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CSotD: Often in error, never in doubt

I made the mistake of reading Facebook before I got started today, and it made Tom Toles’ cartoon strike home even more than it might otherwise have.

I’ve long since learned that there is no benefit in starting the day by taking other people’s bad trips, and Facebook was awash in them.

Some are fairly sophisticated:

Ivanka Trump tweeted a quote from a letter Jefferson wrote to his daughter, Martha, about the pressure of being in the public eye, which was then answered with a meme about how he was complaining about being criticized for raping Sally Hemings, and the whole thing circulated far beyond Ivanka’s original post.

Problem being that Jefferson’s letter was written a year before the Sally Hemings scandal broke, and, if you read the whole thing, you’ll see it was precisely what Ivanka said it was.

I don’t have a lot of pity or respect for Ivanka, but I have less for whoever created that answer-meme. They’re either a raging incompetent or a blatant liar and I don’t much care which.

Truth is more than sufficient to counter the Trumps.

And then I ran into the stupidity of kids snarking “Okay, boomer” at their parents, which ignores the fact that their parents aren’t boomers; they’re Gen-Xers.

If you’re going to let yourself be defined by Madison Avenue marketers, at least be a hapless commercial tool who can do basic math.

Now where the hell was I?

Oh yeah, Lindsey Graham. Speaking of tools.

So Lindsey announces that he’s not going to review the evidence because he’s already made up his mind.

He’s already made up his mind to keep his nose firmly planted … well, we all know where.

If Lindsey Graham’s gutless imitation of Vidkun Quisling were the whole deal, Toles would simply be telling us what we already know, but he has the President point out how many others are also determined and eager to ignore the mounting evidence.

That greatly ups the scope of his cartoon.

I remember loyalty in the Watergate debacle, but I don’t recall a time when people proudly, defiantly announced their determination to preserve their ignorance.

But here we are, and not for the first time in this go-round: People also said they wouldn’t make up their minds until they saw the Mueller Report.

Then they didn’t read it.

It didn’t help that the media kept describing it as 480 pages long without pointing out that about a third of that was footnotes and another large proportion was redacted.

But even if the press had said that the readable text came down to about 150 pages, people would still have accepted Bill Barr’s bullshit summary rather than at least leafing through it themselves.

Oh well, what the hell.

One of my first letters to the editor was in 1969, when the Green Beret Murder Case was dismissed for reasons of national security, or, as I said in my letter to the South Bend Tribune, “in order to preserve the public’s right not to know.”

I think the public’s right to not to know is in the Constitution.

Maybe not. I don’t think anybody has actually read that, either.

I’m seeing cartoons claiming that the transcripts prove there was no quid pro quo, which they sort of do, but only because they’re bogus, which witness after witness is affirming.

And, for that matter, I’m still seeing cartoons saying that the entire process is being done in secret, which (A) it really wasn’t and (B) to the extent that it was, it isn’t anymore.

Lindsey Graham indeed has a lot of competition in the race to ignore the facts.

 

Meanwhile, let’s not get too smug on the other side.

Jack Ohman points out how absurd it is for Gordon Sondland to pretend he’s going back to clear up some errors in his testimony rather than to save his ass from a charge of lying under oath. And I agree.

But, whatever his motivation, he went back and changed his testimony, driving more nails into the coffin.

After which he was greeted by protesters.

Not pro-Trumpers who hated him for betraying Dear Leader.

Anti-Trumpers who hated him for … um … well, they had already planned the protest, I guess, and you wouldn’t want to miss a chance to chant.

Hey-hey, ho-ho, helping to buttress our side of the argument has got to go!

 

And to celebrate an entirely other outbreak of turncoat idiocy, Adam Zyglis questions the fact that ….

… Dear Leader threatened to cut off federal aid to fight the fires in California, but offered to help the Russians with their wildfires.

Then again, the people in California are socialists, which makes them the same as communists.

Not like our friends in Russia.

Sigh. Mr. Ranger isn’t gonna like this. Neither is Mr. Social Studies Teacher, which brings us to …

 

Speed Bump isn’t really a political cartoon, but somehow today’s just seems to fit right in with the general Idiocracy theme.

And, in any case, it gave me a laugh on a day that began with damn few of those.

 

Community Comments

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#1 Sean Martin
November/7/2019
@ 8:15 am

“And then I ran into the stupidity of kids snarking “Okay, boomer” at their parents, which ignores the fact that their parents aren’t boomers; they’re Gen-Xers.”

Yeah, except they’re not talking about their parents but their grandparents, who really should known better all those many years ago.

Yep, the boomer generation invented plastic, but the GenXers and the Mills took it to a whole new level with single-use water bottles by the untold millions and disposable phones and take out containers and God knows plastic shopping bags… but hey, personal responsibility is for other people, right? :-)

#2 Kip Williams
November/7/2019
@ 8:43 am

Boomers invented plastic? This is a metaphor, right?

#3 Paul Berge
November/7/2019
@ 10:21 am

Mr. McGuire: One word: plastics. There is a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Benjamin Braddock: Okay, Silent Generation.

#4 Mark Stacy
November/7/2019
@ 10:57 am

Graham’s not too far away from the Watergate situation – there’s a Herblock cartoon from July 16, 1974…

(having Herblock Special Report, the book with all his Watergate cartoons, has been essential in getting through this Trump mess. I’d advise seeking it out if you can)

…that shows a figure (“Pro-Nixon congressmen”) with a bag over his head, holding a sign saying, “I don’t see anything”, while standing in front of a mountain of “the evidence”. Caption: “The other cover-up”

Of course, Graham’s being less allegorical, and they did do their duty enough to force a resignation. But Herblock’s cartoon only needs minor adjustments to apply to nowadays.

#5 Mark Stacy
November/7/2019
@ 11:01 am

Maybe “literal” would work better than “allegorical” in my above comment.

#6 Mark Stacy
November/7/2019
@ 11:07 am

More like “more literal”

…I’ll just crawl out and behind the drapes where nobody can see me…

#7 Charlie Ray
November/7/2019
@ 1:00 pm

My 16-year old son just taught me this a few days ago: boomers are old so the label applies to anyone who is old. You know, over 30.

#8 Sean Martin
November/7/2019
@ 3:42 pm

@ Kip — yes. But word on the Millennial street is that Boomers were the ones who inflicted this on everyone.

#9 Mike Peterson
November/7/2019
@ 4:08 pm

I’m glad Ben Braddock was brought into this, because he is an early-edge boomer and questioned the world his parents were handing him. He not only didn’t invent plastic, he wanted nothing to do with that “plastic” — in the Frank Zappa plastic-people metaphorical sense.

You can trace about two-thirds of the books and movies of the era to that same concept and attitude.

Sigh. If only we’d have had avocado toast and macchiatos, we might have gotten it right.

#10 Kip Williams
November/7/2019
@ 7:18 pm

Sean, I see your point. Still, it was parents who bought plastic versions of toys that used to be wood or metal because they were cheaper. My friends and I never said, “Great Slinky! If only it was made of something less satisfying to play with, like stiff plastic!”

(I never heard them say it, anyway.)

I was never a real Boomer. Born in ’56, and they only shoehorned me into the demographic after I was past adolescence. I’m hopping Generation Jones and getting off this merry-go-round.

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