CSotD: Fake It ‘Til You Break It

Bob Englehart provides a head-scratcher. There’s nothing wrong with contrasting two presidents, or two speeches, but you have to do it in a way that clearly approves of one and disapproves of the other.

Roosevelt used the phrase, which he said was a West African proverb, more than once, starting with a letter written as governor in 1900 after getting his fellow Republicans not to reappoint a corrupt official as insurance commissioner.

He repeated the expression in a speech a year later as president, discussing his intention to stand by the Monroe Doctrine:

TR notably overstepped in “assisting” Panama in declaring its independence of Columbia so the Americans could build a canal there. But much of his part in America’s rising imperialism was inherited from McKinley, and he recast much of that in the form of what you might call “belligerent neutrality,” showing muscle but not necessarily exercising it.

I’m not sure what touched off the comparison with Biden, but mostly I’m not sure whether Englehart feels we should show more firm resolve or sees Biden’s less confrontational style as an improvement.

A little more clarity next time, please.

Juxtaposition of the Day #1

Adam Zyglis

Jeff Danziger

A bit of asked-and-answered on the Gaza question: Nikki Haley met with a survivor of the Hamas raid, toured a kibbutz destroyed in the attack and then joined in the demand for vengeance.

It’s hardly surprising that she came away furious and shared that emotion with readers of the NYPost, but she might at least have glanced over the border into Gaza before declaring them all deserving of death.

She’s drawn criticism for her insistence that the solution is to continue the bombing of Gaza, which has caused some 36,000 deaths, including children who couldn’t possibly be active members of Hamas.


Danziger is right: This is how you recruit on the terrorists’ behalf.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Mike Luckovich

David Horsey

There was a time when we worried about the “population bomb” and having more people on the planet than we could feed. It was, interestingly, also roughly the time when contraception gave women the opportunity to make more choices about their lives and careers.

Luckovich clearly disapproves of the Republican intent to not only make abortion all but impossible, but to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that made contraception a private matter.

What was hinted at by Clarence Thomas in the Dobbs decision is now out in the open, thanks to a parliamentary maneuver by Democrats to force GOP politicians to stake out their position on the matter.

And thanks to the GOP members who took the bait.

Meanwhile, David Horsey — who is not normally a fan of Graham, Tuberville and Cruz — decries those who postpone or entirely cancel their opportunity to reproduce. As with Englehart’s piece, it’s not so much what he says as the lack of clarity as to what he wants. Even his accompanying essay doesn’t clarify it, except that he fears the world is becoming depopulated.

Strange bedfellows indeed.

Juxtaposition of Deranged Priorities

Andy Davey sets the scene for this head-scratcher: British PM Rishi Sunak skipped a major portion of the D-Day commemorations in Normandy to be interviewed back in London, where he is in the opening stages of a parliamentary election.

It’s not quite that simple: He’d decided to skip the event before he had called the election, but he could have reversed the snub.

Whether or not the voters forgive him, the cartoonists owe him a party, because he sure made their week easy.

Dave Brown, as is his wont, used the opportunity to satirize a famous painting. In this case, it was of the charge in which, as Tennyson said, “someone had blundered,” only in Brown’s version, the blunderer is on a hobby horse headed in the opposite direction.

And Matt Pritchett managed to combine two dubious Sunak concepts into one pointed cartoon, melding the TV interview blunder with Sunak’s earlier election pledge to require 18-year-olds to enter national service.

It’s almost as if he has decided that electoral seppuku would be less painful than explaining to his wife that he wants to retire.

Also on the topic of politicians who maybe should retire, John Darkow takes a shot at Clarence Thomas’s latest financial disclosure filings, in which he admits he forgot about the trip to Bali that Harlan Crowe gave him a few years ago.

Clarence has somehow gained $4 million in gifts, but he assures us it’s all just from personal friends.

“Here’s a free trip to Bali! So, what have you been doing since we were best buddies in the fourth grade?”

I’m more concerned with Ketanji Brown Jackson’s disclosures, because they were considerably smaller but, almost for that reason, considerably dumber.

Brown Jackson, f’rinstance, accepted gifts of art for her office, a move which she might have defused by donating the art to a museum with it on loan to her until she left the court.

More trivial and therefore more disturbing is her accepting of tickets with a value of $3,711.84 from Beyoncé. Even if they’d been pals before she became a justice (doubtful), she should have known better.

I remember, back before I broke with my old alma mater, chatting with a local judge who was a fellow alum and mentioning that I had lost out on the ticket lottery for the Notre Dame/USC game.

“I can’t go,” he said. “You can have my tickets.”

I told him I’d have to decline. He laughed and said it was purely personal, but I was a reporter, he was a powerful judge. I couldn’t accept a gift from him. I offered to buy them but he wouldn’t take the money.

Fortunately, his son was a local priest, so I made a contribution to his parish of the face value of the tickets and not only was it one helluva game, but given that the judge had been a student manager of the team when Rockne was the coach, those were some bodacious seats.

Surely Beyoncé has a favorite charity, even if none of her children are in the clergy.

As for Clarence, he’s a lost cause. Long Dong Thomas came to SCOTUS as an arrogant jerk who assumed that rank has its privileges.


5 thoughts on “CSotD: Fake It ‘Til You Break It

  1. Pretty sure Bibi isn’t concerned about creating future terrorists, as it will only give him an excuse to continue his crusade of wiping out every last Palestinian.

    It’s baffling to me that people complain about there not being enough babies, when the world’s population is nearing 8 billion living on a system that is not sustainable.

      1. While you’d think that people who are anti-abortion would be pro-contraception (since more contraception = fewer unwanted pregnancies), you have to remember that these people are Puritans.

        They believe that sex should ONLY:
        1. Occur within the confines of a marriage
        2. Occur with the express purpose of making a baby

        After all, if women don’t have the threat of pregnancy dangling over their heads at all times, that just gives them the freedom to be total sluts, right?

        This is why the GOP isn’t satisfied with simply overturning Roe. They want enforcers stationed in every bedroom in America to ensure that there’s no hanky-panky going on.

  2. Enjoyed the whole column (as usual), but really liked the story of getting great seats for the USC game. I don’t know why it resonated with me, as I’ve only been to only a few college games in my life, all Div. 3 – must be the combination of ethics, which appears to be so lacking nowadays and the karma of getting great seats.

  3. Another head-scratcher, they insist on no abortion or contraception but ignore the needs of mothers and children after they’re born. If Republicans wish to raise human cattle, ranchers would say they’re going about it all wrong.

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