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CSotD: Bye-Bye, Bernie

Kevin Siers bids an affectionate farewell to the Sanders campaign, with a cartoon that evokes dreaming the impossible dream but also Dr. Johnson’s compliment of the novel:

Was there ever yet anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim’s Progress?

You could find elements of Bernie in each of those books: The mad crusader, the man left to craft his own survival and the dour seeker of ultimate redemption.

However, though I backed Bernie in 2016, I never got very far into “Don Quixote,” mostly because I found its episodic nature repetitive and lacking in continuity — he’d get his teeth knocked out in one misadventure and have them back in his head for the next, like a Loony Tunes villain.

Having lived next door to Vermont throughout nearly his entire public career, I’ve seen Bernie take up one noble cause after another, and he doesn’t share the Don’s demented view of things, but he certainly shares his willingness to charge ahead against all odds, which is to be at least respected if not always admired.

Speaking of long books, I prefer Edmond Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristo, who patiently, quietly put all the pieces together until springing the grand reveal that brought his enemies to their knees.

Still, for those of us who live in Bernie’s media shadow if not his actual home state, he’s like that uncle your parents shake their heads over but whom the kids can’t get enough of, and who always has a story or some odd little thing in his pocket to delight you.

Which leads us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Signe Wilkinson)

(Pat Bagley)

My response is thank God he ran and thank God he didn’t win, because I think he’s a better visionary than he would be an actual executive.

As Wilkinson and Bagley note, his presence in the campaign helped shape the Democrats’ potential platform.

Bagley is more realistic by being less specific: Bernie did indeed force the Democrats back towards their FDR roots, but I don’t know how many of the specifics in his platform they’ll actually pick up.

However, with Bernie, and Elizabeth Warren, in the Senate, and AOC and her crew over in the House, any sort of Blue Wave that gives them legislative muscle would make it less of a matter of what the President proposes than what Congress lays on his desk.

 

Jimmy Margulies offers a bit of a sourball take, and he’s right, I think, that the Trump/Putin camp were hoping for an extremist candidate they could easily attack.

But that’s in the rearview mirror and the donkey needs to swing his head around and look to see how many disappointed dreamers can be brought back into the fold.

My impression in 2016 was that the majority of “Bernie Bros” were bots and trolls and that most of his actual supporters went over to Clinton. There were other, more significant, reasons for Trump’s narrow victory in the handful of states that swung the final tally.

This time it feels different, including having some liberal cartoonists stirring up not just “Why you should support Bernie” but “Why Biden is Satan Incarnate,” and there are plenty of authentic, three-dimensional people on social media carrying forth that message.

Still, while the initial response to Bernie’s withdrawal was “We wuz robbed” with rampant theories of fixes and conspiracies that would do QAnon proud, there has since been a stronger surge of people listing all the Democrats they preferred to Biden but pledging to help get him elected.

Message to the Disappointed:

First of all, it wasn’t fixed. It was fixed in 2016, but they’ve changed the system.

Bernie consistently drew about a quarter of voters, which was a plurality when he was one of a dozen candidates, but didn’t change as the field narrowed. You can’t win a general election when only a quarter of your own party supports you.

Second, you’re right: Biden is an old man who represents old ideas. But he’s a year younger than Bernie and his ideas are only as old as the administration in which he served.

Four years of tepid normalcy seems like a pretty good thing following four years of unbridled fascist chaos plus a major health and economic crisis.

And Biden, at 81, won’t be a candidate in 2024, though AOC will be old enough to run by then.

If she and her cohorts have been advancing revolution in Congress, she’ll be well positioned to sit in the Big Chair.

However, RBG will not still be on the bench in 2024 and if you lose any more Supreme Court justices to Moscow Mitch and his junta, it’s not gonna matter who is running the other two branches.

 

In other news

There have been cartoons about Trump’s refusal to wear a mask and there have been cartoons about his firing of the inspector general, but the former have generally been simple insult humor while the latter have seemed more argumentative than persuasive.

Adam Zyglis combines them into a piece that combines Trump’s arrogant assumption that even basic rules of sensible health protection don’t apply to him with his equally self-centered eagerness to dip into the public barrel.

It’s a well-crafted double message that addresses both issues better than I’ve seen either addressed separately.

 

And Now For Something Completely Different

 

A pair of Bizarro cartoons featuring anteaters.

(March 25)

 

(Today)

I would not want Wayno or Dan Piraro to become fixated on anteaters, because god knows we’ve overdone it with sloths.

On the other hand, the first appearance of those odd-looking creatures last month delighted me and to see them back this morning was particularly relevant because I had just edited a recipe for Irish soda bread that listed caraway seeds as an option.

Which I took out. Their flavor is too intrusive in soda bread.

But that’s not entirely why.

I wouldn’t mistake poppy seeds for ants, but caraway seeds are diffo.

 

 

Now here’s a topical earworm:

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
April/9/2020
@ 4:39 pm

Orson Welles did a rather good one-hour radio version, and even having read the book (and the Classics Illustrated version!), by the end I was thinking it would have to be a two-parter, but once Edmond got rolling, he knocked all the pins down in what felt almost like a single strike.

#2 Hank Gillette
April/9/2020
@ 5:18 pm

My take on Bernie: I like most of his positions, but he tried to get the Democratic nomination twice, but refused to join the Democratic Party.

If that is evidence of his refusal to compromise, there is very little chance that he would have gotten much done as President.

I don’t discount the possibility that I am full of it.

#3 Mike Peterson
April/9/2020
@ 5:28 pm

It’s not easy to find a copy of TCoMC that hasn’t been edited for your reading enjoyment, but a full version is very much worth it, because much of the fun of the book is the cold-blooded buildup. And, as it happens, my Everyman’s Library copy is two volumes, so there ya go — I like those smaller copies.

And, Hank, I’m impressed by the people who continue to vehemently, pugnaciously insist that gaining a quarter of half the electorate is winning.

You can’t be any more full of it than that.

#4 Denny Lien
April/9/2020
@ 5:53 pm

Links to scads of online copies of COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO:

https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/search?author=&amode=words&title=count+of+monte+c&tmode=start&c=x

Preumably most/all of the arlier ones are unabridge / un-“imrproved.”

#5 Mitch Marks
April/9/2020
@ 9:39 pm

The classic SF novel “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester (original UK title “Tiger! Tiger!”) has a revenge storyline kind of based on The Count of Monte Cristo..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_My_Destination

#6 Mike Beede
April/10/2020
@ 8:26 am

Or, a direct link to Project Gutenberg’s CoMC page: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1184 . I am a firm believer that copyright should expire, and sooner rather than later. I was surprised to see it was done in 1844. Seems just like yesterday…

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