Thursday, December 24, 2009

How the Bro Stole the Country

(Forgive the rushed nature of some of the illustrations, but this project took up far too much of my time as it is. A word of warning for the inevitable few who will accuse me of racism: Before you start caterwauling, see my comment appended to this post below.)

All the Whos hated Dubya, whose rule was quite awful
He lied and he spied, and his wars were unlawful.

He threw people in prison and gave them no trial!
Huge debts and Depression...
Yes, Dubya was vile.

When his time was ending, Whos wanted to know
"Who can fix the Who Nation?"
....and along came the BRO!

He said "Vote for me!"
"Why?" they asked. "Why?"
"Because I am green and green people can't lie!"

He told them "You know that most Whos were quite mean
and nasty and hateful to folks who are green.

"Well, just vote for me and get rid of your guilt!
The Bro will make sure the Who Nation's rebuilt!"

"I don't work for Who bankers. I work just for you!
For the common gun-toting resentment-filled Who!
Those NAFTA agreements stole jobs, as you've seen.
I'll toss out those treaties.
Just trust me! I'm green!
I am the lightbringer!
A Who who hates war.
I'll say no to war-mongers and give jobs to the poor!"

"I'll fix up new rules for the bankers, those louses.
And I'll make sure the Whos can all keep their Who-houses!
I'll give you free health care.
No mandates to pay!
A Who-topian system just like the Who-K!
You'll be rich and immortal! You never will die!
You know you can trust me: Green people can't lie!"

Now the Bro had a dog, a pit bull called Ax.
Ax logged every blog, then he launched his attacks.

Ax said: "Every vote against Bro's an affront!
You must be a green-hater if you vote for that...
...other candidate."

His Bro-bots spewed outrage and threatened with violence
until all the Bro skeptics were cowed into silence.

All over blogland, this message was seen:
"If you question the Bro, you hate everything green!"

Bro got what he wanted:
An oval-shaped room
And a button to press
that made quite a BOOM.

"Who-RAY!" said the Whos. "We're sure he will cure
Everything everywhere! He's wise, green and pure!

Then the Bro, who'd once said "Banks need regulation,"
gave to the Wall Streeters

He gave bankers no rules.
He just gave them money.
"It'll free up some credit," he said, which was funny.

For the credit stayed stuck at banks too big to fail.
Those crooks all got trillions when they should have faced jail.

Some said: "Buy 'em and try 'em!
Just buy the banks, Bro. Then try all the crooks."

But the Bro just said "No!"

He said "Larry and Timmy will be watching your backs."
But Larry and Timmy preferred Goldman Sachs.

Bro kept the wars going and shocked the Who nation
when, against the Whos' wishes, he said:

He kept on eavesdropping on every Who-phone.
He protected Dubya and left NAFTA alone.

In fact, the Bro went on a far Eastern trip
and set up new treaties which let the Bro ship
those few Who-jobs left to folks faraway.

And all the Whos wondered: "Those taxes -- who'll pay?"

On health care, he scoffed at the words "single payer."
And on "public option" he was now a nay-sayer.

His "no mandate" pledge was allowed to expire.
All Whos would now feed the insurance vampire!

He said: "Give 'em the loot, or we'll give you a cell.
Will my plan lower costs?
I dunno. Go to hell."

On Christmas Eve, Bro snuck into a dwelling
That some heartless banker soon would be selling.

"In two days, the sheriff will come to evict.
They don't need this stuff.
So what if it's nicked?"

So as the Whos slept, Bro packed up large sacks
of Who-stuff to ship off to ol' Goldman Sachs.

He emptied the pantry, leaving nothing to nibble
He even stole Who-puppy's
wholesome Who-kibble.

But a very young Bro-bot who was named Cindy Lee
woke up and caught sight of the Bro on his spree.

"Why are you doing this, Bro?" she asked. "Why?"
Bro panicked at first,
then he thought up a lie.

"Dubya was coming to rob you," he said.
"And so I decided to come here instead."

"My buddies on Wall Street will hide every sack.
But just for a week, then you'll get it all back.
It's like playing chess. I think far ahead."
Thus mollified, Cindy Lee went back to bed.

But she couldn't sleep.
Her eyes opened wide
as a horrible notion churned up inside.

She wondered: "What if the Bro's not a good Who?
Maybe, like other Whos,
Green Whos can lie too?"

Bro went out to Texas to hang with his crew:
Cheney and Dubya -- and Jeb was there too!

"It worked like a charm!" said Dubya with glee.
"No-one suspects that you're workin' for me!
After four years of Bro, I know every last Who
will want someone new --
and Jeb, that's your cue!"

Bro giggled and cackled
at the things that he heard
slew the mighty Who bird!


Joseph Cannon said...

Before some nitwit says that my use of the word "Bro" is racist, first let me ask this question: Are you ON RECORD as opposing the use of the slogan "Bros, not hoes," which was seen rather frequently during the 2008 primary campaign? Example:

If you didn't object to the term then, I won't stand for any casuistry, strained rationalizations or special pleading now. Screw your double standards.

Besides, the term has no racist connotation listed at the Urban Dictionary. When it comes to slang, the Urban Dictionary is the closest thing to an authority the internet has to offer.

Visually, the "Bro" character is of course meant to be a combination of Obama as the Grinch. There are actually two Grinches: The original Dr. Seuss Grinch and the Chuck Jones animated Grinch look rather different. My Grinch is closer to the Chuck Jones version.

I don't care who you are or who the president is: Every American has the right (and sometimes the obligation) to depict a sitting president as the Grinch.

Grey Hood White Crown said...

Bravo, Joe !!! Very well done.

MrMike said...

I thought it was spelled Ho as in "Bro before Hos".
Anyway, the racist card is all they have left in their deck because the 11th dimensional chess card is getting rather tattered and worn.

Unknown said...

Really great - do you have it copywrited? I would like to forward it to others, but will only do so with your permission and attribution.

Joseph Cannon said...

Forward away, Sha. I would appreciate a link back here, but it's not strictly necessary.

Anonymous said...

Joseph -
You are one clever, creative person! Thanks for a few good chuckles. I especially liked this:

Ax said: "Every vote against Bro's an affront!
You must be a green-hater if you vote for that...
...other candidate."


Unknown said...

Thank you Joe! This should become a Christmas tradition. At least, for the next 3 years.

Now I'm off to forward & link & attribute.

Thanks again!

willyjsimmons said...

You have outdone yourself my friend.

Sending this to all my Bros. (Obama voters, somewhat naturally)

This should be gooooooood!

Gary McGowan said...

God, that's good. It should be in newspapers all over the nation, if not the world. And it would be just if you received payment for your work, Joseph.

I encourage those who are able to at least click on one of those thingies and contribute to this man's blog. Come on, you people, it's Christmas... Does this not deserve a donation? Even without this, all the other work deserves it. Please.


"For the credit stayed stuck at banks too big to fail.
Those crooks all got trillions when they should have faced jail."

We should be issuing credit without the bankrupt Federal Reserve and for purposes of national reconstruction. Derivatives and credit default swaps be dammed to the trashcan! We can and must put the whole damn casino system through bankruptcy reorganization, apply Glass-Steagall standards, repeal the HMOs, stop homeowner evictions, create paid productive work for people, clean up the whole mess and get back on track. We can do that.

You know the essence of the Preamble to the Constitution?


The young people of this nation are being ... well, just look at Joseph's picture of the girl in bed.

Anonymous said...

Very clever wit, and I agree he is BUSH III...but some of us weren't fooled.

The economy won't start to recover until there is a true exit plan from these undeclared wars, re-labeling them doesn't hide the fact that they are WARS. Oh, and the sick will still get sicker with his give away to the insurance companies.

Yup, I see Jeb rising too.

Sextus Propertius said...

I am in awe.

Anonymous said...

This is a brilliantly creative work (kudos!), containing much truth, and great word play, but containing a core message with which I don't agree. Your mileage may vary.


Anonymous said...

I think Theodor Geisel would approve.


Anonymous said...


This is one of the best things you've ever done! You really are a creative genius. Bravo!

--Boston Boomer

Zee said...

Thank you, Joseph, for the lovely Xmas present!! Bravo, indeed. I especially laughed at the fainting Who and AOL (awwwwed out loud) when the Bro stole the puppy kibble! The last image of the eagle getting strangled was disturbing, but I understand how it corresponds with the original material, so it's fitting.

Pennelope Pennebaker said...

The Obots lost their ability to swing the 'racism' stick when they called Bill Clinton a racist. Clinton was mightily attacked by the conservatives because some columnist called him 'The First Black President'.

Anonymous said...

It worked like a charm! said Dubya with glee.
No-one suspects that you're workin' for me!

The Rove-Brazile handshake.

This poem says it all...Thank you.

emmag said...

absolutely brilliant!

Caro said...


A masterpiece for all time.

Carolyn Kay

Bob said...

Instant classic.

S Brennan said...

Are you ON RECORD as opposing the use of the slogan "Bros, not hoes" ?

No, but I did "vocally" [on blogs] oppose Obama throughout the primaries CORRECTLY pointing out that Obama was more right wing than anyone in modern history, save "Bush The Second".

And I do like the piece, however, I feel the use of the term Bro/Bros does offend the Afro-American community.

Why? Well, as I am/was constantly pointing out, Obama's implicit/explicit use of words to conflate his background with blacks & working class, are lies and half truths. Black culture only enters his life after he has achieved 21 years of age, full manhood in every sense. Black folks, black culture should not be tainted/conflated with this man, he grew up white, he lived immersed in white culture and privilege. What ever Obama is, he is not a "Bro", he is not a member of the Afro American community. From Corrente:

"I find the idea of man who went to the most expensive/exclusive high school in Hawaii [Denier Alert, I know somebody who went there]...a man who could go "back" to school at Harvard on a whim being from;

"a working class family...remember[ing]...the struggle and empathiz[ing] with the working classes" somewhat nauseating. - Tina

Pres. Obama might have more pigment in his skin than many caucasians, but he was raised by a white family and for the most part in upper class white neighborhoods. His ONLY contact with the Afro-American community was the servants that worked in his household and he did not think enough of them to merit mention, so it could not have been that close of a relationship.

Now clearly his mother lacked "empathy" and was in the vernacular of day, a "cold" mother, indifferent to the needs of a young Barry and that was...truly a hardship. However, such hardship is not that of poverty and does not usually create empathy, rather it has a tendency to produce sociopaths who lack the quality of empathy.

The fact that Obama has continually obscured his wealthy background and the despicable treatment by his mother should be seen as further evidence that he does not wish to come to terms with [his privileged white /emotionally barren background]*, instead he seeks the approval of powerful [white] people to validate himself and anneal childhood wounds...which wasn't poverty, but an uncaring mother.

*this block of text added to replace the word "it"

Hopefully this makes it through...whether you agree with me or not, this critical to understanding what went wrong. As you said Joseph, the man should have been judged by his lack of character, not the color of his skin.

Alessandro Machi said...

I want the dvd. Where can I order it?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Joseph. You really are talented.


Tellurian said...

Brilliant, Joe- Absolutely, Brilliant!

I've posted "The Grinch" here @

linked back directly to your site.

Thanks for all your hard work and sharing with us.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family...


Sophie said...

Wow. Simply brilliant. Merry Christmas to you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is awesome, in the true sense of the word. What talent you have! The poem as well as the illustrations are exceptional. Bravo!


Suziq said...

This was too good not to comment on. Crawling out of lurkdom. Excellent Joseph!

Zee said...

S Brennan, you completely miss the point. It's irrelevant how Barry grew up. He himself switched from the "mixed heritage narrative" to aligning himself as an AA during the campaign. This was used as a cudgel in the AA community, and some high profile AA Hillary supporters found themselves prominent voice in the community lost his job in the media. Even worse, and this is what Joseph particularly captured, was that the fervent white supporters, who called the reality-based voters "racists," were actually the ones judging O on his skin color, and treating him like a Magic Negro.

These are facts, and anyone objecting to aligning Zero with the AA community now is about two years too late.

Oh, and Joseph, I read this aloud, and it reads wonderfully. The "other candidate" joke just begs an out-loud reading!

Anonymous said...

A prize for you earned it

Anonymous said...

Joseph you are correct, bro is not a racist. If anything it is white frat boy or surfer slang and probably even started it's use amongst stoners. People may assume it's short for brother, which it is, but many cultures refer to friends as brothers, white stoners say bro. African americans either say brother, or nigga. Even Public Enemy has Flavor flav's song "I don't wanna be called yo nigga' as an example of that usage.And that song starts out yo ho. I can't think of any hip hop artists that say bro. Even the rap dictionary has no listing.
But look up ho
and you have five definitions. The choice of Bro is excellent, the strained rationalizations that BO is a close friend hence a bro is well ... you know.

Your rushed art is amazingly well done and poignant.

S brennan.. do you talk just to hear yourself heard irregardless of what the conversation is around you. Hey bro, chillax and listen maaaan. Listen so you know whats being said so you can add to the conversation, and not just be a loudspeaker of your thoughts on some random tangent. Even if the points are interesting, have some relevance.

Merry Christmas!!

S Brennan said...

"S Brennan, you completely miss the point. It's irrelevant how Barry grew up" .posted by Zee : 6:39 AM

I don't agree, I think the first 23 years of life are important. If a 23 year old kleptocrat's son get's off the boat from Nigeria loaded down with bags of stolen money he is not a "bro", his family did not go through the searing crucible of slavery. He knows of the Black American experience only through books, but even with kleptocrat's son, there is exposure to the African experience, Obama is less a African - American than the 23 year old kleptocrat's son who get's off the boat from Nigeria.

"He himself switched from the "mixed heritage narrative" to aligning himself as an AA during the campaign." posted by Zee : 6:39 AM

Why is this at odds with what I said? Example please.

"This was used as a cudgel in the AA community, and some high profile AA Hillary supporters found themselves punished" posted by Zee : 6:39 AM

Why is this at odds with what I said? Example please...just cut and paste.

Even worse, and this is what Joseph particularly captured, was that the fervent white supporters, who called the reality-based voters "racists," were actually the ones judging O on his skin color". posted by Zee : 6:39 AM

I agree, it's in my post, I presume you didn't read through.

"anyone objecting to aligning Zero with the AA community now is about two years too late." posted by Zee : 6:39 AM

If you go through Ezra's old blog, you'll find myself [USING MY NAME] and several others were discussing this issue well before 25 Dec 2007.

I was also highly critical of Obama misrepresenting his background of which the mainstream media and A-list blogs actively aided and abetted.

I was also highly critical several blogs about the repetition misogynistic attacks on Hillary, whom I wasn't supporting at the time.

I said then and I say now, the Obama campaign and their supporters engaged in fascist tactics that were/are unprecedented in modern American politics.

So in short, your remark "about two years too late." is completely at odds with the facts.

I've been using MY REAL NAME S Brennan for almost nine years, if what you say is true, it should be easy for you to prove me a liar.

That said, while I expected Obama to be the second worst president in history, did not think he would be so active in competing to be the worst. He has surprised me at both the depth and breadth of his efforts to be as bad as the devil himself.

Roberta said...

Bravo!!! Excellent piece. You deserve every accolade written so far and more.

djmm said...

Bravo, Joseph! Wow!
And a Merry Christmas to you!


Anonymous said...

I laughed. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, just excellent! Perfect satire and a perfect Xmas gift.

And your art looks great, sometimes a tight deadline is the best muse.


Zee said...

S Brennan, are you nuts? Cut and paste what? I could give a shit what you said or didn't say during the campaign. Your first post alleges that Zero's upbringing wasn't typical AA. Yeah, no duh. No one's disputing that. That's IRRELEVANT to Joseph's message. You obviously----well, obviously to everyone except yourself---miss the point of Joseph's critique. The Obots ignored the reality of Zero's upbringing. Zero himself realized that and switched his narrative. Why are you preaching to people who already KNOW that Zero wasn't raised in an AA culture? We aren't the ones who bought into the Magic Negro "Green People can't lie" romanticized fantasy. We aren't the ones Joseph is spoofing. You must be missing one of those genes that allows some humans to distinguish metaphor from literal. Joseph is not writing up a factual history of Zero's actual upbringing...he is nailing the Obots' projected romanticized view of their magic candidate. Sheesh. You have to be a troll. No one can be that dense. Nice try, tho.

Joseph Cannon said...

S, Z -- calm down. I appreciate what Zee has said, but it's just a Christmas satire, so let's not get all het up on a day that is supposed to be devoted to fellowship and good feelings and all that.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT Joseph! Your best ever! Like another poster pointed out, people should know about the Brazile-Rove connection.

S Brennan said...

Joseph, on Zee's comment, he's offered nothing but vituperative to my criticism, as if anger is a substitute for thought...I don't worry about stuff like that, it's just gamesmanships. And no, I don't care if he says everybody agrees with him, I don't believe in group think either.

I do care about Obama's misrepresentations. The reason people found themselves so helpless as Zee describes, is that they didn't do their homework on Obama. That allowed him the freedom to bind himself to a community to which he did not belong. Had folks known [and put out] he was phony on being an "Afro-American" the racist charges would have boomeranged.

The quoted post on Obama above was done a ~ week[s] ago on Currante and I emailed myself the text:

----- Original Message -----
From: [deleted]
To: [deleted]
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:29 AM
Subject: Obama has continually obscured his wealthy background Childhood wounds which...

The response was tepid disbelief and references to Obama's book as refutation [this by regular posters]. So what I presented is not widely known as Zee maintains in his diatribe.

Now when Reagan tried to misrepresent himself as a western cowboy [who rode an English saddle, with riding club get-up] I made fun of it and pointed out Reagan was being a complete phony [we didn't have blogs back then]. When "Bush The Second" tried to present himself as a Texan, when he was an Eastern Schoolboy I made fun of it and pointed out "Bush The Second" was being a complete phony [blogs were just starting up].

Please note, the worst Presidents start by constructing a phony image of themselves that is at odds with reality. We'd save a lot of pain if deconstructed these images as soon as they're put up.

Obama had nothing in common with the American Black Experience, most white working-class folks have more in common in term of life experience. I lived in a black community in Chicago for a couple of years and in the US Army my pals were fellow Sergeants almost all of whom were black...I don't think I know shit about growing up black, but I do know more than Obama.

When we elect a BLACK MAN to the Presidency, I'll be as happy as the folks in Grant Park election night.

Anonymous said...

Zee: "You have to be a troll. No one can be that dense." You go too far; I'd expect to see that at Kos. It's the equivalent of You're racist!, an ad hominem. I've seen S Brennan's comments at other sites, and she or he does not seem to be a troll.

S Brennan: His Bro-hood was indeed a major selling point and a line of attack (You're racist!). The facts didn't matter.

Blessed are the cheesemakers.


Anonymous said...

So good, I read it 3 x. And gave a recital.


(Anytime "Obama" and "bro(ther)" are referenced together, I'm reminded of the incident when he said to the picture seeker, "You're wearing me out, brother.".)


Zee said...

Aw, shoot, Joseph...had I known we got a day off I would've upped my teasing and then played the peace card myself!! Darn! Next year!

Anonymous #1 and #2, I saw that Brazille Rove mention and missed the reference completely. Can someone elaborate? Was there a real life connection?

Anonymous said...

Opulently I assent to but I dream the brief should prepare more info then it has.

Perry Logan said...

Brilliant and hilarious. You are incredible, Joe.

Sadly, your art will be almost entirely missed on the O-holes, who think that Obama is a great orator and that "South Park" is brilliant.

Edgeoforever said...


Gary McGowan said...


The Brazile-Rove connection I think you ask about above:

A ways down in that article is a link,"2003" which may be more to the exact point you are looking for.

Edgeoforever said...

S Brennan: "what's an Afro-American?" Does it have to do with hair styling?
I think I remember a cartoon by Tom Tomorrow (maybe?) who used color (blue) in a similar way during the campaign. The point being that he used a superficial, symbolic feature as justification for entitlement to power. And due to the aggressive accusations of opposition,(and tons of money from his political owners) it worked

Snoball said...


Anonymous said...

Joseph, excellent political Christmas classic. Will most definitely be sharing it with my friends.

S. Brennan -- I believe we all get your points about the usage of "bro" but I believe this is a generational problem w/n the AA community. I just saw too many young AA college boys wearing these t-shirts when I was out campaigning. I couldn't believe that they would wear them going door to door. But they did, and quite proudly I might add, and were well-received by the community. I even saw/heard people honking horns and giving thumbs-up as they walked down the street.

I think that what people are saying is that Obama's history was mostly unimportant to the Black community at large. I did see and read a small amount of African Americans who did comment about this themselves, however their voices were drowned out by the cooler kids.

Perhaps it was really the responsibility of the AA community at large to expose the real history of Obama before the election, since the rest of us were portrayed as "racists." But I really didn't see that happening in any concrete form or collective voice. To paraphrase Wanda Sykes -- perhaps you all were just too caught up in the moment.

just something to think about.


Anonymous said...


I started my own blog and referenced your post --

I'm a newbie to this stuff so please be gentle.



Snowflake said...

Good pics-the rhymes could be better but the subject matter was spot on.

You left out how he stabbed the Dalai Lama in the back over China though.

Speaking of China did you see this.

Killing mentally ill homeless people now in China-why not.

Wasn't Obama going to stand up for civil right over there. Sickening.

Joseph Cannon said...

Maybe my rhymes could have been better, but at least they are REAL rhymes, not the "approximate" rhymes that you find in pop music lyrics. God, I hate that shit.

I kept to Seuss's metrical scheme -- four-foot anapestic, with lots of irregularities.

Irlandese said...


Tracy said...

I really enjoyed reading this article, what a great way of catching other people's attention!

Tracy, Velocity Fulfillment

Snowflake said...

Anything can be better-you still get an A+.

Delphyne said...

Very wonderful, Joseph - you captured everything perfectly and your rhyming is terrific! Thanks and happy 2010!

Anonymous said...

I'm "Afro American" and I'm not offended. But what would I know? I've also been called a racist. Who knew?

creeper said...

This would be hysterically funny if it weren't so dead-on true.

Joseph, you have outdone yourself. Take a bow.

creeper said...

Joseph, please bump this up. Look at the number of comments...and on a piece that appeared in the middle of the busiest time of the year. This is some of the best work you have ever done, as the number and content of comments demonstrates.

I didn't see it until today when it was linked to on No Quarter. How many more are coming to it late? How many of your own regular readers missed it in the crush of the holidays?

It needs to be back at the top of the page at least once more, preferably starting on Monday when things return to what passes for normal. You can't just let it sink. It's far too good for that. And the message contained therein is far too important.

Alessandro Machi said...

Don't Worry Creeper, its still linked here from DailyPUMA, and in more than one place.

Lets us not forget this Bush to Obama Morph that goes nicely with this particular topic.
Bush to Obama in 3 easy steps.

Anonymous said...

Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn't express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head, Thoughs who don't see what is happening to our country are blind.Thank you for your boldness and we should all embrace are freedom of speach while we still can.

Alessandro Machi said...

The 2014 plot thickens. The economy is allegedly heating up, yet it appears that Jeb Bush is still going to make a run in 2016.