The Sorensen Monologues

« Older Posts

Archive for 2017

Democracy is not partisan


What would it take for the GOP to dump Trump?

To illustrate just how absurd things have gotten, I actually had the first panel of this cartoon drawn before news broke that Trump leaked classified intel to the Russians in the Oval Office. That was supposed to be parody! Okay, maybe the launch codes haven’t fallen from Sergey Kislyak’s jowls yet… but it’s only a matter of time.

At this point, Republicans have demonstrated such a breathtaking dereliction of duty, it’s clear they have completely ceased to be a legitimate political party serving the public interest. They represent only the abuse of power, and are fully complicit in this ghastly nightmare.

Freedom to be Screwed, 2017 edition

The AHCA is so monstrously cruel any honest description sounds hyperbolic. Not only will it literally kill people, but it’ll kill entrepreneurship too, as workers stay locked in their jobs for fear of losing heath insurance. Self-employed people with pre-existing conditions are hosed. I face the possibility of not having health insurance for the first time in my life. My friend, a cancer survivor, was interviewed on the local news about the prospect of facing unaffordable premiums. So much wonderful freedom! Thank you, House Republicans.


Smearing the messenger

Seems like a lot of otherwise clear-thinking people are falling for the Fox News claptrap about liberals not being “open-minded” enough. This is how you wind up with another white conservative dude being chosen as a diversity hire for the extremely not-diverse NYT op-ed page. Yes, we live in politically-polarized times, and everyone is angry, and sometimes protesters go overboard (neo-Nazis do have a way of bringing out that response in people). But to dismiss progressives as “elitists,” “PC,” and so on, is just trading in insults. It isn’t engaging in honest, thoughtful debate — it’s just trolling.


The Times they aren’t a-changin’


Suffer the children

I’m a bit delayed posting the strip this week, but I have a pretty good excuse. On Monday afternoon, I learned I was a Pulitzer Finalist. I’ve never been so thrilled to come in second place for anything. It’s nice to see the Pulitzers increasingly recognize that political cartoons can come in a variety of formats.

A few relevant reads for this week’s comic: this Mother Jones article explains what you need to know about Trump’s EPA reversing the scheduled ban on chlorpyrifos.

Major studies from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of California-Davis, and Columbia University have found strong evidence that low doses of chlorpyrifos inhibits kids’ brain development, including when exposure occurs in the womb, with effects ranging from lower IQ to higher rates of autism. Several studies—examples herehere, and here—have found it in the urine of kids who live near treated fields. In 2000, the EPA banned most home uses of the chemical, citing risks to children.

See also this from Human Rights Watch: EPA Decision Could Put Children at Risk

This should be getting as much attention as that guy getting pulled off the United Airlines flight. Countless kids, especially child farmworkers, and those who live near farms, will suffer from this decision. Now that’s caring about the working class!

There’s also this about how the Republican replacement for the ACA threatened to hurt children.

And more on how the repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan would affect air pollution, and kids’ health in particular.

 


Portraits of an Extreme Supreme


And now a word about “republics” vs. “democracies”

I’ve received many comments over the past week about my last cartoon, snootily lecturing me that “We live in a republic, not a democracy.” I’m posting my response here so I can point people to it in the future.

1. A constitutional republic is a form of democracy. To quote from this:

The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote. Some lawmaking is done this way, on the state and local levels, but it’s only a tiny fraction of all lawmaking. But we are a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy.

2. It’s not big or small government that I care about; it’s smart or stupid. In other words, it’s about policy, not “the government.” Once you start doing away with government, or the idea that government regulation is necessary, you grant more power to corporations and Wall Street. Government exists as a check on abuses of power by moneyed interests. While government can be corrupt to varying degrees, the fashionably cynical belief that all government is inherently corrupt is an idea that enables corruption.

The primary way to end government corruption is through campaign finance reform and publicly-funded elections. Anti-government libertarians have not supported candidates or policies that would lead to this outcome. Gorsuch will uphold Citizens United, ensuring future corruption of politicians by moneyed interests, furthering the right-wing ideology that government is inherently corrupt. And so the cycle continues.


“Government” or “Democracy”?

This cartoon came about from the recent realization that an obnoxiously libertarian internet entrepreneur/huckster used to live in my neighborhood. You know, one of those “government needs to get out of the way of innovation” bros who don’t perhaps fully appreciate the origins of the internet as a government program, or all the other scientific research that has been government-funded. I’m so sick of these people.

UPDATE: For more, see this blog post responding to reader comments.


Trump’s new programs

A couple relevant articles from Charleston, West Virginia (you know, where Trump cares so much about working people):

AmeriCorps, still doing work in flood zone, facing Trump budget cut

Trump budget axes program that funds WV infrastructure projects

Then there’s this gem from Houston, where they have, oh, just a few chemical plants and refineries:

‘Death and destruction’ expected as Trump moves to gut Chemical Safety Board

While little known to the masses, the CSB is to chemical disasters what the much better-funded National Transportation Safety Board is to airline crashes, train derailments and bridge collapses. Without the recommendations that come from these boards, preventable accidents repeat themselves.

Gutting the CSB is “standing up for death and destruction,” said chemical safety consultant Paul Orum. “It’s disrespectful to those killed in such incidents.”

You’ve probably heard of the cuts to PBS. After I wrote the cartoon, I found out the 2014 movie Muppets Most Wanted was set in a gulag. I know somebody is going to mention this, so let me just say I am aware of the Muppet-labor camp connection.


Cartoon: A handy comparison of Obamacare vs. Trumpcare


How tax cuts for the wealthy keep America healthy


« Older Posts
Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Archives