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Archive for 2020

Classic Cartoon: Nation of Moochers

I’m taking some much-needed time off over the holidays. This is a “classic” from 2014 with some relevance to our current moment. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage would be $24 in 2020 had it kept up with productivity growth.

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Victory in New America

This is all so science fictional already, it’s difficult to parody. It seemed the New White House might actually be built by the time I finished the cartoon. And if it were, many pundits would still call this “bickering” by both sides.


Coddling Corruption

If officials don’t show some proper outrage and act like Trump’s crimes are important, the public won’t perceive them as important. I wish more Democrats and the Beltway pundit class would channel even half the righteous indignation that Georgia election official Gabe Sterling, a Republican, displayed in his speech that went viral last week. 

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Death Worship

I keep encountering this specious argument that “religious freedom” is under attack because in-person services are being restricted while other businesses deemed essential remain open. A more accurate comparison would be indoor concerts, which have been largely shut down. Contrary to Justice Samuel Alito’s claim of victimhood in a recent Federalist Society speech in which he stated “religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right,” literally no one is trying to stop people from worshipping. It is simply a fact that in-person services have been a vector for spreading COVID not just in the US, but around the world, and that safer alternatives to congregating indoors exist. Moreover, this is not simply a matter of individual beliefs, but the lives of those outside one’s church. As Justice Sotomayor put it, the Court is playing “a deadly game” that “will only exacerbate the Nation’s suffering.”

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Disappearing Detroit

While I was doing an image search for lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights Era, I came across this remarkable photo on NPR.org of activist Dion Diamond being confronted by the leader of the American Nazi Party. The year was 1960. When you look at these photos from the not-so-distant past, invariably filled with sneering, cocky white boys tormenting Black people, you can also see the present. 

This got me thinking about contemporary notions of the “real American voter” — a white male Trump supporter in an Ohio diner. How is it that a mere handful of decades after these historic lunch counter protests, our go-to image of an “authentic American” is a white guy in a diner? 


Relax, Everything’s Coup


How to Reach Out to Trump Voters 2020

While Kamala Harris gave a great victory speech, I was not as impressed with Biden’s, which seemed fairly boilerplate and full of bromides about working together with Republicans. While I understand the need to lower the nation’s temperature, at a certain point you can’t wish fascism away with fluffy talk. He’s also setting himself up for disaster in the event that he ever needs to take bold measures to undo Trump’s damage — assuming the GOP’s attempted coup fails (and that’s not hyperbole!). 

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The Right Side of History

A serious comic for a serious day in American history. I have been thinking lately about all the sacrifices made by my grandparents and others to stop the Third Reich from taking over the world, and feeling disgusted that all that effort could be undone just one lifetime later. I am obviously not saying that the US was perfect (see George Takei’s excellent graphic novel “They Called Us Enemy” about Japanese internment), or that racism didn’t exist in the North during the Civil War, or that the US didn’t do some questionable things in the Philippines, or that it has always stood up for democracy. Unfortunately, I can’t address all of US history in a four-panel cartoon. I’m just saying it was a good thing that we stopped the Confederacy and the Holocaust, and that we are tragically faced with the same demons from those eras again.


GOP Power Ploys

Well, there goes the Supreme Court. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had and cartoons I’ve drawn warning about this moment, only to feel like people just didn’t care. With Barrett on the court, we’ve entered new, uncharted territory. Basic legal assumptions are about to be eviscerated, and no one will be safe.

On a related note, this Guardian article points out that the contemporary Republican party now resembles authoritarian governments of Turkey and Hungary. 

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Endgame

As you may have heard, the Court was split 4-4 yesterday in a ruling that allowed Pennsylvania to count ballots that arrive up to three days after election day, as the state Supreme Court had ruled. This was, apparently, a Constitutional no-brainer that should have been 8-0 in favor of democracy, but four right-wing justices took a radical turn. With Barrett on the court, these election rulings will almost certainly favor Republicans.

This LA Times editorial has more on the fake ballot boxes in California.

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McConnell’s Pack-o-Matic

Suddenly much of traditional media seems preoccupied with the idea that Democrats might consider “packing” the Supreme Court. This particular phrasing is ahistorical and completely misleading. It ignores the years of scorched-earth Republican obstruction to Obama’s judicial nominees, including the refusal to give Merrick Garland a hearing, followed by unbridled court-packing under the Trump administration, in which the judiciary has been stuffed with unqualified cronies and Federalist Society nutjobs.

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What’s on the Ballot?

I have always thought it idiotic how we talk about presidential elections in terms of individual personalities. Presidential elections are first and foremost about social networks — countless appointees to courts and regulatory agencies. Most importantly, this one is about the defeat of authoritarianism — the only way we will ever have a more progressive future, or any future at all.

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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.

 

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