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CSotD: In other news …

Let’s start the day with a grim chuckle from Wiley Miller, because, while today’s Non Sequitur (AMS) is funny, it’s not.

Whatever the lead time for his strip, this was safe commentary, because we’re seeing book after book come out from both former White House apparatchiks and reporters who covered the Trump administration, explaining all the things that went wrong.

As Wiley points out, these are people who might have done something at the time but chose not to. They have now decided it might be nice to capitalize on the things they never said when it mattered.

But, on the other and even more depressing hand, there were people who spoke up at the time, including Bob Woodward, who launched a trilogy with “Fear: Trump in the White House,” and the then-anonymous staff member who wrote an Op-Ed for the NYTimes that was expanded into a book, “A Warning”.

Both — and others — detailed the combination of ignorance, sloth and ghastly, unearned pride at the center of the Trump administration, including how horrified staff members scrambled to distract Dear Leader and prevent even greater damage to the nation.

The latest in these “Where were you when we needed you?” books is Kellyanne Conway’s “Here’s the Deal,” which is apparently not an apology but rather a reckoning with all who failed to support her push to idolize Trump, including his son-in-law.

Given that Conway is the propagandist who invented the term “alternative facts” to sanitize blatant lies about Trump’s inaugural crowd, it’s hardly a surprise that critics have found “alternative quality” in her accounting of the times.

But, at this stage, it raises the question, “So what?”

The American people voted Trump out of office, but his loyal followers don’t even accept that, much less detect anything wrong with his greed, dishonesty and incompetence.

And the Republican party, rather than reassessing their platform and values in the wake of a four-year disaster that ended in an attempted coup, are hustling to capitalize on his continued popularity and to install gerrymandered districts and compliant secretaries of state in order to regain the prize.

 

Meanwhile, the current guy is getting plenty of scrutiny, as Mike Smith (KFS) notes.

It’s not just his frank statement about Taiwan. The rightwing is — with no justification — ascribing to him all the faults of Trump, who couldn’t speak coherently, drink with one hand or walk down a ramp without stumbling.

But the current kerfuffle is about his answer to a question about whether, if China launched a military attack, the US would come to its defense.

 

Steve Kelley (Creators) mocks the decades-long US policy known as “Strategic Ambiguity,” in which China knows what would happen, Taiwan knows what would happen, and we know what would happen, but nobody wants to see it happen, so we’re all playing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

It’s not unlike Mutual Assured Destruction, in which nuclear powers all know that the first launch would trigger a massive, world-ending response, and so there’s nothing to be gained in rattling sabers and provoking each other.

 

Granted, Biden might have answered the question, “Let’s hope it never comes to that,” and then his staff wouldn’t have had to clarify things, as depicted in this Robert Ariail piece.

Still, Smith is right: Dear Leader made all sorts of intemperate comments about NATO, about Ukraine, about Russia, about hamberders and cofveve and persons, women, men, cameras and TVs, and was praised for “Telling it like it is,” even when he was telling it like it wasn’t.

 

Which is why Biden’s approval ratings are, we keep hearing, so massively, astonishingly lower than Trump’s at this point in their administrations.

The difference being that, rather than obsessing over approval ratings, Trump kept holding campaign-style rallies long after the 2016 campaign was over. We focus on “The Big Lie” of who won the 2020 election, but the “Big Deception” is that Trump perpetuates his popularity by drawing crowds of supporters and playing to them as if he were a rock star rather than the president.

Which works not just for him but for his entire entourage:

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Argyle Sweater – AMS)

(Ed Hall)

The Argyle Sweater celebrates mixed clichés, while Hall mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene for yet another word salad jumble, in which she added “peach tree dish” to “gazpacho police,” “commander and chief” and other malapropisms.

The first cartoon is silly, the second is also silly but disturbing, given that she is a member of congress and that her inability to master the language seems secondary to her belief in Jewish Space Lasers and, now, in the paranoid idea that the government is monitoring our eating habits.

The nitwittery that she favors us with might, from a failing freshman member of Congress, be hilarious fun.

 

But she just won the GOP Primary for her seat, and, if you’re still laughing, your grasp of numbers is no better than her grasp of language.

 

Granted, the previous election was a personal disaster for the well-intentioned sacrificial lamb who stepped up to oppose her, but, then again, the fact that he was the only available opponent should suggest a repeat in November.

At which point Greene may be joined in Congress by Georgia’s next senator, Herschel Walker.

The point being that, if insulting unqualified candidates were effective, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

 

And if you don’t understand it now, you may have missed your chance. Andy Marlette (Creators) gets a laugh from this commentary on a federal court shutting down Florida’s attempt to stifle free speech, but he who laughs last laughs best.

Like the similar attempt in Texas to regulate Internet speech along partisan lines, the whole thing seems absurd, but any setbacks Big Brother faces in Federal District Courts will be appealed to McConnell’s six-member, three-irrelevancies Supreme Court.

 

While, as Matt Wuerker (Politico) points out, the disenfranchised workingclass continues to be deceived, disillusioned and recruited as loyal white-supremacist voters by the very people who shipped their jobs overseas a generation ago.

 

Mind you, they aren’t lying.

They just aren’t admitting to their part in overturning the nation.

And the local men are lazy, and they make too much of trouble,
‘Sides, we’d have to pay them double.

 

Community Comments

#1 Mark Stacy
May/31/2022
@ 10:14 am

Spelled the fake word wrong. It’s “covfefe”.

I loathe our fascist ex-prez, but I love the made-up typo word. Could’ve shared space in MAD with “potrzebie” (“I need” in Polish) as a great exotic in-joke.

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