An embarrassment of riches today, but Jeff Stahler gets to lead off with this calm summation of things.
I also liked Clay Bennett‘s piece, and the pair could have run as a Juxtaposition, except today’s blog is all a Juxtaposition.
I like this piece because it suggests the criminality of turning in a false alarm, which I haven’t seen elsewhere, but I gave Stahler a slightly higher grade because Bennett was forced to add a pair of unrealistic labels to make his point, while Stahler was able to keep things firmly within reality, beyond, of course, the overall metaphor.
This just touched off a memory of sixth grade, when my pal Jimmy and I were coming back from the library to our classroom, and Jimmy jumped up to ping the fire bell on the wall just outside our door with his finger, but hit his elbow on the alarm box on the way down.
He said ouch and was rubbing his elbow as we entered our classroom and about then the alarm went off and we had an unscheduled fire drill.
I suppose if it happened in today’s atmosphere, we’d have both been arrested and charged with a felony but back in those days they simply bawled us out.
The relevance here being that, while 911 operators have the option of filing criminal charges against those who call in fake or frivolous “emergencies,” I’m sure they let most of them pass and I’d be willing to bet that, like the operator in Stahler’s cartoon, they each have a collection of “frequent flyers” whom they gently tolerate.
Meanwhile, over at the New Yorker, Brendan Loper explains how the system works.
There were a couple of cartoons recently — I featured a pair of them — that tied Trump’s remarks about not wanting a dog into the subservience of Congress, but that was a more general criticism of a lack of oversight.
I think that Loper’s tying their lickspittle obedience into a more focused grab at Congress’s Constitutional role carries considerably more weight, though, to be honest, it’s also an indication that those lesser signs should have warned us of this coming danger.
For want of a nail and all that.
Here are two “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass” cartoons and I like them both, but let’s look in greater detail.
Sack echoes Republican concerns, and, yes, Trump’s action clears the way for future presidents to frame their pet projects as “national emergencies” in order to bypass Congressional oversight, and I particularly like Trump’s self-satisfied, vacuous smile as he approaches the deed.
But Sack’s making each of those behind-glass issues identical does not, in my mind, graphically differentiate between real emergencies and self-serving fakery, and I’m pretty sure he’s not saying they are all phony, only that presidents should respect the Constitutional system.
As with Bennett’s labels, I’m nitpicking (I don’t analyze the strikeouts), but I’m inclined to give Benson a higher grade, since he stresses both the notion that Trump’s overreach is a last straw, and posits Uncle Sam as the one answering the crisis, which removes any partisan aspect.
This is genuinely a case where your mileage may vary, because invoking the 25th Amendment, like moving towards impeachment, has to be something agreed upon across party lines, and the result of a genuine emergency rather than a political disagreement.
It’s like a live-fire situation, where pulling the trigger too soon may be a crime but waiting too long may be a disaster.
At what point does his Rose Garden Rambling crossover from a free-wheeling, off-the-cuff speaking style to the point of incoherency where Melania steps up and sadly, gently leads him back to the residential quarters?
Though, as Kevin Siers illustrates, you do have to wonder about the coherency of a “Declaration of Emergency” in which the President comes right out and admits that the only “emergency” is that he ran up against his Constitutional limitations.
Note, too, that Siers depicts Trump falling apart along with the Constitution. It’s a hopeful attitude, but, hey, I thought he’d fallen apart when the pussy-grabbing tape emerged. See Brendan Loper’s cartoon, above.
Pat Bagley reminds us that this nonsense about demanding financing in order to fulfill a campaign promise is a damned lie, that the promise was a wall which would cost Americans nothing.
According to this NBC report, he hasn’t claimed that Mexico was going to pay for it since this past May, but he was elected on that vow, and he has since begun to peddle a combination of simply denying he ever said it, and using nonsensical accounting fantasies to pretend Mexico actually is somehow paying for the wall.
I’m sure it’s how he used to escape paying subcontractors on his construction projects, because, as a sometime barroom musician, I used to hear sob stories from bar owners who lost money selling beer and couldn’t possibly pay the band.
We didn’t buy it then and I’m not buying it now.
Though Gary Clement managed to wring a laff out of the whole transparent charade.
And I might have juxtaposed that cartoon with today’s Wallace the Brave.
After all, Clement is Canadian, and I used to cover drug busts on our Northern Border.
This load of coke was hidden in the panels of a van stopped at the border crossing, and every bust I covered had been discovered at one of the border crossings.
Not once in the 13 years I lived there did we cover a drug smuggler who had snuck in between crossings.
However, there was a case of someone — several someones — who slipped across the border without wearing pants and, once they discovered the McDonald’s at Champlain, eating fried foods.
And, trust me, they would not have been foiled by a wall.
(As covered by the Ottawa Citizen)
However, I have no desire to seem disloyal, so, in keeping with the source of Trump’s greatest support, I urge you …