This began slowly and so I didn’t take notes and then it went nuts and, well, the best I can do is show you where it seems to be now.
As far as I know, it began with this Michael de Adder cartoon …
… and the New York Times’ decision to run a full page of names of Covid-19 victims as the count neared 100,000:
Which JustVent doctored in this mash-up:
A couple of things here: One is that de Adder had already made the point, and this simply added to it. The other is that snagging people’s cartoons and altering them is a major, major no-no.
However, in this case, the effect was so strong — not gilding the lily but rather amplifying the accusation — that de Adder admitted he rather liked it.
At which point, Steve Brodner stepped in with an idea:
I’m assuming he had seen the de Adder mash-up, but I don’t know and I’m also assuming he wouldn’t appreciate a call at this hour of the morning to find out.
However, the idea took off among cartoonists of all levels, and quickly became known as “The Steve Brodner Challenge.”
A mere sampling of the responses:
In John Cole‘s version, Trump takes a divot out of the paper, and thus the dignity of the names.
While Jeff Parker reminds us of what he’s playing with.
Jim Brenneman adds a telling shadow.
Paul Berge goes for the laff, which is cheap on one hand but, then again, showing Trump as a clumsy, bad golfer would probably wound him more than portraying him as indifferent to the suffering of others.
Speaking of which, William Edwards portrays him as a cheater, kicking the ball while pretending to have chipped out of a bad lie. “Bad lie” being a golfing term, Trump never having met the other kind.
Rob Rogers shows him breaking a hole in the list, like smashing a windowpane with an errant shot. Some interesting coloring here as well.
Steve Sack stays within the “playing golf” mandate but goes beyond the teeing-off concept to add a bit of Pontius Pilate to his commentary.
And Alexandra Bowman represents several who didn’t follow the rules and show him playing golf, her piece chosen as the most direct accusation of his illogic and lack of caring.
And as these pieces were popping up on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere (you can see a large collection on Brodner’s Twitter page, here), (or on Facebook here), Dear Leader showed why he deserves the abuse with this dishonest, tone-deaf defense of himself:
This is as readily disproven as his claims about his inaugural crowd or the millions of illegal voters bused into California, starting with his accusations about Obama, which, lest we forget …
And he doubled down on his dishonesty by suggesting that Obama was flying to Hawaii to play golf when, in fact, Obama played most of his golf on military bases, particularly Andrews, which is a chopper ride away, not in Florida or New Jersey.
And he played about a third as often.
And he didn’t charge the Secret Service for carts and pocket the money, nor was he often far enough from DC that they needed to book rooms, which the owner/operator could also have comped but chose to profit from.
As for getting ” perhaps a little exercise,” little indeed when you use carts instead of walking the course.
Herblock complained, back in Watergate days, about the cost of Nixon’s Western White House at San Clemente, both because of the price tag taxpayers had to pick up for security enhancements and because the purchase price was picked up by Nixon’s buddies.
Which seems like small potatoes today, but there’s also this:
Nixon was bothered by the demonstrations against him, which led to his famous midnight visit to attempt to chat with anti-war demonstrators at the Lincoln Memorial, and LBJ was deeply pained by the chants of “Hey, Hey, LBJ: How many kids did you kill today?”
Trump’s frequent trips to private golf clubs, by stark, shameful contrast, are a potent symbol of his tone-deaf indifference, his lack of a work ethic and his relentless self-dealing.
Giving Jay Spooner the final word, despite his not including an actual golf club in his contribution.