CSotD: Rumors, facts and responses

Gotta give Daniel Boris credit for honesty, though his pre-indictment take is something of a mayfly, posted in the brief period after Trump announced that he was expecting to be charged but before Jack Smith released the actual document a day later.

There were plenty of other cartoonists who responded to the rumor of an indictment rather than to the document itself, but while I found Boris’s piece funny and to the point, others suffer from being overly vague and mostly based on political bias rather than the facts of the case.

Clay Jones also responded to the rumor, but his accompanying essay is a frank and interesting discussion of how editorial cartoonists have to time their commentary. Jones is featured here often not simply for his particular insights but because he is so quick off the mark, working as the news happens rather than on a rigid, predetermined schedule. His insights on the timing factor are worth reading.

Juxtaposition of the Day or Maybe the Day Before

(Bob Gorrell — Creators)

(Dana Summers — Tribune)

It’s hard to know if Gorrell or Summers drew their cartoons before or after the actual terms of the indictment were announced, since they have adopted the “It’s all just partisan politics” take favored by Trump defenders.

This requires distrusting or ignoring the facts of the investigation: When Trump announced his candidacy for 2024, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed an Independent Counsel to handle the investigation specifically to take the matters out of the Administration’s hands.

But there is no possible way to handle this criminal investigation that would satisfy the anti-governmental crowd other than just calling it all off.

We can also assume that a substantial number of MAGA loyalists will no more accept the facts outlined in the indictment than they accept that there is no basement in the Comet PingPong pizzeria or that JFK Jr is truly dead. Certainly, as long as Trump insists upon his innocence, they will disbelieve whatever evidence is presented against him.

And I suppose that, if you told them he once said “In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law,” they would simply point out that we’re no longer in his administration. Point taken.

By the way, for those curious about the actual case being built, here’s a paywall-free version of the indictment with notes by the New York Times to save you the trouble of reading every word and parsing it for yourself.

Or you can simply rely on Ann Telnaess more basic analysis of the indictment, which she released following Jack Smith’s press conference.

Trump’s protestation of innocence, videotaped before a picture of Theodore Roosevelt and the Kaiser, leads me to believe that John Buss crafted this one as a parody, putting him in the “after” camp and making a not-so-subtle comment about innocence and villainy.

Juxtaposition of Bathroom Humor

(Dr. MacLeod)

(Marcus Grolik — Cartoon Movement)

I’ve been assuming that the boxes were being stored in an unused bathroom, but that assumption rested upon my belief that some sanity was involved in all the shifting around. That has been shaken by photographs of boxes stacked up on the stage of a ballroom that was used for events, and factor being used to advance the charge that other people theoretically had access to the documents.

So I’m not confident in suggesting that Dr. MacLeod or Marcus Grolik are all that far off base, and I chuckled anyway.

But I’m somewhat unsure about Paresh Nath (Cartoon Movement)‘s take, because, while Trump began blathering about her emails before the actual announcement, the “mishandling documents” charge is somewhat specific.

And while we’re on the topic, since Trump brought it up, it’s worth repeating that Clinton sat through hours of Congressional grilling without taking the Fifth Amendment once, and that, the pre-election letter from James Comey notwithstanding, no investigation found anything on her server worth prosecuting her for. That’s not politics. It’s the law.

Furthermore, Trump is completely wrong about how Biden’s mishandled documents were stored — they weren’t scattered on the floor of his garage — while his accusation that Biden’s fully vetted vice-presidential documents were boxes of classified material in Chinatown is utter nonsense.

Not that his supporters won’t believe it.

Mike Luckovich’s piece mocking Trump’s insistence of putting out frantic justifications on Truth Social is another one that is hard to place as either before or after the indictment was announced, because it’s an appropriately jumbled set of incoherent accusations that we’ve heard before and will hear again.

Deb Milbrath frankly anticipates the reaction, but scores for bringing up the “boxes hoax” as the latest nonsensical denial term on a long list of them.

Though perhaps those large square cardboard things at Mar A Lago are all empty and were planted there by Stormy Daniels and Christopher Steele.

“Who you gonna believe, Trump or your own lying eyes?” Jack Ohman asks, though the question really comes down to a choice between a compulsive liar and your own government, plus, as Jack Smith said in his brief press conference, “This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida. And I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged.”

Joe Biden never saw the indictment, Merrick Garland had nothing to do with its assembly and even Jack Smith could only present the evidence to a group of citizens in south Florida, which is hardly an area hostile to Donald Trump. They were the ones who actually called for him to be indicted.

But it hardly matters. As I said yesterday, we’re in a new civil war, and I wasn’t kidding.

Perhaps this is simply overheated rhetoric, like “Stand back and stand by” or “It will be wild.”

But as a wise man once said, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t be fooled again.”

While we wait for a second insurrection, let’s have a salute to the cartoonists who got to their drawing tables to cover the breaking news. Tomorrow could be too late.

Mister, we could use a man like Victor Laszlo again.

One thought on “CSotD: Rumors, facts and responses

  1. Has anyone ever researched if there was an unsolved shooting on 5th Ave. prior to January 24, 2016? It always seemed like such a specific claim from a man with no sense of irony.

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