Comic Strip of the Day: Alas, no surprises

Let’s start with the obvious, because sometimes pointing out the obvious is the best you can do. Dave Granlund points out that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is getting different treatment from the Republican majority than Merritt Garland’s nomination received.


Ditto with Matt Wuerkers commentary, which does not break any new ground or display any unexpected insight but states the clear and obvious. You don’t need to come up with some heretofore unknown concept in order to make a useful, valuable statement.

The big difference between Wuerker’s piece and Granlund’s is that Granlund could have drawn his six months ago, while Wuerker’s better reflects the pissy self-righteousness of yesterday’s hearings, which were something of a piling-on.

It might have been more bearable if the Republicans had simply bulldozed over the minority rather than making a pretense of civility.


Ann Telnaes pushed out telling sketches throughout the hearings, including this excellent portrayal of Grassley’s Rules of Disorder, and someone has compiled them into a Twitter Moments thing, which I didn’t know was a thing but will be returning to shortly. Meanwhile, it’s worth a click, because this is something she does very well.



And Matt Davies offers this observation of how the GOP simply avoided the pretense of a thorough vetting, which starts to get us into more fraught territory, because it’s true and it’s upsetting, but then, once again, why on earth would anyone have expected them to play fair? See Matt Wuerker, above.

I used the term “pissy self-righteousness” and it’s something I hate, nor do I think I’m alone in that. It’s bad enough when someone has a clear advantage, but when they had the power all along, it’s particularly galling for them to rub it in.

We had a teacher in junior high who specialized in pissy self-righteousness, and who would not only correct you but took the time to humiliate you as well. One day, the rumor rocketed around the school that he’d pulled his pissy self-righteousness on Bernard, who promptly rose out of his chair and knocked the guy over a couple of desks.

Bernard was from an extended family of farmers and pulp-cutters up on the Ridge and nobody had a bad thing to say against him. He was quiet and pretty much kept to himself, but he was rock-hard from a fairly unforgiving life, and, while he never messed with anybody, nobody certainly ever messed with him, except this fool.

The payoff, for me, came at lunch, when I noticed the teacher sitting alone at the end of the faculty table. At one point, he asked for the salt and someone slid it down to him, but nobody spoke to him, and I suddenly — in eighth grade — realized that they knew he had messed up, that he had crossed a line, that his bullshit attitude had caught up with him.

I doubt he learned anything from it, and I doubt Mitch McConnell would learn anything either, but, damn, I wish I’d been in the classroom that day.



But, in the words of the little neighbor boy, nothing is revealed. Glenn McCoy posted this cartoon on the eve of the 2016 elections and it echoed, from the other side of the aisle, what progressives had been saying: The real question was not who would sit in the Oval Office but who would shape the Supreme Court for a generation.


And McCoy was not the only such voice: Chan Lowe laid out the alternatives in June, and, by the way, so did Bernie Sanders, who, in conceding the nomination, urged his followers to help keep Donald Trump out of the White House while continuing to push for reforms within the progressive movement.

My neighbors simply put a Hillary logo over the center of their Bernie lawn sign, anticipating Lowe’s bumpersticker.

It was a good gesture, and part of why I discount the “Bernie bro” factor. The vast majority of Sanders supporters, I’m quite sure, kept their eyes on the prize.


And, meanwhile, Telnaes foresaw yesterday’s debacle, posting this cartoon in January, a week before Trump was sworn in.

It is right and necessary to denounce the heartless power-play and the cynical pretense of civility under which yesterday’s puppet show was conducted, but anyone who was surprised is too foolish to be allowed to wander around unsupervised.

Yet they do.

I was infuriated by the condescension and faux-dignity of the proceedings, but far more depressed at the paranoid, delusional nonsense that has since flooded social media.

It’s not that I didn’t know there were screwballs in the world, but I preferred to believe that they all dwelt within the basket of the Deplorables, mumbling about birth certificates and phony moon landings and how jet fuel can’t melt girders.

I am honestly gobsmacked by the astonishing lack of insight with which people assume that, on what may well have been the most stressful day of his life, Kavanaugh would be inclined to kick back and chat with a total stranger rather than being — as his deer-in-the-headlights expression indicated — utterly preoccupied and wanting simply to get the hell out and grab lunch with his advisers before the next session.

And that heartless, mindless inability to put yourself in someone else’s place is dwarfed by the ridiculous conspiracy theory they placed on a woman I would bet any amount most of them had never heard of before they agreed she was a white supremacist on a mission.

Look, I am used to the idea that not everyone has been around the barn enough times to know how it all works.

But, jumpin’ jesus on a pogo stick, if you know enough to get your pants on frontwards, you should be intelligent, experienced and just plain sane enough to know better than to swallow this paranoid lunacy.


Never mind.

If nothing else, I’ve been around enough to know that, when you point out that there is no tunnel between the child care center and the pizza parlor, it proves that you’re part of the conspiracy.



One thought on “Comic Strip of the Day: Alas, no surprises

  1. Sadly, your increasingly demented country will learn nothing from this. The midterms will come and go, and nothing will change in either house of Congress, because too many gullible Americans will swallow yet again the horseswaggle that put not only Trump but McCormick and Ryan and the rest of this band of merry thieves in office. It’s the same manipulation that’s pretty well destroyed Obama’s legacy, and no one seems especially concerned about that.

    It would be funny if it werent so incredibly offensive. But that too seems to be the American way of late.

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