It’s not often I find myself agreeing with Steve Kelley (Creators), but I sure like this one.
Now, let’s not start planning a wedding or anything: I suspect his opinion is tinged with an urge to defend Mike Pence against foolish criticism, while mine is more of an urge to defend political cartooning against foolishness in general.
After leafing through today’s cartoons, I kind of wish I’d kept count of all the flies, but I have no desire to go through them again. I’m reminded of the young college student who, on an MTV Rock the Vote town hall with Bill Clinton, asked if he wore boxers or briefs.
She was slammed for wasting her opportunity with that empty-headed trivia, but it turned out she found the experience humiliating: She had actually had a substantive issue in mind, but the producers told her, instead, what they wanted her to ask.
Pretty good excuse, for an amateur.
But Paul Berge (Ind) managed to tackle some substance instead, leaving the fly as a tiny visual joke that you had to look for, after you untangled the actual point of his commentary.
I note that he also left Harris’s WTF? expression in place, without bothering to mention that she was then attacked by conservatives for Failure to Fawn, providing a secondary commentary on the lack of respect that makes up the substance of his cartoon.
And whatever you think of the value of vice-presidential debates, this is an issue of wasting your sip from the firehose: In normal times, we might have time for a few light-hearted jokes about the office Texas Jack Garner dismissed as “not worth a bucket of warm piss.”
However — aside from the fact that Dick Cheney managed to disrupt the entire Middle East for the foreseeable future from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building — there are plenty of more important things happening that deserve to have a light shone upon them.
Nick Anderson (WPWG), for instance, went after Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s astonishing attempt to limit voter participation by ordering one drop-off box in each county. Granted, a judge has since ruled against Abbott’s cunning plan, but there’s time for an appeal and it’s worth keeping the issue in front of the public.
This is an occasion when “those damned pictures” can have more impact on the public consciousness than any number of long, well-considered, well-reasoned (yawn) columns and editorials.
This is what political cartooning is for.
Which doesn’t mean it can’t be funny. There’s nothing humorous about a life-threatening illness striking members of the US Senate, but Steve Sack (Star Tribune) gets a laff out of Mitch McConnell’s desperate attempt to ram through a third Supreme Court seat before potentially losing control of the Senate.
And even Signe Wilkinson (AMS)’s (slightly) more somber commentary on the same topic retains an absurdity that, if it doesn’t provoke actual laughter, contains the kind of gallows humor that brings out a wry smile and a nod of acknowledgment.
Tasteless? Well, Lenny Bruce was tasteless, and he’s got a whole section at the National Comedy Center, as does George Carlin.
Sometimes tasteless is a cool hand.
In fact, you can even mess with the Deity, if you’re got a point to make, as seen in this
Juxtaposition of the Day
I’m particularly amused by the difference here: Byrnes calling it a hit, Peters calling it a miss.
Now, it’s fair to ask, if I don’t like jokes about flies, why I celebrate this bit of seeming trivia?
But it’s sacrilege, not trivia, when the President of the United States suggests — before an audience who may use religion as a basis for voting — that he is a favorite of God, particularly when God has been pretty explicit about what he expects us to do in our time on Earth.
Byrnes is more explicit on that point, while Peters simply exploits the sin of pride, which, after all, is one of the Seven Biggies, and you’re free to peruse the list and see what else might apply, though perhaps you should watch for that “judge not” thingie.
Note, too, that Dear Leader may be under some kind of steroidal mania, which explains but does not excuse his bizarre post-release statements and promises.
Ed Hall (Artizans) notes the apparent promise of $1200 to people if they re-elect him, which certainly comes close to buying votes. I say “apparent” because it’s not clear whether he is promising it now or later, thanks to his inconsistency in calling off negotiations but then making promises.
The more substantive question being raised by Matt Davies (AMS) is why Republican Party leadership doesn’t send the same sort of delegation to the White House that they gathered to speak to Richard Nixon, when his cogs were beginning to slip.
And the answer is that today’s Republican Party may have 250 members in Congress, but they’d be hard-pressed to assemble three with the stature of Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott and John Rhodes, who, this article says, didn’t actually urge him to resign.
They simply informed him that he was now working without a net.
Today, the Senate Majority Leader is known as Moscow Mitch, and you might as well search the skies for passenger pigeons as seek Republicans the like of which we saw before the cynical, cataclysmic shift outlined in Stuart Stevens’ masterful “It Was All A Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump.”
Nor is it simply those who have worked within the GOP — Stevens, the Lincoln Project, the Bulwark — who can see what we have allowed ourselves to become.
From the far side of the globe, New Zealand’s Rod Emmerson (NZ Herald) smells out the rot in a system in which the President encourages domestic terrorism while those in power fail to step up.
‘Liberate Michigan’ said Trump, and as a consequence 6 local militia are charged in a plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. What a broken country…
But, hey, what about that fly on Pence’s head?