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CSotD: Election Response without surfboards

The woman in this Jeff Stahler cartoon has had a lovely dream, but that’s all it is. Aside from a couple of too-close-to-call races, the election should be over, but that’s not how we do things anymore.

The deniers began carping early about a few malfunctioning scanners in Arizona, ignoring the fact that it simply meant hand-counting the paper ballots, which would take longer, which left them screaming about how we used to have a final count in one day. Which isn’t true, but is an argument against early- and mail-in- voting.

Some of the laws that keep election boards from processing early ballots before Election Day were made by Republican legislatures, while Tucker Carlson pointed out that other countries get their results on the same day.

His example was Venezuela, which mostly argues that you can count the vote faster if you already know who’s going to win.


There are far more Sad Surfer cartoons out there than I can possibly feature, but David Horsey captured the bathos of the “Red Wave” predictions without drawing a dejected elephant on a stranded surfboard. Perhaps he didn’t get the memo.

You can argue that the GOP has picked up power in the House and still has a crack at the Senate, though an increasingly small chance of a meaningful majority there if they gain a majority at all, but, given the history of midterm elections for the incumbent White House, that’s hardly a victory.

It was more than sufficient for the Democrats to not lose, and, in this case, the donkey yawns because he didn’t have to spark a Blue Wave in order to win.

Like the old joke says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”


However, we might wish that Clay Bennett (CTFP)’s wrap-up of the evening were more accurate.

Politics ain’t beanbag, but it also ain’t football, or maybe it is.

I don’t recall many Titans fans whining when they came up a yard short on the last play of the Super Bowl, but, then again, there are plenty of people still arguing over the Music City Miracle and the Immaculate Reception, though they were all decades ago.

All the mewling and puking over some obscure holding call, or some pass interference that wasn’t called, is the sports equivalent of Kari Lake being convinced that, if they simply hand-counted ballots in Maricopa County, it would be faster than using machines and then she’d win.

After all, the Cyber Ninjas recount went so well in 2020, and it only cost $9 million, though most of the tab was picked up by hopeful deniers.


I doubt that experience will dissuade the deniers from trying again, but it certainly won’t stop them from complaining. As Bruce MacKinnon points out, they’re not exactly gracious losers.


Unless you count this sophisticated riposte from Gary Varvel (Creators) as “gracious.”

Varvel, by the way, is based in Indiana, which means he lives several hundred miles farther from Pennsylvania than Dr. Oz does.


Speaking of whom, perhaps Pedro X. Molina (Counterpoint) isn’t being particularly gracious, either, but at least he’s being funny, which isn’t necessary in political cartoons but is a nice touch when you can pull it off and still make a point.


The point being, as Michael Ramirez (Creators) puts in more sedate style, that those among the GOP who acknowledge the numbers have found their fall guy.

Like Varvel, Ramirez blames a foolish citizenry for not recognizing the bugbears dangled before them, but he specifies why he thinks they were wrong and adds the element of blame that lets the rest of the party off the hook.

You may agree or disagree, but at least he offers an explanation or two.


Steve Kelley (Creators) doesn’t address the elections specifically, perhaps because, unlike Varvel, he is based in Pennsylvania, where Republicans will be eating dinner off the mantle for a while.

Instead, he reminds readers that Biden has promised to do nothing about inflation, and don’t read this and for god’s sake don’t read this or you might see something like this:

Bob Gorrell (Creators) takes a break from his normal depiction of the Democratic donkey as a cross-eyed doofus to show him enjoying the fruits of his victory and the defeat of the conservative agenda, while it’s worth noting that he includes “Trump Candidates” in that list of failures.


Trump supporters are falling away quickly, and Chip Bok (Creators) shows that loyalty to the GOP not only no longer includes an unwillingness to criticize the Chosen One but, rather, requires addressing the problem he presents.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Christopher Weyant)


(Andy Marlette — Creators)

The view from outside the Republican bubble is less gentle but the message is oddly of a piece with GOP response. Weyant shows the GOP discarding Trump entirely, while Marlette goes farther and shows them celebrating their new deity.


And if you think I was being blasphemous, take a look at the campaign ad DeStantis’s committee ran.

You can vote against Trump, but do you dare to vote against God’s Newly Chosen One?


I think Steve Brodner goes too far in suggesting that at long last America has found its sense of decency and the cult has been abandoned, though, if his point is that it was Trump who slew the party’s chances, we’d find ourselves in a more nuanced and interesting conversation.

The cult remains; they’re just shifting Golden Calves. Or maybe they aren’t.

Either way, while Trump may personify the attitude that brought out so many young voters, angry women and suddenly awakened voters in general, he certainly was not alone in creating the atmosphere that led to the massive turnout.

The Republicans, favored to win heavily, would do well to look inside for the answer, though it’s hardly either in their genetic makeup or in their history.

And, honestly, if you can campaign by offering no solution to inflation, threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare, denying science and promising to reduce women’s reproductive freedom, and still wind up in a tie, there’s little motivation to do more than search for a more charismatic front man.


Oh, and happy Veterans’ Day from Phil Hands.

Pending, of course, the final vote count.


NOTE: You’ll still see my daily reminders and links on Twitter for now, but you can also find me here:


Community Comments

#1 Andréa Denninger
@ 9:43 am

I’m looking forward to two years of DeathSantis and drumpf beating each other over the head; rethuglicans ALWAYS turn on each other.

#2 Katherine Collins
@ 11:30 am

I’m relieved, but not entirely unburdened, by the election results. As a Canadian, watching nervously from north of the border, I feel like I can temporarily stop watching out for the fascist invasion of our country, but I don’t believe that the thugs and murderers have just packed it all in. I am one of the bunch (a transsexual lesbian) who would have a bullseye on my back if they ever do take over. I have a collection of news stories about Repuglicans who have promised and pledged to shoot all queers in the head at their first chance. I’m keeping my welcome mat out for all my American friends who may need a refuge.

Not incidentally, I want to thank Mike Peterson, again and again, for his excellent choices of cartoons, and also excellent editorial comments. Invaluable!

#3 Oatmeal Pie
@ 2:19 pm

Varvel has supposedly won awards for his work, correct?

#4 John Cleary
@ 11:21 am

Now that the GOP has the house, should Biden expect impeachment proceedings for any trivial act? Revenge is part of politics.

#5 Mike Peterson
@ 12:58 pm

I don’t know if he should expect it, but it shouldn’t surprise him if it happens. The razor-thin margin will put the Speaker at the mercy of a small group of loons who want to impeach everyone, and, if he tries to impose normalcy, they’ll run him out as they did Boehner and Ryan.

They won’t succeed, of course, but performative jackassery — not actual results — seems to be the point.

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