Matt Wuerker admittedly picks a bit of low-hanging fruit on this one, going for an obvious commentary on a ridiculous Trump blunder, but it beats hell out of the more obvious, less detailed wisecracks involving a Sharpie and harking back to Dear Leader’s ridiculous re-drawing of a weather map.
Both play upon the fact that the President of the United States could not point out his hometown on a map or find his ass with both hands, but Wuerker’s re-draw of the famous Saul Steinberg New Yorker cover brings in the arrogance factor, which is critical.
That is, the Sharpie/Weather Map incident was an example of Trump trying to cover a blunder, and perhaps reminiscent of the bullshit stories he told professors when he hadn’t turned in a paper.
But this is prideful ignorance.
In the wake of his declaration that the Kansas City Chiefs play in the other, smaller, less significant and, by the way, wrong Kansas City, his fans were quick to insist that everybody thinks Kansas City is in Kansas.
Which, first of all, they don’t. A lot of folks can find their way around on a map …
… though, dear lord there’s evidence that plenty of them can’t, and the authors of the OpEd piece accompanying this map noted that the less people were able to find Ukraine on a map the more likely they were to favor military intervention there.
Two points: One is that there are a lot of well-placed points on this map, so let’s not completely despair.
The other point is that I think all polling should include some qualifying questions, and it would be wonderful if the first Democratic/Republican Debate began with a huge blank world map unfurling behind the candidates.
It’s probably not interesting to know if the candidate can find Diego Garcia on a map or remember which one is Paraguay and which one is Uruguay, but, yes, it’s fair to know who, besides Mary Louise Kelly, can distinguish Ukraine from Bangladesh.
And, by the way, we have a military base on Diego Garcia that keeps a watch on the Persian Gulf, so, if you’re going to potentially put our kids in harm’s way, you should know roughly where the island is, even if you actually pick out the Seychelles or Maldives instead.
Whether that same reasoning applies to picking out the wrong Kansas City is debatable, I suppose, but it won’t be debated: As Matt Davies suggests, the Republicans will simply shift things around to make Dear Leader’s guess correct.
Davies point, I think, having more to do with inviting foreign countries to participate in our elections than domestic geography blunders, though both Jennifer Rubin and, in his essay as well as cartoon, Clay Jones make the point that having a prideful nitwit, or witnit, in the Oval Office is not a good thing.
Rubin suggests that perhaps Democrats should make a campaign point of Trump’s astonishing incompetence, which in turn fits in with Bill Maher’s recommendation that the Democrats stop acting like they’re in a high school mock debate and begin to fight back as if it actually mattered.
Like that’s gonna happen.
Meanwhile, the major media have their knickers in knots this morning because it turns out that the Iowa Caucus didn’t snap to and report in on broadcast deadlines.
I’ve been to a caucus in Maine and so my expectations were lower, but, then again, they weren’t covering their first election either and I have no idea why they thought it would be different than it was.
What I know is that I flipped over at 8:30, which was when they promised the first results, and it appeared that Wolf Blitzer intended to count every Iowan himself and, without knowing the exact population of Iowa or what percent of them participate in caucuses, it seemed like going to bed would not cause me to miss anything.
But when I got up and went online this morning, boy, were the media folks mad at those Iowans for not Doing It Right.
Nobody actually said, “Dance, monkeys, dance!” but CNN was particularly upset with them, posting a piece quoting former DNC Chairman Terry MacAuliffe:
“They’re undemocratic processes. People don’t have time to go spend the time like you heard today,” McAuliffe said, arguing that instead Americans should “go vote, pull the curtain, close it vote and leave. That is a democratic way.”
I’ve heard that before. Maine used to have Town Meeting Day in which schools and businesses all closed so that everyone could go to Town Meeting and plan the next year’s budget, line by line.
Then they stopped closing schools and businesses, which made Town Meeting something that only people who really cared could go to.
At which point they began to complain that only people who understood the budget and had thought about it had any input and that people with no idea what the hell was going on should be able to take three minutes to vote for it or against it or whatever.
‘Cause that’s more democratic.
Meanwhile, the people in Iowa who have paid attention will eventually get their say, but it’s not good television and bad television is bad business.
What’s good for ratings is good for America.
Meanwhile, in defense of something
Bernie is doing well in the polls and may have done well in the caucuses, but he gets no respect from the Democratic Party and cartoonists are leaping to his defense:
Which should encourage Sanders supporters, except that only Rob Rogers is a progressive, while Benson and Kelley are firmly conservative.
I suspect they’d have cheered for Michael Dukakis or George McGovern to win the nomination, too. And, lest we forget, Dear Leader was poking around in Ukraine for dirt, not in Vermont.
Though, given his map skills, he may have thought he was poking around in Vermont.
Still, when the opposition offers to help select your candidate, a little suspicion is warranted.