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CSotD: Chen-Chen-Cheney of Fools

There has been a sudden flood of Liz Cheney cartoons from the left side of the aisle, and Jack Ohman (WPWG) explains why, in perhaps a roundabout way.

When cartoonists from the right all start pursuing the same topic, it’s often because an influential conservative website, radio show or TV network has sounded the call.

I don’t know that the left has any such influencers, given their tendency to parse and dissect, for instance, the words of Squad members, rather than falling into lockstep.

Which, parenthetically, is why the Democrats could lose both houses of Congress in the midterms: They don’t present a unified, simple message for voters. Intellectually, it’s a benefit, but politically, it’s a liability.

And, as the Lord High Executioner in Ohman’s cartoon says, it’s an error the GOP has no intention of making, hence the witch hunt to silence their off-message House Conference Chair, who keeps insisting that the Big Lie is, in fact, not true.

A point of view shared on the side of the aisle that believes in math and recounts and facts and other such libtard nonsense.

 

Clay Jones captures the issue. He’s not the only cartoonist to bring up the Kool Aid, but he lays the matter out in a way that doesn’t require readers to interpret potentially confusing metaphors.

He also brings out the “cult of personality” issue, which younger readers may take as a catchphrase from a rock song but that those with a sense of history know was a phrase used by Nikita Khruschev as he worked to pull the Soviet Union away from an irrational, self-destructive loyalty to Joseph Stalin and his horrific legacy.

Though, in order to understand things, casual observers may have to fight through some major media that is either clueless or spineless: Last night, NBC Nightly News reported that Cheney is in trouble with her GOP colleagues because she opposes Trump, which is true, but they barely mentioned the Big Lie, which is the lynchpin of that opposition. (Start at 6:27)

I suppose it didn’t fit into a comfy “On the one hand, but on the other” style of purposely inoffensive coverage, or possibly they’re just that stupid.

And they’re not that stupid.

So here’s our first

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Nick Anderson – Tribune)

(Pat Byrnes – Cagle)

For all their banta — I mean “banter” — about cancel culture and being silenced, it’s plain that the GOP has not only been swallowed up by the Big Lie, as Anderson says, but is applying it as a loyalty oath, as Byrnes contends.

And they are in no mood to discuss whether there is room to talk about “truth” in their cult of personality.

 

Leaving Cheney, and Scott Stantis (Counterpoint), as outliers and renegades in an otherwise unified party.

All of which would be funny if it involved a minority party, as when the Green Party dreamers put Dr. Jill Stein at the head of their ticket and she promptly began falling apart.

But the GOP is poised to regain power and their authoritarian cult of personality is no laughing matter.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Gary Huck)

(Kevin Kallaugher – Counterpoint)

 

(Bill Bramhall)

Three takes on a similar point.

Huck didn’t need the red circle, but his grayscale fascisti contrasting with a full-color Cheney in a red dress is reminiscent of the iconic shot from “Schindler’s List,” suggesting her as both a victim of the party’s benighted loyalty as well as someone who stands out in the crowd.

And his framing it in gray may be a practical issue based on the size of the original, archival photograph, but it adds a tone of foreboding that, whether intentional or pragmatic, is effective.

Meanwhile, Kal and Bramhall hit on essentially the same cartoon, but with some differences, beginning with the fact that, in Kal’s version, Cheney actively challenges the goose-stepping throng, while Bramhall paints her simply as a nonconforming bystander.

But I find a more compelling distinction in that Kal’s marching fascists are obedient and identically bland in their compliance, while Bramhall’s, though similarly identical, seem to me as if they’ve chosen their roles rather than having fallen passively into line.

I’m not offering my interpretation as definitive. This is very much a case where your mileage may vary, and when two masters hit on the same concept, it’s a lot more interesting than your average Yahtzee.

 

Meanwhile, Dave Whamond simply wants to know why the Republicans cast out someone with an annoying fixation on facts while sheltering someone with an apparent fixation on underage prostitutes.

Which brings up an old joke: They’re the party of family values, only it’s the Manson family.

Or, to update things, the Duggars.

Sure, I’m embarrassed to know about Josh.

Aren’t they embarrassed to know about Matt?

 

Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

No, but we can shift away from Liz.

 

Facebook’s governing board delivered something of a slapdown over the ban on Trump, and I suspect Kevin Siers may have been hearing the same NPR discussion I did, because his cartoon is more nuanced than most of the reactions I’ve seen. (Watch his eyes!)

Or Siers may have seen CBS This Morning, where Board co-chair and former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt called Facebook’s decision an “arbitrary penalty.”

In other words, and as Siers depicts it, they didn’t disagree with the outcome, but, rather, with the fact that Facebook was not applying established rules, which I’ve certainly heard other users complain about.

The board is requiring a report on how Facebook handled the January 6 coup attempt overall, with the proviso not simply that they compile it, but that they publish it.

That should make for some interesting reading.

 

Okay, let’s close with a waffer-theen bit of apolitical philosophy

We may all be going to Hell in a handbasket, but Man Overboard points out that you can’t blame it on Death, which is not only morally neutral but ecologically necessary.

To provide the full quote for our state motto, “Live Free or Die. Death is not the worst of evils.”

Or, to cite the graffito that was the basis of this song, “Death is Nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong.”

 

Community Comments

#1 Brad Walker
May/6/2021
@ 10:04 am

Gee, I guess Death never Takes A Holiday.

#2 geekcyclist
May/7/2021
@ 10:38 am

I appreciate being called a “younger reader” given that those who were of prime listening age when “Cult of Personality” hit the charts are now in their very late 40’s and early 50’s. My how time flies…

#3 Mike Peterson
May/7/2021
@ 2:39 pm

Well, you have to take “younger” in context. We’re talking about people who read newspapers, after all. ;-)

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