CSotD: Wilful suspension of disbelief

Martin Rowson drops an accusation not unlike the Mike Luckovich cartoon featured here Thursday, but at once more gruesome and more subtle.

“Subtle” in that it’s not hard to draw a line from Trump’s business interests in Istanbul to his betrayal of our Kurdish allies, but perhaps you already have to recognize, and to accept, the conflict of interest he has been pursuing all along.

It’s not complicated, but it requires a healthy skepticism, and we’re dealing with Deplorables who cry foul that Hunter Biden got a job through his father’s influence while they are seemingly blind to the Trump children making millions for being Trump children.

Their faith is simple and unquestioning.

It’s like believing Santa comes down the chimney in a house with no fireplace.

Or, to adapt Jim Bouton‘s example, like believing you need to take penicillin for your husband’s kidney infection.


But we do have a significant conservative population who believe in the USA and the President and who fawn over the flag, and who might see the message in Clay Bennett‘s cartoon and realize that it’s not a call to disrespect the flag but to disrespect the president.

Though, again, you’re dealing with people who eagerly, willingly embraced vicious lies about John Kerry’s service record and yet voted a three-generation draft dodger into office.


Perhaps Adam Zyglis‘s less subtle, more graphic commentary will help lure a few of the less committed into examining what has been going on.

The core group will continue to believe that Santa slides down the chimney even though their house has no fireplace, but we can’t do anything about them. As it says in the book they embrace but do not read, “Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.”

However, there are those who are not true believers, and those who are not involved, and reaching them with clarity could make a difference, but don’t expect once to do the trick.

As much as I complain about cartoonists who diddle around sticking to a schedule rather than responding to crisis, this may be an argument in favor of letting the cartoons drift in over the next two weeks or so.

It’s not like the matter is going away.

And, btw, I note that, when Joe Biden speaks up against Trump’s desertion of our allies, the commentators devote about 20 seconds to the morality of his remarks, but then quickly rush back to the comfort of their horse race coverage and explain that Biden has spoken out because he has this many and Warren has that many and Sanders has that many.

Up until now, they’ve condemned him for artlessly saying whatever’s on his mind. Suddenly he’s a strategist, not a moralist.

Still on the topic of credibility, here’s our


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Darrin Bell)


(Ed Hall)

For those who missed it, Ellen Who Needs No Last Name was spotted by the cameras on Sunday Night Football, sitting in the Dallas Cowboy owner’s skybox yukking it up with W Who Needs Neither Last Nor First Name.

Apparently there was some blowback, because she opened her show Tuesday with a sincere explanation of why she didn’t get up and leave, which made a lot of sense and touched a lot of hearts.


However, as evident in the cartoons above, it didn’t touch everybody’s hearts, perhaps because she sort of skittered around the question not of why she didn’t get up and leave, but of what the hell she was doing there in the first place.

I’ll give her this much: Having amassed the level of recognition she has, I can understand why she doesn’t wander the streets looking like herself.

But she’s not Yao Ming, and, in fact, she’s so average-looking that I think a ball cap and sunglasses would pretty much let her go anywhere she wanted to without being recognized. And the cameras often pick out celebrities, even dressed as themselves, down in the regular seats among the regular fans.

I like her message of tolerating those with whom we disagree, and I doubt that the owner’s skybox has assigned seats, though I suppose if you sat there first and then George and Laura came and sat next to you, it would be tacky to get up and move.

And yet if you work through the kumbaya portion of her explanation, you come down to the fact that she was there because she’s fabulously rich and famous — which, ironically, is how you get free tickets and snacks and drinks — and so she’s a friend of Jerry Jones’ daughter, but she doesn’t like the Cowboys because Aaron Rodgers is also a friend of hers.

IOW, she was there because she belongs there.

While the rest of us were shelling out a week’s pay to sit in the cheap seats and have drunken, screaming yahoos spill their beer down our backs.

While we thought kind thoughts about them.


Meanwhile, out in that other world

Damien Glez celebrates the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. As the Committee said

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

They go on to explain their decision in detail, and the speech announcing the award was even better.

He’s a very cool dude, and, by the way, he’s not afraid to talk to people with whom he disagrees.

But he gets dirt under his nails in the process of making the world better, sometimes literally.

Here he is helping young people throughout Ethiopia plant 3.5 million trees in a single day, part of a project to reforest the nation and fight climate change.

Who’s in your White House?

One thought on “CSotD: Wilful suspension of disbelief

  1. There is a difference between talking with someone and socializing with them. There is also a difference between someone.you disagree with and someone directly responsible for torture and death, not just of enemy fighters but also civilians and our military.

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