11. Identify the overall metaphor. What two things are being compared?
A: The workings of government are being compared with a tennis match.
12. Now identify the parts of the metaphor. For example, the US Constitution is being compared with a tennis net. Identify four other parts of the metaphor.
A: On one side of the net, President Roosevelt (as his New Deal) are teaming up with Congress. Their adversaries are Uncle Sam (who is himself a metaphor for America) and the American people. The Supreme Court is the umpire. Each tennis ball is a New Deal program.
13. Explain the metaphor as it's set up in the top half of the cartoon.
A: The president and congress have teamed up to "serve up" New Deal programs to the American public. Some of those serves have not made it over the net. FDR and Congress complain that the net is too high and that the umpire (the Supreme Court) doesn't know anything. Just like a tennis net sets a standard for what shots are good, the Constitution is the standard by which laws are judged. When the Supreme Court declared several New Deal programs to be unconstitutional, they were in effect saying that those New Deal programs created by FDR and congress did not meet the standard established in the constitution for being legal. Therefore, those programs did not make it to the American public, just like the serves did not. FDR and Congress decide they will "fix it."
14. Explain the metaphor as it's executed in the bottom half of the cartoon.
A: FDR and Congress have "fixed it" by lowering the high standards of the U.S. Constitution. They have done this by passing the law that will reorganize the judiciary. This change is reflected in the bleacher that is now packed with new Supreme Court justices who all approve of what FDR and Congress are doing, and what they are doing is pulling the net down so that their serves (New Deal programs) will make it over the net.
15. Explain the cartoonist's opinion about FDR's court-packing plan.
The cartoonist is critical of the court-packing plan. We can tell that the cartoonist thinks this lowers the high standards set by the Constitution because FDR and Congress are pulling the height of the net down so that their serves (the New Deal programs) will make it to the American public. In a real tennis match, this would obviously be illegal and wrong. Also, America is being bashed by these serves, suggesting that these New Deal programs would be harmful to the country.