CSotD: Enemies of the Good

Tom Tomorrow takes a crack at getting all the issues into one package. It’s a noble shot at moral accounting, adding up all the insults to logic and decency.

But, at the same time, it’s also potentially a case of baffling the public with a storm of accusations: As a daily feature, Dan Perkins could have presented each of these panels as a stand-alone.

Then again, he is the person who, two years ago, said that satirizing Trump was like trying to take a drink from a firehose and here you see it.

He also remains the master of bland restatement, that technique popular among altie cartoonists of simply having people stare out of the panel and say in plain language what politicians have been saying in bafflegab.


The challenge being that, as seen in this Clay Jones piece, Trump doesn’t speak in bafflegab. He is perfectly willing to put his hate, racism and deliberate falsehoods into plain words.

What’s left to satirize?


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Luckovich)


(Pat Bagley)

One option is to celebrate the apparent collapse of the Trump administration, and there is much to celebrate.

Then again, kicking off today’s theme of “The Perfect is the enemy of the Good,” both these cartoons seem both righteous and, at the same time, perhaps overly optimistic.

Luckovich is right about the polling numbers. Trump’s approval/disapproval ratings are in the toilet and the polls also predict that he will get a substantial ass-kicking in November.

But — aside what we learned about polls vs voting numbers in 2016 — there is also the question of whether Trump’s staff is foolish enough to let him even see the current polls, knowing that bad news sends him off the rails.

And there’s also the fact that, whatever the current numbers show, Trump will simply quote numbers that are either outdated or entirely fanciful to show that everyone loves him.

He even uses dubious statistics as a purported source of joy for a man murdered by police.


If you know a way to shame this witnit, please share it with the rest of the class.

Still, whether he knows it, whether he acknowledges it, the sheen is coming off and more people are seeing the buffoon behind the bluster. If things hold steady for the next four months or so, we may see him defeated in November.

Though the worst tactic would be to assume such a thing, as we did in 2016.

Meanwhile, I agree with Bagley that we’re enjoying a rare moment of unity in the streets.

Or as united as we’re ever likely to be. We’ve still got the outright racists and the Karens and the “Yeah, but …” crowd who think, yeah, peaceful marches are good, but people shouldn’t get cranky and start breaking things.

It’s a nice moment but I still remember how, once the war was winding down, the left began to quarrel amongst themselves, and we’re already seeing some of that:


When Democrats took a moment of silence the other day (AP photo), they drew outrage from people who objected to their wearing Kente cloth for the occasion.

Which is like being offended when non-Muslim women cover their heads in a mosque.

You can’t make this stuff up, but, then again, you don’t have to: There is invariably some perfectionist quibbler eager to undercut a positive moment.


For instance, Drew Litton is only one of several critics who are incensed because, while the NFL announced a major turnaround in their attitude towards black demands, it didn’t also announce that Colin Kaepernick would immediately be hired by some team or other.

They’re not entirely wrong, but they are quibbling.

It’s not that Kaepernick’s situation isn’t one of the things that should be addressed, but it’s more symbolic than the others, and he’ll no more get those missing top-of-form years back than Ali regained his.

And, for that matter, Curt Flood didn’t get any real benefit from busting Major League Baseball’s restrictions on player mobility.

If Kaepernick were in it for his own benefit, he’d have stood up and gotten his job back. Give him some credit for being bigger than that and, as they say, keep your eye on the prize.

The victory will come if and when more universal issues are resolved.

Re-hiring Kaepernick is small potatoes, for instance, if they don’t also start hiring black coaches and front office personnel, and it would be a token gesture if it weren’t part of that wider pattern of resolution.


The next challenge in this show of unity will be response to the major candidates’ attitude towards the “Defund the Police” movement — whether they denounce it, embrace it unquestioningly or merely accept it as a framework.

RJ Matson features the Justice in Policing Act, which Kamala Harris hailed yesterday as a major step forward, but he rightly depicts the Senate as a barrier.

As noted in that link, the act has a huge number of Democratic co-sponsors in the House and support from a number of relevant groups.

It apparently has no Republican sponsors, however, and Matson is right to doubt its chances when it arrives at the Senate, which is currently refusing to criminalize lynching. 

Still, my concern is not the GOP, but rather that a small group of dissidents or trolls or bots or self-righteous whoevers will denounce the bill for not going far enough, for not being the exact legislation, the only legislation, the perfect legislation they seek.

Because not only is “The Perfect the enemy of the Good,” but “No good deed goes unpunished.”

We shall see.

Meanwhile,  fascisti cartoonists continue to make hay by misrepresenting “Defund the police.”

As noted here yesterday, it really doesn’t matter whether they are doing it because they’re too lazy to find out what it really means or because they are deliberately exploiting a confusing term for propaganda purposes.

What matters is whether “The People” stay united enough to counter the misinformation and thereby capitalize on the moment, or waste a golden opportunity by descending into meaningless quarrels among themselves.


7 thoughts on “CSotD: Enemies of the Good

  1. It was good to find out that ‘defund the police’ doesn’t actually mean ‘defund the police’, but my original stance has not changed: if your slogan has a very obvious literal meaning and no common euphemistic meaning, you don’t get to complain when people think your intentions are the obvious literal meaning rather than a tangential, more nuanced meaning that in many respects is contradictory to the slogan itself.

    ‘Reform the police’ takes the same amount of time to say, uses the same number of characters, and is exactly what the majority are actually calling for with no extra discussion needed to get the intention across.

    I’m sure there’s a small group that actually honestly wants all police gone, and perhaps they were responsible for starting and boosting the phrase, but that’s no excuse for the rational members clinging to it as if it’s not possible to use different words.

  2. How about adding a hyphen and making it “Re-Form the Police”?

    We’ve ‘reformed’ them and it never makes a difference, which is why you won’t get much buy-in on “reforming the police.” We need to tear it down and start over, re-forming public safety, including law enforcement as part of that.

  3. Granted, it’s never been good, but if you want to start leveling the playing field a bit, take away all the gently used military equipment the Pentagon sold all these police departments. These guys act like they’re invincible because, well, they are: swat gear, military-grade helmets, freaking tanks… I mean, seriously?? No wonder people are afraid: who wouldnt be when confronted with something like that?

  4. If the problem with using ‘reform the police’ as a slogan is that the public honestly believes that it’s been done before and improved nothing (I would argue that in the vast majority of cases what actually happened could not even charitably be described as ‘reforms’), the solution is figuring out how to restore that trust that things can change (and also actually changing them), not continuing to use a slogan that communicates only the desire to tear things down without building them back up again better than before.

    It’s still not too late. Every person who continues boosting the flawed slogan is only giving the GOP fuel. Going into detail about what it actually means in the small text means very little – we should all be well aware how many people read only the headline and skip the article.

  5. Is there a print of the political cartoon depicting the 75 year old man from Buffalo New York as Uncle Sam.
    If so, how would I obtain one?


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