CSotD: Cover stories

Baby Blues (KFS) sets the stage today, because we’re going to look beyond the cover, much as we might rather not.

BTW, Baby Blues seems, of late, less focused on the humorous oddities of raising a family and more centered on how much Zoey and Hammy hate each other. This doesn’t make for many laughs but it does fit in with the overall tone of the country.

Anyway, today we’ll talk about the contents of various issues, and not just their colorful covers.


First let’s insist on our right to talk at all. David Horsey lays out the problem of alienating potential allies with nit-picking, and I agree that shutting out people from the dialogue on groupspeak technicalities helps assure that (A) you’ll avoid conversations that might cross over and attract new allies and (B) you’ll cut your chances of achieving a plurality, never mind a majority, if things ever turn from talking to actual voting.

Horsey explains this viewpoint in the essay with which he accompanies the cartoon, in which he writes “some on the left are willing to compromise the urgent need to defend a woman’s right to choose in order to play a semantic game.”

However, it’s not clear from the cartoon that the stifled speaker was specifically addressing choice, though he mentions it once. More to the point, the ending does not make it clear that the cartoonist disagrees with the people who want the fellow to shut up.

I like it when cartoonists explain their choices, but there are times when I think they could use an editor to say, “Yes, but what you drew does not match what you wrote.”

Nothing against Horsey, mind you. I often comment on things I don’t think the cartoonists meant.

And, having cleared up the confusion, I agree with him and was particularly pleased that he pointed out this element where the social justice warriors overstep the line:

Horsey calls it “arrogance.” It certainly assumes that “we” understand your culture better than you do.

These well-intentioned speakers of high-school Spanish should probably go through and re-do the whole language, changing puerta to puertx and zapato to zapatx, since doors do not have vaginas and shoes do not have penises.

Meanwhile, Horsey is correct: Most Spanish-speakers reject “Latinx” just as most American Indians reject “Native American.”

But let’s move forward on the assumption that most people actually want to talk to each other.


Though only in English.

Here, Gary Varvel (Creators) commits the sin of “saying the silent part out loud.”

For the past five years, white supremacists have carefully cloaked their views, only occasionally stating that we let in too many immigrants from shithole countries and wondering aloud why we can’t import Norwegians instead.

Recently they’ve dropped the hypocrisy and straight-out spouted “Replacement Theory,” wetting their pants over the scary notion that brown people are becoming a formidable voting bloc.

Tucker Carlson recently switched to outright racism, ignoring his boss’s careful explanation that little Tucker isn’t really espousing Replacement Theory.

“Yes, I am!” crowed little Tucker.

Now Varvel joins the chorus.

Not only does he fear immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but he even notes the threat to white hegemony in Florida, despite the fact that rightwingers have traditionally welcomed Cubans, and that Cubans nearly all vote Republican.

Heck, Cubanos even assisted in the burglary of the DNC headquarters at the Watergate. If you don’t consider them “real Americans,” it’s about race, not political loyalty.

Times change. Back in 2013, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) used the term “wetbacks” and the GOP leadership rose as one to denounce his language.

A different kind of “replacement” has taken place since then, as people like Reince Priebus and John Boehner have been put out to pasture.

We’ll see if anyone in the current leadership denounces those who say the silent part out loud.

But don’t get your hopes up.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Nick Anderson – Counterpoint)


(Rob Rogers)


(Steve Sack)

Not only is there no pretense of equal rights in today’s GOP leadership, but there is no pretense of acting in the best interests of the nation rather than in pursuit of political power.

The last time we needed to raise the debt ceiling, back when the GOP was in power, McConnell and others were frank about the need to preserve our fiscal credibility in the world and the dangers not only to our own economy but to global financial stability in the case of a default.

They were also honest about the fact that the debt ceiling is needed more because of prior spending than to allow future spending.

Today, honesty in the discussion would require admitting that Trump ran up the deficit, and that is a full-stop in the first place. The rest of the roadblock is confidence that, if the US economy collapses, they will be able to blame Biden and not their own recalcitrance.

We shall try that second theory, which rests on the assurance that they don’t have to fool all the people even some of the time, as long as they fool enough people — and gerrymander enough election districts — to maintain power.

As Anderson says, they expect to injure people. They just can’t imagine themselves being among the injured.

And as Rogers says, they’re not afraid to be called hypocrites, perhaps because anyone who would notice has long since made the accusation, as they did in the cramming of Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court a week before the elections, when two years was not enough time to give Merrick Garland’s nomination a hearing. (But see comments)

As Sack puts it, they’re perfectly content to sit back and watch as the nation burns down around their ears.


And why not? They don’t need to mount sensible arguments. They only need to come up to the intellectual level of the previous administration, and Kayleigh MagaNinny demonstrated that this week, denouncing Biden for the murder rate achieved during Trump’s administration.


Bonus Reading:

In lieu of a musical selection, here’s an entertaining discussion by Steve Bell and Martin Rowson about drawing Angela Merkel, who is stepping down after 16 years.

However much the Germans and the EU miss her, the cartoonists truly will.

7 thoughts on “CSotD: Cover stories

  1. Maybe Varvel’s map is intended to explain why the dark reds that tend to denote higher incidence of COVID aren’t clustered at the border, as one would expect logically.

  2. And continuing the nit-picking theme from the cartoon above Varvel’s, when did New Brunswick become a state?

  3. “And as Rogers says, they’re not afraid to be called hypocrites, perhaps because anyone who would notice has long since made the accusation, as they did in the cramming of Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court a week before the elections, when two years was not enough time to give Merrick Garland’s nomination a hearing.”

    Justice Scalia died on February 13, 2016. Not that Senator McConnell’s refusal to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination was not a disgrace, but I don’t see how you got two years out of that.

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