Doonesbury’s 40th Anniversary

Today is the 40th anniversary of my favorite comic strip, Doonesbury. I have never tired of Gary Trudeau’s satire. Slate has a nice collection of articles about the strip, including an interview with Trudeau. What’s funny is that he has a hard time satirizing Obama.

Believe it or not, Obama’s very tough for business. The contradictory characterizations of him as fascist or socialist only serve to confirm the truth—he’s a raging moderate. And satirists don’t do well with moderates, especially thoughtful ones. In addition, Obama rarely makes gaffes and has no salient physical or temperamental features. And sinking popularity isn’t a critique. Even SNL‘s main rap on him is his unflappability, hardly a vice in a world leader.

You need people with extreme views, or obvious out-sized egos, or a raging case of one or more of the Capital Vices to have a fertile subject for satire.

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