CSotD: Speaker of the House, Keeper of the Zoo

There was a substantial mix of cartoons this morning about the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, some of them clearly drawn before the vote, others done with apparent haste after the matter had been decided in the late afternoon.

Clay Bennett (CTFP) does well with a depiction of the monster shorn of his head but still stomping on. Given that McCarthy was ousted by the most extreme elements of the Republican Party, this is hardly far-fetched.

If you had any doubts, McCarthy’s hand-picked Speaker Pro Temp, Patrick McHenry, slammed the gavel down to close the day with such farcical force that clips of the moment became a meme on social media.

After which he promptly ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who was absent, attending the funeral of her friend and colleague Diane Feinstein — to immediately vacate her office, with the stark warning that the locks would be changed in 24 hours. The office is a normal perk for former speakers, who are also generally treated with some semblance of good manners.

In case you dreamt that a change of speakers would foretell a change in decorum and partisanship.

Not sure if Andy Marlette (Creators) drew this before or after the vote, but he depicts only two of the 208 Democrats who voted along with eight Republicans to fire McCarthy. Pelosi was, as said, in California at a funeral, Cori Bush is out with Covid, Emilia Strong Sykes was attending to a family crisis and Mary Sattler Peltola has the worst attendance record in Congress but is mourning the recent death of her husband.

Beyond those four, all House Democrats joined Matt Gaetz in his quest, whatever that quest turned out to be.

As James Carville has advised, when your opponent is drowning, you should throw him an anvil.

As Dr. MacLeod notes, the search for a permanent Speaker does not seem likely to result in election of a diplomat, and it has already been noted that there is nothing in the Constitution requiring the Speaker to be a member of Congress.

Nor, for that matter, is there a requirement that the office fall to a member of the majority party, and some hopeful types have proposed that the Democrats nominate someone with a strong set of ethics and a willingness to work across the aisle, counting on rounding up a few votes from non-MAGAt Republicans to push the vote over the edge.

Meanwhile, the MAGAts have already put the name of Donald J. Trump into play, which might seem like a joke if it seemed at all funny.

Fasten your seatbelts. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Speaking of Trump, Scott Stantis comes to the defense of the embattled ex-president, asking why nobody is investigating those who accuse Trump of fraud, theft, rape and general shamelessness.

It’s an odd question, given all the attempts to investigate the “Biden Crime Family” and claims of bribery coming from House committees, plus demands from MAGAt legislators to eliminate the FBI, cut funding for the Justice Department and reduce the Secretary of Defense’s salary to one dollar a year.

UPDATE: Looks like I missed the sarcasm in this one. Here’s how Scott explained it.

If real hounds were being treated like that, Sarah MacLachlan would be cutting a public service announcement on their behalf.

Meanwhile, over at Prickly City (AMS), Stantis’s characters are apparently coming out in favor of letting Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine unopposed, or, at least, unopposed by America.

We’ve heard this song before, and not just from Neville Chamberlain but from the original America Firsters, who sat back and watched until most of Europe had been gobbled up and then only became active when Japan, not Germany, launched an attack on us.

But now we’re hearing confirmation of what we’d only heard in well-sourced rumors before, that Dear Leader holds those killed and maimed in war in contempt, along with their families and POWs like John McCain.

As reported in that CNN story, his former chief of staff has now spoken out:

It’s not so bad that he feels this way. He’s just one man.

What hurts is that so many people support his America First agenda and are willing to see appeasement play itself out again while innocent civilians die.

I bring up Michael Ramirez (Creators) often, because, while I often disagree with his viewpoint, he tends to work from a basis with which you can sensibly argue. No disagreement here, however.

Reports of mass looting are disturbing, though I haven’t seen documentation of how widespread it is. But retailers are also facing increasing losses from shoplifting, to the point of closing stores which ought to be profitable but are not.

There is a chicken-and-egg issue at least concerning the latter: Would easing up on harsh laws create the kind of shared-community atmosphere in which fewer people pilfered? Is it too late? Is it even relevant?

But if we’re going to complain that shoplifters need to be treated harshly, can we then ignore crimes by the accused felon who recommends shooting them on sight?

Like Tucker, I’m just asking questions.

On a lighter note

Everybody suddenly needs to have an opinion about Taylor Swift, despite the fact that she’s been around and fantastically popular for almost two decades.

I like Joe Heller‘s take because it’s gentle and non-judgmental, which sets it apart from some of the bizarre misogyny of macho incels who blame young women like Swift (and women who aren’t at all like Swift) for their pathetically stunted social lives.

Not to mention the crackpots who hate her for dating a guy who did a PSA encouraging vaccinations. Or simply for existing and being famous.

There’s a constructive message in Heller’s cartoon that fathers and children ought to be bonding even over interests they don’t quite share. Kids should at least appreciate that their dad likes football and dads shouldn’t be automatically dismissive of the music their kids listen to.

As he suggests, the people you really need to be fans of is each other.

Besides, as Jeffrey Koterba says, you could do a whole lot worse than raising a kid who admires Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

Step One in that process is knowing who your kids admire.

Be grateful if it’s Taylor and Travis, given the alternatives that surround them and who seem to attract more admirers than is good for any of us.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Speaker of the House, Keeper of the Zoo

  1. I took Stantis’s political cartoon differently. Trump, in his orange jump suit and broken ankle chain, has escaped from custody, and the ol’ hound dogs are trying to return him to justice. Trump’s the bad guy in this one, and I think we’re supposed to see his question as the desperate criminal deflection that it is. “Yeah, I might have robbed that bank, but what about that double-parked cop car?” I think Stantis is on the side of the angels this time.

    Good ones by Bennett and MacLeod.

    John Kelly’s testimony ought to be the coup de grace for Trump’s political career, but of course it won’t leave a scratch. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Kelly, like Bill Barr and other former Trumpites who’ve called their former boss unfit for office, said he’s going to vote for the maniac anyway. Because the alternative is obviously so much worse.

  2. Does Marlette even recognize the absurdity of depicting Gaetz hand-in-hand with those 2 Dems in particular, given that his primary complaint against McCarthy was that he worked with Dems to keep the government running instead of permitting the shutdown that TFG wanted?

  3. I question Marlette making AOC look ike a certain congress member from Colorado.

    “…the crackpots who hate her…(Taylor Swift) simply for existing and being famous.” And for being female.

  4. The utter idiocy of even considering a Trump-for-speaker scenario is the idea that a) Trump would accept a day job which requires his presence most of every work day (yeah, I know it’s fewer days than most other jobs, but it’s no presidency); b) that he could maintain the required attention span to perform any of the Speaker’s tasks; and c) that he would have the slightest idea how to wrangle 218 representatives with warring goals. This is a guy that has never shown the desire or ability to negotiate anything.

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