See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Confronting Reality

I’m going to start out with the most challenging cartoon of the day, Bob Gorrell‘s commentary on the IG Report.

Unlike the Mueller Report, this stuff is truly dense, such that the Executive Summary is more challenging than the fine print in most others. A quick reaction is impossible, and a more thoughtful response is still going to be highly dependent on the competence of the person reading the report.

We used to joke that LLD stood for “Law Library Denizen,” because even a basic law degree involves wading through a lot of prose that is technical, thorough and dense.

In this case, the density and the multiple conclusions allow both sides to claim vindication, though they also claimed that with the Mueller Report, which was easily readable.

The report appears to conclude that the FBI investigation was messy and often inappropriate, but that there was sufficient justification for looking into the Russian connection.

Which is a tie, because both sides can selectively cite it as proof that they were right and as proof that the other was wrong.

However, getting to Gorrell’s point, it’s hard for progressives, or, really, anyone except Big Brother or Dirty Harry Callahan, to defend FISA.

I suspect you could reach into a fishbowl of FISA cases, draw one out at random, investigate it and come to the same conclusions the IG came to about Carter Page’s case.

So Gorrell is right, but I wish the report would be used to stop FISA abuse and not to exonerate Dear Leader’s collusions, and we know that won’t happen.

And it doesn’t exonerate the President and his crew, but the claim will be made anyway.

So we’ve got the Mueller Report, in which a straight-arrow investigator declined to go past his mandate to gather information, leaving the conclusion up to his clients, and the IG Report in which seven blind men report on their inspection of an elephant.

Neither seems worth a damn at the moment.

 

David Rowe, I think, is way too optimistic in his view of where things stand.

Pelosi may have all the ingredients, but, first of all and as stated before, the charges against Trump are technical and not as easily conveyed to the public as a burglary was a half century ago.

That’s before you get to the interference of talk radio and Fox News serving as a propaganda mill for authoritarian government.

As a result of which we will impeach a President for lying about consensual sex but won’t press charges of bribing concubines to remain silent about far more extensive, professional servicing.

Don’t bother comparing this with Watergate. The parallel, rather, is with home video.

Betamax was superior to VHS in terms of technical quality, but VHS was superior in terms of marketing.

And we see how that turned out. Which brings us to our

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Tom Tomorrow)

 

(Chris Britt)

I’ll confess that, though still confined to the recliner and ice packs, I have not watched more than a few minutes of this latest round of impeachment hearings.

It doesn’t take more than those few minutes to come to the conclusion that the Democrats are putting forth a logical case and the Republicans are yelling and sneering.

It certainly doesn’t take a lot of experience to know what it means when one side is calmly presenting information and the other is screaming, but, then again, it doesn’t take a lot of experience to know that showmanship is more important than logic.

Tom Tomorrow captures the toxic Orwellian atmosphere of this assault upon reality, but it’s important to remember that, in the end of both “1984” and “Animal Farm,” the bad guys remain undefeated, which is also the case in “Brave New World” and the bulk of dystopian novels.

Only in “Lord of the Flies” does decency and logic overthrow brutality, and that through a deus ex machina device that is hard to justify either from a political or a literary point of view.

While Tom Tomorrow lampoons the dishonest reasoning of the Trump apologists, Chris Britt simply turns the whole thing into an absurdist landscape, and not only does he nail the situation well, but he proves to be that rare bird, a parodist who understands meter.

I used to have a spam filter set for the phrase “Twas the night” in order to capture and deflect the wretched doggerel that is inevitable at this time of year, but Britt makes a worthy contribution here, and, like Gilbert & Sullivan, the places his scansion or rhyme fall short are played for laughs.

Plus he’s accurate in his political analysis, which helps.

It helps the piece, that is. Doesn’t help the nation, but, at this point, I don’t know what will.

 

How can you expect decency and statesmanship from someone who makes cartooning so easy and comic exaggeration so difficult?

Rob Rogers might have had to stretch to show bad judgement from someone else, but Dear Leader hands it over on a platter, his psychotic lack of empathy leading him to shrug off the murders in Pensacola by observing that the victims’ families will be paid off.

It’s one thing to coddle the Saudis, as we have for years, but Trump’s response is reminiscent of the Marquis in “Tale of Two Cities,” whose carriage runs over and kills a small child.

 

“It is extraordinary to me,” said he, “that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him that.”

He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up, and all the heads craned forward that all the eyes might look down at it as it fell.

It’s worth remembering how things end for the insensitive nobility in that story, but that sort of societal correction seems as unlikely as having the British Navy arrive in the nick of time.

 

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
December/10/2019
@ 9:14 am

I cannot tell you, in strong enough language, how tired I am of seeing that moron in almost every gosh-darn political cartoon these days. It’s like everything in your increasingly demented country has come to a dead halt while the editorial cartoonists continue to pluck from the low-hanging fruit that is Donal J. Trump.

Yes, he’s a PoS. I think everyone knows that now, in spades, save for the ones who are so far beyond being deplorable that they’ll never see otherwise. But these endless freaking variations on the same theme, over and over and over, make me think there’s no real imagination at work here. Everyone’s trying so hard to be cute about this subject, and as a result it’s just relentless repetition.

#2 Kip Williams
December/10/2019
@ 9:48 am

I had the exact opposite thought reading the verses. In two of the first four panels, a small change would have made them scan perfectly, instead of requiring anyone reading them out loud to cram syllables together and/or stress wrong syllables.

Still, compared to the guy at GoComics who poops out a dozen sub-Hallmark “rhymes” daily, they’re like W.S. Gilbert.

#3 Mary McNeil
December/10/2019
@ 8:01 pm

I dunno Sean, some of those images might not be Trump, cause he and BoJo look quite similar…Just sayin’…

#4 Hank Gillette
December/12/2019
@ 12:37 pm

If I read the Trump quote correctly, there are many people in Saudi Arabia who are devastated.

His limited vocabulary is depressing.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.