Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

Were the Republicans who did this photo being critical, hateful or just plain Halloween dumb?

Asked by mazingerz88 (21905points) November 1st, 2011

The Virginia Loudon County GOP people who circulated this photo by email on Halloween have already apologized after other Republicans and Democrats chastised them for it. But what do you think were going on in the heads of these Republicans when they created the image?

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57 Answers

wilma's avatar

Halloween dumb. Apparently zombies are all the rage. I don’t get it, but I’ve seen all kinds of people “zombified” lately. (And no not just Democrats.)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Why pick just one?

snowberry's avatar

And just to round things out, try googling “Were these Democrats stupid?” Here are a few links for your veiwing pleasure.

The point: It’s not just Republicans. We all say smart and/or stupid things.

marinelife's avatar

@wilma It is not just the zimbie. it is the bullet hole in the President’s forehead!!!!

It was totally uncaring. They just hate Obama so much that they lose all common sense.

TexasDude's avatar

@marinelife a shot to the head is the typical trope in literature and film by which zombies are dispatched. Methinks the hole in zombie Obama’s head is more to fit in with this meme rather than an assassination reference. No, it wasn’t wise of them to pass the image around, but I don’t think there is any huge sinister meaning behind it. People here can flame me all they want and post all sorts of links about how evil and murderous the republicans are, but I really doubt there is some grand vitriolic symbolism behind the bullet hole. It’s a zombie joke. It may not be in the best taste, but this is politics and shit like this happens all the time. Your mileage may vary.

zensky's avatar

I don’t see anything wrong with it – it’s a Halloween zombie mask.

Freeom of Speech, Freedom of the Press; it’s what makes the US so great.

Now if they had shown him dead or something like that…

Qingu's avatar

The bullethole in the forehead is well outside good taste considering the volume of assassination threats Obama has received.

robmandu's avatar

Just dumb… a headshot is usually sufficient to put down a zombie for good.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t want anyone to doctor a photo of me in this way. Why should it be OK to do it to the President?

zensky's avatar

Same reason you can parody a song, do a skit on SNL or pretty much anything in the Lampoon or Mad magazine etcetera etcetera. Public people are fair game. It’s just the way it is.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s politics. Should the out party be forced to respect the President? I don’t think so. It would be nice if they did it voluntarily, but I can imagine thinking the President is an impeachable ass. The problem is that this President would save those idiotic Republicans’ asses if only they didn’t get in the way.

Of course, they don’t see it that way. Must have been brought up wrong. ;-)

snowberry's avatar

LOLOL @wundayatta I only wish! But I don’t think Obama’s gonna save anyone’s ass. Or horse. Or anything else.

Qingu's avatar

There’s a difference between mere disrespect and making assassination jokes.

marinelife's avatar

Obviously, I meant zombie not zimbie (Although zimbie is a cute name. I wonder what a zimbie would look like.).

mazingerz88's avatar

@snowberry Excuse me but he did save GM’s people and business. The US still have an existing though struggling economy. But you’re right, I don’t think he has saved a horse. So far.

flutherother's avatar

If you are a public figure it’s what you must expect these days but I think it is disrespectful. If we show respect for the flag we should also show respect for the leader.

robmandu's avatar

Thought it would be interesting to point out that one doesn’t have to search the Fluther archives long to turn up some amazingly explicit vitriol, disrespect, and even death threats wishes against the previous POTUS and VP.

That doesn’t make it right by any means, but it’s not like this kind of thing is new.

Also, I’d like to extend a concept about “respect” here. It’s important to respect the office/position a person holds, especially of authority. You might not like your neighbor Joe Policeman down the street if he cheats on his wife – and that’s fine! – but if he pulls you over for speeding, you have a duty to respect his position and comply with his official requests.

Buttonstc's avatar

A Democratic President with a bullet hole in his head dripping brain matter ?

I realize the whole thing is a joke but there are some things that just aren’t funny. I’m quite certain that no one in the Kennedy family is having knee-slapping fits of hilarity.

Poor taste is poor taste regardless of party affiliation. I’m quite sure there were numerous ways to zombify Obama sans the bullet hole and brains imagery. I don’t care how much of a trope it is.

I still remember the photo of Jacqueline Kennedy standing with her husband’s blood and brains splattered all over the suit she wore that day.

And when someone suggested she change, she said “No, let them all see what they have done to him.”

From Lincoln to Kennedy to now, depicting images of bullet holes in President’s heads is in very poor taste and just not humorous, I don’t care who’s creating the image.

If that image were absent from the montage, I think the rest of it humorous and quite apropos to the Season. But whoever created this pic had their brain in “Park” and hit the send button carelessly.

Not smart. And not funny.

zensky's avatar

@marinelife There must be zombie bimbos as well – zimbos?

snowberry's avatar

@mazingerz88 Oh, well if you want to put him up with God staus. Sure. Bring it on. I’m not buying it…He’s only one player in a long long history, and where you decide to start and where you decide to end helps to dictate who you blame. The Republicans blame the Democrats, the Democrats blame the Republicans; somehow it’s easier if you can blame your problems on the other guy. Lots of times I’ve seen things that a previous president started, but the current president gets the credit, good or bad. It happens in politics all the time, same as in business.

mazingerz88's avatar

@snowberry Giving credit where credit is due is hardly giving God status no anyone. But that’s interesting, people thinking that Obama supporters have elevated him to God status. That could be the reason why he is disliked rather unfairly? Yeah, Bush and Cheney probably would do better as “gods” or Reagan?

Qingu's avatar

@robmandu, assassination jokes were certainly never as much in vogue for Bush as they were for Obama.

The two parties are not symmetrical with respect to “eliminationist rhetoric.” Much, much more common on the right wing. Which is why this kind of thing is seriously not cool.

Qingu's avatar

@snowberry, I’ll tell you what’s the easiest thing of all:

To stand there and say “both parties are bad” and go on about “politics, business as usual.” That takes no effort whatsoever on your part, you don’t even have to research the policies in question or their effects, and on the upside you get to feel all smug and superior.

RocketSquid's avatar

If I were Obama, and somebody made a poster like that of me, I’d print that shit out BIG and hang it in my office. It’s pretty awesome, and in my opinion fairly harmless.

Hell, I’m going through photos of myself as we speak to do this to. OKCupid, here I come!

robmandu's avatar

@Qingu, while I agree with “seriously not cool”, I think one’s own personal perspective, politics, and sensitivities might be at play here when anecdotally determining the proclivity of specific groups/organziations to employ these kinds of nefarious tactics.

snowberry's avatar

I’m sorry, this is going to sound like a cop out, but it’s the truth. I spent over 20 minutes creating a reply, backspaced, and poof. I was on a different website. I hate laptops! It happens all the time. I’m sick of them!

Pheasant's avatar

It’s Halloween. Some has just got to learn how to lighten up for the sake of fun.

majorrich's avatar

I think it’s pretty funny and a holiday appropriate parody. I assume there are zombified pictures of all kinds of public figures. the Ubama people are just thin skinned about any kind of stuff like that.

filmfann's avatar

I enjoy a cruel joke, probably a lot more than most, but this shit just goes on, and I am sick of it.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think it was in very poor taste, but you have to remember that it came from republicans & tea party members (and good taste has never been their strong point). Unfortunately, several of the leading republicans have flatly stated that businesses should stop hiring people altogether in order to ensure that the economy does not recover and Obama will not get re-elected. So this showing up does not surprise me at all.

dappled_leaves's avatar

What the heck is wrong with these people?

Qingu's avatar

@majorrich, show me a picture of another political figures with an assassin’s bullet in the forehead.

And his name is Obama.

robmandu's avatar

I’m not gonna look for pictures, but when it comes to assassination (including attempts) of political figures it seems that aiming for the head is de rigeur.

There’s Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Gabrielle Giffords… and I don’t know how I remember Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan PM).

I bet my fellow Flutherites can come up with many more.

Qingu's avatar

Yeah, any jokes about them? Or better yet, any jokes about assassinating Republican political figures?

Because it sure doesn’t seem like Dems have as much of a “sense of humor” about this particular subject as Republicans do.

robmandu's avatar

….aaaaaand a quick run thru those results pretty much comes up with bupkis.


Look, I wouldn’t say that all-inclusive “Republicans” have this kind of sense of humor. I would say that there are always some people – regardless of political stripe – who tend to enjoy offensive humor that puts people on edge. Oftentimes, it can indeed be tasteless.

Bill Maher is a great example of someone who leans unapologetically far left who makes intentionally offensive jokes specifically to piss off people he disagrees with. I wouldn’t however presume that all Democrats would say that he speaks for them and that they find his humor to be mild and completely mainstream acceptable. That’s silly… and that’s what you’re doing here, @Qingu.

Qingu's avatar

Bill Maher doesn’t joke about assassinating Republican political leaders.

Why is it so important for you to believe that “both sides are the same”? They’re not. Eliminationist rhetoric is overwhelmingly concentrated on the right, as far as I can tell.

majorrich's avatar

How do we know it’s a bullet hole? A lot of the Zombie pic I’ve seen have maggot nests. This kind of graphic doesn’t allow for that kind of detail. Halloween is over so ‘Thriller’ isn’t playing on TV. There were some pretty good Zombies in that one.

I am pretty sure if Bill Maher was around in the time of the Reagan Assassination attempt we would most certainly have made jokes about it. And in that case, actual bullets flew and the President was seriously injured. And you worry about a joke picture? Give me a break! Obviously too much thought is being read into this.

robmandu's avatar

@Qingu, are you of the opinion that any humor in reference to political assassination is analogous to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, and hence not subject to First Amendment free speech protections?

For the most part, yes, I do think there are many equivalencies. And I think that oftimes, people make a bigger deal out of something than it really is, especially when it’s their personal ideology that’s the target.

Going from “stupid, tasteless, Halloween representation of Obama zombie” all the way to “Republicans across America would like to see are actively trying to incite getting Obama assassinated” is my case in point.

Qingu's avatar

@robmandu, I never once said anything about outlawing such “assassination joke” speech and I think it’s incredibly interesting that you’re assuming that I am.

And I don’t see how the Obama zombie picture is targeting my “personal ideology.” This is not even remotely about the fact that Obama is portrayed as a zombie, either. It’s about the bullet hole in his head.

Should it be illegal to draw a picture of the president with a bullet hole in his head, zombie or no? Absolutely not. Does it mean Republicans want to assassinate Obama? No. Is it tasteless? Yes. Is it a reflection of eliminationist rhetoric that has characterized the Republican party much more than the Democratic party? Yes.

majorrich's avatar

How about this I didn’t hear a lot of squealing about it.

Buttonstc's avatar

So are you proposing that two wrongs make a right?

(For the record, I couldn’t view the vid itself since iPhone doesn’t do Flash, but I think the headline on the page was sufficient.)

The Tea Partiers are not exactly a bastion of good taste as I recall from previous signs at their demos.

Qingu's avatar

@majorrich not really an assassination joke.

robmandu's avatar

Assassination, by definition, is “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons”.

So @Qingu, did you not get a chance to “meet the zombies”?

- Michele Bachmann zombie
– Sarah Palin zombie
– Newt Gingrich
– Rick Santorum
– Mike Huckabee

Or is it because they’re already zombies in the game that it’s not really assassination?

Let’s be clear, there’s no indication if the Obama zombie’s headshot was actually pre- or post mortem. But in this game, you definitely get to hack away face-to-face with a “melee” weapon or a firearm… so headshots aimed at current, albeit zombified, political figures are definitely on the table. Bonus points for brains, gore, and blood as you chop up and otherwise molest elected political leaders in effigy.

I don’t like the game or condone it. I don’t like the Obama photo (or its supposed humor) or condone it. Two wrongs do not make a right. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean it has to be ratcheted up to thermonuclear war for every little thing. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Peace out. Latez.

majorrich's avatar

It’s actually a pretty fun game.

Qingu's avatar

I could not load the game.

And yes, my understanding of zombie lore is that it’s not murder to kill a zombie because a zombie is a monster and not a human being.

And, like I said, the fact that Obama is a zombie is not a problem. The problem is that he is pictured with a bullethole to his head. That’s an assassination joke, entirely separate from the zombie joke. (In fact it arguably undercuts the zombie joke since everyone knows that shooting a zombie in the head is the way to kill it).

robmandu's avatar

@Qingu, you’re splitting hairs.

According to typcial zombie lore, a live person shot in the head can not become a zombie either. It’s the scrambling of the brain matter that disables the entire central nervous system. So, a headshot on a live person would prevent zombification.

Indeed, I’d say that a headshot evident on a zombie would have to be, in point of literary fact, post and only post-mortem.

Besides, any medical professional who enjoys zombie lore is probably pitching a fit that the idiot who drew this stupid picture portrayed a zombie with a bright red, weeping bloody wound which isn’t possible in a (un)dead person.

Sheesh. Let it go, man.

Qingu's avatar

Sorry, no.

Whoever drew that picture had to answer the question “how should I portray a dead Obama?” There are any number of ways to answer that question. The answer that was chosen was “with a bullet through his brain.”

It wasn’t unintentional, it wasn’t just a random choice. When Obama became president, assassination threats spiked. It’s a serious issue. It’s a serious issue in general with right-wing rhetoric. And as people have shown, other politicians have been portrayed as zombies—their methods of death pre-zombie were not as suggestive.

If you don’t think this is a problem, I think you’re deliberately keeping your eyes shut.

robmandu's avatar

I agree it is a problem that some people enjoy tasteless, crude, offensive humor and also that some people over-react seeing national security issues where none exist..

Qingu's avatar

Who is seeing national security issues?

there you go again, assuming this is a free speech/security thing. What’s up with that?

robmandu's avatar

@Qingu, you wrote, “When Obama became president, assassination threats spiked. It’s a serious issue.”

Not trying to put words in your mouth, but what else are you driving at? Assassination of a president is a serious, national security issue. And you’re railing against a group that you perceive as fostering a specific kind of rhetoric. Rhetoric the likes of which it sounds like you’d like to see curtailed. And of course, rhetoric is a form of speech.

If that’s not your point, then what is? Just to whine?

Qingu's avatar

Oh. The picture itself is not a national security issue. Neither is making assassination jokes. I just think it reflects a particularly ugly mentality (eliminationism) among Republicans, and it’s something they should discourage on a personal level.

robmandu's avatar

On that, I wholeheartedly agree, sir!

filmfann's avatar

@robmandu With Reagan, Wallace, and Roosevelt, all were shot in the torso, and all survived it.
Bobby Kennedy was gut shot, and he died from it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Hey! Nice picture of “The ONE!” LMAO!

mazingerz88's avatar

@CaptainHarley Ah, I see you have found an old question perfect for an Obamattack. Lol. I bet you’ll like him once he sits down with you to have some beer and a nice conversation.

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