CSotD: Hello, We Must Be Going

Just in time for the holiday, Mike Luckovich points out, SCOTUS has issued its ruling stating that the President is immune from prosecution for anything he does in his official capacity and for much of what he does in his unofficial capacity as long as he’s doing it as President.

It will be up to the lower courts to decide which is which and then up to the Supreme Court to tell them if they guessed right.

Deb Milbrath explains how that can work to the benefit, for example, of Mitch McConnell, who originally said that attempting to overthrow the government by force and violence was a bad thing but then began to doubt his judgment.

Now, thanks to the Court, he realizes that, yes, he was mistaken.

The Court explained, in its 6-3 decision, that, for instance, if the President suggested to the Acting Attorney General that he should institute a fraudulent vote count in place of the real one, he was protected by virtue of the fact that talking to the AG is an official act of a President.

Others have noted that this apparently means the President could also talk to his staff about blackmailing certain politicians, breaking and entering into opposition headquarters, burglarizing a psychiatrist’s office and paying off criminal associates and even if the conversations had been caught on tape, he would be protected because he was talking to his official White House staff.

And if a previous Supreme Court disagreed unanimously, they were simply wrong.

Which happens from time to time: For example, John Roberts was wrong in his confirmation hearings when he accidentally misinformed Senator Leahy:

Which might mean that, if there were a law against suborning perjury or falsifying documents, it might be illegal for the President to do those things. Or it might not. It all depends. But, as the Court declared yesterday, it would be legal for him to ask other people to do them, as long as he was speaking in his official capacity as president.

Retired General Mark Hertling finds this a bit disconcerting.

And speaking of which …

Pat Byrnes is not the only person to suggest that the Court has given President Biden permission to order Trump killed by the military, and he did it in a lovely picture of the White House in a sort of Doonesbury way that indicts the office as much as the individual.

This is important because the Super Powers bestowed by the Court apply to any President, not just the one Alito and Thomas are pulling for.

And speaking of repeated motifs, many cartoonists have shown SCOTUS putting a crown on the President’s head, but I like David Rowe’s version, which not only lets him repeat the “Me the People” tattoo, but includes the Emperor and Court treading on Lady Justice.

He also makes the point Pat Byrnes made, which is that Joe Biden now has a crown, if not the same devoted entourage.

“Hey, C’mon man” indeed.

Rowe’s view came from Australia, and Pia Guerra adds a Canadian viewpoint to the mix, given that the decision came down on Canada Day. The historical reference to Austria is appropriate because Pierre Elliott Trudeau memorably compared being next door to the USA to sleeping with an elephant and feeling every twitch.

Austria discovered what happens if the elephant rolls over.

But for the most chilling, and yet most hopeful, external viewpoint, we turn to Pedro X. Molina (Counterpoint) who lives in the US but cartoons both here and for his homeland of Nicaragua, from whence he was forced to flee.

He knows the danger of a dictatorship firsthand, and cuts through all the weeping and wailing over whether Joe Biden is Superman.

The November choice is not between Biden and Trump but between democracy and fascism.

We have, since Brown v the Board of Education, relied on the Supreme Court to rein in the extremists, but, as Clay Bennett (CTFP) points out, those days are over. We’re back to the days of Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson.

It’s a damn shame, yes, and we miss Justice Robert Jackson, who not only sat on the bench for Brown but was our nation’s chief prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, two facts I do not believe are unrelated.

Nor is it coincidental that he said of the Court “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”

“Final” being relative, as he proved in helping to reverse the legacy and legality of Jim Crow schools and as the current Court has proved again in overturning a whole lot of stare decisis.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Pat Bagley

Lisa Benson — Counterpoint

Joyce Vance — who has posted a brilliant lawyerly analysis of the decision — ends each of her Substacks with “We’re in this together,” and it’s important to recognize that there are plenty who prize the American system and who, like Bagley, are appalled at the hypocrisy inherent in the loading of SCOTUS with activist judges.

But it’s critical to recognize that, however inaccurate and fallible the polls, there are many, many people who, like Benson, are tickled pink to see the Court punch a massive hole in the attempt to make Dear Leader responsible for his attempt to overthrow the government.

And they vote.

From far-off New Zealand, Guy Body issues this grim warning for Americans who are still pissing themselves over whether they prefer an aging Joe Biden to the man appointed to carry out Project 2025 on behalf of the powerful forces who have specified their plans for establishing a fascist America.

How many voters know what is in Project 2025? Mark Jacob offers a furious screed against ratings-obsessed media who give Steve Bannon all the free coverage he wants, and repeats a warning he issued nearly a year ago about the failure to cover real issues of intense importance if they aren’t sexy and exciting.

How dire is the threat?

Ask your friends and coworkers how many of them even know that Project 2025 exists, much less what’s in it?

If nobody wants to take the time to study the details of Project 2025, Mike Luckovich suggests they at least be aware of what has already been lost, and how our lives will change if we sit back and let it all just continue to happen.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Hello, We Must Be Going

  1. It is amusing to get a peek into the mind of the left, thank you Daily Cartoonist!

  2. What people miss complaining about the media is NOBODY CARES. People like Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville assumed that people would cut out the partisanship of the press (there wasn’t even a concept of objective media back then) and focus on the facts, but that’s assuming anybody cares about the truth or anything beyond their immediate person. “Democracy” is not a winning strategy if all democracy means to most people is voting once every four years. As long as there’s an election, which they may or actually vote in, they simply don’t care.
    The whole 2016 election cycle (I was in 10th grade) I repeatedly complained to whoever listened “Why is The New York Times reporting everything he says? If he’s an irrelevant, joke candidate (which he was at the beginning) then treat him accordingly.” Instead, he got all the media attention, to the point that the entire election comprised of his promising to do X, Y, and Z and she promised not to. That’s why she lost, OK. As far as 40% of the country was concerned, only one person had ideas, however reprehensible “the media” said they were, for running the country. It’s the trap Biden (or whoever wins after they hypothetically stab him in the back in August) can’t fall into. Democracy, Autocracy, are meaningless background noise to most people.
    To save democracy, you can’t say you’re saving democracy. Choose a concrete policy that resonates with the widest public, arrange other policies around that, and just pretend the former guy doesn’t exist. He is a parasite who thrives on attention.

      1. I’ll admit I don’t really know a lot about how Gmail works, but it seems to be trying to link to an email in the inbox without specifying a user.

  3. It’s nice to know that law in America is meaningless and boils down to “whatever feels okay” and “as long as the perpetrator is on our team”

    Methinks it’s time to start looking into getting a passport…

    1. Furthermore, I’d *really* love to see a cartoon that juxtaposes the right-wing’s insistence on the Ten Commandments being posted in every classroom and the Court’s rulings.

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