Bandito Obama? Billboard stirs protests

(AFP)

A billboard depicting Barack Obama as an Islamist suicide bomber, a gay and a Mexican bandit has triggered a storm of criticism in a western US city weeks ahead of crucial polls.

The colourful poster of the US president — under the ironic slogan “Vote DemocRAT” — is attracting attention from media worldwide and from people clogging a local parking lot for a closer look.

“It?s beyond distasteful, and it?s disrespectful of the commander-in-chief,” said Martelle Daniels, chairwoman of the local Mesa County Democrats, calling it “clearly racist and homophobic.”

“Certainly (it) is not designed for intelligent discourse at all,” she added in Grand Junction, in the western US state of Colorado.

Beneath the cartoonish figures of Obama — also depicted as a cigar-chomping gangster — are rats, labeled as trial lawyers, the Inland Revenue Service (IRS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Reserve bank.

Chuck Pabst, the local Republican Party chairman, told the local paper the Grand Junction Sentinel that the billboard is in bad taste.

“It?s reprehensible and disrespectful, and that?s not what any honorable person would put forth,” Pabst said. “To ridicule somebody in this manner is juvenile.”

Politically, Mesa County is Republican-dominated and increasingly conservative, with several active Tea Party organizations — which are making waves ahead of mid-term elections next month.

After two years in the White House, Obama is struggling to avoid a drubbing for his Democratic party in the November 2 ballots, and the race is getting increasingly hard-fought as the polls get nearer.

The provocative picture is the work of artist Paul Snover, who frequently posts on constitutionalist and Tea Party websites.

Snover couldn’t be reached by AFP for comment, but he told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in an e-mail that he is “not allowed to say” who paid for the billboard.

Dennis Lucas, a Grand Junction businessman who owns the billboard, said, “I cannot tell you who it?s rented to,” and hung up.

Doris Downey, the owner of a company whose parking lot is being invaded by people taking a closer look, is angry that her business is being disrupted.

“I have no problem with freedom of speech, but I do have a problem with causing problems for others, and this is causing problems for us on top of all this,” she said.

“I don?t know who commissioned that thing, which I think is despicable, but they should own up to it,” Downey said. “Anonymous opinion gets no respect from me.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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3 Responses to "Bandito Obama? Billboard stirs protests"

  1. griff  October 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Ha ha ha. Aren’t these whiners the same bunch that portrayed Bush as Hitler? The shoe don’t fit too well on the other foot, now does it?

  2. Carl Nemo  October 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    These modern era presidents neither deserve or command respect. The last president to command such was President Harry S. Truman. When he left office there was no presidential pension, He picked up post FDR’s passing and moved this nation on to victory in the last non-engineered, “real war” this nation faced along with the rebullding of Europe and Japan post hostilities. Congress authorized a pension out of shame a few years down the road.

    Modern U.S. ‘leaders’ are nothing but running dogs for the shadowy corporate elites that control this nation along with their intel and enforcement watchdogs. John Kennedy challenged the secrecy and we know what happened to him. Each one of these former presidents now cost this nation $5 million dollars per annum to maintain post ‘retirement’, not including the large sums they make on the speaking circuit and book endorsements.

    To me, Obama is fair game for any political hijinx tactics. He deserves so in spades. He’s just another presidential plug-in module that we so foolishly enfranchised. We’re now paying the price. Seemingly we’ve gotten the government we sorely deserve.

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Eve  October 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    He’s (Obama) just another presidential plug-in module that we so foolishly enfranchised. We’re now paying the price. Seemingly we’ve gotten the government we sorely deserve.
    -Carl Nemo

    Carl, once again you are correct.
    When the citizenry knows more about ESPN stats than their “elected” (or selected) officials the result is what exists now in this present moment.

    American’s are waking up. They are realizing the MSM has been lying.

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