CSotD: Juxtapositions, Domestic and Foreign

(Jack Ohman)

(Dave Granlund)

(Ann Telnaes)

The New Confederacy — those folks who don’t have the cojones to secede but are determined to overthrow the nation from within — present these three cartoonists with an asked-and-answered set up.

As Ohman notes, Speaker McCarthy has barred Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee for having betrayed the Orange God by looking into January 6, and Eric Swalwell on a deliberately-misinterpreted accusation that he had an affair with a Chinese spy.

Instead, Ohman is imagining an “unintelligence committee” made up of what has been called the Crazy Caucus and compared to the Star Wars bar scene, including, as Granlund notes, a Q-Anon veteran who has declared her wish that the Jan 6 coup plotters had been more heavily armed and had succeeded.

The story of how Kevin McCarthy went from considering Taylor Greene a pariah to embracing her both politically and literally is a chilling story of the will to power overcoming ethics and patriotism.

He’s also standing by George Santos, not simply allowing him to serve until the obvious fraud has been legally revealed, but giving him committee assignments.

It’s an alarming display of chutzpah, as Telnaes points out, for McCarthy to explain his purging of Schiff and Swalwell by declaring that “Integrity matters,” since, two years ago, he called out Trump’s attempted coup shortly before racing to Mar A Lago to reestablish his standing as a loyal follower.

Sigh. Maybe we really do need to Make America Great Again.

If nothing else, the GOP could take steps to make Chip Bok (Counterpoint)‘s fanciful outcome real. New York State Republicans have called for Santos to step down, but McCarthy has put him on the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the former presumably because of his experience in setting up and ripping off phony charities, the latter perhaps because of his ability to invent things, mainly himself.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Jeff Danziger)

(Christian Adams)

(David Rowe)

Here’s another case in which the cartoonists deliver an asked-and-answered response, and, unfortunately, one in which the Crazy Caucus also figures, since Loren Boebert and others on the fringe have voiced a reluctance to oppose Russia’s war-crimes-soaked invasion of Ukraine, with Tucker Carlson and others even voicing support for Putin.

They may not have support among the American people or even in Congress, but their horrific lack of loyalty and decency matters.

The lead editorial in today’s Washington Post (no paywall) lays out the case both for tanks specifically and a unified front generally, saying “Members of Congress might bear in mind that mixed messaging from Washington will only hearten Russia’s sympathizers in Europe, who will exploit it to undercut support for Ukraine.”

The editorial also notes that liberals who had recommended negotiations and compromise were seriously misreading Ukrainian resolve.

Both parties — the Putin Fan Club as well as the “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” Gang — perhaps should read the report of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights before they think Ukraine is prepared to forgive and forget, or to surrender.

Violations of International Humanitarian Law may seem sterile in print; perhaps, as with the murder of Tyre Nichols or the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi, we need to show the videos and let the cynics and critics and dabbling wiseasses see what keeps Ukrainians motivated to persevere.

Danziger — cartooning while Germany was still hesitating — noted the nation’s fear of being drawn into the war, but I find Adams’ cartoon an adequate response. Though my interpretation is that Adams was saluting NATO’s solidarity, it’s also an answer to German fears, since any reprisals against German territory would certainly draw more response than just another round of sanctions.

Even Putin, for all his vainglorious egotism, must surely realize that, if he seems to be getting his ass kicked by the Ukrainians, having to contend with the full force of NATO would be beyond his worst nightmares.

Note, by the way, that the Soviet Union’s adventure in Afghanistan cost it some 15,000 lives, but estimates suggest they’ve lost more than eight times that many in Ukraine, and the party isn’t over yet.

Which brings us to Rowe’s commentary on the necessarily slow roll-out of tanks, and his quote from Tolstoy.

It’s important to remember that, while Tolstoy served in the Russo-Turkish War in which Russia was the aggressor, his masterpiece and most of his commentary on the topic were based on the Napoleonic War, in which Russia survived a foreign invader through massive sacrifice, otherwise known as patience and time.

It was the same tactic that enabled them to resist, and ultimately overpower, Hitler, but with dreadful losses whose scars remain embedded in the rich, black soil of Mother Russia.

However, time and patience also sparked the victory of the mujahaddin, while, if the Ukrainians seem less patient, they are clearly as determined and also seem considerably more skilled.

Patience and time are weapons in a defensive war. They’re of little value to an invader, and, as Rowe suggests, may have served Russia well in the past but are arrayed against it now.

There is also a widespread feeling that Russian troops are ill-trained, ill-led and ill-qualified. Their human-wave meat-grinder approach worked in 1812, failed in 1914, worked again in 1941 and is failing again now.

In lieu of a musical selection, I’ll suggest you set aside half an hour to listen to retired general Mark Hertling’s expert analysis. If you can’t do it now, bookmark the video for later.