White Elephants

Cidu Bill on Dec 13th 2012

Because elephants are Republicans and Republicans only care about white people and are therefore inclined to think only about white Christmases but they know they’re supposed to be politically correct so they’re acknowledging other colors of Christmas???

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Christmas, Jeff Stahler, Moderately Confused, comic strips, comics, humor | 32 responses so far

32 Responses to “White Elephants”

  1. Lisah Dec 13th 2012 at 09:08 am 1

    Yes, I think you got it right. Of course, you could read more deeply into it and say there’s an allusion to GOP post-election soul-searching about their need to broaden their appeal.

  2. Kamino Neko Dec 13th 2012 at 09:37 am 2

    Probably. The only other interpretation that makes sense would make the use of elephants pointless, since I know MC isn’t usually furry.

  3. Kilby Dec 13th 2012 at 09:51 am 3

    Bill nailed it with the subtitle, so I don’t understand why this one got a CIDU tag. I also liked his headline title, but I just can’t figure out a way to actually work a “white elephant” into the logic of the joke.

  4. farmer Dec 13th 2012 at 09:59 am 4

    Like Kilby, I also DU the CIDU tag, as it makes perfect sense to me, mocking Republicans for their supposed lack of interest in racial diversity. Though it’s a bit weak since, according to that view, no Republican would self-correct to a more PC version. Would it have been better with a donkey yelling a correction in the background?

  5. farmer Dec 13th 2012 at 10:01 am 5

    or a split panel, elephant singing “white christmas”, donkey singing “I’m dreaming of an all-inclusive gender-neutral non-denominational celebration”. Mocks both sides. Or has that been done enough already?

  6. Inkwell Dec 13th 2012 at 10:43 am 6

    Is it just me, or would the joke have worked better if the elephant was actually saying something racist before correcting himself? I assumed it was mocking politically correctness until I noticed they were elephants.

  7. padraig Dec 13th 2012 at 10:56 am 7

    Stan Freberg, WAY before the term “politically correct” was invented, did a bit where he sang “Old Man River” under the supervision of a censor (”Mr. Tweedly”) who corrected any insensitive or ungrammatical bits. Freberg wound up singing,
    “Elderly man river, that elderly man river, he must know something, he doesn’t say anything…”


  8. fuzzmaster Dec 13th 2012 at 10:56 am 8

    Lisah’s full answer is the one. GOP elephants are singing traditional carol, but stop themselves and over-correct. They realize they have to expand their base, but they don’t really know how to connect with other groups so they awkwardly work in a “more inclusive” line.

  9. Tonya Dec 13th 2012 at 10:57 am 9

    Nope. The White Elephant is a gift exchange usually done in office settings. Gifts are bought and put on the table. Numbers are drawn or something and the next person can steal what the first person chose or choose another gift. When I worked for a very grass-rooty, non-profit environmental organization, we called it the “multi-cultural elephant”.

  10. James Pollock Dec 13th 2012 at 11:33 am 10

    Tonya, the “white elephant” has roots that go far beyond office Christmas parties. “White elephants” are gifts that people actually don’t want to receive (originally, because the cost of maintaining a white elephant will bankrupt you.)

  11. AMC Dec 13th 2012 at 11:46 am 11

    It isn’t a “politically correct” thing in the normal sense.

    Republicans are dealing with the fallout from the election - an election where they got spanked because they lost the non-white vote, by huge margins.

    They were resigned to losing the black vote. The magnitude of the loss of the Hispanic vote was a wake up call, as this is a fast growing population segment. The fact that Asians went for the Democrats at the level they did - that prompted soul searching.

    There is a huge debate going on in the Republican party about the “angry white guy” problem, what they need to do to cut down the massive disparity in voter loyalty by non-white voters, and how to deal with the demographic challenge of their voters being older (and dying off) and being replaced by not only younger voters (who tended to vote Democratic) but also, increasingly, non-white.

    So, it isn’t that “white” not politically correct in the shallow sense, it is about Republicans having a come-to-Jesus (pronounced, in this case “Hay-Zeus”) meeting about their future as a viable political party.

  12. Cidu Bill Dec 13th 2012 at 12:09 pm 12

    The CIDU tag was there because, while I had a guess as to what Stahler had in mind, it seemed far too convoluted and confused to be correct.

  13. J-L Dec 13th 2012 at 12:59 pm 13

    This discussion pretty much covered what the joke is supposed to mean, but let me add my two cents’ worth:

    Traditionally, political correctness has been more of a Democrat thing (I’m generalizing here), with Republicans often seeing a lot of it as going overboard.

    This cartoon shows the Republicans as (ironically) going overboard themselves, not necessarily because they now see the world as Democrats see it, but because they haven’t exactly been winning many presidential elections these last few years.

    So they thought they’d take a page from the Democrats’ playbook and start being more politically correct, even if it means being overly politically correct.

    You could say that the point of the cartoon is that Republicans can’t see the line between “politically correct” and “overboard politically correct” because to them it’s all overboard.

  14. Paperboy Dec 13th 2012 at 01:01 pm 14

    The elephants could also be shown reluctantly donning gay apparel.

  15. farmer Dec 13th 2012 at 01:34 pm 15

    Paperboy, that’s fantastic.

  16. Jordan Dec 13th 2012 at 05:03 pm 16

    And not one joke about what the piano keys are made of. Politics really does suck the humour out of everything.

  17. James Pollock Dec 13th 2012 at 05:08 pm 17

    For many years, Republicans have treated “cultural sensitivity” and all related topics as worthy of nothing more than derision, because of excesses of “political correctness”. When white guys were a strong majority in this country, they could afford to do this. As the demographics change, however, categorically being disinterested in the concerns of non-whites (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, non-males) is beginning to cost them. Turns out that being hostile to, say, Latino voters, is not a good strategy if it turns out that there are a lot of them.

  18. jbledsoe Dec 13th 2012 at 05:56 pm 18

    A total misunderstanding by the cartoonist (and most liberals)…..

  19. Mark M Dec 13th 2012 at 07:45 pm 19

    James Pollock- What you call “being hostile to” I call “not pandering to”.

  20. Inkwell Dec 13th 2012 at 10:02 pm 20

    I hate to be the wishy-washy one, but there’s insanity on both sides. A lot of bigots, racists and jerks hide behind the “republican” label, regardless of their politics.

    A lot of people wanting special treatment hide behind the concept of political correctness, regardless of their politics.

    And as long as people look different, both sides will continue milking it.

  21. James Pollock Dec 13th 2012 at 10:23 pm 21

    “What you call “being hostile to” I call “not pandering to”.”

    Call it whatever you like.

  22. The Vicar Dec 14th 2012 at 06:55 am 22

    @James Pollock, re: #17:

    It all started with a nasty little book published to make fun of Political Correctness (which is really just Politeness in modern guise) with a long series of examples of how convoluted and stupid is was, and it got widely quoted in the media and started the whole “Political Correctness is evil” thing — it got quoted all over the place and sparked all the opinion and trend pieces on the subject. Which is galling because almost everything in the book was invented by the authors — all the outrageous citations were fake.

    And, just as big-L Libertarianism always turns out to be an excuse for rank greed with a thin veneer of pretense at an interest in civil liberties, anti-Political Correctness always turns out to be an excuse for rudeness. (Just once, I’d love to meet a big-L Libertarian who actually cares about civil liberties and doesn’t reveal after five minutes of conversation that the only reason for their politics is that they hate to pay taxes. Unfortunately, there apparently aren’t any.)

  23. labradog Dec 14th 2012 at 08:49 am 23

    Why mock both sides? In the name of “objectivity”?
    Republicans are obvious, tragic assholes; why pretend otherwise?

  24. Mark M Dec 15th 2012 at 12:47 am 24

    James @ 21 - Thanks for that well thought out response. In case you actually missed my point, when Republicans try to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, you call that being hostile. When Democrats try to make minorities believe that they care about them, that’s called pandering. You can chalk up the election to “Republicans think white guys rule” if you’d like, but I can sum it up better. The U.S. has become a country of more takers than givers. Simple as that. Obama and his bully VP pander to the minorities, with Biden telling us he is middle class. What a bunch of crap. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty to blame on the right too. Bush was a big spender and now Obama is too. But when you focus on one side, like labradog and his “tragic” namecalling, then you are obviously one of those who form your opinion and then ignore anything contradicting it. I might as well debate my dog.

  25. Treesong Dec 15th 2012 at 07:09 pm 25

    Mark M @24 - Yeah, yeah, we know, 47% of the population thinks they’re entitled to the world. Go argue with your dog, why don’t you?

    Personally, I’m against the Republican Party because, as an entity, it’s utterly batshit crazy. Not just because of trivia like birthers and creationists, though that’s telling, but most important, because of climate denialism, ignoring something that’s already starting to hit us in the face and is barely starting. Ignoring it because of course all climatologists except a few dozen brave right-wingers are lying greedheads who’ll say anything for grant money, while anything the sock puppets of Big Oil/Coal/Gas say is god-given truth. Grr.

    Even if the Ghastly Old Party were right about big government, the damage the Democrats could do is trivial compared to what CO2 can do.

  26. James Pollock Dec 16th 2012 at 12:58 am 26

    “when Republicans try to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, you call that being hostile.”

    In case you missed MY point, Mark, I made no such claim. (*I”M* hostile to illegal immigrants, BTW.)
    It really doesn’t matter how you characterize Republicans’ utter failure to convince various minorities to support them… whatever they’re doing, it isn’t working. You can spend your time making excuses and blaming the people who didn’t vote your way, or you can spend your time trying to figure out a way to make your message more palatable to more people. To be honest, I don’t really care which way you go with that. Good luck either way.

  27. Mark M Dec 16th 2012 at 10:50 am 27

    James - First of all, it’s not *my* message. I tend to agree more with conservative ideals, but that doesn’t make me a Republican. Personally, I think both parties are full of crooks and liars. And yes, I know you made no claim about illegal immigrants. Frankly, that’s the only thing I could think of that Republicans do toward Latinos that might be considered hostile. Unless you consider being against raising taxes yet again on the wealthy as being hostile (which implies that only minorities are poor), I have no idea what you are talking about. Of course “make you message more palatable” and stop “being hostile” are two totally different things.

    Treesong - I really don’t want to get into the global warming debate as that’s been done before. But I’ll just say that if you’re basing your claim on an AGU survey done in 2009, you need to do a little more research on that survey. There are certainly more than “a few dozen” climatologists who don’t think humans are making a significant contribution. I also want to add that it seems we can’t talk about the oil industry without putting “Big” in front of it. Makes them sound more evil I guess. And I have to disagree with your last statement and leave it at that.

  28. Treesong Dec 16th 2012 at 01:11 pm 28

    Mark M @27: ‘couple dozen’ was admittedly exaggerated; that’s more like the number of climatologists who have actually published research purporting to disprove global warming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change is a solidly documented piece showing that belief in global warming is over 95%. I was surprised that the believers in *anthropogenic* global warming are more like 85% (the remainder divided between ‘no’ and a larger ‘don’t know’). That’s still pretty solid, particularly since the percentage among active (publishing) climate change researchers is indeed 97%.

    And I said ‘Big Oil’ because it’s BIG, to emphasize the absurdity of claiming that climatologists, whose get into their field to get at truths about the world, are lying to get money, while Big Oil, whose purpose is profits and has a thousand times as much money at stake, is pure as the remaining driven snow. Not saying it’s a monolith, but it does pour millions into supporting denialist lies.

    I recommend http://www.skepticalscience.com/ for solid exposures of the incompetence and simple lies of denialists. The latest piece is an example of both: the lying SOB who violated confidentiality to leak a draft of the IPCC report–because of a tendentious misreading of a couple of paragraphs and a counterargument that turns out to demonstrate the opposite of what he says.

  29. The Vicar Dec 16th 2012 at 06:32 pm 29

    @Mark M:

    Right, right, you’re not a Republican. You’re just a supply-sider climate change denialist who only ever happens to criticize Democrats out loud.

    And David Duke wasn’t a KKK member, he just had a fetish for dressing up like a snow-covered Christmas tree, and had such a bad sense of direction that he used to burn wooden crosses on people’s lawns so he could read street maps. Sure, he used to make racist comments in public, but he wasn’t actually a member of the KKK. It’s all just a coincidence.

    I hear the quacking, I see the beak and feathers, and I watch the waddling; I’m going out on a limb here and considering the chance that it’s a waterfowl of family Anatidae.

  30. James Pollock Dec 16th 2012 at 10:16 pm 30

    @27 “James - First of all, it’s not *my* message.”

    See 26: “To be honest, I don’t really care “

  31. Mark M Dec 17th 2012 at 10:48 am 31

    The Vicar - Now that’s laughable. There’s a not so subtle difference between my denial and David Duke’s. I have never given a dime or a second of time to the Republican party.I tend to agree with conservative ideals more. I also agree with medical doctors over voodoo. I guess that makes me a medical doctor according to your logic. David Duke, on the other hand, was frikkin’ Grand Wizard of the KKK. A little different don’t you think? If you go back to when this conversation started, you’ll see it was an inflammatory post toward Republicans that I simply defended. I would do the same if someone made sweeping generalizations about Democrats too.

    James- Apparently you care enough to respond.

  32. James Pollock Dec 17th 2012 at 11:38 am 32

    Sure. And for not being a Republican, you were awfully quick to leap to their defense (at 19), hmmm?

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