Glenn and Melissa Cruson in Colleyville, Texas knock themselves out every year putting together an elaborate Halloween display in their front lawn. In election years, they apparently like to toss in a little political humor. The local CBS News affiliate reports that this year???s display has gotten them in a bit of hot water:
Caught in a giant spider web strung between two trees are likenesses of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is wearing a clown suit and Obama has a red nose and large bow tie.
Signs with national debt numbers are posted around the web. Mitt Romney appears on the back of a giant spider. He???s the man the Crusons say they hope can lead the nation out of the political and financial circus they are trying to portray.
???It has nothing to do with the office, the person that???s in the office of the president; nothing to do with the color, anything like that,??? said Melissa Cruson. ???It???s just the whole arena is just out of control.???
But reaction has been more critical in the three days the display has been up.
Some people have commented the president appears to be hanging, but Cruson said he???s just caught in the web.
The family said while no one has contacted them directly, they???ve seen emails and blog posts that perceive the display as disrespectful and that there is a racial element to the display because the president appears to be hanging.
???It???s the web,??? Cruson said. ???It had nothing to do with the tree at all.???
They threw Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe the Plumber into their 2008 Halloween spiderweb without causing much controversy. Mrs. Cruson said the display is staying up: ???I just think it???s important to show it???s our right, to free speech. I don???t want that squashed and I???m afraid it???s being squashed by both sides.???
So far, there doesn???t seem to be an indication that anyone is ???squashing their free speech rights??? ??? criticism of their display, without threats or calls for government action, is free speech in its own right, not censorship. It???s depressing, but unsurprising, to hear mutters about ???racial elements??? in a goofy Halloween display from the people who prides themselves on voting for our post-racial Great Uniter of a President. Also, it???s a pity my front yard is nowhere near large enough to pull off something like this.