CSotD: Errors, misconceptions and damnable lies

Sometimes a person makes an innocent mistake, sometimes someone tells a deliberate lie. Most times, the effect is the same either way, but if what conservative Christians say of the Final Judgement is true, intentions matter.

So we’ll start with the twisted view of religion laid out by Mike Luckovich: It is impossible to venture into the Bible at all and emerge as both a believer and as someone who condones unrepentant adultery and deception.

Pedro X. Molina (Counterpoint) takes an even grimmer view of Mike Johnson’s willingness not simply to over look Trump’s behavior but to actively champion him in opposition to the Word of the Lord that he claims as his moral guidepost.

There are several versions of why the crowd shouted for release of a known criminal rather than the man Pilate admitted had committed no crime. The anti-Semitic view is that the Pharisees conspired to bring about the crucifixion, a more measured take is that Jesus appealed to rural Zealots who were not a majority within the walls of Roman-occupied Jerusalem.

By hate or by history, choosing Barabbas cannot be seen as a righteous option, but we are faced today with an entire cadre of people who claim to be Christian but champion a man who behaves in ways far from the tenets of any major religion.

And if Molina’s vision seems extreme, you need only look at the news to see the crowd that has indeed shown up at the trial to shout down the judgement.

As Jack Ohman (Tribune) notes, they’re present to support Dear Leader who let the term “Unified Reich” slip into his campaign material, erasing any doubt about the appeal to Nazi tradition that has underlaid much of his rhetoric and that of his white supremacist, Christian nationalist supporters.

Andy Marlette (Creators) echoes Ohman’s incredulity over the bizarre aping of Trump’s blue suit/red tie uniform by the surrogates who have shown up to say the things Dear Leader’s judge has forbidden him to say.

Marlette takes the further, important step of suggesting that this banana-republic-style demonstration of disregard for the justice system helps set up a repudiation of a guilty verdict, should one happen.

The takeover of our country must include not only establishing contempt for the justice system but widening doubt and disbelief in the fundamental action of electing our leaders.

And it isn’t enough to have successfully planted doubt over the integrity of the 2020 results, despite millions of dollars wasted in attempting to prove nonsensical charges of fraud.

Just under a third of federal legislators, plus a large percentage of the Republican Party leadership, are election deniers, and many others have refused to go on record as accepting the 2024 results.

At least those who worked to preserve slavery in 1861 had the decency to secede. Such integrity seems in short supply today.

Those planning to subvert the nation don’t need to secede this time around, as long as they are able to seed doubt with the aid of those who, either deliberately or out of profound ignorance, help spread false information.

Gary Varvel (Creators) shows Biden riding a fat, swollen horse of Inflation, when inflation is coming under control after having gotten out of hand during the pandemic and resulting economic chaos.

That’s not a matter of interpretation or of opinion: It’s simple arithmetic. You might as well complain about Nebraska’s oceanfront or Florida’s glaciers. (We’ll deal with blatant lies about assassination plots once the cartoonists catch up with the propagandists.)

Meanwhile, as Phil Hands points out, continued harping on non-existent economic woes have successfully convinced more than half the public that we are experiencing rampant inflation as part of an economic depression that simply does.not.exist.

This is more the fault of horserace-obsessed journalism as it is of deliberate propaganda from the Trump camp and Fox News.

When the main story every day is “What do voters think?” rather than “What is actually going on?” it is hardly surprising that voters think what they’ve repeatedly been told they think.

It’s called the Bandwagon Effect and it’s been around for as long as we’ve had elections.

So far, the combination of deliberate propaganda and incompetent, click-obsessed journalism has resulted in an electorate that — particularly among younger voters — is ignorant of the policies outlined in Project 2025 for a second Trump administration.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Pat Byrnes

Nick Anderson — Tribune

I don’t know whether it is more impactful to mock Trump’s decision not to testify in his NY trial as Byrnes does, or to simply lay out the facts the way Anderson does. And I’m also not sure how many people can be reached either way.

After all, anyone with any access to the mainstream press knows that Trump is an inveterate liar and bullshit artist. Even those who consider it amusing — who “take him seriously but not literally” — have heard that he told some 30,000 lies in the four years of his presidency.

Perhaps they don’t remember that he promised, for instance, a health care plan that was never revealed, but they should have some sense that he is not to be trusted and his word is not to be relied upon.

And yet here we are, and so it seems futile to point out that he promised to testify and didn’t, and even moreso to point out that, while his evasions and falsehoods are effective campaign material, repeating them under oath would be a felony.

Still, the only thing worse than shouting into the wind is failing to shout at all.

A Personal Note

I was going to feature a favorite Ed Hall cartoon, but Deb Milbrath captured the mood perfectly.

One of the first things I learned about cancer was that no two cases are the same. I was given six months without treatment and a coin flip with it, but here I am, eight years later. Ed wasn’t so lucky.

But, like all its victims, we bonded.

At an AAEC Convention, we were swapping stories about ridiculous things we’d encountered in the course of our treatment and laughing. Someone came up and asked what was so funny and we said, “Cancer.”

I guess maybe you had to be there. Ed was for me, and I was for him.

I’m gonna miss the guy.

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Errors, misconceptions and damnable lies

  1. So very sad to hear the news about Ed Hall, on so many levels. Ed’s boundless enthusiasm (and occasional snide asides) were always welcome at gatherings of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. As a long-time member of the board of directors, he put in overtime on the impossible task of cat-herding cartoonists (and the development hell of our bottomless website, for which he was presented the 2020 Ink Bottle Award). I will really miss him.

  2. Based on what I’m reading, Ed Hall contributed so much to your world of editorial cartoonists. Sad to hear he’s gone.
    Given my personal experience of history and the context of society at the time, my favorite version of ‘He was a friend of Mine’ was by the Byrds, since is conveyed sorrow over the assassination of JFK.

    1. A traditional song, re-written and updated by Dylan and the Byrds. I looked through several versions, starting with the one I was most familiar with, which was performed by Dave Van Ronk at the Phil Ochs Memorial Concert. I chose Willie Nelson’s because it was both stark and plain and I wasn’t trying to be fancy.

  3. What would have done in 1933 as Hitler came to power? Answer: what you’re doing right now.

    I think of this little question each day and thank my stars that Mike, and many others including his regular readers, are taking the Fascism threat seriously.

  4. Observations regarding the assassination claims.

    (1) When Trump dies, whenever that happens, from whatever cause, the party cultists will claim he was assassinated.

    (1a) The only other claim they could possibly make is that the corpse is fake and he’s still alive, hiding in a bunker (again) to avoid assassination.

    (2) I would not be surprised to see a fake assassination attempt orchestrated by Trump’s organization. Especially if he finds himself trailing in the polls in the final weeks of the campaign.

    (3) Trump ought to worry that there may come a time when the party cultists believe he’s worth more as dead martyr.

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