I am puzzled by the political cartoon on the opinion page of your Nov. 28 issue. It depicts President Obama inserting the word “stupid” before the word “people” in the “We the People” preamble to the Constitution of the United States. I initially thought that the president must have said something that possibly could be construed along these lines. However, an online search did not identify any such statement or suggestion. Accordingly, I am assuming that there is no basis for the cartoon in anything the president has said himself.

Perhaps the cartoonist is suggesting that the president shares the view of Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor and Affordable Care Act consultant who is reported to have used the word stupid in describing the political acumen of the electorate. However, I do not think that the association of the president with Mr. Gruber or anyone else is justification for a cartoon that attributes to the president an insult that he did not make.

In the absence of any reference to a tie between the president and another party who made such a statement, many readers will assume that the president said our voters are stupid. There’s lots of room for license in cartoons, but I don’t think The Advocate should run one that contains nothing but a false assertion that the president has denigrated the intelligence of the American public.


emeritus professor of law

New Orleans