Anti-party-politics-as-usual posters up in DC Metro

Boing Boing reader Jeff Gates remixed some vintage war-era posters with postmodern slogans, and called the series "The Chamomile Tea Party." The idea: encourage "a calming force in American political discourse." I've blogged them before, and now, he's taking it underground—on the DC Metro.

I've decided to up the ante with these posters and get them out into the public. I bought ad space in DC's Metro and the first poster was installed this week. I've attached a photo. The ad will be up for the month of September and then I will be putting up another poster for October, all leading to the election. You can see a mock-up of the second poster here.


  1. While a cool idea design-wise, this legitimizes the idea that there is partisan gridlock on the policies that serve the rich. There isn’t.

    1. Yes, but when people on the ground put party before principles, they enable people in political office to continue selling us out. Partisan politics enables bipartisan dystopian policymaking. So I think we need to get away from partisan politics too.

      1. And completely dispensing with party politics when that is the game we currently have–taking a sort of maximalist anti-partisan approach–is a great example of what is meant by letting the pure be the enemy of the good. The posters themselves are factually inaccurate. We have one particular party that has decided to be total obstructionists based on partisanship and another that has done no such thing.  Call out the two parties for their poor policy decisions and obnoxious planks, but this “both sides bad” nonsense is irresponsible.

        1. The political process is pretty corrupt right now. Citizens United, et. al. It’s not just “both sides.” It’s all sides, pocoTOTO. Where was the SEC during the Wall Street meltdown? Look at the power of the lobbyists. I could go on. Here are three posters that touch on the many players in this mix.

          1. Citizens United is entirely partisan.  It was created by, and is strongly supported by, the Republicans and the Tea Party.  It was fought against, and is strongly opposed by, the Democrats, and by everyone else in the center, left and libertarian spectrum.  To say that Citizens United is an example of both sides being corrupt, or as you are doing here, to suggest that it is an example of there being no difference between the two sides, is downright Orwellian.

        2. “maximalist anti-partisan approach ”

          The Maximals are extreme anti-partisan? That’s it, I’ve voting Predacon in November.

      2. Partisanship is just a way to win elections and negotiate compromise to the point of majority.  What is allowing bipartisan dystopian policy-making  is the complete lack of accountability caused by elections being determined by mountains of money and completely corporatist national media.

  2. Sadly, these posters play right into the “both sides do it equally” narrative which is so important to the talking heads on national TV.  But it’s false.

    For the last few years, one party was fighting for stimulus that might have saved this guy’s (hypothetical) job, while one party was playing chicken with the netional credit rating.  One party was fighting for his healthcare, while the other was passing dozens of anti-healthcare bills and not one jobs bill.  One party proposed regulations that would protect his pension; one party blocked those regulations.

    Elections have consequences.

    1. Yeah, ditto. I’m really getting tired of these false equivalencies. It puts me in mind of a teacher telling a bully and his victim, “I don’t care which one of you started it!” and giving them both detention. Not to mention the fact that the GOP and DNC suddenly making nice wouldn’t do a damn thing to change the fact they’re both dominated by corporate interests. Yes, the polarization is getting to me too, but I think this poster’s message is naive.

    2. Exactly right.  The sad fact is that the Republicans have realized that a completely gridlocked government fulfills most of their political goals.  If your goal is to prove that government is useless, a pretty effective approach is to lock down government so it can’t do anything.  It supports your argument that government is useless, encouraging more voters to come to your side and give you more power the next time.

      Unfortunately, the Democrats haven’t been able to come up with a plausible counter-strategy and it isn’t clear that there is one.  But, I can certainly recognize that a deadlock that keeps government in neutral is preferable to allowing government to shift into reverse!  That’s why I was so disappointed when the Democrats caved on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2010—that was a perfect example of letting the government go into reverse.  I hope they show more mettle this time. 

      1. We’ve got some dynamite counter-strategies, but they’re pretty limited.  One is for the President to do what he can without the help of Congress, which is not enough, but a surprising number of good things.  Taking student loans away from the banks is an example.

        The other is to build out his coattails as much as possible, and work like hell to get Speaker Pelosi back.  Maybe in January we can get a jobs bill and some aid to the states.

        1.  I feel pessimistic about those strategies—it’s hard to fight the separation of powers, and the Republicans have done a great job of mustering a coalition of “red-dog republicans” who don’t seem amenable to persuasion.  I’ve come to the pessimistic conclusion that the best Democrats can hope to do is let the Republicans kill federal government, then use the revenue that frees up to demonstrate that blue states far outperform red.  Blue states are net losers on transferring money to the federal government, so shrinking fed should give us even more resources to pursue big government at the state level.

    3. No way, if democrats really wanted to be making changes that helped the broad base of people in this country, they could do it by being more creative and appealing to the people directly. Both parties are using the other to place false blame on mutually contrived and beneficial “gridlock”. The status quo is working fine for the elite and only swift change (see bail-outs) is made to work for them when they need it.

  3. These posters are a terrible idea.  The point is not that people in Washington, DC are “playing party politics” but that free market ideologies have so blinded the vast majority of policy makers that it is impossible to create policies that create real shared wellbeing.  More to the point, politicians in DC respond to their constituents, not advertisements in the metro (which they don’t ride anyway).

    1. And any kind of fascism can be passed off as ‘free markets.’

      Private prisons? Free markets.

      Polluters’ immunity? Free markets.

      Censorship? ‘Free market’ defense of ‘intellectual property.’

      In the 1850s, the slavers insisted the Fugitive Slave Act and the massacres in Kansas were ‘free market’ defenses of ‘property.’

  4. Those with power don’t ride the Metro and won’t see these ads. Plus the only government near Gallery Place/ China Town is the Metrorail headquarters and some DC government buildings. They need to put this ad up in Capitol South.

    1. To be honest, glatt1, I don’t think if I went door-to-door with these posters on Capitol Hill it would make much difference. I want people to talk and I’d like the issues to rise up to the point where politicians (whether they believe in this or simply believe they better be sensitive to this) will take notice. It’s not how much power we, citizens, have. It’s how we leverage that power. And this is me making an attempt to leverage it.

    2. A lot of workers pass through Gallery Place/Chinatown since it is the only downtown connection between the Red and the Yellow/Green lines. I am a contractor at one of the main Department buildings off the National Mall, and it’s part of my daily commute.

  5. Dare I comment on my posters? ;-)

    Pliny_the_Elder, I don’t see how this legitimizes the notion that there is gridlock on policies that serve the rich. The poster shows a drowning man who has lost his job and other important parts of his security because politicians were more concerned about their own jobs and obstruction for political gain. Nothing in this points to entitlements to the rich.

    Boundegar, I would disagree with you to a degree. No party is mentioned here and while it is quite true the Republicans are the major obstructionists this time, the Dems have played party politics in the past as well. This poster is more about the notion of  “politics as usual” at a time when citizens’ lives are at stake. And it goes beyond the present. Also, it has a “if the shoe fits wear it” quality. Most know who’s at fault this election cycle.

    kbmcg, sorry you think these posters are a terrible idea. Playing party politics isn’t the only subject I’ve touched on with the Chamomile Tea Party posters. Take a look at the other posters  Take this one, for instance that deals with predatory capitalism.

    1. “while it is quite true the Republicans are the major obstructionists this time, the Dems have played party politics in the past as well.”

      What the hell does this even mean? Your poster assumes that we all agree that the goal of politics should be to make sure that the person in the poster has a job, a home, a retirement, etc etc.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case–a major goal of the modern GOP is to say that he’s on his own when it comes to those things, that he should have saved for his retirement and not lost his job.  You can’t simply assume that everyone agrees with you on what the goals of our policies should be–determining those goals is one of the key political struggles.  

      1. Dan, it means that “politics as usual” puts the politics above governance. And both parties are guilty. And, I don’t assume that everyone agrees with everything I say or agrees with me. I know the real world. This poster is just one of over 40 I’ve done on various issues related to the mess our country is in.

        I believe in a balance between capitalism and government oversight. Just where that sweet spot is is up for discussion. But it’s how our country has been run for years. And, it’s falling apart because legislators as well as citizens have become polarized to a point that there is no midpoint or even a desire to find out where that, dare I say, compromise might be. Compromise isn’t even on the table. And people are suffering because of this. That’s what this poster is about.

        1. Once again, “compromise isn’t even on the table.”  Like when a Democratic president enacts a Republican healthcare law, and the Republicans go all-in to destroy it.  Then we get to say, “Both sides do it equally.”

          Balance between capitalism and government oversight is called Neoliberalism.  It worked pretty good under Clinton, even though it set the stage for some bad behavior on Wall Street.  It drives us Liberals crazy, but we accept it as a compromise.  Then the Republicans go on TV and tell everybody it’s the same thing as Soviet Russia.  And Nazi Germany.  And palling around with terrorists.  And sent here from Kenya to destroy us all.

          1. I agree, Boundegar. The Democrats have been *relatively* more willing to compromise than the Republicans. When Mitch McConnell says that the number one goal of the GOP is to defeat Obama, that is a travesty. Any elected official’s number one goal is to serve his or her constituents (see another poster below). And the spin that the GOP is throwing out is often ridiculous. However, equally ridiculous to me is that there are people who believe the Republicans’ spin. (You know the new adage: if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it.)

            The campaigning going on now shows the propensity to offer complex problems in overly simplistic, black and white, ways. When in reality there are many shades of gray. It does our whole society an injustice when we promote this either/or thinking.

            I was standing in front of the subway ad the other day when a man came up and smiled. I asked him what he thought. He told me he was a mediator by profession and that things are NEVER black and white. “There are always shades of gray,” he said.

        2. The whole “both sides are equally bad” argument is harmful, because it says that the Democratic politician who inserts a bill rider to get extra money for their district is just as bad as the Republican politician who inserts a rider that makes getting an abortion a capital offence.  It says that carbon credits are just as bad as DOMA.  When you have one party fighting for the status quo and another party that thinks the social policies of the 17th century should be brought back, you can’t honestly sit there and suggest that they’re equal or that both sides are just playing “politics as usual.”

          Yeah, getting the people in our government to stop playing politics would be nice, but can we at least wait until one of the major parties in the country isn’t deliberately trying to set us back a couple hundred years?

        3. You desperately need a remedial course in recent history if you want to toss out phrases like “both parties are guilty” without at least some qualification or emphasis on specific policies you take issue with.  Where do I start…maybe the filibuster? The sick games being played with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government? Attempts to increase income inequality? This is an extremely sloppy and lazy equivalency you are drawing here.

          1.  Using “both sides are equally guilty” is one of those easy statements to make, when, in reality, there are many nuances to everyone’s guilt in this mess. I’m trying to teach my children to question just what is going on when people make these generalizations.

            BTW, regarding the filibuster…

      2. “Your poster assumes that we all agree that the goal of politics should be to make sure that the person in the poster has a job, a home, a retirement, etc etc.” That’s YOU pushing his message over to one side just enough so you can turn it into the “You want to be given everything” GOP nonsense. He never said anything about being given anything other than honest representation by politicians. They were being paid to get shit done and they sat on their hands like pouting children. Working together (they know damn well when they get elected that they will be working with opposites when the get to Washington) is their job. They don’t need political struggle to determine that fact. “he should have saved for his retirement and not lost his job.” yes, because when your company cuts 10% and you are the 10th person in the room, that’s your own fault. Right.

        1. I’m actually diametrically opposed to the GOP message–I’m a social democrat who believes in a strong welfare state. But I’m also smart enough to know that unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me. 

          1. That’s great, but your reply was still putting words in his mouth to further your argument. Neither of those posters say what you were trying to cast them as saying. The posters DO assume that it is the goal of politics to form a representative government. It makes no assumptions about giving out jobs or houses or retirements. 

          2. If it’s not government’s job to ensure that drowning guy has a house and a job, then how would forming a representative government help him get a job? The implication seems pretty clear to me.

    2. I saw this one on my way into work this morning and thought it was just another “blame the institutions” line that has been part and parcel of the conservative base for decades now. It’s just not helpful and conservatives will just snicker and blame the dems for being obstructionists without taking a look at their own side of the street. While progressives have the same issues, it’s on a much smaller scale than on the conservative side. That’s where the false equivalency bit comes into play.

      As for “predatory capitalism”, conservatives will just see that and call you “a bunch of socialists who hate the american way of life and freedom” and “redistributionist claptrap” and possibly “traitor” (depending on if they took Newt’s CPAC course on the late 80’s and early 90’s).

        1. My job. My community. My friends. Change the narrative within my own sphere of influence and allow it to grow, but it does involve putting myself in others shoes for a moment, to direct the narrative to where their headspace is.

        2. I would say read up  on some radical political thinkers, both historic and contemporary.  People like Emma Goldman and Noam Chomsky, for example.  “A People’s History of the United States” is well regarded, too.

          Having a good historical perspective is critical to addressing politics, especially elections, because they’re always such immediate affairs.  Modern politics has this tendency to present itself as all-encompassing, to the point that even pointing out that “both parties are wrong” seems like downright outside-the-box thinking.  But that sentiment has been a mainstay of centrists forever.  It’s not a call to arms, it’s a world-weary platitude.

          Recognizing the deeper problems with power and money in our society can help you to build better messages which really get at the heart of the matter: our government is fundamentally compromised by wealth and corruption.  We cannot look to politicians to help us.  We must help ourselves.

          1. Noam Chomsky would agree with Outtacontext and disagree with pretty much everyone else in this thread.  Chomsky would never buy into the “it’s all the fault of those icky, mean, nasty Republicans.”  Chomsky would point out that Obama’s major source of funding were Wall Street investment banks, that his policies have been right of center — in many cases, right of George W. 

            It’s not a call to arms, it’s a world-weary platitude.

            Chomsky would stridently disagree with this.  He’d disagree that it’s a centrist position.  You’re not even making an argument, by the way, you’re simply asserting that anyone who doesn’t buy into one party or the other is some kind of cooler-than-thou cynic. 

            I was feeling pretty optimistic until I read this thread and found out all the Happy Mutants are good Democrats.  We are doomed.

    3. “This poster is more about the notion of  “politics as usual” at a time when citizens’ lives are at stake”
      What are “politics as usual”? What’s happening is this:

      GOP: “Give us what we want or we’ll shoot the dog, and we’ll insult you on every media outlet in existence.”
      Democrats: “OK, here you go, please don’t shoot the dog.”

      “Dems have played party politics in the past as well” WTF do you even mean by that? Politics is politics and there is a reason they’re called politicians. That’s essentially irrelevant to what’s going on with the economy right now.

      I’m not happy with the Democrats — Obama is a liar and I’m done with him. But the false equivalence these posters portray is a huge part of the problem. The idea that both parties are responsible to the same degree, as these posters portray, is staggeringly ignorant.

      1. Well, if the Democrats would just abjectly surrender like they did in 2001, nobody could accuse them of “playing party politics.”  Everybody wins!  (If by everybody one means the Koch brothers.)

  6. The poster assumes that people in positions of power actually care that people have lost their jobs but have just made the mistake of fighting amongst themselves. As if they’re living in a bubble and don’t know what’s going on in the country. They know full well and they don’t care.

    1.  Melinda9, I don’t understand how can you say that? Should people in power care? Yes, I have no doubt (I also know that there are others who vehemently disagree). But the poster doesn’t assume politicians do. In fact, it assumes they don’t. 

      1. I suspect melinda9 was objecting to how the message is presented – it appears to be speaking to politicians (the implied “you”).  But as we all seem to agree, they don’t care.  If they don’t care, why are you trying to address them?  Even if it’s criticism, doesn’t this approach kind of imply that the leadership can be somehow brought in line with enough scolding?

        If I had enough $ to buy metro ads, I would want to speak directly to the people who actually have the power (i.e. all civilians), rather than encouraging the myth that our leaders can be swayed.

  7. Partisanship  in its current extreme version is driven by our campaign finance system.  THe best way to win is to have the upper hand in a debate even if you do so by lying.  You look like you will win, you get more money, you win.

    Partisanship is necessary part of building coalitions, majorities and actually getting things done.

    In other words to pass anything you have to build an alliance with folks that are different from you and to some extent don’t believe the things you don’t.  Our gotcha media is such that one cannot campaign for or with anyone that has even a single different position or else you are a hypocrite or a liar.

  8. 0uttacontext, politics are just how we as a people decide how to live our lives and what is important in our lives.
    The main problem is that we have many people who are supposed to represent us who are people of power and can make more money supporting others who are in power too and not care about how the other 99% lives their lives. Add in the fact that most members of the Republican party are Sociopaths and a decent handful of Dems are corporatist enablers and we are in the situation today where our societies morals are tilted on its head. Not because of some false concept of Bipartnership. 

    When you have a group of people who think the job that they are trying to get or working in shouldn’t exist then you will always have a problem. Would you go to a dentist who didn’t believe in dental hygiene? Would you go to a doctor who didn’t think check ups or exams were necessary? No, so why would you vote for someone who doesn’t believe in government? 

    The reason why your posters are naive is that you believe that two groups should always come to a middle ground, no matter what, in important matters. Once again when you have a group that just cares about itself and does not care about the collateral damage, lives lost, etc that they will cause, you cant make a compromise. 

    However the concept and the artwork in the posters are great :)

    1. If we can’t find some way to move forward (via compromise or negotiations or mediation, et. al.) then our country is doomed. Naive? Hardly. I am actually pretty realistic. Do I think I will change the world with these posters? No way. But they are a way to get people talking and that’s better than not talking. And, as an important aside, as an artist and designer, being creative is one of the most empowering things I can do. Despite my pessimism (I was voted most pessimistic in my high school graduation class), I have found a way of talking about the issues.

      In addition, I am also trying to understand the mindset of conservatives. I don’t mind talking or debating intelligent conservatives but I also need to understand where they’re coming from (which is so different that where I stand). I have found the work of Jonathan Haidt to be valuable. Take a look at his TED talk on the moral underpinnings of conservatives and liberals: (also his new book: “The Righteous Mind”

      I owe it to the process to found out how I can approach people whose thinking is so alien to me. And I owe to myself to be clear about my values.

      1. All very admirable. Speaking only for myself, I just think you’re off base in thinking that the Republican party is open to any sort of compromise.

        I really think we’re dealing with a mindset that is very much authoritarian. Where compromise is only for the weak – so they will only give in if otherwise they’re going to lose. **And maybe not even then**. 

        Politicians who need Republican votes are  thus put in the position of doing what’s best for the long-term of the country, OR keeping their jobs. Because the Republican party is actively purging people who’ve done what conservatives have liked otherwise for decades, for the crime of actually working with this President. Ask Charlie Crist or Dick Lugar.

        That’s the real landscape. So, people are disagreeing with your otherwise quite good poster – because it’s not addressing that difficult reality. Now, that IS a difficult reality that we are *ALL* dealing with, and haven’t quite found the best way yet. What do you do when astroturfed groups keep feeding the frenzy of emotional thinkers, with their own entire cable network dedicated to riling up people against their own interests? 

        So that end, please keep trying to find a way, as we all will.

        1.  Thanks mindfu, I will keep trying.

          That being said, I don’t think the Republican party as it is today is open to compromise. But I do think there are elements within the GOP who, along with many of us, think the party is writing its own death cert. And, rather than fall into the trap of thinking in monolithic terms, I’d be interested to see how we or those moderates can help the pendulum start swinging the other way. Quite honestly, that is what politics is about (whether on Capitol Hill or in our offices). I’m not a skilled political strategist but I am extremely process-oriented. As such, I’m trying to look at this situation from about 5000 feet, rather than be stuck in a maze, with a lot of dead ends, trying to blindly find my way out. I’d bet there are people in our government who are working towards that end.

          1. I must disagree on the idea that the GOP is actually open to compromise as it is today. As one of many examples, they’ve completely stalled the Democrats job bill, which would put about a million people to work. We’ll see if things will change after the election, if and when Romney loses hard. 

            But, we all gotta do what we can, and your efforts are appreciated even if I might disagree on some of the particulars.

          2. Their prime strategic objective, soi disante, is to get Obama out. Because their goal is to get in. Not to achieve any goal other than gaining power.

          3. mindfu, I didn’t say that the GOP is open to compromise. In fact, I said just the opposite. I do think there are more level headed people in the GOP but they are in the minority right now.

      2. The problem is that we are not dealing with a case of two different ideological positions trying to find a middle ground. We have one centrist/conservative party, a populace that runs the gamut from very progressive to very regressive politically, and a party that has either been hijacked by (or is being led by) insane, obstructionist bigots who are throwing a temper tantrum because they don’t like who got elected President. Calling the Tea Party “conservative” is basically Orwellian doublespeak. We actually have a long history of compromise in our political system, remember Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Compromise doesn’t always mean moving forward, and in any case, you can’t compromise with people whose goal is to hold government hostage, you can only fire them in November.

      3. I think right-wing authoritarians — hyper-tribalist, in-group/out-group thinkers — are to blame for most of our problems. “Conservatives without conscience”, as John Dean called them, are the ones that ruthlessly parrot hatemongering talking points, reduce complex national conversations to “us vs. them” attacks, engage in vulture capitalism and billion-dollar white-collar crimes, start wars based on lies and insert their version of “God” into every debate.

        People like Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, the Koch Brothers, Michelle Bachmann… you can see it in their unapologetic zealotry and sophistry. When Michelle Bachmann is confronted with her own lies and idiocy, and she effortlessly pivots to the next talking point, that’s more than being a talented politician or rhetorician. That’s called being a certain kind of sociopath that really doesn’t have the same instinctive empathy that cause most people to helplessly care about their fellow human beings.

        Those are the people causing gridlock and being intractable. They cause trouble outsized to their numbers, but they ruin every party and crap in every punchbowl they can. And the fact is, right now, they are heavily concentrated in the Republican and conservative worlds. The Republican Party base *are* people who respond to hatemongering.

        ______: “The ________ hate ______ and are secretly trying to destroy it from within! We have to stop them before it’s too late!”

        Is this:

        a. Nazi broadcasters / Jews / Germany
        b. Hutu broadcasters / Tutsi / Rwanda
        c. Right-wing broadcasters / liberals / America
        d. All of the above

        The answer, unfortunately, is “d”…

        1. John, I’m not disagreeing with your assessment. But I’d like to look at this from a broader point of view. Certainly right-wing authoritarians are a huge problem. But there are also tangential issues that need to be dealt with, tangents because these extremists often give license to others to take extreme views, say on gun control and the notion of patriotism. One of the most important issues we are grappling with is polarization and the anger, entitlements, and spin that has come with it.

          These posters are just my way of addressing these issues. It’s a process and as I said to mindfu, I will keep trying.

  9. For me, it is impossible to read this poster as “a calming force in American political discourse.”  I see it as as most of the critics here have, as inflammatory. It doesn’t meet its own stated goal, then.

    “I lost my job! And my home and my healthcare and my retirement and my self esteem — while you spread misinformation about who was responsible.”

    That would be inflammatory too — but more truthful, I think.

  10. Even though the two parties are not equally responsible for the deadlock these posters do point out that the situation exists and that is important.  The people of this country come first not corporations.  Lobbyists do nothing but bribe and corrupt politics.   We need reform.  Speaking out is important and these posters are doing that.  Nitpicking will get us nowhere except running around in circles.

  11. I appreciate the sentiment. Unfortunately, as others have said, the main problem right now isn’t really both parties but one.  And we all know who  that party is: the Republican party. 

    It is very much like two people fighting over the steering wheel in a bus. The Democrat is trying to keep it on the road to a town that will at least be marginally better for all the passengers, with an eventual destination that should actually be  great. The Republican doesn’t want the Democrat to get any credit for getting any place good. So he’s either fighting for the wheel or standing on  the brakes. That’s “partisan gridlock” – but one side is definitely wrong.

    I personally would prefer to see this exact same, visually strong poster, but instead saying “while YOU put the GOP’s interest above the poor and middle class.” That may be partisan, but more importantly it would actually be ***accurate***. If and when the Democrats become the same sort of spoiled children the GOP are now, THEN by all means go back to “a pox on both their houses”.

    Sometimes truth and reality IS more on one side than the other, you know?

    1. If and when the Democrats become the same sort of spoiled children the GOP are now, THEN by all means go back to “a pox on both their houses”.

      mindfu, but the Dems HAVE been spoiled children (some of them, just as some of the Republicans have acted that way). Concerned about their jobs over important legislation; taking huge sums of money from lobbyists and corporate interests. Look, the Democrat Party isn’t even unified (look at the Blue Dog Dems, for instance). So using party names to describe certain people isn’t quite right.

      1. Sure, you  can find many examples of the Democrats doing things wrong. No question. There are no angels here in politics.

        The problem is:

        1) taking one group of people that’s doing wrong things say 10% of the time, or %20 or even %50, and equating that with another group that’s doing the wrong thing %90 of the time.

        2) equating both parties goals. The Democrats are pushing for better healthcare, the Republicans simply are not. The Democrats are advocating for awareness and dealing with global warming; the Republicans won’t even acknowledge the overwhelming nonpartisan evidence that it exists, let alone that it should be dealt with. The Democrats want to at least maintain women’s right to abortion; the Republicans are pushing to get rid of it or restrict it in any way they can. The Democrats want gay people to be able to marry, the Republicans are resisting this also. The Democrats are trying to improve our economy – the Republicans are willing to **AND HAVE** damaged our nation’s credit rating rather than even allow the possibility of taxes on the rich resuming Clinton-era levels.

        Do you see what I’m saying?

        This is what’s wrong with saying both parties are the problem. Both parties are imperfect – but the largest problems are on one side of the aisle. This poster claims that both sides are equally to blame, which is what makes this poster wrong.It is otherwise quite striking, and you have a lot to be proud of in the concept, design and execution. This is all just a factual disagreement with the implication of the text.

  12. One party supports campaign finance reform, the other opposes it.  To claim that you are fighting for campaign finance reform by saying the two parties are not different is a tragic lie.

        1. Right, Dave. If you wanted to think I based my whole project on making contact with Senators, feel free. First, I was mistaken, it wasn’t Packwood, it was William Proxmire  from Wisconsin.

          Let me reveal my strategy (and, as always, I welcome anyone’s opinion). Since Xeni posted this this morning over 43,000 people have viewed the posters. Thank you, BoingBoing. Adweek just wrote a piece on them (called me a “radical centrist” –I’ll have to deal with that after I get done writing you). The point of any “media campaign” these days is to get people’s attention. And that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s hard when you’re a nobody, like myself. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m a publicity hound. I’m not. I’m more interested in generating dialogue about these important issues. That’s why I’ve hung around here today. I’ll talk about the issues these posters bring up to any intelligent soul. I’m not interesting in an argument. I’m interested in something fruitful. Basically, I want the candidates to start telling the truth. I feel so strongly for the first time ever I signed an online petition to have fact-checkers at the debates (ordinarily, I don’t think online petitions hold much water). The American people deserve that. Not this drivel we’re being fed.

  13. I think we’re talking about two different levels of this situation. First, we are talking about the situation today. Yes, the Republicans are certainly responsible for most of this. They are obstructionists. The second level is the system. And the system is corrupt. But there is no easy or forthcoming fix because the people who have the power to change the system are the problem. Some of these posters deal with the first situation and some with the second. 

    1. Your posters are cool as hell.  So is having you show up here to comment.  It would be awesome if more of the people we read about on BoingBoing would actually drop by and chat with us!

      1.  Thanks Boundegar. Part of the reason I started these posters was to increase the dialogue. And I like to be part of it. And, btw, I learn from everyone’s comments. It often informs my work.

  14. Thank you for those posters, Outtacontext. I think they are very important and eye-opening and unifying. It seems that others commenting on here aren’t in the least bit interested in unifying this country and continue with the “us against them” mentality that you are trying to combat with your posters. This is less about our government and more about unifying the people against the corruption of our government. Only then can real change occur. Please keept the posters coming. Love ’em!

  15. I liked a number of them.  But, the one that says “Vote Moderate” scared the bejezus out of me and I wish that people would stop insisting that the midpoint between extreme-right and center-right is center.  Our country has been radicalizing religious conservatives since Regan, and taking over politics; ‘moderate’ just means less religious but still hyper-conservative.  
    The one about democrats needing a backbone-much fairer, much clearer.  

  16. Congratulations on reading all the way down to here, I didn’t think anyone would.  Thank you.  

    When I saw this poster I thought to myself people are going to think one of two things when they see this poster.  Either they’ll think, “Yeah! the [party I don’t belong to]s should sit down and shut up!” or “This is just a sneaky way by the [party I don’t belong to]s to shut me up.  Well it’s not going to work!”  After reading the comments I see many far too people responded as predicted.  

  17. The original poster of the drowning soldier was powerful in its brevity. In bold block letters it read, “SOMEONE TALKED.”  I had one on my wall when I was a teenager.  It scared the hell out of me. 

    I have nothing against remixing, but this is so out of context, so wordy and wonky, it weakens the impact of the artwork. I get what you’re saying, Outtacontext; drowning in debt ain’t no picnic. But it’s a far cry from drowning due to Axis torpedoes.  In my opinion, you do a disservice to both those WWII servicemen who died that way and to those who created such effective propaganda.

    1. Theo Junior, I think it’s a stretch to compare Axis torpedoes to our present situation (other than to say, during WWII we were pretty unified as a country; now we are polarized). I do hear your criticism of the remix. Nothing I can say about that other than I don’t think it’s too wordy and the text to image balance is good. But, that’s my opinion. Thx for your comment.

    2. I think that it’s an appropriate image to criticize a government that has turned on its own people.

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