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CSotD: Don’t Dream It’s Over

I like Walt Handelsman (Times-Picayune)‘s cartoon, and I enjoyed the celebratory posts on social media yesterday as the electoral votes came in from the various states, sealing the Biden victory and spelling an end to . . .

Well, an end to what?

Along with confirmation of the election results came news that Bill Barr has decided he wants to spend Christmas with his family, which sounds much nicer than saying that, with less than six weeks left in the administration, he had reached the limit of what he was willing to do as attorney general.

Six weeks suddenly seems like a very long time.

But don’t bother crossing off days on the calendar. This ain’t gonna be over.

When Nixon ordered Attorney General Eliot Richardson to fire the special counsel in the Watergate investigation, and then, after Richardson resigned instead, ordered Deputy AG William Ruckelshaus to do the deed, and then, when Ruckelshaus also resigned, called upon Deputy AG Robert Bork to fire Archibald Cox, it was a futile attempt to stay in office that, instead, outraged the country and hastened his departure.

Which makes me wonder what caused Barr to leave, given that Trump has already lost every legal chance to remain president.

Such that, for those who are dancing with joy over the Electoral College bringing an end to Dear Leader’s reign, let me suggest you guarantee your financial futures with this sure-fire investment:

And let me also remind you that, 13 years after Bork only followed orders, President Reagan nominated him for the Supreme Court, which drew this warning from Senator Ted Kennedy:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.

Thank god we avoided all that, eh?

The nomination went to the floor of the Senate with a 9-to-5 unfavorable vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Joseph Biden, whereupon it was defeated 58-42, with two Democrats voting in favor of the appointment and six Republicans voting against it.

The rightwing has never forgotten, and coined the verb “borked” to describe what happens when a worthy candidate is defeated by unfair, partisan opposition.

More openly, that is, than the massive conspiracy against Dear Leader, or what a majority of Republican congressional representatives are on record as claiming happened to him.

 

All, as Gary Varvel (Creators) sees it, because four Justices of the Supreme Court were too cowardly to rule along party lines.

Which, yes, ignores the fact that Thomas and Alito only agreed to hear the case, not to approve its tortured legal premise. Not the point.

 

The point is that the conservatives are not admitting defeat and pledging to cooperate with the new administration.

It seems every new president is saddled with a black-sheep relative, whether it’s Donald Nixon or Billy Carter or Roger Clinton, and some are simply clownish while others delve into dubious legal and ethical waters.

As Bob Gorrell (Creators) predicts, the shortcomings of Biden’s adult son will be hung on his father as a wedge with which to oppose his proposals and policies.

Though, as Sol Tessio explained, it’s only business. Nothing personal.

 

No, this surely ain’t over, and, whatever Dear Leader does in the next five-and-a-half weeks, the notion that the clouds will part at noon on January 20 and all will be renewed and utterly changed is, as Lisa Benson (WPWG) says, a childish fantasy.

But don’t let that depress you.

Let this depress you instead:

 

Do you draw your mother with that pen?

(Ben Garrison – Ind)

 

(Gary McCoy – Cagle)

Hard to know where to begin with these commentaries on the Eric Swalwell matter, though it’s only fair to concede that Ben Garrison is consistently so far off the right fringe that his influence beyond extremists is limited, and that McCoy justified his use of stereotypes at his Facebook page by noting that his Filipino wife, who has a Chinese grandmother, liked the cartoon.

I don’t consider those factors exculpatory, but it’s up to individual newspaper editors whether they pick up either cartoon, and we’ve certainly seen examples of editors placing cartoons on a page and then denying responsibility for whatever follows.

I’m more concerned with that “whatever follows,” because if publishing this style of depiction didn’t provoke a storm of furious blowback, we’d be living in a true dystopia.

 

Note the contrast in how Michael Ramirez (Creators) makes the case against Swalwell. However you feel about the case itself — which he bolsters with a Hunter Biden reference — he doesn’t stoop to offensive stereotypes, which makes his cartoon a reasonable, if debatable, political position.

The Swalwell case is pretty thin gruel: A young Chinese woman studying in the US was gathering information for the Chinese government by volunteering for local political campaigns and sidling up to the candidates.

She apparently had relations with two Midwestern mayors, and there was unconfirmed speculation that her work on Swalwell’s campaign put her in bed with him, he being between marriages at the time.

But Garrison is wrong: She didn’t contribute to Swalwell’s campaign; foreign nationals are not allowed to.

And McCoy’s stack of intelligence is deceptive, because she was not the kind of spy who breaks into missile plants, but one of many lower-level types who simply report on what they see and hear.

The most important part being that US intelligence warned Swalwell about her and, as that Axios story reports, “Swalwell immediately cut off all ties to Fang, according to a current U.S. intelligence official, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

Well, not by them, anyway.

Stay tuned.

Keep your seatbelt fastened.

And don’t bother looking for that unicorn on January 21.

 

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