CSotD: Juxtapositions of Despair

This will be a day of juxtapositions, so let’s start with a string of non-political thematic coincidences:

(Red and Rover)

(Pooch Cafe)

(Argyle Sweater)


I’m not claiming any great significance for these, but the convergence amused me and, if you agree with me and with Frazz about the dubious attempt to connect “esoteric” and “sophisticated,” you may also agree that they set a mood, perhaps even a tone, for what follows.


They didn’t want to have me, but somehow I was had …

(Tom Toles)

(Mike Luckovich)

Let’s start with the least fraught of today’s Juxtapositions, centering around the fact that President Trump has no official White House dog, a charge he responded to in the free-form rap he delivered at El Paso the other day.

And I particularly like the little marginalia Toles adds, because you have to realize Trump learned love from people who dropped him off at military school when they couldn’t take any more.

Which is only an explanation, not a cry for sympathy, since it falls under the category of knock him down first and pity him after.

Both Luckovich and Toles comment less on the President’s inability to offer empathy or love even to the easiest of receivers of such attention than on the misplaced loyalty of those who put party above nation, which — hey, we’re juxtaposing everything today — calls for a second Samuel Johnson reference:

Through Freedom’s Sons no more Remonstrance rings,
Degrading Nobles and controlling Kings;
Our supple Tribes repress their Patriot Throats, 
And ask no Questions but the Price of Votes;

Actual, non-metaphorical dogs, of course, can’t help but be loyal, though I once lived next door to a fellow who had two “guard dogs” that were merely shepherd mixes he’d beaten and mistreated into ferocity.

One day they had had enough, turned on him and ripped him up real good, at about which point his wife left him.

I don’t know the exact circumstances of this change in fortunes, but I’ve often wondered if perhaps the dogs suddenly found themselves pressed to declare which human truly commanded their loyalty.

After all, you can only turn tail and slink away so often.


Par for the Course

(Nick Anderson)


(Lalo Alcaraz)

Anybody here remember “Nannygate“?

President Clinton had two nominees fail to pass muster because they had employed undocumented workers for child care.

The difference between that and the irregularities that Anderson and Alcaraz point out is that Bill Clinton had not made proper vetting of nannies a key part of his presidential campaign.

He hadn’t, for instance, boasted of using a fail safe system to make sure he wasn’t employing undocumented workers.  And to be sure that someone in his organization hadn’t given them forged documentation.

Oh — also, Clinton was a Democrat and the watchdogs were Republicans.


The Ladies, God Bless’em

(Mike Thompson)


(Mike Smith)

Mike Thompson picks up on the disparity between a tough guy and a bitch, the double standard Klobuchar and other of the women candidates will face in the upcoming elections.

Mike Smith’s cartoon is more about the Kremlin bromance, but it fits in well with the rise of women in national politics because of how the Old Guard is resurrecting the 1920s and 1950s Red Scares.

As such, it’s kind of a substitute for the multiple “unicorn” panels I’ve seen, mocking AOC’s proposal for an alternative to destroying the environment and further exploiting the working class.

Could it work? Does it need tweaking? Who knows? Who cares?

We’re not going to examine the proposal itself, but simply dismiss it as silly, and then do some cartoons about how Joe Stalin himself will rise from the grave and take over if we don’t stomp Socialism into the ground.

Not that this should interfere with Trump’s dalliance, because Putin and Russia have nothing to do with socialism, right? Right!


And then there’s this

(Matt Wuerker)


(Darrin Bell)

To be fair, the fossil fuel people behind those unicorn cartoons have also mocked Al Gore and anyone else who questioned their hold on American industry, so the policy of mocking, rather than debating, the Green New Deal is not entirely sexist.

And you do have to ask how many of the “It snowed, so there’s no global warming” cartoons are sincere stupidity and how many may be cynical dishonesty.

After all, stupid is as stupid does and sometimes what stupid does is make stupid cartoons.

The issue of AIPAC  or — as Bell’s cartoon illustrates — the issue of Israel as a nation vs Israel as a cultural homeland, contain that same element of sincerity vs hypocrisy, but in a much more fraught setting that is harder to unpack.

That is, Anti-Semitism is a real thing, a vicious thing, a serious problem in our society.

There is absolutely no doubt that much of the criticism towards the state of Israel is motivated by Anti-Semitism.

And there is this: Rep. Ilhan Omar should have known that, in criticizing AIPAC, you have to choose your words more carefully than when you criticize the NRA.

Yes, both use donations to influence votes, but, as she learned, you can’t be flippant about it with AIPAC because of the established link that Anti-Semites have established between Jews and money.

And so she was schooled by her own party leadership and she apologized.

But the hardliners have smelled blood, and so we’re seeing attacks every bit as ignorant as the “snow disproves climate change” arguments, only this time, with the added sense of “Love me: I’m fighting bigotry!”

Who are they kidding?

I’m willing to believe that cartoonists who use snow to disprove climate change are genuinely that stupid, but this is different.

Wuerker is right: There may be Anti-Semitism behind some criticism of AIPAC, but don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting that the anti-Soros line you’ve been selling is not similarly sullied.

Or that Trump’s response was not textbook hypocrisy from an established bigot.

Not that Omar needs to see my Sir Walter Raleigh impression.


One thought on “CSotD: Juxtapositions of Despair

  1. I was interested in Mitch McConnell’s statement that he will allow (!) a vote on the Green New Deal so the Dems will be on record. “We’ll see how many of them will vote against cow farts” he said.

    He doesn’t seem to realize that turtles all over the world are threatened by climate change as much as polar bears.

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