I still don’t understand how deadlines work for political cartoonists. There are cartoonists leaping to the fray with each wrinkle in the news and there are those who draw cartoons that sit for weeks.
Sure, some are full-time and some have other duties, but do the cartoonists in that second group really have no ability to jump their deadline when circumstances demand it?
Any journalist can look ahead and see an election or a major scheduled event coming, and I also know that, when the Columbine shootings or the 9/11 attacks happened, newsrooms dropped their previously determined plans and went into overdrive.
Well, as Woody Allen said, showing up is 80% of success.
Here’s a sample of the work of those who showed up for the Cohen hearing, most of them posting last evening, some overnight:
There’s a lot of overlap in the offerings, but I particularly like Mike Luckovich‘s take because, while the issue of Trump’s obvious dishonesty vs. Cohen’s admitted dishonesty has been on the table for awhile, Luckovich brings in the hostile tone the Republicans added to their predictable attacks on his credibility.
Not to mention the way they declined to address the content of his testimony, though it is a well-accepted premise in law that, if the facts are on your side, you attack the testimony, and, if the facts are not on your side, you attack the witness.
As a side note, I’d point out that Michael Cohen is an attorney, which Christine Blasey Ford is not, and that I felt far less pity for him yesterday than I did for her in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Still, the “Have you no decency?” question did hang in the air, and Matt Wuerker picked up Luckovich’s point, while adding a threatening note to the general elephant-in-the-room hypocrisy of the situation.
It’s far from subtle, but, while I assume Matt Gaetz was acting on his own, Cohen spoke directly of the intimidation and threats he has faced, if not from the President himself, from the lunatic fringe inspired by the same “Will noone rid me of this turbulent attorney“ rhetorical style that Cohen said led him to lie in his previous testimony.
And perhaps it’s unfair to assume that there were certain conversations with the Republican members of the Oversight Committee before the hearings, but, then again, it would be fatuous to assume there were not.
Matt Davies addresses it with a giggle, and I suppose it really is one of those things where, if you didn’t see it coming, you deserved to be shocked.
The conflict between liars was discussed days before the hearing, but the blatancy with which the GOP carried it into the room was, if not surprising, at least disheartening.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Bramhall and Fitzsimmons both address the impact on citizens, but Bramhall paints the GOP as more loyal to party than to the nation, while Fitzsimmons focuses on the disillusion to Trump supporters.
I’m not sure this pair isn’t more wishful than accurate.
The value of these hearings was to cement in fact what was known in rumor.
However, we can’t all tune our TVs to hearings in the middle of a Wednesday, and most working people will be relying on the reporting of their chosen news sources.
I’m not going to presume upon coverage I haven’t checked out, but I’d be surprised if those watching MSNBC and reading the Washington Post didn’t get a different view of what happened than those watching Fox and reading Town Hall.
It’s likely that the undecideds who voted for Trump on a whim, or to “shake things up” or because they felt confident in polls showing he couldn’t win, have mostly lost their faith in him already.
By contrast, the Deplorables will continue to believe, and I don’t base that entirely on Fifth Avenue assassination statements, but on remembering that, even after John Dean testified, Nixon loyalists continued to believe it was a hoax and it was only a year later, once the White House tapes were finally released, that things shifted.
Even then, it wasn’t complete. There are still people who believe Nixon and his cronies were railroaded, and there is no possibility that the core of Trump loyalists will behave any differently.
The Fifth Avenue crack was outrageous, but it was not inaccurate.
Which brings us to Joel Pett‘s highlighting of a truly bizarre bit of testimony, in which Cohen explained that Trump also had stern letters sent directing his former schools not to release his transcripts.
We already know, if we want to know, that he lied about graduating from college with honors, because, while transcripts may not be public information, the program from his graduation is public and he was not listed among honorees.
And it is kind of funny that the same people who demanded Obama’s transcripts are mute on this one, particularly since Obama never bragged about his Big Brain.
The weird thing being that Trump might well have made his mediocre grades a point of self-deprecating pride, a sign that he’s not an egghead, that he’s street-smart. George Wallace appealed to the same crowd as Trump, famously sneering at “pointy-head college professors who can’t even park a bicycle straight … ”
(Disclosure: I graduated in the top 85% of my class. It not only doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t surprise me, though having graduated at all kind of does.)
Juxtaposition of Assessments
So what do we come away with?
For conservative Bob Gorrell, there’s a sense that Cohen’s testimony caused severe damage to the President. Gorrell has not been a mindless defender of Trump, but, coming from him, this is still a grim assessment.
By contrast, Telnaes (who live-sketched the hearing), exhibits a wee bit of skepticism over Cummings’ post-hearing optimism.
We shall see.
While we wait, here’s a Herblock flashback, from May 20, 1973, a month before Dean testified and nearly a year before Nixon resigned: