The big news this morning is about Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin last night. It was so predictable that cartoonists weighed in days before it happened, which would normally be dangerous but, well, not always.
Bill Bramhall widened his vision to take in the international significance, as Carlson’s fawning is tied into Republican refusal to oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. This also brings in Carlson’s pretentions of having scored a journalistic victory in getting the interview, which was so preposterous that even the Russians laughed it off.
Rather, as Bramhall accuses, the stooge was employed by Putin as a weapon. Russian media has been replaying Carlson’s pro-Russia/anti-Ukraine rants as in-house propaganda, and granting the interview was easier than employing their troll factories to infiltrate American social media. Not that they’ve given up on that.
The only miss in the flood of prophecies came from Christo Komarnitski (Cartoon Movement), who foresaw a clash that never happened. However, I’m willing to give him a pass because of the possibility I misread Bulgarian sarcasm and that he was mocking the concept that it would be a real interview by a real journalist.
If you missed it, either intentionally or not, and want a wrap-up, I like what Oliver Darcy had to offer over at Reliable Sources. That’s one of my regular morning stops because he’s not afraid to take a stance but keeps the facts involved in his reporting.
Clay Bennett (CTFP) offers an understated but impossible to misinterpret evaluation that brings in not only Carlson but Fox. I continue to be gobsmacked that rightwingers who used to shout “Go back to Russia!” and fling red paint at anti-war demonstrators are now falling in line with commentators who are not just sympathetic to Putin but actively promote his views and values.
Perhaps Michael de Adder does better by basing his criticism on current events rather than expecting readers to remember how things were way back when they worshipped the Gipper and wanted that wall torn down, much less in the days of Joe McCarthy and “Are you now or have you ever been …”
Today, Putin’s thugs are executing civilians. They’re currently kidnapping children and reprogramming them. And if murder and rape aren’t specifically directed by Tucker’s bestie, the kidnapping is a government policy.
So what? Not only have we’ve gone from “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad” to “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better,” without the sheep questioning the change, but people still believe Democrats are drinking children’s blood in the basement of a pizza parlor built on a slab.
We’re well past that thing that floated around on Facebook a few years ago, “If you’re ever wondered what you’d have done in 1930s Germany, you’re doing it now.”
Which, horrifyingly, brings us to our
Juxtaposition of the Day
Take your pick.
Bramhall expresses horror at how an organized lynch party in red shirts is being promoted as the heroic new Brown Shirts. His cartoon largely speaks for itself, though I hope people who pay any attention to the news have heard that the man being beaten by Sliwa’s thugs was born in the United States, had not shoplifted and was singled out because he was speaking Spanish.
Campaigning through book burning is already happening. Minorities are being beaten on live TV.
How long before Kristallnacht?
As for Lester, when his cartoon got negative feedback at GoComics, he stepped in to explain “When you import people from cultures drastically different from your own it becomes a form of suicide.”
Because people born in this country would never assault a police officer.
Except maybe in Greenville.
Or El Paso.
Or New Hampshire.
Or elsewhere in New York City.
But certainly not in Oregon, where your dog can be used to assault police instead.
People don’t have to come from overseas to be declared terrorists. As La Cucaracha (AMS) points out, you can be born with the wrong last name and be labeled not simply a punk or a gang member but officially a terrorist. Though this particular not-a-racist was forced to withdraw his proposed legislation for revision.
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
Fortunately, we have the power of the vote to keep our country on the right path. More or less, and subject to how things are stacked up and then how they’re reported.
Bell is correct that there’s not a lot of point in celebrating Biden’s win in South Carolina, since the primaries as a whole — not just the relatively meaningless Democratic race — had an extremely low turnout.
You may recall that the Democratic Party dismissed the New Hampshire primary as not being representational enough and declared that no delegates would be awarded, and Biden didn’t even enter there, though he walked away with a massive write-in vote.
However, taking the two NH primaries together, about a third of registered voters showed up here, while South Carolina turned out a massive four percent of their voters.
Which makes me really, really hope South Carolina is not, in fact, more representative.
Meanwhile, out in Nevada, Kelley celebrates a bit of electoral jiu-jitsu, in which the Republicans decreed that candidates had to choose either the primary or the caucus but could not enter both, and that only the caucus would award delegates.
However, they didn’t decree that citizens could only vote in either the primary or the caucus, which led to a massive victory in the primary for the Little Orange Man Who Wasn’t There.
This was a move that would make Elbridge Gerry jealous, because not only did the MAGAts get to vote for their man twice, but it gave the Horserace Hacks an easy, fun headline about how Haley lost to None of the Above, sparing them the work of digging in for more in-depth analysis.
And as Brendan Loper suggests, the gamesmanship in Nevada may have set a new standard for future elections, since we’re probably going to keep holding them for the sake of preserving a nominal democracy.
Even Vladimir Putin has to run for election every few years. Really. You can ask his lapdog.
Or we could turn it around. There’ll be more than one office on November’s ballot.