CSotD: On the Eve

Scott Stantis sits out on a lonely limb, preserving his professional identity as a conservative while also maintaining personal decency, which results in a cartoon like this.

It shouldn’t be necessary to identify a conservative as thoughtful and decent, but here we are, and Stantis’s take on the FBI search is one of the few conservative viewpoints being expressed that upholds the rule of law and the legitimacy of the United States government.

I’m not so much praising his cartoon as asking where the hell the rest of those people are? What happened to the Scoop Jacksons and the Ev Dirksens and the George Romneys, the thoughtful conservatives who took issues one at a time and often surprised either right- or left-wingers with where they landed on a particular point.

If you want to Make America Great Again, start by finding where they all went.

There are many distinctions between Watergate and the Jan 6 rebellion, but Jeff Stahler (AMS) cuts to the chase with this important difference: Nixon was at pains to protest his innocence. Trump has not actually proclaimed his guilt, but he is certainly looking us in the eye and defying us to make it matter.

You could compare Liz Cheney to Howard Baker, an honest conservative who becomes a more determined opponent in the face of someone who dishonors his party, his oath and his nation.

But where are the rest? I recall a few Nixon loyalists on the Senate Watergate Committee and, particularly, on the House Judicial Committee that had to make the decision to impeach, but they were at least balanced, if not outweighed, by loyal Republicans who were outraged by the President’s actions.


Today, we have Cheney and Kinsinger, throwing themselves on the grenade because not only is nobody else on their side of the aisle willing to stand up for the rule of law, but, as Pat Byrnes depicts it, those who speak at all speak in defiance of it.

What they say in Congress is protected by specific statutes, and, of course, they have the same free speech rights of any of us.


But words have meaning, as Sen. Charles Sumner learned when he spoke out against extending slavery into Kansas, only to have an enraged Rep. Preston Brooks come over from the House and beat him bloody with a cane.

As that linked story from the Senate’s own site recounts, “Both men became heroes in their respective regions,” and Sumner’s assailant, who resigned in the wake of the event, was re-elected.

The nation, suffering from the breakdown of reasoned discourse that this event symbolized, tumbled onward toward the catastrophe of civil war.

And here we are.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Nick Anderson — Tribune)


(Lisa Benson — Counterpoint)

Anderson and Benson don’t seem to disagree on what is happening: The attempt to hold the former President accountable to law is being presented to the mob as an outrage.

They simply disagree on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Republicans seem united behind a desire to defy, if not overturn, the government of the United States, and, if you think that’s just politics, depress yourself with Charlie Sykes’ extensive collection of the ghastly things they’ve said to stir up their minions.

Like Benson, they see the search as an opportunity and perhaps a chance to try the January 6 power-grab once more.

And this Vanity Fair article makes it even more clear that, whether their spittle-flecked outrage results in any legislative action, their words, and the words of their rightwing media allies, are already getting a response from the people they managed to assemble at the Capitol once before.

Or check out this CNN wrap-up of how the reign of terror is being fueled:

Some clown in the Florida legislature wants to introduce legislation to strip the federal government of legal authority within the state, and however such a ludicrous proposal would fare among his (presumably) less insane fellow legislators, even Ron Desantis would have more sense than to sign it.

Sure, it’s screwy. But enough people think he’s sane to have voted him into office, he’s endorsed by an array of the usual suspects, and 47,300 people have “liked” his delusional tweet.

If you read the things Charlie Sykes quotes from better-known politicians, Sabatini isn’t alone out there on the lunatic fringe.

Maybe it would be better for Texas, Florida and Arizona to drop out of the Union, assuming that — unlike James Buchanan — we have the sense to strip them of the military bases and equipment within their territory before they go.

Let the people who want to live in America move out and let the people who want to live in the New Confederacy move in.


Because, as it is, the rebels are scattered throughout the country and we’re headed, not for the battlefield confrontations of 1861, but for the modern version: The random shootings and bombings seen in Ulster a few years back.



Kevin Siers explains the utter lack of logic behind the fearmongering of rightwing media, and he’s right, but logic has nothing to do with it. If people can be led to believe that Trump won in 2020, why couldn’t they be led to believe that it’s all a plot against us?


Dana Summers (Tribune) takes it to a more personal level: Jackbooted Democrats are coming after you!

The solution of not cheating on your taxes isn’t even suggested, and why would it be? We’ve already got people insisting that the FBI went to Mar A Lago not to find evidence but to plant it.


It’s been half a century since disgruntled Archie Bunker became a hero, singing about how “guys like us, we had it made,” until Herbert Hoover was replaced by FDR’s New Deal.

Listen again: Archie complained about minorities, welfare recipients, gay people and other intrusions on his nostalgically remembered life. Sound familiar?

The notion that we were supposed to laugh at him went over the heads of those who agreed that his son-in-law was a libtard meathead, and who put “Archie for President” bumper stickers on their cars.

Sure, they got it wrong.

But they’re on your doorstep now, openly carrying, with powerful allies both in Congress and in the media.

Who’s gonna get to laugh last?

7 thoughts on “CSotD: On the Eve

  1. “Let the people who want to live in America move out and let the people who want to live in the New Confederacy move in.”

    Tempting, but it didn’t work so smoothly for India circa 1947.

  2. Writing from Canada, at just after 7 a.m. I woke up this morning in a state of terror and disgust. Dreamed all night about armed thugs and murderers taking over the world. I have serious fear of a fascist USA invading Canada. All over the planet, the worst people are mobilising their uneducated and unintelligent followers to overthrow everything decent. The dream of social progress is dead, and brutality replaces it. Thank god I am old and will die soon.

  3. Where did the thoughtful conservatives go? They were driven into the wilderness in 2010, and now even the knee-jerk conservatives are feeling the heat.

    Here in Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch, whose ads touted her as a “Tea Party Mom” who helped defund the classroom (“our reforms”) as Lt. Gov. under Darth Snotwalker, was defeated by Connecticut businessman and Trump endorsee Tim Michels. His ads in the final weeks before the primary accused her of “refus[ing] to endorse Donald Trump.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hujqcloCGRY

    I live in the district represented by Assembly Majority Leader, right-winger Robin Vos. We received daily mailers from his challenger accusing Vos of being a RINO because he wouldn’t overturn Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, and that not slavishly following Trump is a disqualification from public office. Vos barely edged out the junior fascist yesterday. (Which is a good thing, since there is no Democrat running for the seat in November.)

  4. Scott Stantis is a rock solid Libertarian, and his hatred of Trump and Trumpists has been absolutely consistent. Carmen and Winslow spent lots of time lampooning him, and through much of the Trump administration there was an astonishingly small amount of daylight between Prickly City and Bill Griffith’s “Little Trumpy” arcs in Zippy. But he’s always been outside the Republican Party, while other cartoonists (Benson, Varvel, etc.) seem more like party operatives than journalists. Even his critiques of Biden, while I disagree with them, tend to be more issue based than the “Biden can’t even talk right, hur hur hur” punchlines of the base.

  5. If being Republican means unquestioning fealty to Trump, then I proudly bear the name of RINO.

  6. The Republican candidate for Maryland governor says that if he’s elected he will use state police and the Maryland National Guard to oppose the Biden administration. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/09/trump-search-gop-reaction/; paywall) I doubt he’s going to win, but we’re the state who gave the world Spiro Agnew and Marvin Mandel.

    Does anyone else remember Edwin Meese III, and “If someone is not guilty, he is not a suspect.”?

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