Thomas Nast was America's first great cartoonist, to whom all subsequent cartoonists owe a great debt. On August 20, 2006, Daily Kos frontpager Georgia10, in a story delightfully entitled Embracing Our Inner Jackass, showed a Nast cartoon which cemented the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party.
It wouldn't take much photoshopping to alter Nast's "Third Term Panic" of 1874 to a "Second Term Panic" of 2006. Swap "Caesarism" with the threat of an imperial presidency. Add some more reality into the pit, like Iraq, Afghanistan, deficits and death. All that's missing from today's political picture is that little jackass...
Well, that sounded like a challenge to me -- though more in terms of speed photoshopping than ideas or images. On DKos, comments get added and stories scroll down fast. I arrived late at the party anyway, and the more comments there are, the less the recently-arrived ones get read -- so my desecration of Nast's carefully-crosshatched work didn't garner the attention I would have liked it to.
Notice how some things have not changed at all since his time.
Incidentally, the head on the giraffe is that of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos. If you look carefully at the original, you'll see that the animal in sheep's clothing is actually a donkey. A wolf seemed more appropriate to my intention, so he underwent a species change.