CSotD: Veteran’s Day, if you can keep it

It’s Veteran’s Day, as Michael Ramirez (Creators) points out.

Most years on November 11, the comics pages are flooded with little kids saluting tombstones and suchlike, but there weren’t that many this year.

From a creative point of view, it’s not much of a loss because they aren’t generally very good and don’t stand out often, one from another.

And I suppose the paucity of Veteran’s Day cartoons is in keeping with the fact that we don’t notice it IRL either.  Since I live half a block from the village green, I’ll hear a few bugles and maybe a rifle salute at noon, but, unless you work at a bank or at the post office, you won’t get the day off.

Not only does this country have fewer holidays than most other nations, but we don’t really observe the ones we have, except for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

There was a time when Ebenezer Scrooge, begrudging poor Bob Cratchit a day off, stood out as a miser and villain, but even he supported the prisons and workhouses, and he had the miserly consistency to live on oatmeal and to snuff his candles early.

Scrooge was, as the phrase goes, more to be pitied than censured, which was Dickens’ point.

We probably won’t actually read the novella in a month or so, but we’ll see one of the various movie versions.

Still, it might as well be “Gladiator” or “Star Wars” for all it will connect us with the here and now.

Maybe today we’ll watch “Saving Private Ryan,” and feel all that “home of the free because of the brave” ardour, but will anybody connect it to the here and now? To a president who refuses to acknowledge the system of government those veterans fought to preserve and defend? To a major political party that supports him in his denial?



Pia Guerra (Ind) notes the looming overthrow of our system, and it’s not just that Trump’s administration is drawing up a February budget. It’s that his Secretary of State has declared that there will be a second Trump administration and that his Attorney General is launching partisan lawsuits to overturn the results of the election.

While, speaking of pigeons, the latest parlor game on social media is protesting that, well, it wouldn’t be a “coup” because Webster defines a coup as blahblahblah.

Which will be a fascinating topic of discussion as the tanks rumble down the streets of DC, given that Dear Leader seems intent on firing anyone who might be in a position, and of a mind, to say, “Wait a minute, now, Mr. President.”

We’ll rewrite Stephen Crane’s poem:

Do not weep, maiden, for it wasn’t technically a coup.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
It wasn’t technically a coup.

Part of the problem, a very large part of the problem, is that, when Kellyanne Conway spoke of “alternative facts,” the definers of coups laughed, but a very large portion of the populace did not.

We — speaking of Americans as a whole — are not clear on the distinction between fact and opinion, despite attempts by teachers to drill it into our thick little skulls.

For instance, this

Juxtaposition of Definitions

(Dana Summers – Tribune)


(Gary Varvel – Creators)

Both cartoonists contend that Biden didn’t really win the election, but Summers does it within the framework of opinion.

It’s not an opinion I share; I remember a great deal of dismay over the 2016 results, but I don’t remember any real attack on its legitimacy. But I’m willing to give Summers some poetic license because not everyone cheered when the numbers were announced.

However, Varvel is suggesting a fact that I doubt he can back up, and, Kellyanne Conway may believe in “alternative facts” but I do not.


Dan O’Connell explained it long ago, and better than I could.


Mike Lester (WPWG), by contrast, gets it right, though I’d have had the fellow in red watching replays in hopes that they would somehow come out different the next time around.

Still, it’s a good analogy, because it’s one thing to insist that a particular questionable penalty or missed pass cost you the game. It’s even within your rights to go through the off-season complaining about what might have been.


But the traditional response in sports is to point at the scoreboard, and, right now, that scoreboard reads 290-214.

Admittedly, the game isn’t officially over, but even if the teetering states of Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina went Trump’s way, it wouldn’t give him the edge.

His only chance would be to take all four and then turn Pennsylvania, and if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t keep bumping their asses on the ground.

Which is funny, but there’s only gallows humor in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Nick Anderson – Counterpoint)


(Drew Sheneman – AMS)

Anderson simply mocks Trump’s “sue everybody” strategy, a carryover from his civilian strategy of countersuing business contacts and others who tried to take him to court. It’s a strategy that has served him well, but it’s a defense based on your opponent being intimidated into withdrawing.

I don’t see it working on offense, particularly since it also relies on an imbalance in depth-of-pockets which I don’t think obtains here.

Though I hope it’s all going on Trump’s campaign tab and not coming out of Bill Barr’s DOJ budget.

But there’s not a lot of humor in Sheneman’s depiction despite the baby and his binky. The quote is real and the willingness of Republicans to aid and abet this unprecedented challenge to the system is both reprehensible and frightening.

A lot of people trust them, which means that a lot of people will end up no longer trusting our system of government.

At which point it will no longer matter what anyone did at the Somme, or on Omaha Beach or anywhere else where the brave risked their lives to preserve that scrap of paper.

(Yeah, these are Aussies. But they’re Aussies without heel spurs.)


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Veteran’s Day, if you can keep it

  1. Personally, I like Gary Varvel. He’s a nice, warm, friendly guy.
    But his work this week has been absolutely reprehensible.
    One might even say deplorable.

  2. @Paul— That’s the major thing that I learned about my fellow human beings from 2016 onward: there are plenty that are nice in person, refrain from kicking dogs and usually even remember to call their mother on her birthday—it’s no guarantee that they won’t throw someone under a bus if it suits their narrative.

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