That's now become so clear as to be irrefutable.
Remember a scant three weeks ago, when the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, under the leadership and guidance of former Bush II apparatchik Nancy Brinker and former anti-abortion plank Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, cut off SGK funding for Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening to attack their (budgetarily unrelated and comparatively microscopic) support for legal abortions?
Remember thinking that the right would pay a heavy price for a move that would so obviously put them crosswise with a majority of American women?
In a matter of a few days, the debate has moved beyond that to something that most Americans -- women and men alike -- thought was so thoroughly settled that they may not yet have grasped what it means that it's suddenly in play again: Thanks to the collaboration of the otherwise-issueless Republican party and the Catholic Church, it appears we're actually going to debate -- in America -- in 2012-- with a straight face -- whether contraception should be legally available to adults.
Heaven help us.
Do you cling to the quaint but abruptly outmoded notion that you have a right to control your own body? Hah. Silly goose (or whatever livestock species you prefer). Somewhere, in the poorly-lit basement of the ALEC headquarters, Koch brothers-funded functionaries are pounding away on model legislation to revive the iron maiden and the rack. (Don't laugh; the Obama administration has officially confirmed America's position among the nations who torture. It's essentially the same principle: your own body is not your own if there's a political expedient that requires otherwise.)
This has been my concern about the 2012 GOP presidential primary clown college: Yes, as they move farther and farther into the extreme whackjob right, the odds of a GOP president taking the oath of office next January fades and fades. But even if Obama coasts to an easy re-election, we'll be living in a country where the right to contraception -- which most people thought was settled in 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut -- is suddenly up for grabs again. And the same with a lot of other issues, where the “center point” will be dragged to the right, through a combination of right-wing intransigence, Obama accomodationism, and news media timidity. And with scarcely measurable damage to the GOP.
And all the while moving jobs back off the radar screen again. How convee-ee-eenient.
Well, fine. Let's press ahead. (Oh yeah -- and can everyone please just shut the hell up and let Jeremy Lin play really good basketball?)
Today's toons have been grudgingly selected by the U.S. Council of Bishops, who would prefer you have no political cartoons at all, from the week's pages at Slate, Time, Mario Piperni, About.com, and Daryl Cagle:
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Tom Toles, Steve Sack, Joel Pett, Matt Wuerker, Pat Bagley, R. J. Matson, Adam Zyglis, Dave Granlund, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Tom Toles.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Clay Bennett.
p3 Legion of Merit: Joel Pett.
p3 World Toon Review: Cam Cardow (Canada), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Hassan Bleibel (Lebanon), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).
Ann Telnaes is too kind. For one thing, those two men aren't playing against each other; they're on the same side.
Mark Fiore watches the U.S. Council of Bishops face up to the awkward fact that 98% of their flock think they're daft as loons, regardless of what the prophet in simple sleeveless vestments says about it all.
Attention Will Farrell: When even Taiwan's Next Media Animation knows you peaked a decade ago, as a late-night TV sketch comedian (and in fairness, you were good on SNL, but -- dude!), it's probably time to cash it in and wait until they call you for your Comedy Central Roast.
The New Yorker shares the story behind last week's cover by p3 favorite Barry Blitt.
Last week, several newspapers declined to run Doonesbury, for the flimsiest excuse imaginable. By the way, DonorsChoose.com, the nonprofit that was at the center of the brouhaha, was a favorite of long-time p3 correspondent and muse Doctor Beyond, so if you've got a couple of bucks sitting around for a very worthy cause and you appreciated the classy tone that DB lent this operation, you know what to do.
Orthography is death. For you fans of golden-age Warner Bros animation, and of Portland's own Mel Blanc, here's a treat. See how long it takes you to figure out what the hell's going on.
Easter eggs: Two weeks ago, we celebrated comic-themed mashups. This week, it's all about intertextual surprises.
Annotation: Frequent p3 honoree Clay Bennett shares some of his reader mail.
Tom Tomorrow asks the question: Romney and the Free Market: Will America understand?
Keith Knight acknowledges the worst Valentine's Day ever.
Tom the Dancing Bug's God Man, the Superhero with Ominipotent Powers, saves the poor from a fate worse than death.
Who's just hit their 500th episode? Hmm? At Comic Riffs tribute, top cartoonists pick their favorite Simpsons episodes.
Red Meat's Milkman Dan (or a future version of him) shares his theories on Valentine's gift-giving.
The Comic Curmudgeon offers an insight on high school reunions that confirms my belief I never want to go to one.
Just so: A couple of weeks ago, we featured the first of three Chuck Jones 1976 animated retellings of Rudyard Kipling “Jungle Book” stories. Unlike the Disney version a few years earlier, these hew pretty closely to the original Kipling stories, as you'll see in the second of the series: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. (Note: It's a 30 minute production, and the embed below is just the first 10 minutes of it. After that just follow the in-screen links to parts 2 and 3.)
If your browser won't display the embedded version, click here.
The p3 Big Oregon Toon Block:
Jack Ohman contemplates: What if everything worked like a SuperPAC?
Matt Bors watches America travel forward into the past!
Jesse Springer mourns the extremely brief passing of cordiality, comity, and bipartisanship in the current Oregon state legislative session:
Test your toon-captioning chops at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)