviewing their prescriptions for solving problems. Ayn Rand was an adviser to the Reagan white house. This is because “these people” of whom Paul is squarely part of the club, are uncompromisingly on the same page, and will wreck society just to impose their ideological delusions on the world just as much as any other authoritarian regime.

    That is a far far bigger problem than ‘pro war’ ‘anti war’ at this point. We’re there, extrication from Iraq is a non-issue at this point, and I know the angry 60s style (old-New Left) leftists hate to hear it, but our departure from Iraq is not going to be based on who becomes President. Ted may think he would get them out starting today, but it’s just not going to happen -so get over it.

    If you’re willing to compromise everything for just one issue, you find yourself in the same mess the next day, it has to be a package deal that addresses many things.

    This is why Edwards was my guy.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    “Two suns in the sunset” could be about India and Pakistan.

  28. Kurt Says:

    Sorry… The Ron Paul association with Skinheads is all too real. He wrote nakedly racist articles for their newsletter for 20 years. I agree with you whole heartedly about marxism, however, it is one economic theory that has never actually been implemented. The soviet union was Oligarchy shortly after it came to existance. Stalinism really does a shitty job of pricing everything. Agreed. I am not a fan of Friedman. He may be a nobel prize winner, but he also is responsible for Bartlett and the other supply-siders (who admittedly are not real Friedmanites) who are in denial.

    Anon… Played at Elbow many times. It is my second favorite club in San Fran (Du Nord is such a great room). I am good friends with Jim Bogios and David Immergluck and manage their little side project. Jellyfish is just badass. Too bad they don’t ever get together anymore. Jimdog tried to get them to play a show with Glider a couple of months ago but they still hate each other. Sad. If you are in the Bay Area, check out the insanely cool show that I am putting on next month.

  29. Angelo Says:

    Friedman is a Nobel laureate

    are we talking Tom or Milton?

  30. djelimon Says:

    “In the real world, policies partly inspired by Friedman in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea helped wrest these countries from third-world poverty into prosperity and is doing the same in Chile, much more so than in the rest of Latin America.”

    Chile? Where they overthrew Pinochet and reversed is radical Chicago-school directed fiscal reforms, and then started to bounce back? That Chile?

  31. Anonymous Says:

    The Paris Hilton ad points out what a farce this election is.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    “Anything you’d like to add???”

    You forgot Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), newbie.

  33. Kevin Moore Says:

    Somehow I missed this toon. It’s great! So much of the speculation – that Obama will pick Bayh, that McCain will pick Jindal – operates on the reasoning you’ve described in their thought balloons.

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