Ann Telnaes has a bit of fun with Republican sewer rats who pretend ignorance of Dear Leader’s increasingly unhinged Tweets, notably his delusional, imbecilic repeating of an insane conspiracy theory from OANN, his favorite Russian-connected propaganda outlet.
Innocent ignorance is easy. Intentional ignorance is beginning to take some real effort.
Particularly when Presidential paranoid delusions become as intense as depicted by Nick Anderson.
This would be funny if Deplorables in Oregon hadn’t just primaried in a Q Anon true believer for the US Senate race, and another one for a House seat in Georgia.
Trump began with ridiculous lies that didn’t matter, like the size of his inaugural crowd, but added lies that should have mattered, such as the utterly bogus press conference where he announced an elaborate system to make sure he didn’t profit personally from the presidency.
Cunning plan or unhinged lunacy?
I’d like to see a graph of the inconsequential falsehoods and the blatant, substantive lies among his 19,000-plus untrue statements, to see if the balance has shifted steadily over three and a half years, or if you can see places where he hits a crisis and things jump.
The good thing being that the Republicans are on the verge of becoming such a clear and present danger to the country that nobody with any sense will vote for them.
The bad thing being that they may win anyway.
We used to laugh over the apocryphal story of Adlai Stevenson, who, when a woman said “Governor, you have the vote of every thinking person!” replied, “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”
It seems more like a dire warning these days, though much of what he really did say remains as important as it was when he failed to win a majority by saying it.
Juxtaposition of the Day 1
Speaking of old Boomer slogans, Stuart Carlson brings up the golden moment when network TV livecast the horrors in the street at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and contrasts that single moment of clarity with the instant, continuous coverage provided by cell phones and social media.
Then Kevin Siers translates it into what it means in the everlasting struggle to get people to acknowledge the reality others face.
To which I would add that, while coverage of the Convention mattered, and coverage of the Chicago 8 (not 7, dammit) Trial a year later helped, it was six years, and after Watergate, before the release of the Church Committee report confirmed that, yes, the government had been tapping phones, opening mail, planting provocateurs, murdering people and otherwise breaking the law to suppress dissent.
We’ve got to be a little cautious not to give instant credence to every claim, but instant karma is indeed gonna get you, and, if modern law enforcement is lucky to have DNA these days, they’re going to have to balance that advance with the invention of cell phones.
Which brings us to
Juxtaposition of the Day 1A
One cartoon poses the issue; the second cartoon answers it.
I’ve known good cops and I’ve encountered bad cops, both as a long-haired temporary member of the underclass and as a reporter.
The good cops have got to speak up, and perhaps the advent of instant cell phone karma and calls to re-examine law enforcement will bring about the end of the Thin Blue Line.
Meanwhile, black people being followed around in stores or women clutching their purses when a black man steps into the elevator is so normal that nobody even bothers making a video.
Juxtaposition of the Day 2
The good news is that we’re headed for a Great Healing, as the president is being urged to give a national address.
Ha-ha — Just kidding.
As Nick Anderson says (and General Mattis confirms), Trump has no interest in uniting the nation and thrives on creating division.
That might be partisan sniping, except that, as Ohman observes, the gloves are off and we know that one of his closest advisors, and the one who will likely be writing whatever speech is given, is an avowed white supremacist.
One more thing for the GOP to pretend they can’t see, didn’t hear, weren’t aware of.
Perhaps it will be drowned out in the kerfuffle over HBO’s decision to withdraw “Gone With The Wind” until they can add a disclaimer noting that it is a celebration of slavery and the glories of the Lost Cause.
Dave Brown echoes Scarlet O’Hara’s spoiled, privileged view of slavery with Trump and Johnson’s lack of response to modern minorities, which is, of course, his opinion.
But there’s no “opinion” about the history of the film, which faced a black boycott way back when Martin Luther King was still in grade school, and much as David O. Selznick might have tried to avoid offense, he simply couldn’t see beyond his own privileged experience or hear beyond the words of his loyal advisors.
And now, a Juxtaposition of Monumental Proportions
There is good in the pressure to remove Confederate monuments, though I would like the Cancel Culture to consider them individually and not in a rush.
Following the Civil War, there were many small statues of anonymous soldiers erected around the nation, mourning local sons and husbands and brothers killed in the conflict, and that’s not the same as the monuments to leaders of the Lost Cause erected half a century later to solidify Jim Crow’s grip.
Or the naming of military bases for defeated traitors, which boggles the mind, or, at least, active, functioning minds.
But it’s only a start, and, if Dear Leader weren’t so loyal to his white supremacist base, it’s a move that might go almost unremarked, since, as Jeff Stahler notes, it’s easier to remove the props than to remove what props them up.
And Paul Thomas citing Nelson’s Column in London reminds me of the foolishness in Dublin in 1966: Foolish that Nelson’s Pillar existed in the first place, foolish to think taking it down could be anything more than symbolic.