Remember those commercials featuring a hapless employee forced to work with monkeys?

Were those ads playing on deeply coded racial symbols? Were those spots designed to appeal to frustrated white employees forced to work with incompetent African American colleagues? Or was the "monkey business" of those commercials a symbol for working with a bunch of frivolous and mischievous "clowns"?

Pretty obvious answer--and, for the record, they were hilarious.

Just in case you do not know, the New York Post ran a cartoon last week in which two cops shot down a monkey (playing off an actual incident in the news earlier in the week), and the caption reads: “They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

The most reasonable point to infer? The stimulus bill was so egregiously ridiculous, it could have only been written by a monkey (figuratively speaking).

A less reasonable inference? The Post advocates the assassination of Barack Obama.

I can only surmise that those who sincerely charged that the cartoon depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee were the ones who did not follow the news very carefully. Key word: write.

“They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

Who wrote the stimulus bill? Not the President, unfortunately, or any of his braintrust. The most frustrating and disappointing element of the entire stimulus melodrama was the absence of the President and his economic council of wise men in the drafting of this abominable legislation. As I noted weeks ago, the great ironic travesty of this trillion-dollar bill was that it was farmed out to the lower branches of the Democratic Party's political tree.

If I had to pick one of two options, I would have to choose misogyny over racism--but that accusation rings equally hollow.

However, there are actually two things wrong with this cartoon.

1. It is not hilarious. The gag was not nearly obvious or powerful enough. If this thing had made somebody somewhere laugh (or even smirk), it would have gone down much smoother.

2. No matter how innocent (or plausibly deniable) the cartoon may be, a depiction of a monkey that can be placed any where near this first African American president definitely deserved more deliberation than the editorial board of the NY Post evidently saw fit to grant it.

Really Obvious Observation: this is the last monkey we will see in a political cartoon or any other media for the next eight years.

Having said that, even if the Post should have known better, this firestorm of misplaced indignation does not diminish the sadly obvious fact that we live in a world gone mad.