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CSotD: Totally acceptable to a near majority

David Horsey points out a current crisis throughout American democracy, though he’s referencing a specific race for the House in northwestern Washington state.

On the national scale, relief over the failure of the projected Red Wave ought not to be too joyously celebrated, given the razor-thin margins in the majority of widely watched contests.

We can be grateful that the most outrageous election-deniers lost, and, particularly, that so many candidates hoping for a position from which they could manipulate future elections did not gain power.

But, as Horsey notes, it’s not as if they were firmly rejected.

And for all that we may wish the Republicans would take a lesson and reform their approach, why should they? They barely lost the presidency in 2020 and they saw similar support in 2022, if only at a 49% level.

Republicans were forced to regroup after Goldwater’s slap-down, and Democrats took lessons from similar debacles in the McGovern and Dukakis campaigns. But, for all the legitimate complaints about the Electoral College’s history of giving victory to candidates with fewer votes, there remains the fact that a lot of people support a party that campaigns on fear, division and disinformation.

“Four legs good, two legs better,” is a totally acceptable slogan to nearly half of our fellow citizens, so let’s return yet again to my favorite quote from Frank Zappa:

And if he was right when he said this in the midst of the Reagan Revolution, I’ve seen nothing since to diminish his point, but, rather, a great deal that reinforces it.

 

Nick Anderson (Counterpoint) suggests that Trump is a Frankenstein’s monster raging out of control, and it’s true that at least some Republicans are, like the Victor Frankenstein in the cartoon, running in horror.

But Zappa’s point came in response to a quote I had offered him from John Lennon, who said Hitler in the ’30s was not the problem, but, rather, we should wonder what happened to him as a small child that turned him into that monster?

Zappa responded that the greater concern was not that particular man but rather the society that embraced him, and that, if there had never been an Adolf Hitler, the German people would have found someone else to fulfill the role.

 

 

Elon Musk’s takeover at Twitter has resulted not only in his reinstatement of Donald Trump’s account, but, as Bill Bramhall notes, in the unleashing of a toxic flood of other pretenders to the role of Fuehrer, and of underlings eager for minor roles in supporting whoever steps into those jackboots.

This shameless outpouring of overt hatred, division, disinformation and propaganda may be appalling and dismaying to 51% of the public, but it is welcomed and embraced by the 49% who find it, in Zappa’s words, “totally acceptable.”

 

For which reason I’m ambivalent about the Democrats’ push to enact laws like the Marriage Equality Act in the lame duck session that remains.

Clay Bennett (CTFP) is correct that, while the majority of Americans — and it’s more than a scant 51% — support the concept, the GOP is determined to block a federal reform, and it’s barely relevant that Biden would veto any contradictory legislation they squeezed through in the next two years.

They’re playing for 2024, with a sustained campaign of hate- and fear-mongering against both (non-white) immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community.

You can see the level of total acceptance, not only on social media but in places like Florida, Texas and Virginia, where fear votes and hate wins.

 

I’m not a huge fan of Brian McFadden, not because we don’t agree — we generally do — but because his set format makes it hard for his arguments not to run out of gas before that sixth panel.

But the GOP has provided him with plenty of ammunition to sustain things this time.

I certainly wish that were not the case, but here we are, and so, while I’d like to see the current congress go out in a blaze of glory, I also fear that the more they blunt the impact of this new set of autocrats, the less likely it becomes that we will see a sufficient 2024 turnout of outraged voters to fend off a disaster of nation-ending proportions.

To keep the fury of the 51% stoked, I’m hoping for two years of Biden having to repeatedly veto GOP attempts at “totally acceptable” legislation, showing what will become law if decent people sleep through the next elections.

 

To which I would add that we should not assume all distrustful people are chasing rightwing Q-Anon rumors.

The reaction to Merrick Garland’s appointment of a special counsel confirms Michael de Adder’s point that he’s in a no-win position.

Several people with whom I generally agree have been unable to see that the prospect of Garland’s boss running for office against Garland’s target created an unacceptable conflict of interest that required an independent counsel.

There are also those who wish Garland would move more quickly, because Trump is obviously guilty. I’ve even seen memes and cartoons comparing Garland’s slow approach to the slow-speed chase of OJ Simpson’s Bronco.

Which makes me wonder if anyone remembers the confidence with which Marcia Clark prosecuted that case of obvious guilt, and how it turned out?

Garland has a reputation for plugging the holes before launching his boat, and his chosen counsel, Jack Smith, has a similar reputation for pursuing hard cases with dogged determination and significant success.

Which is why the GOP has begun sliming Smith on Twitter, why the Freedom Caucus wants to impeach Garland, and why the 49% find both men totally unacceptable.

 

Now the sports …

The Internet is flooded with cartoons decrying the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar’s corrupt bargain for the FIFA World Cup, but Dr. MacLeod cuts through all the human rights irrelevancies to focus on the true outrage.

A lot of people who theoretically favor human rights seem willing to turn their heads and watch the Games, as long as there’s beer.

Patrick Chappatte suggests that Qatar has human rights advocates over a barrel.

Qatar, mind you, is pretty far down the list of actual oil sources, though pretty far up the list of countries that profiteer over it.

So perhaps less a barrel than a stein.

 

Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
November/20/2022
@ 9:01 am

No word on the temporary shutdown of gocomics.com as of yesterday on November 19, 2022?

#2 Mike Peterson
November/20/2022
@ 10:54 am

No, and, while we’re affiliated with Andrews/McMeel, we’re not party to any insider info.

The good part is that, when the site comes back on line, you can toggle the date at the top of your Favorites page and have everything from that day updated at once, rather than needing to click each comic back one at a time.

I’m looking forward to a little bingeing when they get their act together again.

#3 Phillip Schearer
November/20/2022
@ 10:58 am

It’s approaching two days since GoComics.com was up. And almost as long for Dilbert.com. What is strangest is the lack of announcements or news about either. I’ve not searched exhaustively but it looks like at least some of the Andrews McMeel sites are also down. Nothing on Facebook or Twitter I could find. It seems DailyCartoonist would be a good place to put the latest info.

#4 Wiley Miller
November/20/2022
@ 11:23 am

I was afraid this was going to happen after Elon Musk bought GoComics.

#5 Mike McCornack
November/20/2022
@ 11:25 am

One would hope that a paid subscription site like GoComics.com would have the courtesy to advise their subscribers that a problem exists, and that they are working on it.

#6 gezorkin
November/20/2022
@ 1:25 pm

Damned if you don’t?

From the beginning, Garland seemed pretty damned reluctant to investigate anyone but the foot soldiers of the insurrection.

Until he was embarrassed by the findings of the select committee, who subpoenaed a boatload of testimony that was available to DOJ all along.

Now, faced with a ton of evidence, he’s still damned reluctant to indict anyone important — so he dumps it on someone else.

Trump’s timing is obviously meant to delay Garland, who seems to want that as much as Trump.

#7 Mary McNeil
November/20/2022
@ 1:39 pm

D.D> Degg’s column today deals with the GoComics issue and offers other sites for the funnies, but he admits to being in the dark too.

#8 Mark B
November/20/2022
@ 3:31 pm

Maybe GoComics will revert back to their old way to display all your favorite comics and give up on the new, less user-friendly way

#9 Mike Marshall
November/20/2022
@ 3:42 pm

Howdy Peterman. Orange man bad, right?

#10 Denny Lien
November/20/2022
@ 4:35 pm

Mark B: “Maybe GoComics will revert back to their old way to display all your favorite comics and give up on the new, less user-friendly way.”

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA hoo boy HA HA HA

“When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my gun.”
Hanns Johst

“When I hear the word “new and improved,” I reach for my asprin.”
Denny Lien

#11 Laurel Strand
November/21/2022
@ 1:10 am

A clarification regarding geography: yes, the state of Washington is located in the northwest corner of the republic. However, the Congressional district where Joe Kent was running is located in the southwest corner of the state.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington's_3rd_congressional_district#/map/1

#12 Reader of Gocomics
November/21/2022
@ 7:35 am

GoComics
@gocomics
We’re sorry our systems are down! We’re working hard to fix the issue. We will provide a status update when available. Thank you for your patience.
12:35 am · 21 Nov 2022
https://twitter.com/gocomics/status/1594489769203208192

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