Why bring this up? Because conservatives don't really make much art, so they have to poach it from the other side. Wayne Newton, fine, and there are a few others. So here's the million dollar question: why are so many artists liberals? It's not just painters, try walking into a graphic design shop and ask how they're voting lately. And look at this article from the Times about trying to find one non-liberal leaning play. There's also a lot of historical prescedent for this switch-a-roo, like beatnik poet Diane DiPrima, who's poem Brass Furnace Going Out got snagged by the pro-life movement (and boy was pro-choice DiPrima steamed about that).
So here's the story at hand: the Chicago guy makes it the image,
posts it to Flickr, and then some unknown guy, an anti-Obama dude, downloads the image, adds the word "socialism", and makes into a poster he sticks up around L.A. But does it all wrong, he can't even curate the piece without blowing it. He forgot that the Joker is awesome, Heath Ledger got the academy award even after he died because did such a great job in the role, spitting out all the great lines:
It's a schemer who put you where you are. You were a schemer. You had plans. Look where it got you. I just did what I do best - I took your plan and turned it on itself... If I tell the press that tomorrow a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will get blown up, nobody panics. But when I say one little old mayor will die, everyone loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I am an agent of chaos.
And you know the thing about chaos, Harvey? It's fair.
Does this sound like socialism to you?
I personally have theories about the psychology of conservativism and liberalism, a need for moral structure vs. an anti-authority mindset, but I'll refrain, because it still doesn't explain why republican activists can't make a poignant little poster of their own.
Update: New article in the Trib about the "artist" (you have to be a little bit of an artist to be messing around with Photoshop)