CSotD: Foolish Consistencies

Matt Wuerker (Politico) illustrates the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

Emerson encouraged inconsistency, recommending that you “Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”

Well, t’is the season of hobgoblins and the era of little statesmen, and, as Wuerker points out, they’ve been consistently peddling the same trickle-down nonsense for decades, and, boy, do I wish I could share with him that notion in the fourth panel that people are catching on.

As far as I can tell, the same people who believed it then believe it now, and the same people who doubted it then continue to doubt it with the same likelihood of turning anything around.

(I think it’s not so foolish if it works.)


Jen Sorensen asks a question that has been on my tongue recently, which is why the MSM keeps describing Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin as “centrists” when they are clearly and obviously aligning themselves with conservatives.

To be fair, you can’t accuse Sinema of a foolish consistency, considering that she was once head of the Green Party in Arizona and made a major shift once she had entered Congress, examined the bread carefully and determined which side held the butter.

And Manchin has admitted he has no interest in being consistent with the aims and philosophy of the party whose initial follows his name. Apparently, he simply wanted to be in power and to get there, he had to declare himself a Democrat so he could run against a Republican.

Or something. Another consistency is progressive thinkers trying to probe the minds of people who don’t use them, but, rather, believe in Mike Tyson, who said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Which is sports, a field that provides this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Tank McNamara – AMS)

(Ann Telnaes)

Sportphobics will catch up quickly with the story by reading the strip: Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned under pressure when racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails surfaced. Not after long consultations and not even after the end of the season but right between games.

He may have jumped, but he was most certainly pushed. And those two fans in the comic strip are not the only people who suspect there are a lot more shoes poised to drop.

A little speculative background: The Washington Football Team withstood years of pressure to change its racist nickname from “Redskins,” but folded at a time when they were under legal pressure for their barbaric treatment of their cheerleaders, which stopped just short of pimping them out to major donors, which encouraged other women in the organization to confront them.

The name change, and the probe that brought Gruden’s emails to the surface, may have been sparked by the potential for serious financial losses in the NFL, and Gruden may be their sacrificial lamb.

But this leaves the question of what might motivate the federal government to take action over Jan. 6, now that they have, as Telnaes says, been delivered their lamb?

I suspect that if — like the federal government — it were up to the NFL to sue itself instead of the women of the Washington Redskins being empowered to initiate their own suit, Jon Gruden would still be striding the Raider sidelines.

And the whole thing reminds me of one of my favorite Abbie Hoffman quotes, this one about Earth Day: “Sure, I’ll pick up the Dixie Cup. Who the **** is gonna pick up Con Edison?”

Gruden and Bannon are Dixie Cups, and we’ve got bigger sources of toxic pollution to deal with.

Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick up the Dixie Cup, but maybe we ought to cancel the parade until we’ve accomplished a little more.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2


(Lee Judge – KFS)

(Clay Jones)

If I doubt Matt Wuerker’s suggestion that people are catching on to the scam, this pair backs up my suspicions.

Judge is being sarcastic — fancy a cartoonist doing that — because the Republicans are smart enough to know that, while you can get away with shooting people on Fifth Avenue, you ought not to announce that you’re doing it.

Jones, on the other hand, simply lays it out: We spend kabillions on defense, far more than anyone else, but the DoD’s loyal congresscritters insist we increase Biden’s proposed budget for things that go boom, while cutting back on things that would improve our future.

Note that the response to China’s new missile isn’t to shift spending from, say, magical non-functioning fighter aircraft to anti-hypersonic-missile defenses, but to maintain spending on things we don’t need and a war we’re stopped fighting, plus add some.

While pacifying the Manchins and Sinemas by cutting off appropriations for things the people who live in their district actually need.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Arlo & Janis – AMS)


(Scott Stantis – Counterpoint)

“This is a nice little consumer economy you’ve got here,” they say. “It would be a shame if anything was to happen to it.”

We’d better keep up the protection payments, or we might find empty shelves, which, of course, would be the fault of the shopkeeper and not of the companies who are supposed to supply him.

And lord knows those empty shelves wouldn’t simply be a case of outright fraud, of lying propagandists deliberately using years-old shots of store shelves in other countries to promote misinformation about our own economy.

That wouldn’t be honest.

Arlo & Janis bring to mind the old bromide about how two countries with McDonald’s have never gone to war against each other.


Of course they wouldn’t. It would be bad for business.


Thank goodness for our old pal, First Dog on the Moon, who has looked over the entire stinking mess and decided to forget politics and climate change and focus, instead, on the gracious sea potato.

And, occasionally, the beautiful firetail.

He didn’t mention sea cucumbers, and I hope he will avoid them and any other creatures that turn themselves inside out.

And let me just say that I greatly admire how he has explained this momentous decision.

I’d be inconsistent if I didn’t.



6 thoughts on “CSotD: Foolish Consistencies

  1. Your link to the story about Fox News using outdated out-of-context photos of empty shelves hits home for me.

    A couple months into the pandemic, one of my siblings found out the Fox News website was using a photo of our elderly parents to accompany a story about COVID-19 in nursing homes.

    I can guarantee my parents never had COVID-19 — they died several years earlier. And the photo was even older, probably from about 2005.

    In this case I think Fox News was just using a stock photo of some old folks in a nursing home. My parents weren’t identified in either the article nor in the photo caption. It’s still a mystery how their photo would have made its way into a stock photo library.

  2. @Bob: Once a photo gets on the internets, it’s out there and can spread worldwide without your knowing it.

    Back when I posted my cartoons on my Geocities page, I once included a scan of part of the page of my college yearbook the year I posed without a shirt. Years later, I found it used as the illustration to a news story about a high school yearbook scandal in California, and to illustrate a Mexican educational article about what not to do for yearbook photos.

    Those were only two of about 30-40 examples that turned up by image-googling it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Alamy is selling it with their name watermarked on it by now.

  3. I’d have liked Wuerker’s comic so much better if, in each succeeding panel, there were more folks with life preservers instead of boats, and in the final panel at least one person without even a life preserver. Missed opportunity.

  4. @Paul: Understood, but we’ve never figured out how the image got on the internet in the first place. It wasn’t a photo any of us had seen before. Our best guess is the senior facility they lived in had posted it in a newsletter online, and some bot had scraped it up from that.

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