A different sort of Juxtaposition to start the day: The famous lines from Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Silver Blaze,” combined with Ann Telnaes’ righteous outrage over the revelations of Senator Mike Lee’s texts, outlining his plan to cooperate in overturning the 2020 elections.
The texts caused an uproar on social media, but, as in the Sherlock Holmes story, the watch dogs that should have raised an alarm — as Aaron Rupar and Lindy Li note — were curiously silent.
Today’s headline is a riff on an Arab proverb, “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” which has, so far, seemed applicable to the uproar and evidence of January 6 and the lack of any action from the Justice Department to hold powerful seditionists accountable.
It’s not that no dogs have barked, but that the most powerful watchdogs are silent, and the caravan leaders do not take the little yapping curs seriously.
Nor does anyone require them to.
After all, the January 6 Committee conceded that it has evidence that could lead to indictments, but, like Robert Mueller, they are hesitant to pursue the matter with regard to Donald Trump.
In “Silver Blaze,” the fact that the dog does not bark tells Holmes that the horse thief was not a stranger, but someone the dog knew and trusted.
I suppose I should have prefaced that with a spoiler alert, but, good lord, it’s hardly the most significant spoiler in this sordid affair.
After all, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has gone on record as saying the war in Ukraine might have been prevented had we only armed Zelensky’s forces before the invasion.
However, that dog didn’t bark when Donald Trump was extorting Zelensky, refusing to release approved aid unless the Ukrainians helped him with his re-election campaign, and not only did the dog not bark but, when the impeachment process clearly showed the manipulation, he licked his master’s hand and voted to acquit.
Now he’s barking, but, to interject another well-worn phrase, up the wrong tree.
And it’s hardly the only case in which the watch dogs fail to bark.
Juxtaposition of the Day
To be fair, the party in power always takes the blame for economic downturns, and — with credit to Fell for smelling a rat — it’s hardly surprising to see Biden taking the hit for inflation and high gas prices.
The Blame Game, however, is more fiercely fought today. When I was covering the housing market in the middle 80’s, mortgage rates were in double digits, and, while Reagan was blamed for a lot of things, I don’t recall that being laid on his table.
But that was just at the start of Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist, a decade before the Contract With America and two before the start of the Tea Party Movement.
We were a kinder, gentler nation, though Reagan’s vice-president somehow failed to make that phrase real when he got his turn in the Big Chair.
In any case, it’s fair to criticize what Biden and the Fed have or haven’t done, but it’s certainly not fair to ignore the fact that the global economy is intertwined and that all nations are feeling the same pinches and pressures.
There may have been a time when the US economy was the straw that stirred the drink, but we’re hardly that dominant today, and you might as well blame Germany or China for high prices as hang it around Uncle Sam’s neck, whoever is in the White House at the moment.
Yet here we are, and I’ll have to admit I’m not sure of Tim Campbell (WPWG)’s intentions here: Biden is being blamed and he has countered that the war is a major factor, but I can’t tell if Campbell says Biden is offering an explanation or an excuse.
I don’t suppose it matters. The caravan moves on, whether or not the dogs bark.
John Branch (KFS) points out a deliberate performative political stunt, one of several that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has pulled as he apparently angles for the GOP presidential nomination.
Dispatching his National Guard to stand around looking at the Rio Grande seems mostly a waste of their time and dedication, plus state funding, and piling undocumented immigrants into buses headed for Washington is a bit cruel and potentially a federal offense.
But if the people of Texas enjoy watching him show off, it’s their circus and their monkey. Abbott doesn’t appear to be making much of an impact on the GOP race so far, after all.
However, if you’re looking for reasons the economy is failing to recover, Abbott’s slowdown at the border has had an impact not only on food prices and availability — nearly a quarter billion dollars worth of produce went bad on those stalled trucks — but on production in US factories as well.
Mind you, Paul Fell isn’t the only dog barking at industry — oil and others — for choosing to maintain profits despite the impact on customers and, as his robbery victim volunteers his credit cards, it seems likely consumer debt will be rising as we all run as fast as we can just to stay in one place.
But that caravan, too, keeps moving on.
I was surprised but pleased to see that Ed Hall had also noted that, on the day Christians celebrate a victory over death, a whole lot of people in this country encountered death at the hands of firearms.
In fact, before seeing Hall’s cartoon, I had been struck by a few news reports, so I fed the word “shooting” into the search line at Google News. The results certainly prepared me for his commentary .
As it happens, Steve Cousineau had posted this cartoon not only before Easter, but before the subway shooting in NYC.
It doesn’t matter when he drew it, just as it doesn’t matter when you feed “shooting” into Google News.
Whether or not the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody, outside of a small circle of friends.