I’m giving David Rowe the lead today because he illustrates a certain air of despair I’m feeling, akin to Yossarian’s trip through Nighttown at the end of Catch-22.
Rowe specializes in the grotesque, but this barely feels like an exaggeration and contains an admirable level of detail that invites you to linger and wander down this wretched, wicked street.
Meanwhile, I’ve often criticized editorial cartoonists for sticking to a schedule in the face of compelling news, but there sure were plenty of people stepping up to the plate yesterday.
Fair use dictates that I not share as many cartoons as impressed me, but here are the best of very good day:
Ann Telnaes sums it up.
I’m not sure how “the ball is in your court” emerged as such a common theme, but I like how she has captured the dual response of the two parties — a refusal to hear on one side and dismay on the other over being challenged to take control.
As for Mueller himself, both the elongated form and the humorless expression are apt. I’ve seen criticism of him and I understand it, but if you’ve worked with police investigators — the good ones — you recognize their refusal to commit and certainly their reluctance to over-share.
Matt Wuerker faults him for not going further, and, given how I feel on this issue, and the degree to which I share Wuerker’s feelings about the lies and coverups coming out of the White House, I also wish he had.
But his taciturn presentation didn’t surprise me and thus didn’t really disappoint me. Wuerker derides him as a Boy Scout, but he’s a Marine.
Not a former Marine: Leathernecks insist that there’s no such thing as an “ex-Marine” and Mueller is a damn good example.
Kevin Siers sums up Mueller’s message and the response of both parties.
He’s certainly not the first cartoonist to use the redaction gag to alter meaning, and not even the only one who used it in this case, but he has done the best job by showing how each side sees what they want to see.
The fact that a concept has been used many times should not keep you from using it well, when it makes a significant point. Here it does, and he presents the responses in the correct order and my only quibble is that I might have put Mitch McConnell in that middle panel, as leader of the partisan blockade, a more critical factor in whatever is next to come.
Mike Smith sums up Mueller’s central message and presents it, along with the response of the GOP, who, after all, don’t simply control the Senate but have it locked in a partisan choke hold.
As Smith suggests, it’s not a confusing or unclear message. But, in case you missed this one, Mitch McConnell, who refused to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland because it came in an election year, announced yesterday that he’d move to confirm a Supreme Court justice if Trump were to nominate one in an election year.
The amount of legislation McConnell has stifled has allowed the GOP to claim that the Democrats are fixated on investigation when they ought to be passing legislation. It is as much a fake dog-and-pony show as when OJ Simpson pretended he couldn’t get that glove on his hand.
Which fakery, I would remind you, worked.
When you’re dealing with pathological narcissism, it’s not an issue of “lying” so much as it is an issue of constructing an alternate reality. As Matt Davies points out, Trump is going to hear what he needs to hear, regardless of what is being said.
Jeff MacDonald sincerely believes in murderous hippies, OJ truly has no idea who murdered his ex-wife and Trump is equally convinced of his innocence.
A jury convicted MacDonald, another jury accepted OJ’s explanation and so now we play the rubber match.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Breen and Margulies are both right: The rain is falling. The question is whether Himself is going to get wet?
The argument for impeachment — beyond the purely moral argument that Congress has that duty — is that, if people saw the facts laid out on national television as they did in the Watergate hearings, they would understand the issue and come around to realize the level of corruption we’ve wandered into.
But this isn’t 1973, and not only was there no Internet in those days to unite crackpots and amplify their voices, but there was no Fox News feeding them a constant diet of Orwellian distortion.
What’s more, the only people on cable in those days lived in isolated, mountainous communities where they couldn’t get television signals over the air.
There’s a story that, in the midst of his coverage of the Kennedy assassination, Walter Cronkite lost his temper when he took a call from a woman upset that her soap opera had been pre-empted, and a weatherman in Dayton made news the other day for scolding people on social media who were angry that the Bachelorette had been interrupted for tornado warnings.
Those of us in journalism speak of the public’s right to be informed, but there is a substantial portion of the public insisting on its right to be uninformed, and if, as during the Watergate hearings, PBS aired them in their entirety while the networks took turns pre-empting their regular programming, the Deplorables who most need to see the stuff would simply change channels.
Or they’d already be watching the Braxtons scream at each other or the Discovery Channel teach them about Bigfoot or Mama June work out her marital problems.
Machs nix. They watched the evidence pile up against OJ and remained convinced that the glove didn’t fit.
Tomorrow is Friday Funnies and then we can skip politics ourselves, if only for a day. Until then, to remind you that comics can also be pure, apolitical fun with no greater meaning, here’s a pair that ran this morning: