As Election 2004 draws closer, expect our pals on the left to get ever nastier as anti-Bush paranoia undermines any standards of judgment and fairness they might have left (see The Other Charlotte’s The Hitler Analogy today, below).

The latest example (as thoroughly reported by our friend Michelle Malkin): this Condoleezza Rice cartoon by Jeff Danziger for the New York Times Syndicate. The cartoon is so disgusting, so outright racist, that I’m not even going to describe its contents. You, dear readers, must see them for yourselves. Explicitly racist anti-Condi cartoons have been popping up on the left all year, and we at InkWell have been following them with horrified fascination. It never ceases to amaze me that because Condi happens to be an African-American on the “wrong” (that is, the Bush administration’s) side, the same leftists who decry racism in others consider our nation’s national security adviser “fair game” (to quote Mary Beth Cahill) for outrageous overtly racist insults. Danziger’s, the most recent, is the most outrageous insult of all.

As Michelle reports, the New York Times Syndicate still lists Danziger’s cartoon as available for sale, but it has substituted an unrelated photograph of a smiling man in Detroit’s African Town for the usual thumbnail of the photo itself (here’s the photo on the NYT’s web-page, sticking out like a sore thumb, as it were, among the thumbnails, and here it is enlarged on Michelle’s page). Danziger was at first sending snotty reply e-mails (“Think for yourself”) to those who e-mailed him to protest the image, Michelle reports, but he now has also made an image-substitution on his own website. There, when you click to the page where the Condi-cartoon originally appeared, you get a blank hole instead. Fortunately for those of us who want to track the latest leftist indignities, blogger Michael King saved the image of Danziger’s cartoon that you see.

I think the NYT Syndicate is trying to have it both ways: trying to keep the cartoon out of the hands of the right (fooled ya!–thanks, Michael and Michelle) while continuing to sell it to lefties who know the cartoon’s contents and have their own humorous uses for it. Perhaps they plan to blow it up and put it beside this revolting flier featuring George W. Bush as doltish child-runner in the Special Olympics (“Even If You Win, You’re Still Retarded’) that circulated in  Democratic Party circles in Tennesee for two full laugh-filled weeks until the press and public got wind of it thanks to Matt Drudge (thanks again, Michelle). The Democrats disowned the flier only after Special Olympics officials, disability-rights groups, and the parents of mentally disabled children loudly protested the poster’s mockery of the brave and often amazingly athletically talented young folks who participate in the Special Olympics.

But, hey! Blacks, disabled children, lesbian offspring, whatever–they’re all “fair game,” aren’t they, if they can be used to score a few low blows against Bush?