Barry Blitt’s “Low Tide”

In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterms, many pundits predicted that a “red wave” of Republican victories would sweep across the country. There was precedent for this: historically, the President’s party tends to lose seats in midterm contests. Republicans picked up some seats, but this year’s returns showed a much more even match than many had been expecting. With votes still being counted, it seems that the G.O.P. will most likely eke out a narrow majority in the House, and control of the Senate may not be decided for weeks. Whatever you call the over-all result in the country’s close political battles, it didn’t quite amount to a wave.

For the cover of the November 21, 2022, issue, the cartoonist Barry Blitt followed a long tradition and chose an animal to represent reality metaphorically: “The chance to draw an elephant—especially one on a surfboard—is irresistible for a cartoonist, but I can’t help thinking how counterintuitive it is to represent the G.O.P. in its current form with such a dignified, graceful, sensitive-seeming beast.”

Thomas Nast popularized the elephant as a symbol of the Republicans (left). Phil Porter offered a take for the Pittsburgh Post during the 1912 election (right).Courtesy The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

For more on the 2022 midterms, read:

Susan B. Glasser’s analysis of the Democrats’ showing:

There had been no red wave, never mind Donald Trump’s promised “great
red wave.” Was it a red ripple or merely a red drizzle? A blue escape?
Purple rain? Even Fox News decreed the results to be no more than a
pro-Republican “trickle.”

Benjamin Wallace-Wells on Trump’s role in Biden’s midterms:

On the eve of the election, reports were circulating that Trump would
declare his 2024 candidacy imminently; Trump himself teased a “very
big announcement” on November 15th. A sitting Republican senator
toldPolitico’s Jonathan Martin that no more than five of his party’s fifty
senators actually wanted to see Trump run. When Trump gave an
interview to five reporters aboard his plane on Monday night, he
sounded peevishly trapped in the past.

Eliza Griswold’s reporting on John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania:

This past May, Fetterman soared to victory in his primary, winning
every one of Pennsylvania’s sixty-seven counties. But, in the final
days of the primary campaign, he also suffered a severe stroke. His
wife, Gisele—who is forty, and who came to this country in childhood
as an undocumented migrant from Brazil, and eventually stayed on as a
Dreamer—found him in the throes of the episode, and sought medical
attention that saved his life. After Fetterman won, she delivered his
acceptance speech.

See below for more covers by Barry Blitt:

Find Barry Blitt’s covers, cartoons, and more at the Condé Nast Store.

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