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CSotD: Fools in High Places

I’ve been loathe to pass along British political cartoons lately because they’ve been so steeped in economics and intraparty squabbles as to be impenetrable to the outside. However, the emergence of Liz Truss as Prime Minister has unleashed such a flood of ridicule that Matt’s cartoon is quite accurate: It’s hilarious even if you don’t catch all the implications.

I’d note that it’s not sexism: Cartoonists may not have liked Theresa May or Margaret Thatcher, but they attacked them for their politics. Truss has the unhappy job of cleaning up after Boris Johnson, but she’s also something of a schlimazel, an irresistible font of clumsy moments and unfortunate verbal blunders.

 

So Harry Burton took advantage of the two nitwits who tried to deface a Van Gogh with soup to comment on the collapse of the British pound and the general chaos Truss has inspired. It’s a clever use of the news story, but twice as funny given Truss’s inability to gracefully extract herself from unfortunate situations, largely of her own devise.

 

But get your laughs while you can, because, after sacking a Chancellor of the Exchequer who served for about a month, Truss appointed Jeremy Hunt to the position, and, as Patrick Blower suggests, the nation — or at least its commentators — appear to have far more trust in the straight-talking Hunt, who began by essentially reversing much of her economic promises and plans.

(Blower gets good graphic help by the fact that the Chancellor is at 11 Downing Street, next to the better-known 10.)

 

However long Truss remains in office, her loyalists are currently upset that President Biden criticized the chaos of her imposed-then-reversed mini-budget, saying

I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a mistake. I think that the idea of cutting taxes on the super-wealthy at a time when … I disagree with the policy, but it’s up to Britain to make that judgment, not me.

Economic policies in the UK are none of his business, they huff, but, as Australian cartoonist Alan Moir points out, the global economy is intertwined, making questionable policies and outright blunders everybody’s business.

Besides, Republicans in this country are already blaming Biden for that global recession, so, at least from this side of the Atlantic, it seems only right that he should be permitted to comment on what other world leaders are doing.

 

 

Not, as Clay Bennett (CTFP) points out, that we aren’t saddled with our own generous supply of laughable fools, and the British can at least point out that Truss was elected by the Conservative Party, not a poll of the public.

 

If Deputy Dawg gets into office, it will be a far greater reflection on our nation, or at least on Georgia.

By the way, I’ve been an airline pilot for more than 60 years, ever since I visited the cockpit of a 707 and was given a set of pilot wings.

 

Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Greene — she of the Jewish Space Lasers and peachtree dishes — claimed in a candidate’s debate that her husband has proof of 2020 election fraud. Not only does her husband have no proof, but she’s on the verge of having no husband, and yet, while Warnock has a small lead on Walker going into the home stretch, MTG is in fine shape:

 

It’s hard to find any rumor so clearly foolish that it won’t come up in a political campaign, and Greg Kearney scorns Maine congressional candidate Ed Thelander for telling a rally that schools are putting out litterboxes for students who identify as cats.

Thelander has since withdrawn the claim, but — the problem of unringing a bell aside — the fact that he would believe such a stupid, hateful story in the first place is disturbing, despite polls showing he has little chance of beating the Democratic incumbent, Chellie Pingree.

The problem is less that Thelander’s transphobia kept him from questioning such an absurd rumor before helping to spread it, but that there appears to be nothing so despicably dishonest that other Republicans will not stand up and push back.

The litter box story is not simply circulating in Maine, and has become a standard across the nation among candidates who campaign against LGBTQ rights, Wikipedia reports, adding this chilling note:

 

Which, as Bill Day points out, shows you how our priorities and sentiments have changed in the 23 years since that horrific day: Not much.

Apparently, it wasn’t horrific enough, nor were the numerous copycat slaughters that followed.

We hate the killers, but continue to re-elect their enablers.

 

That’s depressing. Let’s talk about sports instead!

(Jawad Morad — Cartoon Movement)

 

(Tjeerd Royards — Cartoon Movement)

The real test of character begins in a month, as the World Cup kicks off in Qatar.

It’s the premiere event in the world’s most popular sport and, while the United States doesn’t grind to a halt every four years when it happens, other nations do and there is plenty of high-powered interest in the games here as well.

But there’s also a high level of “Love the Cup, hate FIFA,” which boiled over in a 2015 scandal surrounding the bribery and malfeasance in how the games were awarded, which resulted in the head of FIFA being banned from the game.

By then, however, Qatar had already been awarded the 2022 tournament, which touched off controversy not only because of the temperatures in that Middle Easter country (They did move it to winter), but because it required the nation to change its liquor laws at the demand of Budweiser.

It wasn’t the only dubious award: Brazil, which also knuckled under to Bud, spent $11.8 billion to host the 2014 World Cup, which, coupled with their Summer Olympics, did nothing for their teeming poor.

Qatar has no poor, but, instead, brings in workers from around the world to do $220 billion worth of construction work for the Cup, in the course of, Human Rights Watch says, an estimated 6,750 workers have died from heat and poor safety.

Not that you’ll see any coverage beyond the games themselves.

Which prompts that test of character: Unless you are a “Nielsen family,” whether you watch the games or not will have zero impact on their ratings.

But you still have to live with yourself.

John Oliver explained it all eight years ago:

 

Community Comments

#1 Fred King
October/17/2022
@ 7:45 am

I don’t see all the fuss about putting out litter boxes. We have a litter box in the downstairs bathroom for a member of our household who identifies as a cat.

Oh, you mean for creatures that aren’t cats? That’s very different. Never mind.

#2 Mark Jackson
October/17/2022
@ 9:16 am

Stephen Collins celebrated the new season of TGBBO on Saturday, with a smidgen of political content:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/ng-interactive/2022/oct/13/getting-burnt-liz-truss-and-the-great-british-bake-off-stephen-collins-cartoon

#3 Jerry Bierema
October/17/2022
@ 1:55 pm

Hi Mike

no real specific comment on today’s post. just wanted to say thanks for providing thoughtful reading each day. i can’t start work until i’ve gone through your post.

thanks

jerry

#4 Mary McNeil
October/17/2022
@ 4:46 pm

I guess I missed something. After the Bill Day cartoon you mention “how much our priorities and sentiments have changed since that horrific day 23 years ago.” Isn’t Nicolas Cruz the shooter from Parkland ? That was 2018. 23 years ago was Columbine.

#5 Mike Peterson
October/18/2022
@ 2:28 am

Mary: Previous graf cites Columbine. Parkland is one of “the numerous copycat slaughters that followed.”

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