It should be no surprise to anyone that when Russian citizens mock their president, they usually find themselves in hot water with the authorities. Artist Konstantin Altunin discovered the consequences after painting a portrait of Putin standing behind prime minister Medvedev, both dressed in lingerie. The painting, titled “Travesty” was confiscated from an art museum in St. Petersburg , as were three other satirical paintings of Russian leaders by the same artist.
This is the stuff of totalitarian states where dissent and criticism are typically verboten. Then there’s the USA, where if you happen to be a rodeo clown who parodies Barack Obama, you’ll discover there’s a price to pay there as well. In fact, that sort of gesture will get you forced into reeducation “sensitivity training” and banned for life from the venue where the alleged crime took place. Think of it as Siberia on the American plan.
Never mind the First Amendment. It apparently doesn’t apply to the President. Never mind that lampooning American politicians is a long-standing tradition that has left few prominent officials unscathed. Forget about George W. Bush getting depicted as a chimp, or the racist Condoleezza Rice cartoons, and every imaginable insult ever heaped on Sarah Palin.
President Obama seems to have risen above such indignities, believing perhaps he should be afforded the same aristocratic respect as a king or the reverent esteem given the Pope. I suspect that the media and other Obama supporters gladly hold him in that kind of elevated regard. All hail the new American aristocracy.