CSotD: Dissing the Franchise

It’s becoming difficult to know friends from foes these days, and this Lisa Benson panel came through on a recent Counterpoint email as

While Chris Britt‘s piece in the same email was categorized as

which might signal a very good development, if cartoonists on both sides of the spectrum have decided that our next election should be decided by a fair vote of the people.

But it is, after all, the Republicans, and hence the “right,” who have made a fetish of “Vote Harvesting,” which is mostly people taking other people’s absentee ballots to wherever they are counted. And I haven’t done a longitudinal study of men with ponytails, but I rather suspect that the fellow with the bushel basket in Benson’s piece is a liberal.

I honestly have no idea what threat “vote harvesting” actually poses, whether there is any proof that people who offered to deliver other people’s ballots were selective and delivered some but not others.

I do know we pissed away a lot of taxpayer money trying to chase down paranoid fantasies of illegal voting in New Hampshire, amid asinine rumors of busloads of illegal aliens being brought in from Massachusetts to vote.

The fake ballot collection box at a church in California appears to have been the work of a pastor who had urged his flock to support the current administration, suggesting it was an exercise in vote harvesting, but perhaps only a penny-ante scam of a particular individual. I’d dismiss it as innocent if he hadn’t labeled the box “official” when it clearly wasn’t.

But now comes California’s Republican Party, which has not only put out bogus “official collection boxes” but, having been caught in this ballot harvesting fraud and given a cease-and-desist order, announced their intention to continue the practice, which is technically legal in California.

Though, according to this San Francisco Chronicle article, California law requires that anyone delivering a ballot for someone else “must provide on the ballot their name, signature and relationship to the voter,” which seems kind of hard to do if the ballot has simply been deposited into a dropbox on a street corner.

So I guess my only criticism of Benson’s cartoon is that she needed two people with bushel baskets, one with a ponytail and one in a MAGA hat.

As for Britt’s cartoon, besides repeating my observation that John Mitchell resigned as Attorney General before becoming head of Nixon’s re-election committee, I think he’s well within the bounds of poetic license to suggest that this fish stinks from the head.

Still, as far as cartooning goes at the moment, it’s less a matter of categoring commentary as “From the Right” or “From the Left,” because the real division appears to be between “Those Who Comment On Issues” and “Those Who Fling Pointless Personal Insults.”

The latter of which could include the continuing flood of fly gags or the endless misogynistic demonizations of Nancy Pelosi.

Meanwhile, it’s not Democrats who are responsible for inspiring this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Marc Murphy – Louisville Courier-Journal)


(Mike Luckovich – AMS)

When I saw the photos and reports of people standing in line for five and even 12 hours to vote early, my first dumbass response was to wonder why they didn’t just come back another day, there being still three weeks before deadline.

Then I remembered that I’m retired and that the Columbus Day/Indigenous Day/Whatever holiday was the last M-F between here and November 3, so that people who don’t trust absentee voting really had very little choice, since they won’t get 12 hours off on Voting Day. (Few enough even got off yesterday.)

Having worked my first election this past Primary, and being signed up for the big show in November, I anticipate no actual delay at my polling place.

But, then, we’ve got three wards in a city of 13,500 people, and, while I’ve stood in line to vote in past years, we’re still talking about something under 30 minutes.

It’s certainly possible to underestimate turnout, but when you’ve got people in line for more than an hour, and then more than two hours, or five, or 12, that’s a deliberate attempt to discourage voting by failing to provide adequate polling places.

We saw these delays in 2016, and ignorance is even less of an excuse when there’s no excuse for ignorance.

My favorite part of this juxtaposition is between Luckovich’s ironic caption and the observation at the bottom left of Murphy’s cartoon.


You cannot interpret the original intent of the Founders to justify Mike Lee’s recent attack on democracy as a form of government, memorialized here by Pat Bagley (Cagle).

As that article explains, there, however, is an argument in favor of what Lee likely meant, and it’s one that could come from either side of the aisle at various times in our history: It’s probably a good thing that the Supreme Court decided Brown v The Board of Education rather than putting it up for a referendum.

But, as that article further explains, quibbling over whether we are a democracy or a republic is a dog whistle for repression because it has been traditionally used as an idiotic debating point with no real world application.

Fact: The Founders set up a representative democracy, not a stark choice between monarchy and the mob.

On the other hand, it is historically valid to note that we’ve dismantled some of the safeguards against tyranny of the majority over the years, and to suggest that our form of federalism — including the Electoral College and the Senate — did not anticipate the wide spread of population figures that sprang up between the various states.

But reforms and recalibrations, if needed, cannot take place at a moment when the governing majority is shoving partisan federal judgeships down the throats of a populace they simultaneously labor to disenfranchise.

We need to get a grip.

Don’t you let nobody turn you ’round.


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Dissing the Franchise

Comments are closed.