See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Critical Thinking

Steve Sack (Star Tribune) offers a rueful chuckle in the wake of the Capitol riots and Twitter’s banning of Donald Trump.

It’s not the first time Dear Leader has failed to appropriately acknowledge tragedy, having cheerfully tossed paper towels to people devastated by a hurricane.

His genuine inability to process other people’s emotions is part of who he is, and the only real shock is that most people who lack empathy have at least learned to fake the polite phrases and gestures.

But, while the scenes of his attempted revolution have inspired a flood of shocked cartoons from the left and the middle, conservative response seems to have been largely limited to accusations that “the media” — something separate from Fox, OANN, Newsmax and talk radio — treated the vandalism that went along with BLM demonstrations as the work of a small number of people on the fringe while not offering the same excuse for the Capitol rioters.

Had to be prejudice. Couldn’t be journalism.

A few have gone further, passing along paranoid rumors that the riots were staged by BLM and antifa in order to discredit the right.

As with Trump — and for that matter, as with OJ and Jeff MacDonald — it’s hard to tell who is deliberately lying and who actually believes this counterfactual claptrap.

Starting with the idea that the election was fraudulent and that Trump really won. OJ promised to find the real killer, Trump is out looking for the real votes.

I’d be more comfortable with deliberate lies.

 

Though, as Pat Byrnes (Cagle) points out, it’s quite a compliment to the organizational capacity of a vast, left-wing conspiracy.

I suppose they got practice by persuading all of NASA to help fake the Moon landing without even one of those thousands of conspirators breaking ranks over the half century since.

Having worked the polls and seen how votes are handled makes me prejudiced, mind you. Knowing WTF you’re talking about can really call a conspiracy into question.

But, then, loyal people don’t ask questions, do they?

 

In any case, if I believed in conspiracies, I’d wonder why so many conservative cartoonists are simultaneously decrying the fact that Dear Leader has been banned from Twitter and Facebook, and how they all seem to have settled on the phrase “Big Tech” at once.

Bob Gorrell (Creators) gets the spotlight because he not only specifies Big Brother and lifts the classic illustration but adds what I’d like to think is an unnecessary caption.

However, I chose this out of several current cartoons about Trump’s First Amendment rights.

I’ve argued this before, but, over at the Bulwark, Sonny Bunch argues it with passion and logic and, having read mine, you’d do better now to read his, headlined “Trump’s Defenders Get Orwell Backwards.”

Quick summary: Trump was kicked off for telling lies, over and over and over again. Not for his opinions but for his pathological aversion to telling the truth and his use of lies to whip up violent sedition.

To which I would simply say again what I pointed out the other day: Justice Holmes specified “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

Operative word: “Falsely.”

You can have the most obnoxious opinions in the world; that’s what the First Amendment protects. But there is no protection for fraud, and, as Holmes went on to say, the challenge in evaluating speech is determining when it threatens to cause actual harm.

The Court’s decision in Schenck was later overturned, but no court has defended fraud on First Amendment grounds, and Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” have no standing in our courts.

And, speaking of dubious justifications, some of the rioters are now defending their sedition on the grounds that they were simply following Trump’s orders.

Didn’t work at Nuremberg, not gonna work here.

In fact, the rioters aren’t the only ones who may be left dangling in the wind, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Luckovich – AMS)

 

(Steve Sack – AMS)

I’ve gotta admit, I laughed at both of these, but neither particularly convinced me that having worked for Dear Leader is going to keep anyone sitting on the beach for terribly long.

This is a country that made heroes of Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, both of whom worked to undermine our system of government, back when we still had a national conscience.

Ask your grandparents.

 

Joel Pett (Trib) notes that corporate America has pulled back its support of politicians who actively encourage violent revolution, though he doesn’t depict it as the result of some patriotic revulsion at their disloyalty.

As Sal Tessio might put it, “Tell America it was only business.”

Also, the figures I’ve seen have been relatively low and generally the result of laying down chips on both red and black. We’d need to overturn Citizens United to see where the big bets were being made.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Kevin Kallaugher – Baltimore Sun )

 

(Ken Catalino – Creators)

Let me go out on a limb and assume that the next couple of days will pass with nothing more than a flood of pardons, and that by Wednesday evening, we’ll have a new administration in place.

Kal is right: We haven’t heard the last of Dear Leader, and I suspect that, if he does issue a bunch of federal pardons, it will only provide state prosecutors with greater motivation to hold him and his cronies responsible.

And leave us not forget that Capone was brought down by accountants, not cops.

Catalino is also correct that the GOP is having a breakout. Rand Paul predicts that a third of Republicans will leave the party if Trump is convicted, and he apparently sees that as a bad thing.

He doesn’t say how many already have left over the past two decades, or whether a sane conservative party would be sustainable.

But the Party of Cray-Cray doesn’t seem sustainable, nor does the White Supremacy Party seem likely to thrive as America’s percentage of melanin rises.

It won’t happen tomorrow, or next month or even next year.

But it’s coming. Keep the faith and keep working.

 

Community Comments

#1 Derald K Porter
January/17/2021
@ 3:51 pm

Steve Sack’s piece is absolutely spot on. The Trump organism, as noted by numerous clinicians, is utterly incapable of recognizing, assessing or acknowledging any human attributes other than his own greed, self-interest and pathological need for both attention and being told he’s greater than anyone.

#2 Kip Williams
January/17/2021
@ 5:17 pm

It was a privilege to vote against Oliver North.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.