If Doonesbury is to become the house organ of a national political party we can console ourselves that it is often funny, if increasingly shrill. Last Wednesday's slap at the National Guard, though, was somewhere between incoherent, and inconsiderate.
The strip featured a White House conversation comparing the military service of General Clark and President Bush, with the President referring to the National Guard as "a joke." It is difficult to figure out the premise here: is the cartoonist expressing his own views, or what he supposes are the views of Mr. Bush? And what is the point of comparing the record of a career Regular Army officer and a Guardsman? And whatever your party, why insult the 174,000 Reserve and National Guard troops on active duty, 34 of whom have been killed while serving in Iraq?
I suppose we should resign ourselves to entertainment in the service of tedious political messages. If we must listen to Bono and Schwarzenegger, why not Doonesbury? But I still miss Calvin and Hobbes.
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