Political cartoons aren’t supposed to be funny except when they are, and I got a laugh out of Cathy Wilcox‘s piece, though I recognized the serious point behind it.
It is, of course, a double criticism, of America’s erratic policies and of Australia’s response, and I’m betting that not all her readers at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age appreciated seeing their country depicted as a puppy dog.
But, hey, one must ofttimes be cruel to be kind. Or if the shoe fits. Or something.
Point being, on a larger scale, that our switch from Trump to Biden is giving the world a bit of whiplash, and our continuing family feud isn’t exactly reassuring them.
It’s nice to wake up in the morning and not start the day with “What’s he done now?” but for other countries, they stretch that out for four years and wonder how they can rely on us not to snap back?
It’s reminiscent of this exchange from Cat Ballou:
Jackson Two-Bears: Kid, Kid, what a time to fall off the wagon. Look at your eyes.
Kid Shelleen: What’s wrong with my eyes?
Jackson Two-Bears: Well they’re red, bloodshot.
Kid Shelleen: You ought to see ’em from my side.
But, however painful our side of the situation may feel, there’s more to the metaphor, because Shelleen sober was one helluva heroic gunfighter, and Shelleen drunk was a useless saddle bum.
And, as the world is learning, you never know which one is going to show up.
Which, by the way, is a whole lot funnier in the movies than it is in real life.
And it isn’t funny in politics, either. Here’s an example of how it impacts our foreign policy, and the world:
Juxtaposition of the Day
The situation in Israel is stressed and nasty and complicated.
Murphy is treading on thin ice, for example, by using the Mogen David as a graphic, because it relates to all Jews, not just to the nation of Israel and its government. There is nothing Anti-Semitic about opposing the settlements, but you have to be careful to make it clear that you’re talking politics and not religion.
But that cuts both ways: Even Brodner’s elaborate, specific argument is going to meet resistance in some quarters.
And Andrew Yang, candidate for NYC Mayor, is finding his support of Israel an entanglement that seems to bring him more support from his natural opponents than his assumed supporters.
Best quote from that article: “He should have sided with both sides.”
Where the Kid Shelleen factor kicks in is that the US has always stated its opposition to West Bank settlements, though without doing much about them.
But Trump kicked over the chessboard, taking credit for Israeli/Arab reconciliations that were in progress without him and overturning decades of policy by recognizing Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, as the nation’s capital.
Thus blundering into a strained situation in which Netanyahu has been struggling to form a government and, now, Hamas is losing its grip on Gaza, giving Bibi the chance to tell Biden to butt out, and to argue
Nice work, Kid.
Meanwhile, if Kid Shelleen had a sidekick, it might well be Boris Johnson, who was elected on a pledge to leave the EU which nobody thought would actually happen, and who set up a referendum that nobody thought voters would approve. (No — see comments)
Well, Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
Setting up this
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
Johnson’s announcement that vaccinations have reached a level where hugging is back inspired both Turner and Blower to comment on those who have no desire to hug him, led by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
Scotland had narrowly turned down a referendum for freedom in 2014, but Brexit has revived their resentment of English politics and Sturgeon wants to ask the question again, now that they’ve lost easy access to European markets.
Her Scottish National Party fell one seat short of a majority in last week’s elections, but that is hardly a crushing defeat and, while it likely dampens prospects for a second referendum, it doesn’t require her to stop poking the lion or the unicorn.
And, as Turner suggests, Scotland’s rumblings are emboldening Welsh nationalists, while Northern Ireland is furious at the way Brexit revived border issues with the Republic they thought had vanished with the Good Friday Accords.
It’s hard for us Yanks to say much about Johnson’s situation. Brexit may have passed because so many voters assumed it wouldn’t, but we elected the wrong Shelleen on the same principle.
Juxtaposition of the Day #3
Nicola Sturgeon isn’t the only politician hoping for a second shot, the difference being that our crew is working to load the dice for Dear Leader in 2024.
As Byrnes points out, Florida and Texas are the latest to diagnose their problem, and Telnaes indicates the simple solution the GOP is implementing.
Which, as she suggests, brings to mind the question Brendan Nyhan keeps asking, “What would you say if you saw it happening in some other country?”
However, there is a ray of hope emerging in our
Juxtaposition of the Day #4
This was a surprise, as two normally loyal Trump supporters acknowledge the damage the Republican Party is self-inflicting with their condemnation of Liz Cheney and their stubborn embrace of the Big Lie. (And I love the mouse’s square glasses.)
Now there is talk of a breakaway conservative party forming, with 100 prominent Republicans about to step forward. So they say.
Granted, we’ve had way too many times when we needed Sober Shelleen, only to have Drunken Shelleen show up in his place.
But it’s nice to see that the band is no longer playing cheerful, supportive tunes while the ship goes down.
As Ramirez points out, the GOP is on the verge of hitting rock bottom but is stubbornly clinging to the notion that less truth is the key to recovery.
Might not be a bad outcome for them.
Rock bottom is sometimes where real change finally starts.
That’s where you finally have to realize there’s nothing funny about it.