(April 20, 2009)

Obama received criticism for meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist leader and outspoken critic of the United States.  Here, I admit I am being inconsistent.  In an earlier cartoon I mocked Obama for reaching out to his opponents in the Religious Right; here I’m mocking the people outraged that Obama would reach out to one of America’s opponents.  Yeah, I guess I contradict myself.

But I think that “extending a hand” is a good metaphor for much of Obama’s early term in office.  This is good in some respects:  I think he has tried hard to heal bad feelings and find common ground with his political adversaries; but I think it’s been bad in others:  some of his adversaries would rather kiss a mugwump than yield Obama any political ground whatsoever, and so his efforts at compromise have often been futile.