CSotD: Spring Cleaning Time

Michael de Adder offers a State of the Disunion Address for political cartooning. As noted the other day, I suspect that, while several cartoonists are of an age to have been disillusioned by the murder, the reason for the flood of OJ cartoons, most of them set in Hell, seems a desire to jump on a headline and make a few sales.

If you want to know the significance of OJ Simpson, read this opinion piece by Monica Hesse about the stream of 911 calls in which Nicole Brown Simpson pleaded for help in the weeks before she was slaughtered on her front porch while their children slept inside.

Then grab your pen and draw a funny cartoon about it. I’ll wait.

More germane is today’s Doonesbury (AMS), which insists on probing the mental decay of the Republican nominee in waiting.

It has been entertaining following George Conway, Aaron Rupar, Betty Bowers and others who chronicle his diminishing capacity, but his followers will never see his inability to focus and that, as Trudeau also notes, he has great difficulty in speaking coherently.

If a tree falls in the forest and Fox and Newsmax decide not to cover it, does it make a sound?

I’m uncomfortable with Fox’s decision to deliberately ignore various potential scandals concerning Trump and play up minor issues on the other side of the aisle, but at least their intentions are obvious.

It’s more problematic when political cartoonists parrot talking points without examining them, because their messages don’t just appear in staunchly conservative papers but also in those run by weak-kneed both-siders.

Here, for instance, Dana Summers (Tribune) claims that the Republicans have a well-developed platform, while the Democrats simply rely on attacking Trump.

It just isn’t true. The Republican Platform for 2020 stated that they stood for whatever Donald Trump wanted them to stand for. That’s not sarcasm, it’s literacy: Click and read for yourself.

And, while you’re there, check out the Democratic Platform for the same year. But you’d better pack a lunch, because it’s a long, deeply detailed read.

The rightwing is working to correct the deficit, but Project 2025, created by the Heritage Foundation, boils down to “Buy our 900 page book,” while Trump’s own campaign has stepped away from that potential platform with Agenda 47, which is a detailed list that includes actions he wouldn’t be empowered to take over issues that may not actually exist, like overcoming Biden’s job-killing (which has created more jobs than projected and lowered unemployment) and “Protecting Students from the Radical Left and Marxist Maniacs Infecting Educational Institutions” which speaks for itself.

But let’s not get too giddy, because the notion of concentration camps, mass deportations, bans on abortion and birth control and halting illegal-voting-which-has-never-been-proven-to-exist will indeed appeal to MAGA voters.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Dr. MacLeod

Clay Bennett — CTFP

The overthrow of Roe v Wade, made possible by Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented move to seat right-wing justices in avoidance, if not outright defiance, of the Constitution, has been a major bragging point for Trump, or, at least, it was until, as MacLeod and Bennett suggest, it became a potential tool of their destruction.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Nick Anderson — Tribune

Rob Rogers, Tinyview

Dear Leader appears to have suddenly become aware that women’s rights are apt to be a powerful factor in the 2024 elections, so he’s been attempting to walk back his proud support for a national ban without alienating the anti-abortion extremists at the core of his MAGA movement.

It’s not an easy tightrope act.

It didn’t help for the Arizona Supreme Court to confirm and resurrect an 1864 anti-abortion law, which movement even shocked a lot of conservative, pro-life Republicans, not to mention stunning the pro-choice crowd and spawning way, way, way too many cartoons depicting signs at the state border declaring it to be 1864.

Ed Hall, however, cuts to the chase, pointing out that the law was written at a time when medicine was at a level of crudeness we wouldn’t recognize today, while others have made the argument that, in 1864, women could not vote and were strictly limited in their ability to own property or gain custody of their children in a divorce.

Or to have control of their own bodies. Note that it was less than a decade later that Congress passed the Comstock Laws, currently being pulled out of cold storage to keep women from obtaining contraceptives or abortifacients through the mail.

Women are speaking up, including Rachel Vindman, a journalist who became a spokesperson for sensible rule after Trump pushed her husband under the bus:

You can’t get any plainer than that, but, fortunately for Trump’s prospects in the coming election, he has a secret weapon:

As Betty Bowers notes, the MAGAts aren’t the only truly stupid people out there, and not only does Kristian/Kirsten Mansel hope to hand the election over to Trump because she thinks Joe Biden can wave his sceptre and declare Roe v Wade back in power, but, the article goes on, because he hasn’t wiped out student debt.

Which second point would come as news to Lisa Benson (Counterpoint), who agrees with the MAGAt crowd that Biden has made a great error in taking money from the banks and government and making it available for stimulating the economy.

Kirsten/Kristian may not, however, be the dullest crayon in the box: I note that some of the other Memphis State non-voting students in that article have the kinds of names that could get them thrown into a concentration camp if Trump regains power.

Maybe those young abstainers are being influenced by another frequent type of cartoon, like this Phil Hands piece, which not only riffs on the horserace instead of on policies, but misses the fact that the polls are tightening and that Biden is beginning to show an occasional lead. And that their record is kinda spotty.

As for approval ratings as a predictor, in the words of Old Lodge Skins, “Well, sometimes the magic works. Sometimes, it doesn’t.”

Point being that, when cartoonists argue that Biden can’t win, it’s not that different from saying “Don’t bother voting.”

Which is their right to say.

Or, at least, it will be until January 2025.

3 thoughts on “CSotD: Spring Cleaning Time

  1. Wow, Mike, you pulled no punches today. Thanks.
    I was wondering if/how the Goldman family will collect the $100 million that o.j. still owed when he died?
    Mrs. Betty Bowers does a great job with her delivery. She gets it even if she is Canadian.

  2. The “Biden isn’t perfect therefore I’m voting for Trump” crowd are the most baffling of all.

    As we all know, Perfect is the enemy of Good.

    1. As Betty Bowers notes, the MAGAts aren’t the only truly stupid people out there, and not only does Kristian/Kirsten Mansel hope to hand the election over to Trump because she thinks Joe Biden can wave his sceptre and declare Roe v Wade back in power, but, the article goes on, because he hasn’t wiped out student debt.

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