CSotD: Dark Days, metaphorical and real

The whole world is watching, and, as Cathy Wilcox notes, they’ve stopped laughing. I can’t speak for Australians, but, from here, it was always a kind of horrified laugh or sometimes, given that we’d elected him, an embarrassed laugh.

But the laughter is dying down, as she notes, because he’s gone from being a buffoon to being a genuine menace, not only to democracy in America but to world peace.

The fact that he’s not funny, of course, doesn’t mean political cartoonists are not allowed to mock him, and Dave Brown offers an example of how downright mean British cartoons can be compared to our own gang, who would set the phones a-jingling with complaints if they managed to sneak this one past the editors and into print.

Dave Whamond takes another route on the Colorado ballot story, pointing out the inconsistency of MAGAts swearing by the Constitution when it favors their pet causes and swearing at it when it goes against their wishes.

Clay Jones splits the difference, not mocking Trump but making him, rather than his followers, the focus of this disloyal view of our founding document. His accompanying essay is even somewhat muted, at least by his normal standards, as he chooses to analyze the argument rather than waste energy on unbridled fury.

I don’t know that either approach — mockery or analysis — can possibly change many minds, in part because the loyalists have long since made up their minds about Donald Trump and in part because they live in a silo of Fox News and other sources that deliberately and willfully ignore what they cannot spin or deny.

Still, the dialogue matters, because, as several pundits have noted, SCOTUS is on record as insisting that the Constitution must be judged and considered by its history, by which they mean digging up old, specious claims about guns and abortion.

Their most conservative members have even complained about modern interpretations of the 14th Amendment, insisting that it means only what it says and what it meant at the time, and so does not apply to same-sex marriage, contraception or other unspecified issues of personal freedom.

Well, we can hope they are willing to stand by their words this time around and take the document at face value, but wouldn’t we all be surprised if they did?

Juxtaposition of the Day

Pat Bagley

Mike Peters — AMS

Jack Ohman — Tribune

A few years ago, Mike Godwin, who coined Godwin’s Law, went on-line to clarify that, while it may not be valid or useful to toss the term “Nazi” around in random arguments, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the term when the person you’re talking about is behaving like a genuine Nazi, writing “If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler when you talk about Trump, or any other politician.”

UPDATE: Godwin has checked in today with an Op-Ed on the topic.

Still, it seemed extreme, though Trump’s praise of dictators has raised questions about his own attitude towards democracy, and his announced plans for a second term suggested that he intends to install a harsh and autocratic rule.

But once he began talking about “vermin” and how immigrants from non-white nations are “poisoning our blood,” the comparison became not just valid but necessary.

Bagley frames the parallel with a warning, while Peters adds a tone of mockery and Ohman accuses the Republican Party of collaboration.

Meanwhile, Trump denies ever having read Mein Kampf, and his loyal MAGAts, having swallowed some 30,000 lies over the course of the past seven or eight years, gobbled down yet another evasion.

He’s apparently not lying, but he’s also avoiding an honest answer. So what else is new?

A few people have pointed out the profile of him in the September, 1990, issue of Vanity Fair, in which the interviewer found, and confirmed, evidence of his inspiration:

But, of course, his supporters will never hear about it, and, if they did, they would take his word rather than that of multiple witnesses.

How they may feel about Hitler is a different but related topic. They’re already supporting a man who boasts of sexual assault and was found responsible for a forcible rape, who has cheated on and abandoned several wives, who has told obvious lies and proposed racist laws. They believe illegal immigrants vote in our elections and they cannot see the difference between a few misfiled documents and multiple boxes of stolen state secrets.

What difference would it make to them if Trump turned out to be as big a fan of Hitler as he is of Putin, Xi, Orban and Kim?

Juxtaposition of Our Greatest Threat Ever

Steve Kelley — Creators

Dana Summers — Tribune

Kirk Walters — KFS

Yes. The greatest threat ever to America is tap-dancing Black folks, though Walters at least manages to tie his distaste for the Christmas video into a political statement. Kelley and Summers are content to just aim some middle-school insults at the First Lady and at tap dancing and at those who do it.

They’re certainly not alone. A search for the video on YouTube results in a cascade of rightwing screeds, some of them homophobic, some racist, all examples of off-the-wall, foaming at the mouth insanity from Fox, Newsmax and all the usual suspects.

Oddly enough, I couldn’t find that FLOTUS had posted the video on YouTube, but it’s on Facebook and Xitter.

It’s not my cup of tea, but we’re not required to like everything, and better to remain silent and be thought a fool, etc.

Catherine Rampell, on the other hand, confesses to being a “dance nerd” and having liked it a lot, so her takedown on the whole made-in-screwball-land kerfuffle is worth reading.

But why bother? If pointing out that their candidate admires and quotes Hitler isn’t going to change the minds of Trump supporters, I doubt pointing out that Biden’s wife supports the arts, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community will change Biden followers’ votes either.

But it brings us back to Cathy Wilcox’s observation that foolish things we once could laugh about don’t seem so funny anymore.

Point of Personal Privilege

The winter solstice is tonight, and on that occasion, I post a column I wrote in 1994 and which I repost each year. If you don’t need it, perhaps you know someone who does.

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Dark Days, metaphorical and real

  1. In their desperate search for for something…anything… negative to put out against Biden to outrage their moronically gullible base, the holiday dance video is the new tan suit.

    1. As I commented in the WaPo:

      These folks would have a hissy fit if Joe Biden patted a dog.

      Oh, wait. They did.

  2. Maybe it’s an obvious part of the job, but kudos to Clay Jones for taking the time to look up and depict the actual members of the Colorado Supreme Court

    1. Tara, thank you for being the only person in the world to notice I did that. It wasn’t necessary but it was something I just kinda wanted to do. Thank you again.

  3. And, I thought “felonious terpsichory” was the adulterant that they used to add to coffee.

    Our assessment of the ‘highest (compensated) court’ is that with the exception of three that show signs of integrity, we must now refer to that court as SCROTUM. (acronym explained upon request).

    On a more serious note: May you, and those you love, find light and tranquility in these darkest days of the year. It is the time we celebrate the symbolism of the enduring life of the evergreens with a period of thoughtful silence in which we consider how we will enrich lives in the coming year and hope that all people of honesty and decency have a peaceful Winter Solstice.

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