CSotD: On to November

The primaries are all but over, and now we’re off to the November elections, though, as Adam Zyglis notes, not before the Supreme Court has taken a good long look at things.

It seems unlikely that SCOTUS would decide presidents are immune from prosecution for criminal conduct, but, as Zyglis notes, it seemed highly unlikely that they’d decide that Bush’s Florida campaign manager should be in charge of the final count in that state back in 2000.

At this stage, the Court’s final move in the game is apparently to delay, letting Trump face the voters before he has to face a jury. But given how the MAGAts have responded to cases in which he was shown to be a sexual abuser and a commercial fraud, maybe it doesn’t matter.

Garth German points out a media factor others have seen as well: Coverage of Trump results largely seems to glide past the fact that he was losing major groups of voters to Haley, while coverage of Biden results focused on the Uncommitted movement.

It’s not as bad as German paints it, but cartoons use hyperbole to make the point, and his characterization seems roughly on target, even if the cause is media bending over backwards in an attempt to seem fair.

The accepted stories of the primaries were (1) whether Haley could make a dent in Trump’s support and (2) whether Biden would face any opposition at all.

Stories of Trump winning addressed that first element, with some discussion of what Haley voters would do in November, while coverage of Biden hinged on whether he was winning unanimously.

The story now emerging is “Who Cares?” in which commentators insist that nobody likes either candidate, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

Kevin Kallaugher — Counterpoint

Michael Ramirez — Creators

John Deering — Creators

If we add the Matt Davies cartoon featured here yesterday, that makes four pieces in which the two candidates are depicted as incompetent, disappointing would-be Supermen, a case of attacking them not for who they are but for what they are not.

We do know they’re old, and there’s some justification in pointing it out. It’s a fact and it’s worth saying to the party bigwigs that they should have been grooming some 40-plus folks to step up.

But that’s a message for 2028. The choice we face in 2024 is between these two guys, and either their similar ages equal out or you need to differentiate between normal aging and incipient dementia.

Dismissing them both as old, incompetent gaffers doesn’t help voters choose between them. Rather, it seems to encourage voters to not vote, to stay home, because it doesn’t matter which of the old fellas wins.

Dave Granlund adds to the “Who cares?” theme, though the aftereffects of the last election seem anything but boring from here. I seem to remember a riot, and whole passel of investigations, some legal cases, secret documents stashed in a golden bathroom … if that’s boredom, I’d hate to live through excitement.

And Matt Wuerker (Politico) ratchets things up with a pun changing boredom into excrement.

Graeme MacKay takes a dim view of the choices facing American voters in November, assuming you accept the “Sleepy Joe” image Trump has laid upon him, and that Trump indeed has a seemingly inexhaustible penchant for narcissism.

Good coverage would expose the extent to which each of those images is either a myth or harsh reality, but asking random people on the street — or, worse, at political rallies — how they feel about it is not the same as genuinely looking into the charges.

Nick Anderson points out that there is plenty to cover in Donald Trump’s attempt to return to the White House, given his track record of false assertions and bizarre errors.

Anderson only dwelt on what we’ve seen in the past: He didn’t get into the plans Trump has announced for mass deportations, for cutting federal aid to public schools that mandate modern health policies and for turning the military on protesters.

If nothing else, Jeremy Banx suggests, it would be fair to point out when one campaign blatantly lies, such as by using artificial intelligence to create bogus photos of their candidate posing with Black supporters.

Coverage of a campaign getting caught in something so silly is entertaining, but it can also reveal truths. For instance, in that linked piece, one of the fakers explains, “If anybody’s voting one way or another because of one photo they see on a Facebook page, that’s a problem with that person, not with the post itself.”

They believe lies don’t matter, deception is part of the game and it’s up to the victim of a scam to know when they’re being cheated.

Joel Pett (Tribune) jokes about Trump’s clumsy attempts to endear himself to the Black community, not just with forged photos but by claiming his many indictments make him just like them.

Such foolish efforts are worth tracking and exposing, particularly since they may lead to other elements that are not so easily unmasked.

Sometimes a bungled third-rate burglary leads to all sorts of more interesting things, or so I’ve heard.

Jen Sorensen thinks that truth matters, and that undermining trust is a threat to the Constitution and to our democratic foundations.

Here’s the strength of political cartooning: Any one of her points could be the topic of a 90-minute seminar, but nobody would listen to all 90 minutes. But maybe they would, once she had aroused their curiosity and sense of outrage.

It should be noted that Thomas Nast’s famous cartoons about Boss Tweed were surrounded by news articles and analysis pieces backing up the accusations that drew so much attention.

Without the assistance of sustained, detailed, well-sourced reporting, cartoon accusations are nothing but hot air.

But let’s close this pessimistic look at our world with a comforting thought from Australia: Cathy Wilcox offers the observation that nobody wants to actually solve any problems down there, either, and it looks like they’re employing many of the strategies we use here to avoid fixing things.

I’m not sure it makes me feel better about our situation, but at least it helps rule out leaving the country as a solution.

Like Phil, I guess we’ll all have to do stuff while we’re here.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: On to November

  1. Once again, while Steve Kornacki rattled on and on about NY Times polls which the results he was reporting on were countering before his eyes, the exit polls which were being collected completely denied that poll’s absurd findings that Trump’s support was 97% among his 2020 voters even while he never broke 70% in any state, and yet MSNBC’s (and CNN’s) daytime hosts continued to rattle on about Trump’s supposed lead over Biden in the race. Didn’t we go through all of this in 2016, only to find that the polls showing Clinton a sure thing couldn’t have been more wrong? I realize the news channels wouldn’t have anything to fill the day without the latest poll that turns the results of last week’s previous poll on its ear, but I don’t accept manufactured “facts” as news any longer, no matter who’s doing the polling.

  2. Mike – does someone in the Biden Administration regularly read your column? See NYTimes today re; Gaza port

  3. Is anyone really surprised that we’re getting Trump v Biden 2.0? Disappointing maybe, but not surprising.

    I’m much more disappointed in the SCOTUS for not doing their job and once again taking the lazy route of “let the voters decide”
    Excuse me, but isn’t it *your* job as the judiciary to ensure that criminal nutbags like Trump can’t run for office? Again, I’m not surprised by this development, just disappointed.

    And I am getting really, really sick of this “both sides”-ism. Yeah, Biden and Trump are both old. Yeah, Biden and Trump aren’t exactly ideal candidates. But if you can’t see the difference between the two then there’s no hope…

  4. The WB had a cartoon called Binky and the Brain and every time I read about the 2024 campaign, I hear that cartoon’s theme song. LOL ? The whole thing is ludicrous and it’s pathetic we’re stuck with their farce!

Comments are closed.