There are always a lot of turkey-pardoning cartoons at Thanksgiving, but this year they had the Khashoggi murder to work in, which lifted them above the usual, though not necessarily above each other.
What was more interesting was to see how many conservative cartoonists broke ranks to criticize Trump over this murderous buddy-buddy act.
But L’il Donnie manages to also work in the way the Mueller probe seems to be roping in Don Jr., and it avoided any level of comic treatment of the Crown Prince, reducing the crime to what it was, and expressing Don Sr.’s brush-off of its seriousness.
Could have done an entire posting of these cartoons, and it’s encouraging to see that it has crossed some partisan lines that seemed impregnable..
By contrast, the introduction of young, progressive Representatives in the Congress will be partisan, particularly since rightwingers refuse to differentiate between socialism and communism.
But Matt Bors channels his cynical Millennialist viewpoint into a well-reasoned, well-constructed attack on the nonsense and hypocrisy of mainstream commentators.
I see Ocasio-Cortez as more of a gadfly than a solid leader at this stage, but that mostly means that she’s a freshman who won’t shut up, and as long as her fan base doesn’t put too much burden on her shoulders, that’s fine. She’ll move up the ladder and I’d be very surprised if she loses her savor on the way.
Meanwhile, Bors nails the point home that we only tolerate those who don’t play the game, we don’t really listen to or, certainly, accept them. They furnish good sound bites but they aren’t taken seriously.
The real breakthrough will be to have more Ocasio-Cortezes elected to join the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren types, which in turn brings out the Corey Bookers and others who only need to know they’re not alone in order to speak out.
We’ll see. But gadflies are a good start, and Ocasio-Cortez has been slapping down her detractors rather than meekly accepting their critiques.
Juxtaposition of the Week
So after a Trump-appointed judge ruled in favor of the First Amendment rather than the President, the White House put out a set of rules for journalists to follow if they want to be allowed into the press briefings.
As said here before, I thought Acosta was being rude, but no moreso that Sam Donaldson, Helen Thomas or Dan Rather before him, and not only have other presidents had the poise and aplomb to handle it, but they didn’t have — as both Judge and Wuerker note — their own history of childish, egotistical misbehavior.
So here are the new rules, and the sticking point is that the president (or whoever is at the podium) has the choice of accepting a follow-up question or not, which opens the door for an unresponsive answer, either intentional or unintentional, with no chance for the reporter to focus in on the particular information being sought.
And the boast that this president is “the most accessible President in modern history” is an example of the narcissism that makes it so difficult to interview him and that serves as the impetus for these two cartoons.
There is a connection between the fact that Trump has never been in public office and his attitude towards the press: As a business owner, he’s used to a press that shows up, takes the press release, asks a few questions and then writes the story: “ABC Enterprises plans to add three new stores.”
Perhaps if you had a reporter whose only beat was ABC Enterprises, those questions might be more piercing, but, unless there has been a death on the factory floor or a discharge of toxic waste into the public water system, the questions at that press conference are apt to be fairly docile and mostly intended to clarify things in the press release.
It’s as if he had been playing flag football and then signed on with an NFL franchise and can’t understand why people are allowed to knock him down.
And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, pal, as Tom Toles suggests.
Ah well. He’ll figure it out.
Or, as Mike Peters suggests, he already has.