CSotD: While Democracy Slept (Final Part But Not The End)

Kevin Siers offers a dire warning by juxtaposing the reality of the pending SCOTUS decision with the imagined assurance that it’s just this one thing.

Well, it’s just this one thing that, in and of itself, is going to kill women, given that Louisiana is already pushing a bill that would even outlaw abortion in the case of ectopic pregnancies, and trying to get a bill through to make IUDs illegal.

Which seems unlikely but what the hell is “unlikely” these days? And it’s not the first hint of a move by fanatics to shift their focus to birth control.

George Takei — victim of the internment camps as well as our ongoing homophobia — knows all about what is likely, and warns that we’d better take this moment seriously while we still can. 

Over at the New Yorker, Ali Solomon expresses a wish for Mother’s Day that emphasizes the importance of my generation talking to our children and grandchildren and for god’s sake not simply the female ones.

The idea that this issue splits on gender grounds is insulting to men of good character but also ignores the number of women who dutifully take up their roles as subservient vessels.

In any case, I continue to see cartoons of wire hangers that have not been untwisted into long, lethal needles, which makes it clear to me that the true horrors of the world pre-Roe has not been successfully passed down.

It would be cool if our generation turned those Mother’s Day gatherings into family teach-ins.


Seamus Jennings, for example, offers this portrait of French writer Francoise Sagan as a history lesson, and a remembrance of when, 51 years ago, she was one of the first women to reveal her own history and demand justice.

One million women have abortions each year in France … I declare that I am one of them. I declare that I’ve had an abortion. We demand open access to contraceptives; we demand open abortion.

This was a year before the Ms Magazine proclamation cited earlier in this series, and her courage in coming forward was part of the activism cited in Solomon’s cartoon.

In a nation with a median age of 38, it is history and a history that must be taught by those who were there, who remember the restrictions, the shame, the back alleys and the untwisted coat hangers.


And that, even a half century ago, was already part of an ancient history of silence and denial that must not be revived, as this 1890s ad reminds us.

Teach your children well, indeed. All of them.


But especially those who, as Jeff Stahler (AMS) suggests, will face it themselves, whether you have prepared them or not.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Paul Fell)

(Dr. MacLeod)

An interesting Juxtaposition here, with Fell suggesting that the GOP has blundered into a storm of fury, while MacLeod suggests that perhaps they’ve simply done the old Ben Franklin trick of lining up the advantages and disadvantages and making a choice.

MacLeod does echo the “whoops” factor, mind you, but I would caution that he’s optimistic in suggesting that the move to establish a Christian theocracy will result in a major loss of power.

Decent people have been through six years of thinking this was the final blow, that this insult would not stand, that surely the nation would rise. We won’t know until November.

We ought not to panic, but, then again, if panic is what fills the barricades, by all means, let’s panic.


Because Dave Whamond reminds us that there’s more going on than simply the overturning of abortion rights, and that, between voter repression, planting of corrupt secretaries of state, and partisan gerrymandering, it will take more than a simple majority vote to restore the nation.


Nor, as Ed Hall points out, should we believe that this slow-motion coup has anything to do with a sincere concern about the sanctity of human life.

It is, after all, a truth as old as the arguments about Roe v Wade that, if those who oppose choice were truly “pro-life,” they’d care about and support post-born children as well as the pre-born they pretend to cherish.


Meanwhile, Bob Gorrell (Creators) and other conservatives ignore the substance of the upcoming decision and distract by whining over the breach of protocol and tradition.

The one about keeping SCOTUS decisions secret before they are announced, that is.

Not the one about following the Constitution and letting a sitting president appoint justices to the Supreme Court, or at least being consistent when a vacancy occurs at the close of your own boy’s administration.

As On the Fastrack (KFS)’s Dethany Dendrobia declares, this is not a battle only for the politicians but one that reaches into every corner of society.

To which I add the rallying cry of Chicago, 1968 to those who think they’re getting away with it all:


The Whole World Is Watching

We’ll start the International review gently, as Bruce MacKinnon mourns the impending loss in Canada’s neighbor to the South, and I’ll allow the tired pun in light of both international amity and his graphic chops, but especially since he does not suggest that anyone is wading away from this disaster.


Graeme MacKay’s cartoon requires a little explanation for American readers: First, this is not Murphy Brown, who no doubt has her own opinion on the topic, but a different Candice Bergen, the interim leader of Canada’s Conservative Party.

She has ordered party members not to discuss the American development, amid assurances from the government that Canadian women are under no such peril.

MacKay suspects perhaps there’s a reason she’d rather the topic not come up. As in this country, polls show the public strongly pro-choice, which means letting the Elephant in the Room cut loose could not possibly help her party’s goals.

I wish we could be as afraid of our voters as she is of hers.


Nothing happens in secret these days, and even as far away as Australia, they know, as Matt Golding declares, that this decision is coming from a Court corrupted in its makeup by Donald Trump and his cronies.


While, in Ireland, Daniel Murphy (Cartoon Movement) lets the world know what he thinks of the five who have reportedly signed on with this travesty.

I add an editor’s note that I hesitated because of what is, in this country, a forbidden vulgarity but is common throughout the English-speaking world as a term for a stupid, objectionable person.

I decided that, appalling as it seems here, we unflinchingly use the genital insult “dick” to indicate someone who is thoughtless, stubborn, overbearing and needlessly, pointlessly cruel.

He might have used that one instead.

In any case, the pun is appropriate, given the rightwing’s bizarre, enduring fixation upon lady parts.


Britain’s Dave Brown might not have gotten this one past an American editor, either, so let’s all rejoice that he doesn’t do his cartooning here. It’s both vulgar and appropriate, not simply for the suggestion that Justice has been assaulted but for the implied switch in the writing on the pedestal from “For All” to a British expression for “not even a tiny bit.”

Merriam-Webster says that expression is offensive, but I think the whole damn thing is offensive, and I don’t object to fighting fire with fire.


Another Brit, Ben Jennings, suggests that Lady Liberty is suffering an infestation of tiny vermin, and I take a bit of comfort in his piece, since he does make her far larger and more solid than the cockroaches crawling out from under her robes.


While Martin Rowson not only mocks the pre-born fetus being so carefully sheltered by the Christian Taliban, but surrounds it with both current events and literary references, the reversed cursive at the top being from Yeats’ classic poem, which has been both studied in school and put to song by Joni Mitchell.

We’ll let them close out this series with an appropriate sense of dread.



5 thoughts on “CSotD: While Democracy Slept (Final Part But Not The End)

  1. Some powerful cartoons today. I’m often surprised by how closely other countries keep up with U.S. current events, but of course they do, I guess. At the very least we tend to be a trend-setter, and what takes root over here could soon creep over there.

    Mostly writing to add another reference to Rowson’s piece: the drawing of Trump in utero is riffing on a Leonardo da Vinci cutaway drawing of a womb, and I figure Yeats’s poem is written backwards because that’s how Leonardo wrote. There’s a lot going on in that cartoon.


  2. Where would we be without a free press? I think we’d be across the pages of George Orwell’s 1984 or in Russian, which, as we’re being reminded daily, is really the same place.

  3. I’m seeing a lot of attempts to frame the decision as a win for state’s rights, which only ever seems to come out as an argument when the desired outcome is restricting basic human rights, and always seems to ignore that the majority of the population cannot in fact just move to a different state when things stop going their way.

  4. States Rights was a convenient way to duck the slavery issue as well. But I’d note that we needed an amendment, not just a law, to settle that issue.

    The same people who praise states’ rights now are the ones who assured us we didn’t need the ERA.

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