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Conservative blogger: Doonesbury not funny or factual

Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury has been hitting conservatives pretty hard this last couple of weeks (and in many cases, deservedly so). At least one conservative blogger is taking issue with one Doonesbury that brings to light the fact that the family values banner waving GOP front-runners have a mired history of adultery and divorce.

Trudeau is here is playing around with facts. Start with the point that Newt Gingrich isn’t actually a declared candidate for president. In some polls, he places third, but not in others. Using Mitt Romney, for example, would ruin the “joke.”

He ends with:

Oh, and The Washington Post is especially cruel to Doonesbury, putting it on the front page of the comics section right above “Opus.” Trudeau isn’t even attempting to be funny most of the time, since it gets in the way of the diatribes, and Opus man Berkeley Breathed is routinely funny, even when he mocks conservatives.

While I think this blogger does make a point about Garry’s selective usage of GOP front-men (though, it doesn’t diminish Garry’s point at all), his closing statement regarding placement and humor is a bit whiny if you ask me.

Hat tip: Mike Rhode’s Comic DC blog.

Community Comments

#1 Rick Stromoski
@ 2:11 pm

The major difference between Liberals and conservatives is that Liberals are more concerned with people’s public lives where conservatives are more concerned with people’s private lives.

#2 Alan Gardner
@ 2:24 pm

I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. Conservatives make little distinction between the two. One’s “public” life is a mere extension of one’s “private” life. What one verbally says is a reflection of one’s private thoughts – you can’t have words without first having thoughts. The real major difference is that Liberals believe you can compartmentalize the two, and conservatives believe that you can’t.

#3 Rick Stromoski
@ 2:52 pm

When you’re talking about an impeachable offense it seems that to conservatives, having an extramarital affair between consenting adults( a private life issue) is a far more serious offense than lying a nation into an illegal and unprovoked war, institutionalized torture, secret prisons, subverting the constitution, illegal spying on United States citizens, warrantless searches , war profiteering, the deliberate outing of covert US agents, massive voter fraud etc etc(all public life issues).

While leading the moral charge against Clinton, Gingrich was in the midst of his own illicit extramrital affair .

The hypocrisy is monumental.

#4 Alan Gardner
@ 3:19 pm

I find it REALLY funny that anyone – on either side of the aisle – is so quick to throw down the hypocrite card. Common, you telling me that hypocrisy is only a conservative trait? We’re talking party politics here. Hypocrisy is rampant on both sides and it’s slowly killing our democracy. Not all conservatives (and I include myself in this group) condone Bush for the laundry list of offenses (real or imagined) you’ve outlined above.

#5 Rick Stromoski
@ 4:25 pm

If you voted for him, you condoned it. If you voted for him a SECOND time , you’re a co-conspirator. If you don’t support impeaching and jailing these war criminals then you do condone their actions by default.

Garry Trudeau deserves the Pulitzer for the work he’s done this past year.

#6 mooncity
@ 7:02 pm

OUCH, Rick!

Look, the truth is, no matter how much we’d like to believe otherwise, it doesn’t matter which side wins an election, because they’re all crooks anyway. BOTH sides use the same deceptive, divisive methods to distract the People from the real issues of the day, and both sides are pretty much bought and paid for by big business and special interests.

The sad truth is that there’s no Mr. Smith going to Washington any time soon.

@ 1:05 am



#8 Jeff Stanson
@ 5:37 am

So now it’s not the “Republicans” but the “Conservatives.” The truth on most issues of practicality is somewhere between the Democrat’s and the Republican’s platforms, but when it comes to issues of morality, the Republicans have failed because they’re not conservative enough. Anyone I’ve ever met that feels their private lives are actually being threatened, in reality have something to hide. Yes, we need a Mr. Smith to go Washington, but we also need a Mr. Trudeau who will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

The major disagreement I have with the blogger is that he finds Opus funny. Yuk…

#9 American
@ 7:24 am

Jeff said: “the Republicans have failed because theyâ??re not conservative enough”.

No, the Republicans have failed because they 1) could care less about our troops, 2) could care less about actually making anything good happen in Iraq, 3) could care less about actually making anything better at home, 4) only want to line their own wealthy pockets through tax cuts.

Wake up.

#10 Alan Gardner
@ 8:53 am

Well, Rick, it’s been fun sparing with you. I think I’ll let you have the final say there with your condemnation of me and my voting record because I think it says much more about you than it does me.

And in an attempt to bring this thread back to a cartooning topic matter – I absolutely agree with you Rick that Garry should have won a Pulitzer this last year. Unfortunately, he didn’t do any animation as that seemed to be the winning ingredient this year.

#11 Rich
@ 11:31 am

You canâ??t have words without first having thoughts? I think you can … case in point … politicians.

Anyway, whether the blogger was whining or not, it’s clear that papers that put Doonesbury on the editorial page are more correct than those that consider it a comic strip.

Rick … if you really feel the words you said above (as opposed to shock-jocking us), I’m slack-jawed amazed.

#12 Rick Stromoski
@ 11:53 am

What’s even more amazing is If after the incompetence and deliberate ignorance leading up to 911, Abu Gharaib, the lies about weapons of mass destruction, the gross incompetence at every level, the subversion of the Constitution, the firing of any administration official or general who disagreed with the administrations execution of this illegal war, the outing of our own covert agents for political retribution, the abuse of our troops, the disasterous unilateral foreign policy that’s isolated us from the rest of the world, the disaterous lack of planning and aftermath of Katrina… that anyone can go to the polls in 2004 and vote to re-elect this administration. To do so means that you validate what they did as correct. I think it’s an accurate asessment that anyone who voted for Bush Cheney are equally to blame for the mess they’ve made of this country because they’re the ones who put him in power when you actually had the chance to get rid of him.

Voting for Bush in 2000 was an act of stupidity. To vote for him in 2004 was deliberately evil.

#13 J.B.Hunt
@ 1:48 pm

You can always tell the crazies by the ignobility of their declarative statements. Rick likes to pronounce things as if they’re commonly-held beliefs among the majority of emotionally well-adjusted Americans. I wish he would provide us with the transcripts he took of Bush’s meeting with Powell and the Joint Chiefs; you know – the one where Bush said, “Ok boys, here’s how we’re going to lie our way into a war and hopefully get 3000 of our young citizens murdered in the process. Shhhh, quiet now – Rick Stromoski’s taking notes!”

All I can tell you is, my 7 year-old daughter found out about oral sex because of our shameless and irresponsible President Bill Clinton (he was impeached for ACTUALLY lying to the country and to Federal investigators, by the way. Under OATH. But I realize those are actual facts and should be ignored.) I had dearly hoped to keep this information from her for several more years (decades), or at least until I could install that spike strip in my driveway for her future suitors. The leader of the free world gladly changed all that for me.

As I’m positive Rick voraciously pulled that handle twice for Mr. Clinton, I wonder if that means he condones the unwelcome crap-bomb of carnal knowledge that was thrust upon my daughter and millions of other children, and their resulting loss of innocence; as well as the belief that lying is A-ok, because hey – the President does it.

While in no way does this compare to troops dying in the field (I know how Rick thinks, so I’m sparing him the sweat-drenched “AH-HA!”), it was still tragic for our country.

I’m sure he’ll hallucinate a fine reality-exempt explanation.

#14 Jeff Stanson
@ 2:09 pm

To American: Like I said, they’re not conservative enough. If they were, you wouldn’t be able to say the things about them you are saying.

#15 Rick Stromoski
@ 2:24 pm

JB you so elequent;y proved my initial point.

#16 Rick Stromoski
@ 2:36 pm

>>>. I wish he would provide us with the transcripts he took of Bushâ??s meeting with Powell and the Joint Chiefs; you know – the one where Bush said, â??Ok boys, hereâ??s how weâ??re going to lie our way into a war and hopefully get 3000 of our young citizens murdered in the process. â?¤â?¤

It’s called the Downing Street memo and it establishes that the Bush administration deliberately falsified, ignored contrary evidence and manipulated data to make it’s case for war. This conclusion was come to by the British Government that the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

#17 American
@ 2:50 pm

Jeff Stanson said: “Like I said, theyâ??re not conservative enough. If they were, you wouldnâ??t be able to say the things about them you are saying.”

First of all, if Dick Cheney isn’t conservative enough for you, you’ve got a serious problem.

And second, you seem to be missing the point: conservatism or lack thereof has nothing to do with their failings. You want more conservative government, fine. But that’s another topic altogether.

Unless you want to argue that conservatism = isolationism or something along those lines, but thus far you’ve failed to make the case that if they were more conservative, they’d have done anything differently. You may have that case to make, you just haven’t done so yet.

As for JB Hunt, your writing is a wonderful window into the vacancy of the Republican mind.

Also, gee, I’m confused. I thought lying under oath was the big deal. Is it that or is it your daughter learning about sex a little early? I don’t see you having much problem with Libby or Gonzales lying under oath.

#18 American
@ 2:53 pm

Rick, regarding the Downing St. memo, don’t use things like “facts” and “evidence”. They’re not match for “faith”.

#19 American
@ 2:53 pm

“no” match…

#20 Jeff Stanson
@ 5:44 pm

To American: Yes, more conservative government is another issue all together. If we had more conservative people leading government, instead of Republicans who pretend to be conservative, then we’d all be better off today. Someone who holds true conservative values wouldn’t be a bedfellow to Big Business, they’d care how individuals are treated, they’d be concerned about the environment, and they’d do more than just say they want a smaller government, they’d have one. Don’t let what you’ve seen of people in office who SAY they are conservative cloud your judgement of what conservatism is. Certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some cartoonists take up this mantle without tying it to the agendae of a political party. There are certain things that should make sense to us all outside of politics, may we some day get outside of that box.

#21 American
@ 6:27 pm


I understand what you’re saying. And particularly a conservative would see to it that America lived within its fiscal boundaries and didn’t buy things it can’t afford. It wouldn’t pass a Medicare bill that prohibits government from using bargaining leverage to get bulk pricing from pharmaceutical companies. And the things you mention. And a biggie, I believe conservatives would be less eager to steal standard of living away from future generations by generating megamountains of debt, global warming, etc.

I wish more conservatives would get up and say the things you’re saying – that Republican isn’t equivalent to conservative anymore (in fact, lately far from) – and exert whatever influence they have left to get this administration to do something, anything, right.

But we live in a very dangerous world when conservative spokesmen Rush Limbaugh and Hannity actually try to encourage people to avoid institutions of higher learning because they’re “hotbeds of Liberalism”. I’d always thought more intelligence was better than less, but if the masses are intelligent, they’re harder to control.

Any conservative would agree, we need to give people the tools they need to take care of themselves and improve their own lives. Unfortunately, what we have in power are not caring conservatives but selfish individuals with an agenda who don’t mind bringing America and the world down as far as they need to to consolidate their power.

#22 Jeff Stanson
@ 8:57 pm

American, now you’re catching on…

Unfortunately, just about all we have to vote for on both sides of the fence are “selfish individuals with an agenda,” so we end up pulling the lever for the Least Objectionable Candidate. Bringing this around to the original topic, give me a cartoonist who’ll pen something as daring as saying that instead of shilling for a party like Trudeau or Tinsley do. In the meantime I’ll look to Prickly City and Edison Lee for my comic strip political humor, not because I agree with one or the other, but because I find them far more imaginative. Doonesbury just seems tired now, and Mallard is plain annoying.

#23 JeffM
@ 12:01 am

Where was the uproar over sending troops into Bosnia? Where was the uproar when Clinton bombed the hell out of Baghdad in 1998?

I can’t recall Trudeau touching on these unwarranted campaigns. You know, if Bush (or any other republican president) sold nuclear secrets to an enemy country for campaign contributions, we wouldn’t hear the end of from the likes of Pelosi, Reed and the other clan of miscreants. Like wise, if any republican president got a lewinsky in the Whitehouse then lied to the country and a federal grand jury, there would be hell to pay.

These hypocrisies from both sides have pushed me to the center. In fact, I think the two parties in charge have destroyed America. I wish more cartoonist would speak from the center, but it takes a unique person to look objectively at both sides.

#24 J.B.Hunt
@ 3:58 am

That was a hoot. The British are now the arbiter of what’s really the ‘truth’ in American government. Man, I learn something new every day. I gotta fix my shortwave so I can start listening to more ‘truth’.

Hey Rick, I hear that Ecuador just released a memo that said teeth are actually tiny white aliens who burrow into your brain at night to store acorns. Uh-oh!

Folks, please don’t make fun of Rick’s new false teeth the next time you see him.

#25 Rick Stromoski
@ 7:06 am

JB’s posts are typical reaction from the 29% of the population that still support this administration. There are some who have no intention of intelligently debating political issues – they merely want to stifle all critcism of the U.S. foreign policy and do so by launching out of right field personal attacks against anyone who doesn’t support their point of view. It’s a bullying tactic. Well learned from years of watching Fox talking heads and the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. They can’t defend the policy … either because they are smart enough to know that they are on shaky ground or can’t articulate a coherent defense … so they launch personal attacks on the critics and feign outrage in the hopes that any real discussion gets derailed. It worked for a number of years but people are finally becoming wise to it and are turning away from it.

Unfortunately, radical noecons need a target to blame and must instill fear in order to advance their idealogy. Without both it can’t sustain itself for very long.

#26 American
@ 7:20 am

Well said, Rick.

#27 steve s
@ 9:06 am

Holy Cow. I can’t believe that someone is actually more upset about a president having oral sex than a president who lies to the American people and Congress and takes us all into a colossal international mess that your children will be cleaning up for years to come. There has never been a better reason to impeach a president than there was 5 years ago in this country.

Please, please don’t EVER vote for an arrogant man again, whether you are Republican or Demorcrat.

#28 JeffM
@ 9:37 am

In my book a lie is a lie. Even worse when told under oath. For a lot of us, it wasn’t just about a blow***. It was about character. If a man does this to his own wife, he sure as hell isn’t going to give a damn about me.

As a Constitutionalist, Bush (and every administration for the past 80 years) has done things that warrant impeachment. The Constitution has become a worthless piece of paper and it’s sickening.

#29 Rick Stromoski
@ 10:22 am

â?¥â?¥In my book a lie is a lie. Even worse when told under oath. For a lot of us, it wasnâ??t just about a blow***. It was about character. If a man does this to his own wife, he sure as hell isnâ??t going to give a damn about me.

While we’re at it let’s posthumously indict Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, George HW Bush and about 50% of the US congress at any given time.

What people do behind closed doors is nobodies business and certianly has nothing to do with running the country. It was a Republican congress that brought this front and center to the American people…all the while half of them were getting it on the side themselves while publicly acting like little old ladies with a case of the vapors.

#30 JeffM
@ 10:37 am

Behind closed doors in The Whitehouse…..not some dirty little motel room where he took the others, but in the Whitehouse. The Whitehouse me and my kids pay for.

Big difference.

#31 steve s
@ 10:53 am

I’m perfectly okay with my commander-in-chief getting a hummer.

#32 JeffM
@ 12:15 pm

Unless it was a republican…right?

#33 steve s
@ 2:08 pm

What? What does that have to do with anything?

#34 DT
@ 2:14 pm

Rick, the ignorance of your comments astounds me. Behind closed doors in Clinton’s case was the door to the Oval Office, while he was supposed to be doing the job you elected him to do. I don’t know if you’ve ever held a government job, but it was an offense that would win a summary dismissal for most civil servants…not to mention a deliberate perjury. Whatever else you may say or think about President Bush, you cannot legitimize it by citing such an overt lie. All you have are supposition and conjecture. Get a life.

#35 Alan Gardner
@ 2:27 pm

All: We’re all completely off topic here (and I’m cognizant that I helped us get there). Before we go through another go-round, I’m going to implore that we get the thread back to comics. There are hundreds of political blogs where you can take your thoughts if you’d like to keep the convo going.


#36 Chris
@ 10:47 am

To get this back to the subject of the comics — I don’t usually laugh at Doonesbury, but I thought that the Sunday in question was actually pretty funny.

Whether Trudeau had to bend the facts or not to get to the punchline, I like the line (on marriage) — “That’s between a man and a woman and another woman, and sometimes one more woman!”

I’m not going to engage in the political battle on this thread. But I would like to reply to Jeff Stanson, and say that I think that “Opus” is very funny and, while not as good as “Bloom County,” it’s way better than “Outland.”

P.S. Speaking of “Bloom County” check out
It looks like GoComics is rerunning “Bloom County,” starting with the very earliest ones!

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