CSotD: Fair Points and Foul

The Internets are full of cartoons marking the planned retirement of Mitch McConnell as Republican Senate Leader, many of them using the “My work here is done” phrase, few of them putting it in as colorful a setting as Drew Sheneman has here.

Sheneman does a nice job of showing general destruction, with burned-out buildings, parched earth, buzzards and a cattle skeleton, but oil wells in the background are the only marginally specific topic. It’s a colorful piece and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a stranger to the planet would be mystified about the meaning.

Someone looking for a more focused critique might appreciate Mike Smith (KFS)‘s piece, which focuses on McConnell’s success in stacking the Supreme Court with conservatives and managing to push through a number of Trump appointees while stalling confirmation of less partisan justices.

I like his specificity, though I’m not a big fan of labels and I’m not sure the mouse ears work, particularly since Disney has been involved in a variety of legal entanglements more relevant to DeSantis than McConnell.

Joel Pett — who has the advantage of being from McConnell’s home state — takes the opportunity to recycle a 2021 cartoon containing a full list of things he wishes McConnell hadn’t done, and, given the length of that list, I withdraw my general objection to labels, because Pett employs them here effectively and necessarily.

The cartoon is particularly pointed and potentially controversial in Kentucky, where voters returned McConnell to office repeatedly and by substantial margins, but it is not so regional, nor so outdated, that it couldn’t be picked up by papers in other states.

Pett strikes a solid balance of commenting with specificity on a regional politician in a way that doesn’t leave out a national audience.

I’m less comfortable with Lalo Alcaraz (AMS)‘s commentary on Trump’s appeal to Latino voters, though I agree with his premise.

I don’t see Latino voters as a solid bloc. Having lived in Colorado for a decade and a half, I saw both left-wing activists and staunch conservatives among Latinos there, and I’m also aware that Chicanos are not Tejanos are not Puerto Rican are not Cuban are not Honduran are not Venezuelan and on and on.

I don’t know what happens if you actually put Chicano farm worker activists in the same room with the Cuban ex-pats who sheltered Elian Gonzalez, but I know they aren’t the same people and it seems reductive for political analysts to speak of the “Latino vote” as if they were.

However, Alcaraz suggests that Trump’s attitude towards Latinos has been abusive, and he’s specific about the ways in which Trump has insulted and denigrated them.

His analogy with abused spouses is spot on: He raises a reasonable question about why anyone of any Latino ethnicity would cling to someone who treats them the way Trump does.

It’s the sort of conversation which once took place within a community but now is taking place in the wider marketplace.

The phenomenon is more apparent in the Black community, where Ollie Harrington could run cartoons in Black newspapers in the 30s and 40s that were appreciated there, but when Aaron Magruder made similar statements in mainstream papers in the 90s, he offended White folks as well as some Black readers who felt those arguments belonged within the group.

I don’t have a problem with Alcaraz making his points to a wide audience, but I wonder how differently this cartoon is seen by Anglo and Latino readers. We’ve got a long way to go before these conversations fit comfortably in the mainstream, but we won’t get there without pushing the boundaries.

Segregation is about ideas as much as it is about classrooms and water fountains.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Gary Varvel — Creators

Steve Kelley — Creators

There is fair commentary and there is race-baiting, and while we certainly need to work on border security, Trump’s screeds that Latino immigrants are drug dealers, criminals and racists were not only blatantly racist at the time — and amplified by his outrageous attack on an American-born Latino judge — but are simply not born out by statistics.

You can’t logically complain about millions of illegal immigrants and then make a fetish over one who commits murder. If they’re all so ee-vill, how are any of us Good Americans left alive? And if millions of murderous rapist drug dealers have only managed to kill poor Laken Riley, what are you so afraid of?

Granted, the hateful appeal is being made to people terrified to go to the grocery store without a gun, but it’s fair commentary to point out that good old Born Americans are shooting our kids at quite a rate, and I’ll see your Laken Riley and raise you a Kaylin Gillis and a Heather Rowe and a Ralph Yarl.

But there’s no need to play whatabout, because the statistics alone give the lie to this fearmongering. The Cato Institute is hardly a leftwing unicorn factory, but even there, it’s recognized and documented that immigrants have a significantly lower murder rate than native-born Americans.

Plus, we need immigrants. They’re vital to our labor force.

It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. And when a candidate for the presidency says we’re letting in people who speak languages that nobody speaks, that’s racism.

There are facts out there for anyone who wants them, but there are also non-facts, and Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) serves up a headscratcher, given that Congress did, indeed, refuse to pass a strong, bipartisan border agreement.

Biden wanted it, a majority of legislators supported it, but Donald Trump urged it be abandoned in order to keep the crisis alive for campaign purposes.

It’s not all of Congress’s fault — many wanted it to pass — but it’s the fault of congressional MAGAts that the bill has failed.

Let me set up my card table and invite you to prove me wrong.

Anyway, here we are, and Deb Milbrath notes how Georgia legislators have proclaimed their priorities: Refusing a Medicaid expansion bill to help poor Georgians access medical care, while approving a bill to allow America Firsters to proclaim their political values on their license plates, presumably in Roman rather than Cyrillic lettering.

So let us close with the anthem of the brave America Firsters:

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Fair Points and Foul

  1. I have a sister-in-law who I love dearly but whose spouse who’s verbally abusive. Every time I think of her I think of 45 followers and their ‘excuses.’. They are the same.

    “He doesn’t mean what he says.”
    “That’s just the way he is.”

    1. good one. as beautifully succinct as Sheneman’s cartoon is, Molina’s has the added commentary that the fires will continue to wreak their destruction long after the arsonist has walked away.

    2. That’s great.

      I really can’t get enough of editorials cheering Mitch’s departure while also having to mourn the destruction left in his wake. What a legacy.

  2. OK, what the frig is up over at Comics Kingdom?? I’m a paid subscriber. I hope they are still working on their problems and the site’s functionality will return. If not, I won’t renew my subscription — what a mess!

  3. Mike wrote: He (alcaraz) raises a reasonable question about why anyone of any Latino ethnicity would cling to someone who treats them the way Trump does.

    I reply: (warning sensitive subject ahead) There are a number of articles pointing out a very likely reason hispanics of all types support tRUMP: they are staunch christians and they unreasoningly support the christian nationalist ‘faction’ that staunchly (deceitfully) supports tRUMP even though both viciously disparage hispanics.

    Axios article /2024/02/29/christian-nationalism-latino-hispanic-protestant-evangelical

    Digby parton article /2024/03/01/why-in-the-world-would-latinos-back-trump/
    Hispanic Protestants are among the biggest supporters of Christian nationalism despite the belief system’s anti-immigrant and anti-diversity stances, according to a new survey.

    Additionally, ‘Deb Milbrath notes how Georgia legislators have proclaimed their priorities: Refusing a Medicaid expansion bill to help poor Georgians access medical care, while approving a bill to allow America Firsters to proclaim their political values on their license plates’ -which points out how everywhere government of the rightwingnut type is fixated on petty vindictive, selfish and inane topics while ignoring all the serious topics that impact our populace. Who was it that kept pointing out our ‘failed society’?? Oh, that was me.

  4. Maybe a clown hat would have been more appropriate than Mickey Mouse ears.

    I don’t understand how any non-white, non-male, non-“Christian”, non-straight etc person could possibly support the Republican Party these days, but I’ve long given up asking why.

    That Lisa Benson panel only makes sense if it were Trump instead of Biden, but I’ve seen enough of her work posted here to know she’s either an idiot, delusional, or both.

  5. The downside of McConnell leaving is that whoever replaces him is going to be worse. Much worse.

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