I was trying to develop something on the President’s announcement last week of a drawdown of our forces in Afghanistan, but none of the gags I thought of were quite coming together. Since it’s scheduled for next year, and will apparently only pull out about half as many troops as Obama’s sent over since taking office, I thought it was a case of too little, too late, much like the sentiment expressed in this cartoon.
Then Representative and Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann made a comment where she accidentally compared herself to the infamous serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy. Her handlers have done a pretty good job lately of helping her hide what a stark, raving lunatic she is, which has resulted in her bounding to second place in many GOP polls (behind Mitt Romney–unless you also count “Generic Republican,” in which case she’s in third), so I thought maybe I should compose something to remind people: Michele Bachmann is nuts. She seems to be every bit as stupid as Sarah Palin, but much more genuinely dedicated to turning the US into a theocratic dystopia than she is to aggrandizing her own ego. Whether this is for better or for worse, I’m not sure.
It was very hard to come up with a gag about Bachmann’s lunacy that would be better than her own murderous clown metaphor, and I had a few ideas that played off that, but it was such a flash-in-the-pan gaffe that I decided to get away from it and go in a slightly different direction. The above cartoon is a take-off of a classic Gary Larson panel, where a guy’s plowed a truck labeled “Al’s Scissors” through a tall fence and into a building with bars on the windows and a sign that says, “Institute for the Criminally Insane.” As inmates investigate the crash scene, a caption informs the reader, “Suddenly, Al realized his problems were much bigger than a smashed truck.”
The first few sketches I did were more direct copies of the panel, with the Tea Party Express in the place of the truck and a straightjacket-clad Michele Bachmann escaping from the hole in the building, but this potentially made the label on the bus too hard to read, and by the time I realized a padded cell would communicate roughly the same information as the sign from the original cartoon, at least in this context, I’d gotten pretty far away from the reference.
Nevertheless, I thought people drawn in Larson’s typical style would fit the role of a couple of tea partiers nicely, and the title is an additional reference to a series of cartoons from The Far Side with similar themes.
Probably the shallowest gag I’ve done in a while, but they don’t all have to be deep, as long as they’re at least funny.