. . . if the same amount of attention would be given to this cartoon had it been drawn between 2000 and 2008?
According to Al Sharpton, the cartoon is "'troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys'" (MSNBC). Weren't the Japanese depicted as monkeys on WWII propaganda posters?
Anyone who has at least vaguely paid attention to the news recently has heard of the chimpanzee who mauled a woman and had to be shot by police (and if you haven't, there are currently three articles regarding the story on FNC's homepage). Clearly, this almost unbelievable occurrence lends itself to a political cartoon -- especially when comparing monkeys with politicians, as I'm fairly certain most people would agree that politicians do not have the highest reputations (regardless of whether or not the reasons are sound).
So the president's a monkey. I'm pretty sure Bush had worse epithets attached to him. And, if the country has come as far as we allegedly have in terms of racial equality, then why is this cartoon so important? Maybe it's because the cops are white -- one of them should be from the Dominican Republic.