CSotD: Same old same old

When I heard of the Trump team’s preposterous proposal to postpone that Jan 6 trial until April, 2026, I thought of Bob Mankoff’s famous “How about never?” cartoon and thought somebody should update it.

Lo and behold, when I went poking around in the bushes, I discovered that Adam Zyglis had already done it back in 2020, when Trump was hoping to postpone the elections. This doesn’t mean it isn’t applicable to the latest bit of avoidance, simply that it’s more of a pattern than a separate event.

Well, and that great minds think alike, but apparently some are considerably quicker in doing so.

Here’s Mankoff’s original. I think Zyglis did a good job of capturing his style without simply copying the cartoon. If you’re going to riff on someone’s work, it’s important to make it clear that you are doing so, but still inject your own touches to preserve the point of originality.

Well done.

Meanwhile, half a world away and in the present day, Pat Hudson made me laff with this vision of cons signing up for their vocational training/recreational programs.

And laff again seeing that nobody is signing up for cartooning. So it goes.

Apparently, it’s obvious even for observers in Australia that Trump is playing a game of stall, distract and avoid, to which I would add that it has been my experience that one factor common to every con I’ve ever known has been a belief in magic solutions and instant payoffs.

Often, they’re in there because they believed that robbing a gas station would provide them with the money they needed, which it never does, so you do it again until you screw up and get caught. But a good number of cons are smarter than average and come up with schemes that would have worked except that they didn’t.

Anyway, becoming president and pardoning yourself is as practical as anything Bernie Madoff came up with, and I’ve known way too many guys who got out but hadn’t abandoned the idea of the Big Score and so end up back in again.

I don’t know how realistic “Good Fellas” was, but the idea that everyone gets caught and does minor time for something or other seems somewhat on target, as does the scene of Paulie doing gourmet cooking in his cell. Still, as Christopher Weyant suggests, you’re not supposed to get caught for doing stupid things and you’re especially not supposed to get caught in a way that draws attention to the family.

Plus, Morten Morland says, you can’t help it if Uncle Sam somehow gets the impression that you’re leaning on him a little bit.

There’s nothing concrete — little pun there — tying Trump to organized crime, though he surely knew some of the players when he was building his casinos and suchlike. He could be completely clean, he could be up to his waist in it.

The only certain thing is that people who say “They’re all gangsters” probably watch more TV and movies than is good for them, because not everyone is connected and, besides, it’s not whether this or that person is connected that matters: It’s how they conduct themselves.

And I don’t think Morland is too far off the mark to suggest that someone cut the head off that once-noble elephant and is making hay from the resulting horror, even if it’s only metaphorical.

It doesn’t much matter, because, as Ed Hall points out, Trump supporters are not going to see or hear anything that clashes with their established belief system. Trump may have been arrogant in making that famous statement about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, but that doesn’t mean he was wrong.

His people have faith in him, come what may. It’s not that they listened to the Jan 6 Committee hearings and declared it all a lie. They didn’t listen to them at all, and, lord knows, it’s not like Fox News and TownHall and their other news sources were shoving it down their throats.

The idea that there will yet come some astonishing revelation or some “At long last, have you no sense of decency” quote and everything will snap back into shape has long since gone from doubtful to ridiculous.

The 2024 Election may become a competition in turnout between those who want to turn back the Trump revolution and those who want to help Dear Leader avoid a jail sentence, but even if he were to lose the election by a massive margin, his faithful would dismiss it as another liberal fraud.

Michael Ramirez (Creators) demonstrates the level of dialogue we can expect: There’s no accusation, no example, no criticism. He simply declares that the past four years have been a disaster, without stooping to explain how or why.

It’s a wonderfully effective tactic: To quote Swift once again, “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

But it’s easy enough to reinforce that thing through repetition.

The solution is to stop expecting the MAGAts to change and to, as the phrase goes, keep on keepin’ on.

As long as we’re leafing through the archives, here’s a Bill Mauldin cartoon from a half century ago, when Abe Fortas — already under attack for liberal tendencies — was turned down as LBJ’s choice for Chief Justice and then forced to resign from the Supreme Court over a $20,000 speakers fee.

Though I shouldn’t say he was “forced to resign,” since, as Ann Telnaes points out, Supreme Court Justices can’t be forced to resign from anything, and $20,000 is chump change compared to what an Associate Justice can bring in, as long as he is willing to accept it, and as long as he has allies who won’t challenge his right to do so.

Fact is, as Mike Luckovich confirms, the job of an associate justice is tremendously demanding and it’s not simply unsurprising but inevitable that he and his dear wife would seek solace from both the pressures of his job and the pressures of being criticized for supping so deeply from the trough.

In any case, nobody can accuse him of accepting $20,000.

It would be beneath his dignity.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Same old same old

  1. I heard that the proposed trial date by Trump’s lawyers was a typo. It was supposed to say 2036.

  2. don’t know which is sadder: that Michael Ramirez is such a wonderful draftsman but spoils it by having a conservative viewpoint, or that Michael Ramirez is a conservative who can’t do a cartoon which doesn’t completely misrepresent the facts.

  3. The problem with this particular Michael Ramirez cartoon is that one can replace Biden with Trump, or with any other elected official and it will still be the same. Way too generic. I’m somewhat sympathetic to the complaint that modern day cartoonists have to draw too many cartoons in a week, in order to make a living, that much of them won’t be memorable or meaningful. Back when my local paper was running editorial cartoons, I saw a lot worse than this, a lot worse. No wonder they stopped running them. As I write this, it occurs to me that this site is one of the few places I actually see any editorial cartoons – right or left. It is a tough field getting tougher.

  4. “There’s no accusation, no example, no criticism. He simply declares that the past four years have been a disaster, without stooping to explain how or why.”

    Argument via Assertion is something you see a *lot* from conservatives, be it about politics or science or religion or what have you. The “I’m right because I KNOW I’m right, I don’t have to explain it to the likes of you” is pretty much their default position.

  5. Mike, your research and presentations are great.
    The Ed Hall comic is great. But, to be accurate, many of those sheople should have guns, too.
    Wiley Miller is a national treasure.
    AJ’s comment: “Argument via Assertion is something you see a *lot* from conservatives” is true, but, is an understatement. I hear that assertion everywhere in all circumstances. It is the preferred ‘scientific method’ of those who are too lazy and ignorant to research, analyze and draw accurate, objective conclusions.

  6. In response to your extolling how wonderful the Biden Administration is doing, 2 words, Afghanistan withdrawal,

    1. Was someone extolling Biden’s performance? Pretty sure all that was pointed out was that the cartoon in question made no specific assertions.

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