The image: A Halloween-themed mailer from Virginia's Loudon County Republican Committee sparked bipartisan outrage this week for its gruesome rendering of President Obama as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head. (See the image at right and below.) The email, which invited supporters to the county GOP's Halloween parade, also featured undead versions of Democratic voters and Nancy Pelosi, with the tagline, "We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy." The mailer has been condemned by the chairman of Virginia's Republican Party, and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell branded it as "disgusting." The county committee has since apologized for the "Zombie Obama" image, calling it a "light-hearted attempt to inject satire humor into the Halloween holiday."
The reaction: "Have these people no sense?" says Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes. It's in the worst of taste, both morally and politically, to depict any politician with a gunshot wound, particularly after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was nearly killed by a bullet earlier this year. This is "too gruesome for words." I guess "I'm nearly impossible to offend," says David Wiegel at Slate. The blog that first posted this image crashed "under the weight of traffic from liberals who want to be pissed off at something," but I just don't see what the big deal is. Regardless, this "zombie madness contributes heavily to my dislike for Halloween," says Noah Rothman at Ology. "Thank God it's November." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- 10 things you need to know today: August 21, 2014
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- The fascinating political evolution of Paul Ryan
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
Subscribe to the Week