CSotD: Sins of commission and omission

Paul Fell offers a nuanced take on the current, horrific situation in the wake of Dobbs, as red states flex their newly acquired muscle without, as he suggests, any solid sense of how to do it.

“Nuanced” in that, while he depicts the incredibly harsh laws as vicious, he makes the lawmaker appear more foolish and incompetent than intentionally cruel, making the cartoon more of an explanation than an excuse.

But the end result is much the same for the unfortunate woman being victimized.

The majority of Americans are pro-choice, but a substantial number of those people are simultaneously pro-life. That is, they acknowledge the right, and often the necessity, to terminate a pregnancy, but they’d rather it were, as the phrase goes, “legal, safe and rare,” and they’re willing to accept limits on the procedure, so long as those limits are well-thought-out, compassionate and practical.

However, this shift in the law comes at a time (and, arguably, as a result) of intentional division and conflict, so that we certainly do have examples of deliberate, heartless cruelty among a powerful lunatic fringe of misogynistic puritans who seem to consider pregnancy God’s punishment for having had sex, even non-consensual sex, even by children.

Leaving the real question one of who elected these people, and what anybody plans to do about it in November.

As always, of course, “doing nothing” is one of the options, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of Delay

(Ann Telnaes)


(Ward Sutton)


(Jimmy Margulies – KFS)

Three examples of our collective indolence.

Telnaes points out that, horrifying as it was to see documentation of Trump’s intentional lack of action during the attempted coup, he had the backing throughout his administration of both administrators and legislators who could plainly see what was going on and chose to capitalize on it rather than to correct it.

Sutton turns the “Why didn’t they do something?” outrage aimed at the various police forces who responded at Uvalde to the legislators who have similarly wandered without leadership and hence without purpose, doing nothing not for 70 minutes but for the past 18 years since the federal ban on assault weapons was permitted to expire.

And Margulies similarly cites the way people are outraged over the delay in Uvalde but somehow show no such fury over the way our leaders — again stymied mostly by an utter lack of leadership despite the obvious crisis — have done nothing to protect us against climate change.

The operative phrases, in all three cases, is “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

As for a message to the foot soldiers in this parade of shame, I’m reminded of my first traffic ticket, which involved two traffic lights less than a block apart, one green and one red.

I told the judge I hadn’t intended to violate the law but hadn’t noticed the second light, to which he said that paying attention is central to safe driving and that he’d rather I said I saw it and chose to ignore it than that I never saw it at all.

An excellent point that I would pass on to the collaborators in these unforgiveable delays.

And, since I don’t believe they are dumb little teenagers, I’ll add this second point, made by a different sort of judge:


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Dave Granlund)


(Jeff Danziger)

Speaking of Godfathers, there was a sudden, surprising shift in favor, as the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal and NY Post published harsh editorials this past week condemning Donald Trump for his part in the attempted coup and declaring him unfit to hold public office.

But the sense of surprise didn’t last for long.

And, over at Politico, Jack Shafer brushed the break-up off in more than 144 characters, but with a similar shrug that Murdoch was motivated by political pragmatism rather than some sudden Saul-of-Tarsus desire to get right with God.

We haven’t seen Fox News go nearly so far. After all, the Post had a loyal readership back when Trump was just a publicity hound building unsuccessful casinos, while, even before Murdoch bought it, the WSJ was a must-subscribe for people in business, even those who laughed at its frothing-at-the-mouth rightwing editorial page.

They could dump Donald Trump in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose a single reader.

But Fox News has a more fundamental commitment to pleasing the MAGA mob, and, so far, the harshest thing they seem to have done is to offer an honest report on current polling, despite their meal ticket not topping the charts.

It did not go unnoticed, mind you, but, even if Murdoch decided to put conscience above ratings, this oil tanker would require a lot of space in which to turn itself around.


Meanwhile, back in the Mother Country

The past two years of cartooning in the UK have featured sarcastic jokes about covid-defying parties at 10 Downing Street and impenetrable digs at politicians I couldn’t keep straight. But now, with Boris Johnson shuffling off stage and the Conservatives having whittled the number of potential successors down to two, it’s becoming fun to follow things again.

Steven Camley is hardly the only cartoonist vacillating over the prospects, given that Liz Truss has a wide lead in the polls while cartoonists view her as something of a nincompoop compared to Rishi Sunak.

As a result, they seem torn between the likely winner, who would furnish them with endless material for cartoons, and the less likely Sunak, who might prove better for the country.

At the moment, her loyal backing of Brexit — despite having been on record against it — fits into this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Andy Davey)


(Harry Harrison)

Incredibly long lines at the Dover crossing from Britain to France are attributed to Brexit, with people observing that, when the UK was in the EU, customs officers simply glanced at passports and waved people through, while now that it’s a genuine foreign border, they’re slowing things down significantly.

The overarching lesson is that the Brexit referendum won in 2016 because so many people assumed it wouldn’t and so didn’t bother voting.

Not that you had to cross the Atlantic in 2016 to learn the price of not showing up to vote.

There aren’t many times when doing nothing proves the right move.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Sins of commission and omission

  1. I wonder if Ann Telnaes’s cartoon requires a third panel for those who chose not to participate in the elections

  2. I think you missed the point with Camley which was that Scottish Cricket has just been found guilty of institutional racist so would prefer the white but totally incompetent Truss to the brown but competently corrupt Sunak.

  3. Good clarification, Ian. It doesn’t negate the point — there are other cartoons without that element — but it’s obviously his main point. A large reason I’ve been avoiding UK political cartoons is that I barely have time to immerse myself in our cesspool, let alone theirs.

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