This week's GOP debate ought to have been like kryptonite to most of the candidates who lied or fumbled or brazened their way through it: Jeb! Bush saying his brother "kept us safe" – not counting what Charlie Pierce aptly calls "The Great Mulligan." Carly "The Rising Star" Fiorina weeping bitter tears after viewing shots of the falsely re-edited video about the evil criminal conspiracy
SMERSH KAOS Planned Parenthood that
demonstrably never occurred, whether in the raw footage or the
artfully re-edited version that's so inspired the GOP activist base.
And so on. And yet it wasn't their kryptonite after all.
And neither was the supposed hard shot on goal that Fiorina hit Trump with, which was much more about bumping up her anti-Trump anti-Hillary cred than about anything that the failed CEO (I wish that descriptor narrowed the field down more, but there we are) and Mistress of the Zombie Sheep had on her resume. Although at least the MZS once ran for office, which puts her ahead of Carson and Trump.
And, of course, there's the sad little number of candidates who could even name a woman of political significance who wasn't their wife, mother, or Margaret Thatcher. It was limited to those who thought that Rosa Parks (currently in the process of being "rehabilitated" by movement conservatives and their social media ilk just as they've tried to give the treatment to MLK) would be an apt replacement on the ten-dollar bill for genocidal populist Andrew Jackson (who made his fame by attacking a major North American city after the War of 1812 was already over), even though La Parks was on the board of Planned Parenthood. Oops.
And no one, to my knowledge, has recognized the full meaning of the temporarily-successful meta-insurgency of the outsider-triumvarate: Fiorina, The Short-Fingered Vulgarian, and Ben Carson. It's not so much that they're political-electoral neophytes (or complete virgins, in the case of Carson); it's that they got where they are with no indebtedness to the GOP politburo, or its various faux-populist charm schools, or its General Order #1: Thou Shalt Yield Pride of Place to Last Cycle's Nominee. The GOP's national committee is watching itself being reduced to a League of Women Voters-style organization (Women voters? Oh, how that must sting!) whose influence extends to scheduling the quadrennial national convention and little more. The part of me that wants to see them suffer for their satanic pact with the Citizens United and Tea Party blocs wants to laugh.
On the other hand, the part of me that would like to see an American presidential election that wasn't dragged around by the ring in its nose by the plutocrats, birthers, truthers, tenthers, soi-disant libertarians, supporting-Israel-to-achieve-the-End-Tim Ames fundamentalists, look-the-other-way Christians, Game Boy misogynists, and selectivly-oath-keeping selective-patriots – that part mourns.
And what the hell was an old Air Force One doing behind the debaters? What was that about?
And yet, as has been said by better observers than me, this is one of the only two political parties our laws and customs allow us to have. So it can't be comfortable to be both sentient and a holder of the conviction that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties. I'm not thrilled with the Democratic Party – Debbie Wasserman Shultz, pick up the red courtesy phone; Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, the red courtest phone please – but anyone who imagines for an instant that the Democrats could field two stages full of extremists like this is living in a fantasy world where only the Village Media dwell.
And, to answer a question I asked years ago – where does the conservative movement find these people? – here's one of the mostrecent unripened products of the GOP pod farm. How long do you suppose he'll last on the shelf?
Although last night was the BBC America premiere of season 9 of Doctor Who, so there's always that – even though it was To Be Continued (spoiler!).
Today's toons were selected by no earthly-known criterion from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of toony goodness.
p3 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Kevin Kallaugher, Marshall Ramsey, Rob Rogers, Tom Toles, Signe Wilkenson, Lisa Benson, Stuart Carlson, Bob Englehart, John Darkow, David Fitzsimmons, Michael Ramirez, Lalo Alcarez, Matt Wuerker, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Nick Anderson.
p3 Maybe Even Better Best of Show: Jimmy Marguiles.
p3 Legion of Merit: Darrin Bell.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation From Another Medium: Phil Hands.
p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Mike Lester and Clay Jones. I confess I'm a bit out of the loop here: Ronald Reagan had red monogrammed boots? And people care – or even remember – thirty years later? Here's Clay Jones on his feelings about this toon.
p3 World Toon Review: Paul Zanetti (Australia), Tom Janssen (Netherlands), and Marian Kamensky (Austria).
Ann Telnaes presents feeding time at the zoo.
Mark Fiore watches in consternation as the irresistable Fiorina meets the unmovable Trump.
Tom Tomorrow presents a wonderful, delicious moment – if only it would actually happen.
Keith Knight experiences the eerie recurrence of a What Do You Mean, I'm Not? moment. By an odd coincidence, I had a somewhat similar experience about twenty years ago when the phone company refused to speak to me about my bill and would only speak to "Mrs. Nothstine," a person who did not exist and never had but in whose name the account was supposedly entered. His is better, though.
Reuben Bolling imagines the combination of a long-beloved general-interest magazine with a bunch of ideologically shamess anti-intellectual right-wing whackaloons. What could go wrong? Of course, this does mean that, fifty years from now, no one will inherit several shelves of National Geographics that they can't find a home for. So that problem's solved, anyway.
Red Meat's Milkman Dan is thinking about his legacy.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon recognizes the world just after the horrible Event. It involves horses.
Comic Strip of the Day spent last week at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning. Don't take my word for it; see how many p3 regulars (and more who should be; I admit it) look at close range.
Can You Take It? In honor of the zestful and billionaire-underwritten sadism of this week's GOP presidential primary debate, p3 proudly presents "Can You Take It?" a celebration of people beating the crap out of one another to no evident purpose, directed in 1934 by Dave Fleisher, with uncredited work by William Costello (Popeye), William Pennell (Bluto), Mae Questel (the Slender One), plus musical direction by Sammy Timberg and musical supervision by Lou Fleischer.
The More or Less Good-Sized Oregon Toon Block:
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman imagines a meeting of the titans.
Allegedly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen traces the history of something I drove to high school for almost two years, although it would be unrecognizable as such today. (Hint: my ride and I never made it past panel #1.)
Matt Bors recognizes the problem of assimilation.
Jesse Springer asks: What do 5000 untested rape kits in Oregon add up to?
Test your toon captioning superpowers at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.
The p3 Sunday Comics Read-Along: Pearls Before Swine, Doonesbury, Rhymes with Orange, Zits, Adam @ Home, Mutts, Over the Hedge, Get Fuzzy, Prince Valiant, Blondie, Bizarro, Mother Goose & Grimm, Rose is Rose, Luann, Hagar the Horrible, Pickles, Rubes, Grand Avenue, Freshly Squeezed, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, and Jumble.