CSotD: Senior Moments, Sophomoric Coverage

Jeff Danziger (Counterpoint) says that we’ve suddenly turned into a nation of legal experts, though, to be fair, he didn’t say “suddenly.” Rather, the sudden part is how we’ve focused our usual kibitzing on a particular legal question.

There are only a handful of cartoonists and columnists who have been to law school, which perhaps is why so many of them feel comfortable opining on the issue of whether Trump should be stricken from ballots.

Michael Ramirez (Creators) reflects a point raised in the Supreme Court arguments, which I don’t think requires having passed the bar: It would be so much easier all around if the 14th Amendment had listed the presidency among the offices specifically barred in Section 3.

I think that issue was raised in the spirit of throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks, but Ramirez is right: They likely assumed nobody’d be foolish enough to raise the matter.

I doubt it will impact the decision, because the more definitive point made was that a person who is only 34 could run for president, assuming that person would turn 35 by Inauguration Day. Similarly, the argument went, Trump could run for president, with his ability to serve being a post-election finding.

Which might elevate Vice-President Stefanik or Vice-President Taylor-Green to the presidency.

How’s that for an ace up Trump’s sleeve?

I’d prefer Kamala Harris, or even Edith Wilson.

Ann Telnaes did a masterful job depicting the justices. She put MAGA hats on the ones we could expect to side with Trump from the get-go, and included Justice Ginni, because if Clarence wouldn’t recuse himself over such a screamingly obvious conflict of interest, why not concede her place on the bench?

But Telnaes depicts the non-MAGA justices as somewhat uncomfortable, as well they might be, because the arguments against striking Trump from the ballot were persuasive, and, in fact, came from some of the more centrist or liberal justices.

Important factor: It seems highly likely that the Court will decide Trump should stay on the ballot, with his ability to serve if elected being decided by Congress (specifically the House). This would be the incoming House, which makes the down-ballot voting particularly crucial in November.

Now let’s ponder how many political cartoonists are psychologists, gerontologists or speech therapists:

Juxtaposition of the Day

Clay Bennett — CTFP

Clay Jones

Bennett makes the point that the investigation into Biden’s purloining of classified documents ended up recommending against filing charges, while both cartoonists point out that the special prosecutor took the opportunity to declare Biden an incompetent dotard, damaging his campaign and handing red meat to his opponents.

This is, first of all, another case where a legal background would be helpful, but a knowledge of recent history is beneficial enough to raise the question of why Hur chose to speculate on what is essentially a side issue?

Granted, intent is part of the potential crime. Nobody is suggesting that a bank robber could be acquitted if he didn’t remember the heist. But Hur established that Biden took some of his own notes, plus a few documents, that were classified. His intent — apparently to gather resources for his memoirs — would be relevant. Perhaps one sentence noting that a jury might consider him a sympathetic witness.

Not, IMHO, a string of accusations throughout an extensive — 14 page — “Executive Summary” of the 388-page document. Read it yourself.

Not that any reporters will. Can’t. They’re on deadline!

But they will go through the executive summary. That’s sufficient to cherry-pick Hur’s exciting, repeated diagnosis of the president, which is being compared to Comey’s extraneous remarks about Hillary Clinton’s email.

While as commentators at BlueSky noted, neither Meuller nor Starr said in their respective reports that Presidents Trump and Clinton would make bad witnesses because they seemed like rapists.

Sure seems like a long time ago. I say “seems” because I’d have to look up the specific dates those reports were released.

As often as people have decried “Whataboutism” and “Bothsidesism” in coverage, Dave Whamond points out that there are, indeed, times when it is valid to compare and contrast.

It’s more complex than adding up brain farts, because there is a substantial difference between saying “Mitterand” when you meant “Macron” and repeatedly stating that Nikki Haley was in charge of Capitol security on January 6. Whamond offers a list there, in the background.

Now remind us who called a press conference to recommend using chlorine bleach as an antibiotic? That wasn’t a verbal slip. Nor was looking at a photo of a woman whom he swore was “not my type” and telling the court “That’s Marla, yeah. That’s my wife.”

I like David Rowe‘s take, because he does address Biden’s bad memory. For my part, I’m on record as having assumed, and hoped, that Biden was coming in as a one-term president to get the country back on track, leave a few silver bullets as souvenirs and ride off into the sunset.

Still, as Rowe indicates, the comparison is ludicrous, and the more you consider it, the more ludicrous it becomes.

To start with, Trump has announced his intentions to overturn the Constitution by fiat, to install quislings not only in his cabinet but in command of the armed forces and to generally do all the things the moderate staff in his first White House kept him from doing.

So, yes, I’d rather have a president who makes a verbal miscue now and again.

Though I guess if the majority of voters want to bring on a reign of fascism, that’s why we have elections. I think it was Rousseau who said the one thing you can’t vote for is to eliminate your freedom.

Might have been Locke. I have an old man’s memory and I read it umpty-ump years ago. But the point stands: Hold our beer.

John Deering lays out the situation as it is. Facing it is mandatory, liking it is optional.

For my part, I wish the Democrats had raised up some young, dynamic candidate to take the reins from a good man as he stepped down.

Or that the Republicans had shaken off their fever and nominated an honest, competent candidate.

And that frogs had wings so they wouldn’t keep bumping their little asses on the ground.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Senior Moments, Sophomoric Coverage

  1. Or as Pops used to say, wish in one and defecate in the other. See which one gets fullerr faster…

  2. C’mon Mike, what incumbant president in our lifetimes has ever NOT run for a second term? Johnson technically served two terms, but I’ve never read a theory on how much of a portion of a term constitutes a “first” term, only that he withdrew from attempting a second full term. Everybody else tried, and usually succeeded.

    And you must not have listened to the entire argument because Jason Murray ‘splained that the offices listed in the amendment were all of those which, at that time, were NOT considered “offices,” as one of the authors of the amendment explained on the floor of Congress. Representatives and Senators were elected to “seats,” while electors were appointees. I know Judge Jackson talked over him and probably didn’t hear it, but, hopefully, some court reporter wrote it down for them, because that means they DID include President, Vice President, and whatever other federal jobs which have an “office.” Running for office” today includes members of Congress; apparently, it didn’t in 1866-68 when the amendment was written and ratified.
    (And only a fatuous moron wouldn’t consider someone who held an office an “officer.” Yeah, I’m looking at more than one of these educated dullards.) So much for originalism.

    1. How much constitutes a first term ? Two years.
      The twenty-second amendment:
      “ No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

  3. One of my father’s favorites. The other was, if he thought you purchased something stupid was “you should’ve bought two–one to dedicate in, and the other to cover it up with.”

    Sorry; it just brought back a bunch memories.

  4. Speaking of collective amnesia, while all this is going on the press seems to have either completely forgotten that Kamala Harris exists, while the right-wing press is being allowed to run with the narrative that she’s both a dim bulb who doesn’t know what she’s doing AND a scheming harpy using a feeble old man to weasel her way into power.

    I really like her and she’s already had an established track record in her home state and in the Senate—all of that recorded evidence of her showing how well she knows her stuff during Senate hearings seems to have gone down the collective memory hole.

    I don’t know about other voters, but a I had no qualms about Biden’s age because she was VP—don’t know why that never seems to come up.

  5. Nancy Reagan wasn’t all that bad a president either, especially compared to Empty Greene or Stefanik.

    I love Ann Telnaes, but she left off Justice Ginni’s red cap.

    Abby Normal : I liked Kamala at Kavanaugh’s hearing, but she outpaced Amy Klobuchar when she sliced and diced Bill Barr.

  6. Mike Peterson 20240210: I’m on record as having assumed, and hoped, that Biden was coming in as a one-term president to get the country back on track, leave a few silver bullets as souvenirs and ride off into the sunset. . . . For my part, I wish the Democrats had raised up some young, dynamic candidate to take the reins from a good man as he stepped down.

    Mike says it very well. as you will recall I said 20240209: ‘I really wish that the corp. dem. machine had come up with a better choice for us.’ And, our corporate owned duopoly system very often leaves us with few and poor choices.

    AND there is a huge point that is being missed by almost everyone about the Hur report:
    “I had refused to criticize [Garland] but appointing Hur, who is obviously a Republican tool and who issued what I think is an irresponsible report >> which violates DOJ standards, << was a mistake," Democratic consultant Robert Shrum said. "I think Garland will be criticized by historians. We’ve had some terrific attorneys general and some not so good attorneys general. And I think he’s going to rank in the not so good."

    In other words, it is a deceitful, backhanded hit job by a repugnantcant.

    I love Mary McNeil's remark about pres. nancy reagan vs Greene or Stefanik

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