CSotD: Protecting the Public’s Right Not To Know

I wish I liked Joel Pett’s cartoon a little more.

He’s right, for the first four panels, about the ways Republicans double back on their stated principles and betray public trust, but he stumbles in that fifth panel, because the GOP only disapproved of the riots and attempted coup for about 48 hours before they hurried back into lockstep.

As for that conclusion, I saw an article that suggested some Republicans are cautioning their more mouthy members in light of the attack on the Cincinnati FBI office and other indications of violence for a stirred-up mob, but I haven’t seen many real-world results.

While one GOP press conference was canceled in light of revelations from DOJ about the Mar A Lago search, their House Intelligence Committee plowed ahead with the announcement of a laundry list of why laws don’t apply to Republicans.

Or why winning elections is more important than upholding the law.

Rand Paul, meanwhile, is more proactive, advocating that we repeal the Espionage Act before Trump can be convicted under it.


He doesn’t say that, of course. Apparently, he had a sudden urge to defend Julian Assange and to attack the United States for interfering in World Wars I and II, the result not of watching Dear Ex-Leader abscond with nuclear secrets, but, rather, of having read a steaming pile of sophomoric bat guano.

“Bat Guano” being a relative term, in a world in which Marjorie Peachtreedish Greene is attempting to impeach Merrick Garland for bothering Dear Ex-Leader, and in which another Honorable Representative is no doubt contemplating revoking Colorado’s laws against disturbing the peace.


Meanwhile, Steve Kelley (Creators) is at work in the battle to win hearts and minds, pointing out that the Bill of Rights is not being observed.

Though he apparently forgot that the Fourth Amendment is explicit about what constitutes a legal search and that Garland had dotted every I, crossed every T and had the FBI wear both belts and suspenders.

It’s almost as if Garland had read the Bill of Rights and some other people have not.

The New York Times, meanwhile, has apparently replaced their editors with over-cautious lawyers, because, in reporting that a Trump attorney had submitted a letter to DOJ assuring that all documents had been returned, they explained the 11 boxes of unreturned documents thusly:

The existence of the signed declaration, which has not previously been reported, is a possible indication that Mr. Trump or his team were not fully forthcoming with federal investigators about the material. 

And gallons of water pouring from the sky is a possible indication that it is not fully sunny out.


Others are casting a more discerning eye upon the Attorney General, and Jack Ohman (Counterpoint)’s take reminds me of a Nigerian folktale about a hawk who, having stolen an owl baby, was cautioned by his friends to return it and steal a baby chicken instead.

The owlet’s parents, he had reported, had said nothing, a contrast to the uproar among the chickens:

Meanwhile, the Republican response is more like another African folktale, the one about the leopard who swore vengeance when he learned his cub had been trampled to death.

Told it was done by elephants, he looked the great beasts over and decided that, no, the reports were wrong, that it had been the goats, upon whom he proceeded to wreak his fury.

As seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

Lee Judge (KFS)


(Dr. MacLeod)

The problem with cartooning on this topic is that the GOP’s double standard is so blatant that it leaves little room for metaphors and subtle digs: There’s little opportunity for artistry and the best you can do is just lay out the things they said about that in contrast with the things they’re saying about this.

Granted, quoting someone accurately is often the most devastating trick in a journalist’s bag, but it requires that someone hear what you’ve told them.


As Andy Marlette (Creators) points out, even when you shove their noses in it, the MAGAts will see only what they want to see and hear only what they want to hear.

As noted here and elsewhere several times, we’re not dealing with facts. We’re dealing with loyalty to the team.

If you are a fan of Team MAGAt, then every call that favors your team is righteous and every call against your team is blatant favoritism and incompetence and proof that the refs were paid off.

After all, you are following a prophet: Trump had announced before the 2020 elections that he could only lose if the results were falsified, and he announced before the results of the Mar A Lago search that the FBI would be planting evidence.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Graeme Keyes)


(Michael Ramirez — Creators)

Both Keyes and Ramirez adopt the lemmings metaphor to suggest that the GOP is committing suicide, and it would be nice to believe they’re right. I wish I were such a Pollyanna.

Ramirez is making a more specific accusation, calling Cheney the true Republican elephant and the lemmings a mass of RINO rodents, though Star Trek fans all know that even cute little furry things can, in large numbers, be an existential threat.


Still, it’s a comforting piece of pushback from that side of the aisle, echoed by Bob Gorrell (Creators) with this grim assessment of the movement to make Trump the GOP nominee in 2024.

Not everyone is toeing the party line, and both cartoonists carry some heft within conservative media.

Still, while Rupert Murdoch appears to be turning against Trump himself, Fox isn’t renouncing Trumpism as a guiding principle.

With that in mind, Ramirez’s praise of Cheney and disdain for lemmings seems more significant than Gorrell’s simpler warning against putting Trump at the top of the ticket.

While, in this increasingly competitive market, it might just mean that Ramirez and Gorrell will lose sales to more strident, less incisive, cartoonists.


Meanwhile, Irish cartoonist Martyn Turner provides a reminder that, like his British colleague, Graeme Keyes, he’s observing this from abroad, but that, given the nuclear secrets and other sensitive materials reported to be in Trump’s stash, this is not simply an American dilemma.

I have faith that the truth will out.

But a third of Americans won’t believe it.


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