CSotD: The Man Who United America

This could have been a much larger Juxtaposition. After ignoring the ones I didn’t like, I had 15 that I did, which I thought would be excessive.

I managed to cut the list down to six, which I’m running in alphabetical order.


Juxtaposition of the Covfefe

(Pat Bagley)


(Matt Davies)


(Jack Ohman)


(Mike Luckovich)


(Drew Sheneman)


(Tom Toles)




Whoops. That last one wasn’t a political cartoon and was not referencing Howard Schultz. I don’t know how on Earth it got in there.

I really was tempted to run all 15, but I thought it probably exceeded the bounds of fair use, even as sarcasm, plus running that many would make me feel guilty about the others that I hadn’t thought were particularly good.

So, if you’re a cartoonist reading this and your work is not above, you’re definitely one of the nine good ones that I had to cut. Sorry.

This is not the same thing as when everyone repeats an obvious gag, like the Humpty Dumpty cartoons, or when they coincidentally pick up on something like Roger Stone’s tattoo.

If anything, it’s like the polar vortex cartoons that are also popping up and which have nothing really to say except “My god, it’s cold!”

In this case, from rightwing to left fringe, from the most staid establishment types to the millennialist alternatives, there is absolute unanimity:

“My god, what a stupid idea!”

And yet ol’ Howard keeps plowing along, while, as noted here yesterday, the comments in his Twitter feed show the same unanimity as there is among cartoonists. Does he read them? Is he even posting his own Tweets?

Did Bottomliners hit closer to the mark than the other six?


As long as we’re on the topic of over-priced coffee, Alex brings back a relevant memory that may be of value to editorial cartoonists and others whose jobs are currently balanced on a knife’s edge.

I walked into my boss’s office one day and said, “Let’s go down to the <high priced coffee place down the street> and get a cuppa joe,” to which he said, “I’m kind of busy. Let’s just go to the breakroom and have their coffee.”

To which I said, “I know you took the buyout for our department.”

To which he said, “Let’s go down to the <high priced coffee place down the street>.

On the way, he explained how the company had agreed to give him an attractive buyout — a current-level paycheck for every six months of service — as long as they could dangle it in front of our department as an open offer.

They predicated his buyout on his pledge not to tell anyone in our department that he was taking it, and, when he finally did, that he would simply disappear overnight without any goodbyes to his staff.

I’d been working for him for about seven years and our trust level was high, but we were working in a small town, so we didn’t even sit down and discuss it at the coffee place.

We got our over-priced blends and then took a long walk around several blocks while he laid out what he knew about what was going on.

It was too late for me: I knew he’d taken the offer because I’d inquired about it, which meant I had self-identified as someone with seniority and a paycheck that reflected it who might quit if they leaned on me hard enough, at which point they wouldn’t have to even come up with unemployment, much less a buyout.

And, boy, did they lean.

But now I was expecting it, and, in the words of Kid Shelleen, “At first you don’t think you can stand to get hit, then you realize you can take it ’cause the blood don’t matter, and you know you’re gonna live.”

I stuck it out for a couple of months, until I had found a better job at a better place, but, in the meantime, I sure as hell didn’t discuss it with anyone at work. Wise as serpents, meek as doves.

The moral of the story — Alex’s and mine — has nothing to do with coffee but is all about walls. Walls have ears and, as an old printer and newspaper publisher and Founding Father put it, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

The other moral of the story is, if someone asks you to step out for coffee, take them up on the offer.

Unlike George, it won’t likely be your chance to obtain the actual, but, as in my case, it might just be your opportunity to avoid the metaphorical.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: The Man Who United America

  1. FYI, the Kenosha News, circulation 20,000, has just been bought out by Lee Enterprises ( 46 daily pap
    ers).It had been following an all too frequent trajectory of layoffs and shrinking size so perhaps this is better than oblivion, but yet another example of concentrating media in fewer hands

  2. The Kenosha News still runs the work of some local cartoonists, including at least one who does not come to them through syndication. Those of us in the area will be watching this carefully.

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