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CSotD: Dark Side of the Moonbats

I’ve told this story before, but Ted Rall’s latest cartoon makes it seem more relevant than ever.

A college friend was doing his psych rotation in med school about the time the Church Committee Report came out.

The Report, O Best Beloved, was part of the examination of government we went through following Watergate, and revealed things like COINTELPRO, which confirmed that, yes, they really had been tapping our phones and opening our mail, and that no, Freddy Hampton’s death had not been an accident.

Which we had been saying and at which our parents and our political opponents had scoffed.

 

It was scary stuff, for sure, but most of it was simply confirmation of what we already knew but couldn’t prove. For all the admirable work of journalists in unraveling the Nixon White House, they’d have had a much easier time if the world had been more computerized back then.

But the fact that the feds were following Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King around did not mean that they were tracking me. I have many faults, but grandiosity is not one of them.

However, one of my friend’s patients was under the impression that John Chancellor was not only directly talking to him from the television but climbed out of the box and followed him around the room.

The revelations of the Church Report made it considerably harder to simply deny that John Chancellor was fixated upon this fellow.

Now here we are again, and, if it were just Ted Rall, I would pity the state of his mind and ignore the things he drew.

However, he is not the only person I know who is, in all sincerity, promoting a theory that is only a blip or two behind John Chancellor following them around the room.

It makes me angry and it breaks my heart, and I think that’s how you’re supposed to feel when that happens.

But the fact that Fred Hampton was murdered does not prove that Vince Foster was murdered or that there even is a Deep State, much less that it runs a pedophile factory in the basement of a pizza place.

Still, there’s something happening here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear.

 

Juxtaposition of the obvious

 

(Matt Davies)

 

(Adam Zyglis)

It does not ease anyone’s paranoia to have the President come straight out and deny “Trusted Traveler” air travel status to citizens of the state that has the effrontery to examine his financial records.

J. Edgar Hoover would have simply turned all applicants down without making an announcement of why, but, then, he was operating in a world of law and order, and, while he wanted to control the order, he still felt some compunction to pretend to obey the law.

 

As David Fitzsimmons notes, we’re not playing that game anymore.

You have to bear in mind that the Church Committee was, in fact, “the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.”

With the Senate firmly in his back pocket, Dear Leader doesn’t have to worry about them selecting anything except which cheek to kiss.

Which, by the way, brings another not-so-paranoid theory to mind, which is that if Bloomberg and Steyer really wanted to save the country, they’d pour all that money into Senate races. But let’s stick to the crazy-talk for now.

And crazy is “if my candidate isn’t on the ballot, I won’t vote at all,” otherwise known as “I’ll hand over the rest of the Supreme Court to Trump. That’ll learn’em!”

So where’s the sanity?

Here’s a nice entry to the topic, because Ann Telnaes mocks the President’s words and intentions.

Dear Leader increasingly thinks of himself as a king and whether or not his screws are all tightened down, he’s used the word himself:

Granted, he was quoting someone else, the day Trump quotes Emerson on his own being the day I ease up on him.

But the notion of Donnie Jr. as heir apparent is a joke, at least until they extend voting rights to the same Russian trollbots who are announcing Tulsi Gabbard as Bernie’s VP choice and Hillary as Bloomberg’s.

The line between paranoia and reasonable fear being where you draw the line between trollbots and the real people who pick up on their ideas.

And how you feel about Twitter’s reluctance to intervene.

 

Kevin Siers is more plain-spoken in calling out the blatancy, which raises a question of whether subtlety can work in the current climate.

We know that Trump winces and screams when attacked, but it’s only when Friends and Fox repeat the insults that he seems to know they happened. By contrast, presidents like Nixon and LBJ sought out their critics’ work.

I don’t think Trump ever sees a newspaper. The question is whether the criticism of cartoonists or anyone else is reaching his voters.

The more humorous approach of Bruce Plante might be more effective, and here is where the position of the staff cartoonist matters.

Plante also comments on local issues and events, such that his fanbase doesn’t necessarily follow him because of his politics and thus is more likely to see, and consider his views.

It’s a very large part of what we lose when newspapers no longer have their own commentators on the editorial page.

 

I like Michael de Adder‘s piece because he doesn’t pull any punches in declaring the fact that Trump isn’t just wishing to control all three branches but has managed to pull it off.

No subtlety, no joking and the only paranoia in it brings to mind Scrooge’s frightened question of the Spirit: “Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?”

In this case, the issue being, “Is it too late to turn back?”

 

Steve Sack suggests that it is not, but that, if we don’t make some changes pretty quickly, having John Chancellor follow us around the room will not be the greatest of our problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Mary McNeil
February/17/2020
@ 3:36 pm

How in hell did Trump know ANYTHING about Ralph Waldo Emerson ? Someone ratted RWE out !

#2 Mike Peterson
February/17/2020
@ 4:18 pm

He thinks it’s that little dude in the red striped shirt.

#3 K Scott
February/17/2020
@ 6:22 pm

Thanks for the history I missed. I came of voting age with Regan (and thought the world was going end when he won).

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