You’re kidding me, right?
Less than two months to go before the election and this is what NRO dishes out? Not to mention, they issued a straight photo credit, as if this was an actual image from the Democratic Convention instead of labeling it a photo-illustration. (Romenesko has more.) Still, the fact there are people who wouldn’t figure out this was photoshopped is the least of the problem here.
No, what’s significant about this cover is how vapid it is. (Romney keeps insisting it’s a close race, but it isn’t at all, at least not in terms of the argumentation.) Shallow and shrill, the photo-illustration mainly captures the right wing’s belligerence, especially when it comes to women’s bodies. Having made access to birth control and forced ultrasounds key legislative issues, what this cover mostly achieves is a recognizable match in tone to the far right’s “war on women” mirroring the projection of hostility and the basement low signal-to-noise ratio of their presidential product offering this year.
Curiously enough, what the cover manages to illustrate, if by default, is Obama’s poise and reason (“the grown up in the room” is one way it was referred to four years ago). That’s because, trying to fit this red-meat fantasy to Obama’s cooler and deliberate nature, it comes up a head-scratcher. If the editors at NRO were really considering Obama, they might have understood how much the cover, instead, operates like a boomerang. But then, poor folks this year, they don’t get it enough to even duck.