David Rowe (Financial Review) offers a somewhat enigmatic response to yesterday’s release of the tape in which Dear Leader solicited a crime or suborned perjury or attempted to extort Georgia’s Secretary of State or whathaveyou.
It is a tangled web, but, as he notes, it’s only one in a collection of damaging recordings that should have brought an end to Trump’s political career and yet there he remains, stolidly tweeting away on his phone.
Which reminds me to wonder if anyone ever got him to switch to a secure phone, but perhaps it doesn’t matter.
He seems, spider-like, able to walk around freely on a web that would trap anyone else, and it’s worth noting — or possibly worth nothing — that the Diaper Don’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, made his bones by trapping the Dapper Don with taped conversations.
Various people have opined on the criminality involved, including Dan Rather, who tweeted, “The audio of Trump with the Georgia secretary of state. Wow. It’s like telling the Nixon tapes to ‘hold my beer.'”
Carl Bernstein wrote “In any other conceivable moment in US history, this tape would result in the leadership of both parties demanding the immediate resignation of the President of the United States.”
I don’t know that it’s any worse than the White House tapes, except that it is a recording of the crime itself rather than a recording of people discussing the crime. But I agree with Bernstein that, given our current political situation, there’s a good chance it will come to naught.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many cartoonists leapt to their drawing boards on a Sunday afternoon, though I suspect few of them will appear in print, since Monday editorial pages are usually done in advance.
Another reason newspapers should focus more sharply on the digital product.
And I’ll go further and guess that I’ve only seen the cartoons from those who post their own work, and that there are possibly more which will not appear until they’ve wound their way through a bureaucracy that ought not to exist.
But let’s focus on the work. Most didn’t try to be particularly clever, given that the president’s own words spoke so eloquently that satire was unnecessary.
Ann Telnaes (WashPost) offers a selection of damning snippets, her own commentary being the mobster pinstripes and a hat that reminds me of Rocky, the crook in the 1963 Bugs Bunny takeoff on the Untouchables.
Subconscious or coincidental, it’s a little reminder that she cut her teeth in animation, and there’s value in adding a bit of humor to brighten a moment that is absurd but not in a funny way.
Barry Blitt (NYer) also mocks the conversation, comparing it to a Comedy Central TV show in which puppets lip-synch prank phone calls.
Again, he doesn’t have to try to improve on the quote, because his artwork makes it appropriately ridiculous, and that Bert-like rendition of Raffensperger captures the shocked response to Trump’s bizarre listing of disproven claims.
Meanwhile, the Award for Unintentional Humor goes to Jesse Kelly, who describes himself as “Host of the Nationally Syndicated Jesse Kelly Show. Anti-Communist. Community College credits.”
And lecturer on how to be manly and what constitutes a private conversation.
To which I would point out, with matching third-grade logic, that “he started it” and that, if Trump (somehow) thought it was a private conversation, he shouldn’t have tweeted about it.
Because the truth did indeed come out and not long after Raffensperger predicted it would. Dude must be psychic.
Both Georgia and the District of Columbia are “one party consent” jurisdictions, which means that it’s perfectly legal to record a phone conversation as long as one of the parties knows it’s happening. That’s also the federal law, so, however manly Raffensperger may or may not be, he was within his rights to make a recording of the Diaper Don’s call.
And, by the way, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington are two party consent states, which prompts this caution:
(I)f you and the person you are recording are in different states, then it is difficult to say in advance whether federal or state law applies, and if state law applies which of the two (or more) relevant state laws will control the situation. Therefore, if you record a phone call with participants in more than one state, it is best to play it safe and get the consent of all parties.
As a reporter, I never understood why anyone would object to my recording our conversation, since they already knew they were on the record and, if we were face to face, they could see me writing down what they said.
A few times, the interview subject would pull out their own recorder, which was fine with me, since, if they didn’t like the way the story came out, they could go back and see that I had the quote right. Which I did, because I used the recording to make sure.
So, anyway, Trump is apparently suing Raffensperger for spreading the truth or something or other.
Suing people is one of Dear Leader’s favorite strategies for intimidating them into backing down.
Don’t think it’s gonna work for him this time.
Which brings us to Ed Wexler (Cagle)‘s simple cartoon, in which he keeps the words the same but adds some visual depiction of the mood.
It should be noted that people rarely shout when they’re saying things like “This is a nice little state you have here. It would be a shame if anything was to happen to it,” or “You have a big election coming up on Tuesday. And I think that it is really is important that you meet tomorrow and work out on these numbers.”
Though, for that matter, they don’t often sing it, either.