See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Repeat as needed

Morten Morland offers an Easter-themed bit of Moskva Mockery.

Most of today’s Easter cartoons, as with most mandatory holiday cartoons, seem unremarkable, though his detailed style adds some interest here. It’s not Beatrix Potter’s watercolors; more like Uncle Wiggly, but it echoes traditional gentle bunny depiction, with the addition of a sly expression that couldn’t be captured in a less detailed piece.

The eggs, of course, show Ukraine’s national colors, and, in the background, down goes the Moskva.

Raising the question, “So what?”

Just as there are a flood today of Easter cartoons, there is also a flood of Moskva Mockery. Morland’s stands out, but it’s important to consider the impact.

It’s more about morale than transformation.

Richard Nixon, and LBJ before him, saw the cartoons of Mauldin and Herblock and felt the sting, and I would assume people like Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher did likewise in Britain.

But I’d be surprised to hear that Vladimir Putin sees any of the gibes aimed at him by Western cartoonists, and, more distressingly, I doubt that Donald Trump does either.

Nor, in our fragmented world, do I think the followers of politicians like Donald Trump see anything that might disturb their faith, since they remain bathed in the warm, reassuring comfort of Murdoch media, where never is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day.

 

Mike Luckovich points out the enormous, inescapable shortcomings of Herschel Walker, a former football star who is running for the US Senate in Luckovich’s home state of Georgia.

Walker has lied, outrageously, about his academic record, he has admitted to disabling mental illness and to having physically abused his wife, and has, in interviews, exhibited gob-smacking ignorance of the issues any credible political candidate should master.

It’s an insult to the memory of Jack Kemp, another former football star who proved a bright, insightful and capable congressman, cabinet member and vice-presidential candidate. Kemp’s fame no doubt boosted his recognition factor, but he then proved his worthiness.

Walker is simply running on fame.

It’s also an insult to the memory of Thomas Eagleton, who was forced to drop off the McGovern ticket in 1968 (Editor’s Note — No, ’72. See comments) because he had been hospitalized not for unmanageable bouts of violence but for simple depression.

We appear to have reached a point where voters do not choose the person they think would be best in the office but, rather, think they are in a contest to guess who will win, and so mark the ballot based on recognition rather than qualification.

This is how semi-literate peasants help dictators remain in power, while, in this country, it means that Honey Boo Boo, or any Kardashian, could win office.

Meanwhile, if you’re waiting for that moment of “At long last, have you no sense of decency?” you might as well be waiting for the Easter Bunny .

Which explains why the Republican National Committee has not only withdrawn from Presidential Debates in 2024 but forbidden its candidate to debate the Democratic nominee without permission from the central committee.

Why risk screwing up something that works?

However, that doesn’t mean political cartooning has no purpose. It may be becoming hard to afflict the comfortable, but it’s still possible to comfort the afflicted, and perhaps even to motivate them.

Case in point:

Juxtaposition of the Day

Deb Milbrath

 

Matt Davies (AMS)

 

Nick Anderson (Counterpoint)

Cries of “Benghazi!” and “But her emails!’ were instrumental in destroying Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions, but only because they reinforced pack loyalty, not because they convinced anyone who intended to vote for her to, instead, mark the ballot for a man who bragged of grabbing women’s genitals.

Similarly, the outrageous profiteering of the Trump children, even the apparent payoff Jared Kushner received from the Saudis — which, by the way, was apparently going to be 10 billion but got reduced to two — will do nothing to change the minds of people fixated on Hunter Biden’s laptop, because the laptop was never a real scandal in the first place.

Plus they aren’t hearing about Jared.

You might as well try to explain the off-sides rule to a sideline full of screaming parents at a high school soccer game as attempt to convince MAGAts of the difference between Hunter’s personal shortcomings and Trump family scams that seem likely to have involved not just ethical lapses but fraud, intelligence breaches and political betrayal.

However, it is still possible to arouse the unmotivated to take elections seriously, to show up and vote against the scam artists, and to play upon their sense of decency and call forth their semi-dormant sense of pride in country.

If no-one else, we should be able to reach those witnessing their own friends and family under attack, as seen in

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Pat Bagley)

 

(Mike Lester – AMS)

Bagley notes the futility of trying to work across the aisle with people who are off the wall. The mounting tide of officially sanctioned hatred and bigotry on the right is beyond reason and, yes, beyond any sense of decency.

This is not simply an emotional response: Florida has just rejected a number of math books for violating the state’s law against teaching Critical Race Theory, without explaining their decisions, much less how two plus two invokes race.

Perhaps it’s because if Johnny has six apples and gives three of them away, it means Johnny is a socialist. But I rather suspect the CRT problem is that Jamal had those six apples, or, worse, that he was one of the people Johnny gave them to.

Meanwhile, at the risk of invoking a foreign sport in America a second time, Lester seems to score an own-goal, since most of us with any worldly experience know how often those who preach loudest against sexual perversion wind up getting caught with their own pants down someplace they oughtn’t to be.

As I read the cartoon, I’d guess the person who accuses others of “grooming” is shouting from within the echo chamber of his own closet.

Oh, Tucker thou doth protest way too much.

Asking bigots to become honest and decent is not a reasonable goal.

But inspiring Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and their friends and relations, to show up at the polls is both reasonable, and patriotic.

 

Community Comments

#1 Nicholas Merritt
April/18/2022
@ 9:58 am

… what point was Lester /trying/ to make? Given the heavily exaggerated aspects of the two people involved, it doesn’t seem like anything positive (which would be par for the course), but the only thing I can think of is that he’s saying they’re also pedophiles, which seems further than he would normally go (as low of a bar as that is).

#2 Harley Liebenson
April/18/2022
@ 2:06 pm

Eagleton was McGovern’s prospective VP in 1972, not 1968.

68 was Humphrey/Muskie.

Like you I lived through it. Fat lot of good that did me…

#3 Mark Jackson
April/18/2022
@ 2:57 pm

There’s a certain economic logic behind Florida’s attack on math textbooks: if you raise them to believe 2+2=5 you can save a lot on rats and face masks going forward.

#4 Mike Peterson
April/19/2022
@ 1:49 am

Nicely referenced, Mark.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.