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CSotD: The Corpulent Woman May Never Sing

Ben Jennings offers the best view of what’s going on in Ukraine. Other cartoonists are either showing a bear retreating from the fray, or one vaguely bothered by a small biting animal of some sort. The former approach greatly overstates the balance of force in play, the latter infantilizes a courageous resistance.

Jennings hits a nice balance: She is clearly outgunned, but absolutely determined, and the tank driver is unnerved by her unexpected courage. There is also an unstated implication that, while his tank will rumble on, so will the continued pushback to his presence.

It’s not over. And it may never be over. Political commentators ought not to speak too soon, for the wheel is in spin.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Wuerker – Politico)

 

(Patrick Blower)

Wuerker and Blower both seize upon Putin’s absurdly long table as a symbol of his isolation, Wuerker from the reality of the world’s rejection, Blower from the impact of his policy on the Russian people.

The table itself may have sprung from his fear of the coronavirus, which caused him to isolate himself with all visitors required to undergo testing and still keep their distance. It’s a disturbing sign in someone who, as Blower notes, has access to nuclear weapons, but it’s not necessarily an indication of his descent into a Howard Hughes level of germiphobic madness.

But it does fit a pattern that should cause concern, and, if you click on nothing else today, you absolutely should read this interview with Fiona Hill, who has expert insights on Putin and who cautions that we don’t have to worry about World War III because we’re already in it. This is what wars now look like.

Putin is not advancing anything new by employing what-about-isms to explain his policy.

Four years ago, President Trump used the same reasoning to explain his admiration for the Russian leader:

Nor are Trump and his fans the only ones advancing this approach, as seen in this

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Darrin Bell – KFS)

 

(Rob Rogers – AMS)

It’s certainly true that we doctored up the evidence to justify our invasion of Iraq, and it’s fair to note that, while we weren’t looking to expand our own national borders, the idea of “national borders” is a bit archaic, given Fiona Hill’s analysis that WWIII is already in progress.

Still, Alcoholics Anonymous would have to close shop if those who have erred are forever barred from counseling those making the same mistake.

And, by this logic, the fact that the United States once condoned slavery would make it hypocritical for us to pass civil rights legislation.

Rogers suggests that we ought not to blame the Russian people for the fact that their leadership has run roughshod over their best interests, but I don’t think anyone was doing that.

I’d certainly entertain an effort to strengthen Congress’s role in declaring war, but (A) I don’t want to put Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema in charge of foreign policy and (B) let’s help put out the fire in our neighbor’s burning house before we worry about  installing a sprinkler system in our own.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Dana Summers – Creators)

 

(AF Branco – Creators)

Gotta admit, when I saw Summers’ piece, I wondered WTF he was talking about, since I knew it has been a few years since Barack Obama was president and I was reasonably sure Summers’ knew it, too. Then I came across Branco’s cartoon and it sent me scrambling to the Googles.

Turns out that, in an interview, Mitt Romney buttressed his criticism of Putin’s invasion by pointing out that, in a presidential debate in 2012, he had cited Russia as our greatest foreign concern, which Obama swatted away on the ground that, while that had been true some decades before, our greatest concern at the moment was al Qaeda.

We may have been wrong to search for al Qaeda in Iraq, though that was Bush’s error, not Obama’s.

But it’s hard to argue that, in 2012, Russia was our most pressing issue.

 

Unless you want to, and, as Jeff Stahler (AMS) suggests, we really, really want to.

Nikita Khruschev once said, of America, “We will bury you,” and the Red Scare Gang assumed it was a threat, that he was announcing the Soviet Union’s intent to destroy us.

Rather, it was simply an old Russian expression meaning that they would still be around to perform our funeral rites, that they would be here when we were gone.

It’s beginning to look like a goddam foot race.

 

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Sure we can. The Billy Ireland continues their display of Ollie Harrington’s work, and if you are anywhere in range of Columbus, you should go have a look.

But meanwhile, here’s a piece I found in the Detroit Free Press, back in 1984, back when Harrington was still working from his self-imposed exile in Berlin.

 

And here’s a portion of a 1944 article from the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation’s foremost Black newspapers, about Harrington’s unspectacular attempt at being a war correspondent, the punchline being that, while he hadn’t found a lot of boom-boom to write about, he was one of the few reporters who found anything at all, and his reports were reproduced beyond the Black press.

Quality will out.

 

And I was sorry to hear of Richard Guindon’s passing. DD Degg has a nice report, to which I would simply add this cartoon that was on the wall over my desk for years.

 

Right next to this one.

There was also a Guindon in the production studio at the radio station where I worked, in which a mother tried to cheer up her disconsolate young son, saying, “That’s okay, honey. I remember when I met my first disk jockey.”

As noted in that linked article, the man was just too smart for the room. Paul Berge was also a fan.

Speaking of smart work …

 

Will Henry’s Wallace the Brave (AMS) is frequently, proudly, defiantly too smart for the room, as is Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the graphic novel empire overseen by Jeff Kinney.

The PBS station in Providence has interviewed them both.

(I may purchase a store and see if my drawing improves)

https://www.pbs.org/video/rhode-island-pbs-weekly-2202022-qu2tiy/

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
March/1/2022
@ 9:44 am

Thanks for the link!

Here’s hoping for a week without any more obits in Daily Cartoonist.

#2 George Walter
March/1/2022
@ 10:27 am

I read Bell and Rogers, and Summers and Branco, as expressing irony, not whataboutism. As they say, “What goes around comes around.”

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