Comic Strip of the Day: Character Issues

So we’ve reached the point where only purveyors of altie-comics like Tom Tomorrow have the chops to handle the absurdity of this mess.

I wish people would stop talking about whether Kavanaugh and his pal assaulted this particular girl on that particular date in that specific house. It’s not that I don’t believe her, but, as with Anita Hill all those years ago, the question isn’t about specific events but about overall character.

I said with Thomas, and have said with Kavanaugh, that I wouldn’t mind a dubious past if it were acknowledged, and, in the earlier case, Thomas could have satisfied me by saying he’d just been through a divorce, was in a lousy place, did some lousy things and was mortified by them. An apology to Hill, a guarantee that he was recovered and I’d have been okay.

Not that I’d have liked his politics, mind you, but that’s a different topic.

Now I’m hearing people say that Kavanaugh has fought back just as Thomas did, and that is simply not true. Thomas lashed out about a high-tech lynching, and it fit in with his refusal to admit that he’d been a jerk, but he kept things within the norms of spirited debate. He didn’t cry, he didn’t shout and he didn’t insult Senators.

By contrast, Kavanaugh went three-quarters-Belushi, only missing that end part where he rages so hard that he falls off his chair.


And, while he repeatedly claimed to have worked his ass off, as Jen Sorensen notes, he certainly lied it off, and she’s hardly the first to point out his ridiculous, insulting string of falsehoods.

As far as I’m concerned, the only remaining question I’d like an answer to is who cornered him during that break, after which he returned and apologized to Senator Klobuchar, and that’s mostly because I’d like to have heard the rest of conversation, since it clearly didn’t involve a full hose-down of the overheated Kavanaugh.

Why he would decide to back off from that particular bit of his unhinged contempt of Congress but not ease up on the whole astonishing performance is a bit of a mystery.

Still, the bottom line from my point of view is that, first of all, he clearly, absolutely lied to the committee and he also came off as childish and undisciplined, even threatening to seek revenge on Democrats, which is hardly the temperament for a judge, and certainly not for one of the top nine judges in the nation.

I guess I’d also like to know why his nomination hasn’t been withdrawn, but times have changed, I know.

Hard to believe that, only a half century ago, Ed Muskie’s presidential campaign fell apart largely because he teared up over a forged letter from Nixon’s ratf*ckers, and that Thomas Eagleton had to withdraw as a vice-presidential candidate because he’d been treated for depression.


In the dying days of Rome, Pope Leo rode out to meet with Attila and persuaded him not to sack the city, but today the religious leaders are behind Attila, urging him forward.

The Senate will fix this particular piece, or they will not, and then the rest of us will try to staunch the nation’s wounds on Nov 6.

Or we will not.

Oh well, what the hell, as McWatt said.


Meanwhile, a storyline is starting up over at Candorville, with Susan having to put her character to the test, and between office politics and her own professional ambition, it should be fun. (Monday and Tuesday strips, to bring you up to date.)

But Darrin Bell sure is risking having events overtake his strip, both in terms of having some resolution in the real world dull the edge of the satire in his world, but also in terms of the real world potentially becoming more ridiculous than his, given the necessary lead-time strips have, as compared to editorial panels.

One of the things that emerged from the CXC panel he and other editorial cartoonists were on was a sense of exhaustion, that they could barely get one cartoon inked before another event would scream onto the stage demanding commentary.

And, while they each had slightly different paths to getting their material posted on a moment’s notice, it not only could happen but must.

They shared a sense that the editorial cartoonists who stick to a schedule are no longer players in this game.


And now for something completely different

Dogs of C Kennel picks up on the other current on-line obsession, which is that, when we’re not quarreling over Kavanaugh, we’re loudly and publicly and insistently declaring our introversion.

I always thought “Belle of Amherst,” the one-woman show of Emily Dickinson poetry and quotations, should start with the curtain opening, Ms. Dickinson coming down a staircase, seeing the audience, turning and going back up the staircase. Thank you for coming. Close curtain.

Granted, she may have been an extreme case, but there is also a famous trick the Great Randi uses in which he hands out purportedly individual astrological profiles based on moons and rising signs and so forth, then has people read them and raise their hands if they feel they were properly described, which they nearly all do. Then he has them exchange papers to reveal that the profiles are all identical.

We’re all introverts.

Mostly the blabby kind.

Going on social media to discuss your introversion is like having Emily Dickinson tap-dance down that staircase in striped jacket, straw hat and cane doing her best imitation of Michigan J. Frog.

I hate crowds and parties, but I’m not an introvert. I’m just anti-social.


My role model.


And, finally

Harry Bliss speaks for me. I went through Cooperstown on my way home yesterday, stopping off at the Farmers’ Museum for some quick research. The leaves there are farther along than they are here and it’s getting beautiful.

But they’ll change here, too.

Our trees this year are just … a little introverted.

5 thoughts on “Comic Strip of the Day: Character Issues

  1. The other day while at the movies, one of the trailers they ran was for the upcoming Hugh Jackman film “The Front Runner”. In it, Jackman plays Gary Hart, and it covers how his 1988 campaign for president was ended after the press reports about his affair. As I watched this trailer, all I could think was, wow, 30 years ago something like that would end your political career. Now? It’s just a blip and no one cares.

  2. Given such a display of temper at a very public forum, I wonder what Kavanaugh does when one of his kids – or his wife – disobey his wishes. Such a temper doesn’t appear overnight.

  3. The best thing to happen this century is the albeit slow death of liberal newspapers. You’ve less people on your side each and every day.

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