CSotD: Deflect, Deny, Discourage

Teresa Burns Parkhurst sets today’s mood, combining pointless carping about clocks with meaningful fear of Tuesday’s outcome.

Most of the clocks will reset themselves in the wee hours of tomorrow morning and we’ll adjust, but it’s not clear the country, or its people, ever will, if the midterms go off the rails.


Prickly City (AMS) offers this ray of hope, which is that the more people give up their landlines, the more out of whack polling becomes, and this is bolstered to some extent by the mass of early voting, which tends to reflect youth and liberalism, as well as random photos of young voters lined up on college campuses, which isn’t statistically meaningful but is at least encouraging.

Assuming they aren’t all Ben Shapiro fans.

But it’s at least a sign that they aren’t being swayed by defeatism, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Nick Anderson — Counterpoint)


(Clay Jones)

When two of the more dependably left-of-center cartoonists join in a chorus of “It’ll never work,” we should worry. Six weeks ago, this might have been a goad and a warning to the powers that be in the Democratic Party.

But coming a week before the election, it smacks heavily of Lippy the Lion’s morose sidekick, Hardy Har Har.

At the AAEC panel on editorial cartooning, it was agreed that the cartoons rarely change minds, but, rather, function like bumper stickers and yard signs, letting people know they’re not alone and encouraging them to join in.

There’s no requirement to break out the pom-pons and lead a cheer, but there is a social benefit in encouraging people to vote, and an opposite effect in offering Hardy’s message that it’s all hopeless and you probably shouldn’t bother.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Matt Wuerker — Politico)

(Tom the Dancing Bug)

Neither Wuerker nor Bolling mention the election, but their dire descriptions of the dystopia into which we have been heading are a clarion call to do something and — as with bumper stickers, as with yard signs — an indication that, if you are feeling angry or frightened or both, you are not alone and would not be the only person headed into the voting booth on a mission.

The interesting contrast in this Juxtaposition is that Wuerker plays it straight, documenting the flow of hostile, violent rhetoric that has been building, along with the lukewarm condemnations and outright denials that followed the assault on Paul Pelosi, as well as, by implication, the plot to kidnap and murder Michigan’s governor and the attempted coup and riots of January 6.

Dylan said you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but, obviously, he was wrong, because a good number of people don’t know if it’s sunny or raining, and Ruben Bolling offers a phantasmagorical imaginary sequence in an attempt to break through that willful ignorance.

It won’t sway the True Believers, but he’s on solid, even hallowed ground. In previous generations, Stephen Vincent Benét’s “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” offered similar cautions in similar settings in similar crises, not so much to change anyone’s minds about the facts but, rather, to shake them out of their apathy and spur them to action.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3



(Matt Davies)

The difference between these similar images is more nuanced, because Banx shows a couple futilely attempting to keep up with the rising cost of living, while Davies suggests two political parties attempting to corral inflation with a similar lack of results.

In tandem, they echo a foolish kerfuffle whipped up by Fox News and amplified by the Republican Party over MSNBC commentator Joy Reid’s contention that people don’t talk about “inflation” — a term for economists and politicians to bat around — but rather in plain-talk about the price of milk and gas and housing.

It may have been inartfully said, but she’s right: The average person doesn’t care about global economics. They want to feed their families, and you’d think that would be a rallying point for rightwing populists attempting to appeal to Joe Six-Pak: “Never mind those pencil-necked elitist experts. Joe Biden is starving your children!”

However, that might call for a counterproposal.

It’s easier, and more effective in the current political climate, to simply accuse Reid of saying that good, plain folks like you are stupid, and, if you don’t like being called stupid, you should vote for us!


Meanwhile, Tim Campbell (Counterpoint) criticizes the Fed’s rate hikes as useless and perhaps even deadly.

Granted, it is not required that a cartoonist offer a panoply of alternative solutions, though it is possible to draw cartoons indicating that this idea doesn’t work and this idea might.

The problem being that nobody has come up with an effective, acceptable alternative to rate hikes in fighting inflation. Wage and price controls have proven both ineffective and extremely unpopular.

The GOP loves to flog Jimmy Carter over the inflation of the ’70s, but wage and price controls were Nixon’s solution, and Ford’s, before they handed a wounded economy over to Carter.

Given the balance of Republican and Democratic administrations since, it’s surprising nobody found a different solution.

Unless maybe there isn’t one.


Meanwhile, Chip Bok (Creators) decries Biden’s move to control fuel prices by reconciling with the unappealing socialist government of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves, shown here as a skinny little fellow next to the giant, hulking guy who, depending on how you count these things, is between #9 and #11 in petroleum capacity.

Granted, it requires abandoning our support of the Guaidó government that was illegitimately cast out by Maduro, and hoping he’ll forget our encouragement of a coup to restore democracy there.

On the other hand, it’s a bit unseemly to have the children of Cubanos (Lookin’ at you, Ted and Marco) getting all het up over this potential deal with the Red Satan, while simultaneously insisting we not extend to people fleeing Maduro’s communism the same welcome we extended their parents in fleeing Castro.

Their attitude is hypocritical, but what matters is that it works …


And that’s all that matters, as Jeff Koterba points out: We are not voting for anyone this Tuesday, just against someone.

Trevor Noah agrees:

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2 thoughts on “CSotD: Deflect, Deny, Discourage

  1. George, almost certainly intentional. COVID threw tons of people out of work so governments threw money at folks to keep them alive; some of them were able to increase savings as a result. In the post-pandemic period disrupted supply chains and labor markets coupled with free consumer spending have thrown supply and demand out of whack.

    No question that interest rate hikes have been necessary, although the effect of these is delayed and it’s quite possible that the Fed is now overdoing things.

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