Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead. — Jonathan Swift
Pat Bagley offers the most depressing of today’s cartoons, but one which goes nicely with Dean Swift’s quote.
And Phil Hands follows a similar line with the best of a substantial flock of “Christmas Carol” tie-ins.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Let me be clear: I am not so cynical that I did not get a huge kick out of yesterday’s utterly bizarre, utterly unanticipated tRump Roast.
Like Telnaes, I was particularly pleased to see him hauled up by the you-know-whats by a woman, given his penchant for shortchanging them on every possible level.
Like Luckovich, I marveled at his inability to steer things, and the way he simply blundered straight into what was less a trap than a simple case of someone finally standing up to him.
Nobody enjoys a good dose of schadenfreude dished out on behalf of a deserving bully any more than I do.
So it’s not that he didn’t know he’d just been made to look foolish in front of the cameras.
By a girl.
And yet Bagley and Hand are also correct in that, once he has processed not just the humiliating collapse of his carefully staged puppet show but the impending doom that hovers around his door, he will regroup, rethink and recast it within the self-justified fantasy world of the true narcissist.
Perhaps you have to be old enough to remember the 1970 murders of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald’s wife and daughters, and the bizarre story of the hippie cultists who invaded his house, and how, after nine years, it all crumbled and turned out he’d done it himself.
Or at least old enough — and it’s been 24 years — to have watched the slow-motion pursuit of OJ Simpson in the white Bronco, after which we assumed he’d make a shame-faced confession and head for jail, only to have him steadfastly deny against all logic and evidence that he’d done it.
Old enough to realize that they didn’t simply lie and deny their guilt but that these pathological narcissists firmly, sincerely believed in their innocence.
It’s a commonplace to say that our prisons are full of “innocent” men, but, once you dig into it, you find a lot of layers.
There are the genuinely innocent, most often those who were bullied into pleading guilty to a lesser charge rather than risking a greater one.
I sat on a jury that took virtually no time to exonerate the defendant; his public defender later told me how often kids like that go down out of a combination of intimidation and insufficient representation.
And there are liars, though I’ve met few of those. It’s rude to ask anyone what they were up for, but when the topic arises, some have excuses and explanations, but few deny their guilt.
Then there are the mooncalves who simply don’t get it. I had a burglary suspect explain quite sincerely that he hadn’t stolen the bike; he simply held the door open while his buddy wheeled it out. Sentenced to six months in the county lockup, he asked one of the deputies when the bus would come each day to take him to school.
But even he knew, however imperfectly, that he was involved in the theft of a bicycle.
You could put Jeff MacDonald or OJ Simpson on a lie detector, ask them about the murders and they would pass with flying colors.
I truly wish, when this whole thing is over, that Donald Trump would stand up and say, “I did it. I shouldn’t have. I’m guilty.”
But I would be astonished if it happened.
After all, Nixon knew he was guilty, and he couldn’t say the words. There’s no reason to expect to hear them from a man who sincerely believes he’s innocent.
The result will be a substantial number of deplorables who will also firmly believe that Dear Leader is innocent, that he was hounded from office by “them,” and that there is a new Lost Cause to be avenged.
So I got a laugh out of yesterday’s circus, but it was a nervous laugh.
I do take some comfort from Time Magazine’s stalwart defense of journalism, and I got a laugh out of Jeff Stahler‘s commentary, which ties into Trump’s apparent expectations that they were going to choose him.
Stahler wasn’t the only cartoonist to riff on the topic, but he kept it simple and that’s what was called for.
By contrast, Joe Heller larded this piece with detail, and that was the right choice, too.
There are any number of “Help Wanted” cartoons floating about, but their simplicity simply prompts an agreeing nod.
Most of the others specified, or at least implied, a babysitting position. Heller lays out the whole three-ring circus of the position, and of the administration it serves.
His comprehensive list plus illustrations made me actually laugh.
Cartoonists: Be Careful Not To Rip Off Your Readers
Yesterday, I got some T-shirts in the mail, just in time to go out as holiday gifts.
Well, if they had fit.
It’s the second time I’ve bought Print-To-Order T-shirts with cartoons, and the second time the supplier has decided that “Adult L” should barely fit an eight-year-old.
I’m sure tiny shirts cost the printer more than big ones, but both the cartoonists and their readers are getting ripped off.
I would urge cartoonists, in future, to ask for samples before you commit.
Once is an error. Twice is a business plan.
Look before you ask us to leap.