Al Goodwyn (Creators) is a very nice guy, and this is a well-intended New Year’s cartoon. I’m leading with it today because I’ll also feature some less honest commentary, but I believe this to be completely sincere and honest and naive and wrong.
Goodwyn is no cynic, but maybe you have to be one to be a commentator. There are any number of insightful comedians who are funny on the stage but difficult company in person, and Existential Comics is often cited here, as it makes a living by pointing out the antisocial attitudes behind various famous philosophers.
The attributes Goodwyn suggests we strive for in the coming year are all theoretically admirable but my attempts to live a theoretical life have been largely unsuccessful.
I suppose his first point soured my vision of the others, because I’m divorced and I don’t believe it was because either of us wanted the marriage to fail or that we lacked a moral compass, self-respect or a sense of personal responsibility.
It just happens to coincide with this latest Man Overboard:
The joke is that she may not truly realize how trapped she is, though I would add that there are husbands just as helplessly stuck in unfair, unequal, unsustainable relationships. I envy healthy two-parent families, but I know you can’t force them into being.
As for patriotism, I see a lot of flags next to bumper stickers that preach hate, bigotry and disdain for our Constitution and the principles of democracy. That’s the wrong kind of pride.
You might has well craft a New Year’s Resolution to never get sick. It’s a lovely thought, and you should do what you can to stay healthy, but it’s hardly in your hands.
Like a lot of other things in the real world.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Nikki Haley’s foolish response to an easy question the other night did significant damage to what had seemed a solid presidential run. Here in New Hampshire, at least one poll had her within the margin of error of a tie with Donald Trump.
And then she said something that would have sounded stupid even back in Rebel territory, but left jaws on the floor here in New Hampshire. As Jimmy Margulies says, she went up against history, in a stunning example of having her own opinions but not her own facts.
Mike Smith points out that her outdated Lost Cause rhetoric will appeal to bigots, but residents of the Palmetto State have noted that their schools teach the real reason that South Carolina seceded and fired the first shots at American troops. It was, as their own articles of secession stated, to preserve slavery.
For anyone hoping that Haley might pull off a miracle and be the GOP nominee, this is less a problem of what she said than it is the fact that she said it.
It’s not an issue of whether Nikki Haley is a racist, but that, first of all, she showed a stunning lack of poise in saying what she did in front of a Yankee audience. You’ve got to be faster on your feet than that.
Second, her mealy-mouthed answer, plus her later declaration that the questioner was surely a Democrat, show a willingness to say anything in order to win. It’s the kind of breathtaking, value-neutral opportunism that has had decent people shaking their heads over Elise Stefanik.
Though, granted, the success of Stefanik and the MAGA movement in general bring to mind the apocryphal story of the woman who told Adlai Stevenson that he had the support of every thinking American, to which he replied that he needed a majority.
However, we ought not to write off “thinking Americans” entirely as a political force. The Washington Post published this Michael Ramirez cartoon, yet another in the series of anti-Biden cartoons that declare the economy to be in ruins.
As has been noted here multiple times, the economy is based on numbers, and the numbers are good. That’s not opinion, it’s math, and only in dystopian fiction does 2+2=5.
However, pro-Trump commentators have repeated their bogus interpretation of our current economic status so often that it has become accepted truth to those who never check the facts, and meaningless background noise to those who realize the actual numbers.
But if you need a bit of encouragement, this is one time when you really should read the comments, because Washington Post readers rose up in fury over Ramirez’s cartoon.
It offers some hope that they’ll still be angry in November. With luck, maybe the breathless horserace coverage and “surefire” polls will have convinced Trump supporters that the outcome is inevitable and that they don’t need to show up on Election Day.
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
I’ll admit to some ambivalence over taking Trump off the ballot. It’s clear that the point of that clause in the 14th Amendment was intended to keep traitors out of office, and it’s clear, based on the testimony heard in the Jan 6 hearings, that Trump both colluded in and actively encouraged the attempted coup.
But maybe there’s a benefit in letting him run and be defeated at the polls.
The fly in the ointment, as Margulies points out, is that Trump’s supporters firmly believe that, if he tells them 2+2=5, then by gawd it equals 5, and they don’t believe the Jan 6 Committee testimony mostly because Fox didn’t bother to tell them about it.
And they believe that the jury in Georgia lied and Giuliani told the truth about those women passing around thumb drives.
And that we never really landed on the Moon. And that Hilary Clinton and Tom Hanks are drinking babies’ blood in the basement of a pizza parlor that’s built on a slab.
Meanwhile, Jones reminds us, there is an active attempt in progress to limit who gets to vote and to overturn as much of the Voting Rights Act as they can get past SCOTUS by November.
Mostly, if Trump is the candidate in 2024, the MAGAts will declare him the winner in November regardless of how many votes he gets, and if he’s not the candidate, they will declare that the nomination was fixed.
And that Big Brother loves them and watches over them to keep them safe.