CSotD: Reveille

Gary Markstein (Creators) has a nice-sounding idea.

We’d all like a do-over; we’d all like to speak to the manager. Anybody who is content with the choices in the upcoming election hasn’t been paying attention, and much as I approve of universal suffrage, knowing the stakes when you step into the booth is critical.

Maarten Wolterink (Cartoon Movement) is right: We’re facing a tough choice, between a good-hearted man who was inarticulate and a con artist who spews a continuous flow of lies and nonsense.

I’m on record as being against switching horses in midstream, though I had expected Biden to serve a single, conciliatory term as national repairman before handing over the reins.

And I’ve always been against the circular firing squads we saw in the McGovern, Dukakis and Hillary Clinton campaigns.

That impractical, perfection-seeking firing squad has already assembled itself, and it seems likely that, unless there is a shift now, we’ll hear a constant whine of shoulda-woulda-coulda that will cancel out a major portion of whatever the Sensible Party might bring to the campaign, and will alienate enough voters to throw the election to Trump.

The whole world is watching, Fiona Katauskas says, as the NATO gathering has our allies wondering what comes next for the Leader of the Free World.

However, here’s a criticism of her cartoon: Hungarian dictator Victor Orban should be shown walking with Trump, since he declined to meet with the US President and — having discussed Ukraine with Xi and Putin — is flying to Florida from the NATO summit to meet with Dear Leader.

So, yes, the whole world is watching, but not all of them share the same concerns.

And while Wolterink lays out the difference between truth and lies calmly though with intent, Jeff Danziger (Counterpoint) defies reality by assuming that the entire country is aware of, and appalled by, Dear Leader’s dishonesty and incoherent blather.

Was I unfair? Is this not incoherent blather?

Saturday Night Live had a gag in which Jon Lovitz, playing Dukakis, said, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!”

It was a whole lot funnier before Dukakis lost to that guy.

Dr. MacLeod accuses Democrats of assuming they’re addressing an intelligent, well-informed, high-minded electorate, but whatever the shortcomings of polls at this stage, the fact that they are close at all indicates that a lot of people don’t even know about Project 2025.

You cannot base a successful political campaign on assuming people will reject something they’ve never heard of.

People are finally hearing about it, not because of solid campaigning by politicians and not because of coverage in the newspapers nobody reads anymore but because Taraji P. Henson brought it up while she was hosting the BET Awards.

At which point people did start talking about it and Donald Trump responded, as Ted Littleford illustrates, by pulling a Sgt Schultz and claiming he never heard about it, and insisting that he disagrees with what he knows nothing about, despite the fact that 80% of its writers were on his White House staff.

I’m sure nobody attending the Republican National Convention next week will have any idea that the Heritage Foundation, creators of Project 2025, has an interest in what the GOP decides.

Unless they arrive by plane.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Nick Anderson — Tribune

John Darkow

An interesting pairing, no? Both see Project 2025 as a monster, though Anderson places it in a suit and tie, emphasizing that it is acceptable to a certain element, while Darkow depicts it as entirely destructive.

Anderson also leaves it unclear whether Trump is running with the beast or away from it, while Darkow is more plain, having Trump lie to Uncle Sam about the giant lizard whose leash he is holding.

Take your pick, as long as you don’t miss the part where it is a monster.

And much as I admire Taraji B. Henson for bringing the monster to the attention of young potential voters, it’s good cartoonists are joining in.

Everyone grabbing attention by arguing over who should be running needs to shift gears and start talking about why someone needs to be running, and what they need to be running against.

And they must, as Mike Luckovich does, argue against the farcical notion that Trump knows nothing about it, when his fingerprints are all over it.

They must also hammer on the fact that it is, indeed, a “plan to end Democracy.”

Pat Bagley plays on a classic Twilight Zone episode, which may resonate not just with those old enough to remember the TV show but with those hip enough to catch the oft-repeated theme. You might question whether that reaches far enough into the electorate, but then not everyone watches the BET awards, either.

A little here, a little there, until you’ve reached as many as you can.

And keep it simple, as Lalo Alcaraz (AMS) does. Does it risk offending MAGAts to imply that they are dummies who need to be educated about this? Doesn’t matter. They’d vote for him no matter what he promised, or threatened, to do.

But describing it as being for dummies may cause fence-sitters to take a second look, and Alcaraz outlines some of its proposals to get them — especially his Latino fan base — started.

There’s so much in this 900-plus page manual that listing everything is overwhelming and therefore likely ineffective.

Henson kept it to one outrage — the SCOTUS ruling allowing police to arrest homeless people for sleeping outdoors — which isn’t in Project 2025 but is certainly part of where this election is headed.

Memes are now beginning to appear on social media, in this case mocking the Heritage Foundation with a point that works even among people who don’t know Mr. Bean.

Others, more effectively, highlight one element of the Project 2025 after another, which, if carried forward, will result in a cascade of warnings that will make it impossible for voters to miss out on what is at stake.

It’s reasonable to hope that, if those who value democracy focus on publicizing and criticizing this threat, voters will, like the lady in Joe Heller’s cartoon, ban Project 2025 not at bookstores and libraries, but at the voting booth.

Henson made a good start. Now cartoonists, meme-makers and other folks need to follow up.

9 thoughts on “CSotD: Reveille

  1. I fully expected to see that compelling Lincoln Project Project 2025 film you showcased yesterday repeated on every MSNBC show yesterday–but no one showed it at all. It’s strange because they’ve shown their previous ads before they went into spot rotation. Maybe today?

    1. Maybe because it’s preaching to the choir. Where that needs to be seen…many times…is on Fox “news”. Of course they’d never run it on their own. It would have to be paid advertising.

  2. I imagine it’s no accident that the alien Kanamit holding the cookbook in Bagley’s cartoon looks like Stephen Miller, one of its champions.

    I’m finding the memes that dissect Project 2025 one proposal at a time very effective. It’s not the same meme every time, so it’s not repetitive, but it sets up a sort of drumbeat of looming oppression. “You thought those other ones were bad, wait until you hear this one!”

    There’s a kerfuffle on Facebook because the platform has started annotating posts mentioning Project 2025, even those that simply list its table of contents, as “partly false” based on an “independent fact check” by The Dispatch, which in the most charitable terms leans conservative. At least Facebook isn’t outright deleting them, but it does help illuminate who we’re dealing with and which side they’re on.

  3. “Perfect is the enemy of good” is a phrase that often comes to mind when dealing with the Democrats’ growing demand that Biden be removed.

    Is Biden perfect? No, not at all. But he is good, which is far more than can be said for the opposition.

    I’m also of the mind that you can’t just change horses mid-race, especially when the finish line isn’t that far off.

  4. So much well-curated content today. I’d been wondering how long it would take for someone to invoke Sgt. Schultz for the more senior observers among us. And I love Nick Anderson’s cartoon more than I can express.

    Locally, frickin’ Clooney has been leading every single bulletin – at first I thought Oceans 69 must be out. I dearly wish he’d stick to flogging booze and cheap coffee, shut his privileged pie-hole and stop white-anting a fine ethical president with a talented, dynamic team. He’s helping to hand the US and the free world to a dim-bulb crook who’s just a stooge for a fascist cabal, while the infernal Project 2025 skates by comparatively unnoticed. And even Nancy’s hedging now!

    I agree with you that the message, like that of Alcaraz and the sample memes you highlight, needs to be blunt and simple. It’s no accident that the P25 doc is 900 pages to dissuade MAGAts from even attempting to read it. The capsule summary you provide above should be in plastered on every bus-stop and public washroom wall.

    The meme about Chap. 28 is ominous and timely – two days ago PBS stated that P25 was the subject of 680,000 Google searches in the last month, surely far more by now. It should be 10x that, so I applaud you for keeping on banging that drum. I will too.

  5. The One Panel noting Chapter 28 may be part of the solution. Imagine an internet advertising blitz, say 10 seconds on screen, hitting the main point, the author of the chapter and the money source for each chapter. It may also be useful for billboards as well. Those who have focused their attention on subjects other than Politics could likely be reached.

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