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CSotD: Fresh takes, Double takes, Out takes

I don’t think you can call Jeremy Banx’s work “deceptively simple” because the depth in his simple work is not at all deceptive or hidden.

In this case, the commentary on Trump and Barr etc is like Dali’s (Duh. Picasso. See comments) bicycle-bull sculpture in that, yes, you immediately see the simplicity but you also immediately see the depth of meaning.

Nobody’s gonna touch this, but let’s look around.

I said something the other day about the principle that, if you think of it quickly, a lot of other cartoonists probably did, too, but that, when they fall on the same day, that’s pure coincidence and what used to be called a “Yahtzee.”

Bill Bramhall is only one of half a dozen or more cartoonists who played upon Roger Stone’s tattoo of Nixon and Barr’s devotion to Dear Leader. I’m not going to post them all because it feels like a put-down and, as said, it’s really more of a coincidence.

But I’ll feature Bramhall’s because he has added a simpering expression on Barr’s face that acts as an indicator of the administration’s admiration of that old crook.

He makes Barr look like a groupie, but that’s not sarcasm. It’s commentary.

 

At the same time, that “groupie” thing only goes so far, and we’re hearing reports that various GOP members disagree with Trump but are afraid to stand up to him.

John Cole plays upon that reality, and, sick as I am of “ripping the paper in half” gags, this is one that is apt and works.

I could understand the explanation “I felt it was wrong, but that it didn’t rise to the level of impeachment” if it were not being delivered in unison, like a Greek chorus foretelling tragedy.

When witnesses use the same phrases, it’s an indication of coaching and tampering, and I’d be more comfortable if the explanations were not in such perfect four-part harmony.

And the only variation comes from those like Susan Collins who try to justify their place in the daisy chain with some transparent nonsense about lessons and a brighter future.

 

Which puts me in full Michael Corleone mode.

 

There have also been several cartoons suggesting that Biden’s fade makes him of decreasing interest to the Committee to Re-Enact the Watergate, but I’m featuring Mike Luckovich’s take because he simply shows Biden slipping off the radar without, as others have, the suggestion that Sanders will now be targeted.

I’ve noted in the past that it was odd that conservative cartoonists were calling for fair play for Bernie, though I’m not quite prepared to declare an out-and-out Segretti-style Republican conspiracy to boost his campaign.

On the other hand, the GOP faithful have been red-baiting for months, as well as deliberately lying out of one side of their mouths about “free” this and that while warning out of the other side that Bernie wants to raise your taxes.

Meanwhile — and I say this as someone who for four years has decried “Bernie Bros” as Russian troll bots — Bernie needs to clamp down on his supporters who go into other candidate’s rallies to heckle and raise hell. That’s tres uncool and his fault if it continues.

And for those who have discovered a DNC conspiracy to fix the vote against him, my suggestion would be to either break the pills in half or try doubling your dosage.

Though, admittedly, last time around, John Lewis lied on the eve of the South Carolina caucus about Bernie’s Civil Rights record, then apologized once the votes were counted.

 

That was then, this is now and one “accusation” that seems valid is in this Signe Wilkinson panel, which is that, while Bernie is ahead, he’s not pulling down a plurality.

There is a lot of railing against “electibility” and promotion of taking less centrist positions, which would make sense in a Parliamentary system where local results are more critical than national appeal.

But our system for electing a president comes down to one-on-one and there isn’t a lot of room for fascinating concepts. You need to get the most votes.

Being electable is how you get elected.

I know: It’s a very strange, regrettable and perhaps archaic concept, but the principle of winning by getting more votes than your opponent is hard-wired into the system.

And, BTW, getting rid of the Electoral College would shift that around a little, but it wouldn’t change it.

 

Meanwhile, this is what Democratic Party primary voters saw in the booth Tuesday, which helps explain why 26% could be a winning total, whereas, in 2016, Bernie got 60.4% to Clinton’s 38%, leaving the rest to write-ins Martin O’Malley and Vermin Supreme.

Two candidates was not enough, but perhaps we overcompensated a bit.

 

RJ Matson suggests that Mike Bloomberg was wise to skip NH entirely and focus on Super Tuesday though it may have been less a Wise Choice than a matter of being too late to get on the ballot.

For whatever reason, he wasn’t on the ballot and his presence here was minimal. By contrast, Tom Steyer and Pete Butigieg ran a lot of ads, as did Amy Klobuchar, whose surprising rise in the results was likely in response to this oft-repeated spot:

The part about firing Betsy DeVos seemed silly, since cabinet members generally leave when their bosses do, but it was such an appealing promise that I don’t think anyone cared.

Any more than they cared that she is reportedly not a fun person to work for. I didn’t see a line on the ballot requesting a job in the administration, and if it was there, I hope I didn’t accidentally tick it, because I want them to work for me, I don’t want to work for them.

 

Finally, Stuart Carlson notes that neither Russian hackers nor bargain-basement webmasters can threaten our results, though we actually use special marking pens, not #2 pencils.

The problem, though, is that while Washington dithers over voting security, our faithful Scantrons are on Windows XP and beginning to fail from old age. We’re cannibalizing machines to keep others working.

That seems as scary as any polling about who’s gonna win.

 

ICYMI

Community Comments

#1 Marland
February/13/2020
@ 9:07 am

Here in my small town we do indeed use #2 pencils.

#2 Kip Williams
February/13/2020
@ 9:07 am

It was Picasso, not Dali. (This is what we used to call “correcting to be polite” on Usenet.)

#3 Mike Peterson
February/13/2020
@ 9:28 am

Worst part of that is I looked it up to be sure. Score one for the Internet of Nonsense.

#4 Mark Jackson
February/13/2020
@ 10:21 am

“Republicans should be expected to win 65% of Presidential contests in which they narrowly lose the popular vote.”

Pardon me if I view undoing this as more than shifting things around a little.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/17/20868790/republicans-lose-popular-vote-win-electoral-college

(I’ve seen more recent analyses that suggest the R advantage is getting worse.)

#5 Paul Berge
February/14/2020
@ 7:39 am

Since the founding of the Republican party, there have been four presidential elections in which the candidate who came in second in the popular vote was inaugurated president. All four were Republicans, and half of them were inaugurated in the 21st Century.

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