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Category: Politics

Fearless Leader
Let’s admit it. We’ve been chumped out by the French. Us, the 800-pound gorilla! By the French!

Now, I want to make clear that I have nothing against the French. They’ve saved our bacon in the past, and we’ve done the same for them. Lafayette is welcome in my home anytime, and Paris is, you know, Paris. The cooking is overrated, but the people get a bad rap. They’re good buds, but we’re #1, right? Yeah well, maybe not.

First, it was their resounding electoral rejection of the hate-activated nationalist Marine Le Pen. That was something we couldn’t quite pull off here with our own bigot-in-chief. And now, it turns out le jeune dweeb who beat back those forces of darkness is not a dweeb at all. Brand new French President Emmanuel Macron made two international superbullies both look bad in the space of a couple of days last week. First, he made our representative (that’s Drump, remember) say uncle, defeating him at his own game of alpha male grip-off while smiling sweetly for the cameras. Then he dissed Putin to his face, irking him in a way only the elite French can, by telling the truth and not backing down…again with that cheerful insistence.

Angela Merkel also got in on the fun. She had just faced down a nationalist fringe uprising in her own country, then went on to show up Drump by meeting first with Barack Obama and thoroughly enjoying his company. After that, she participated with Macron in a very sly suckering of Drump in which the new French leader seemed to head toward the Orange One and his outstretched, stubby-fingered hand, then veered off at the last moment to shake Angela’s hand and the hands of several other European leaders. Later, she delivered a we’re-on-our-own-now statement that seemed to thumb the European nose at our current president and show a united front within the EU.

As I say, chumped! France and Europe looked stronger and more solid after the NATO summit, and we (thanks to some butt-ugly bumbling by our team captain) came out a loser. If there is still a leader of the free world, it ain’t our boy, gang. Right now, that title just might go to the freshly-minted President of France (and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra) Emmanuel “the man” Macron.

Care for some freedom fries, mon amie?
Hard Truth
The harder
It is
To know
What is true

The more
That it matters
We are sure
That we do
Quit While You’re Ahead
Congressional Republicans are in a tricky position. They sat down at the poker table this election year and drew to an inside straight. The voters have dealt them an unbeatable hand of absolute one-party control of our government. But that lucky draw came in the form of the The Joker — an erratic, unpredictable, amoral opportunist who could either conspire with them in their grand plans or blow those plans to smithereens. They could rake in a political bonanza…or just as easily end up in the dustbin of history. It all depends on that wild card in the White House.

Of course, they could still fold their hand anytime they want to and go home a winner. If their agenda of fantasy-based policies of economics and social justice is ever truly threatened by Cirque de Drump, they are capable of ending this sorry presidency in a D.C. minute. All the evidence for a successful impeachment and removal is right there, ready and waiting. No need to pile on over Russia; that path is too risky anyway. The smart move would be to plug in to the Emoluments Clause. We’re only a hundred days in, and he’s already violated it many times over.

The votes would certainly be there. Every Republican member of Congress secretly detests Drump and pines for a President Pence. Pence is one of theirs: pious, plastic, and phony as a three-dollar bill. And most of all, he’s pliable. I think at least half of the GOP caucus, given the opportunity, would be ready to pull the ripcord on impeachment. As for Democrats, my guess is they will provide 100% buy-in no matter what the legal rationale.

To dump Drump, however, the GOP will also need a good cover story to spin for his faithful followers. Based on the history of this voting bloc, the story does not have to be true or even rational. A simple appeal to fear or hatred should do the trick.

There are a number of approaches that could work, and all of them require outright lying. As I have indicated, that will not be a problem. I am not endorsing any of these suggestions, mind you, but rather presenting them to the Republican Party to use as it sees fit:

1. Declare that Drump is black, and that he was born in Africa. It worked before, why not now? The fact that he appears to be white only makes his charade more insidious and frightening.

2. Label him as a female/latino/muslim/LGBTQ or some other Other. This story would not be as sure-fire as the claim of blackness, but it still represents a proven strategy. Note that claiming he is a black, female, latino muslim who is also L, G, B, T, or Q would have the highest chance of success. Ironically, the fact that such a claim would be patently ridiculous would also make it the most credible to the target group. Not sure why that is, but the record is clear.

3. Accuse him of being in league with any or all of these groups or of being genuinely concerned about their issues. A traitor, in other words, to people like you and me. Or at least like me; I’m not too sure about you.

For the record, claiming that Drump is in league with Putin — even though the ex-KGB assassin is a proven enemy of our country and a threat to our way of life — will not work. Also ineffective: proving that Drump’s policies would hurt the target group, that he is ripping off the country for millions, that he is dangerously incompetent, or that he actively despises members of the target group. All true, of course, but that’s irrelevant.

My only advice for the Grand Old Partiers is not to wait too long. Quit while you’re ahead. You’ve already got your Supreme Court justice; I suggest you slam through a fat tax cut, take away a few life-sustaining programs from the poor, and call it good. Cash out your winnings and put an end to the whole ugly spectacle. If you don’t, if you get greedy, this pile of garbage might just spontaneously combust and burn your sorry-ass party to the ground. The sooner you pull that ripcord, the better off we’ll all be.
Right This Down
Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers’ local 1999, pointed out a while back that then president-elect Drump had made some rather large factual errors in his crowing over “saving” jobs at a Carrier air conditioner plant in Indiana. Chuck’s reward for fact-checking: a stream of petty vitriol from the future commander-in-chief and an exudation of dark warnings — let’s call them death threats — from anonymous online sources. I’m going to assume that the authors of those taunts are not advocates of universal health care or religious tolerance.

A month later, while the Electoral College was still in session, I read that a Republican elector who had declared his intention not to vote for Drump had been receiving threats against his own life and rape threats aimed at his wife and daughters. From a Black Lives Matter supporter? I don’t think so.

And then, of course, we have the more recent tipping over of Jewish gravestones, the burning of mosques, the murder of that Indian man in Kansas City, and the daily serving of hate and violence against The Other that fills our plate every morning. The right, right?

Come to think of it, when was the last time we heard of a threat of violence coming from the left? (Other than in a report from some nutty right-wing conspiracy source, that is?) I will select “never” as my answer, though I’m sure there are instances of Great Spotted Owl defenders turning murderous.

I guess some might classify anarchists as lefties. I can’t buy that, though. Steve Bannon is a bit of an anarchist, but I’ll wager doesn’t belong to MoveOn.org. Anarchists reside in a dark netherworld where left and right overlap. Cop-killers live there too, and predicting their politics is also a hopeless quest.

I’m not sure where this line of inquiry is leading me, but my aim is to follow my own (admittedly hazy) notions of evil and how it correlates to one’s position on the political spectrum. I have no solid conclusions as yet, but my working hypothesis is that Satan (if he existed) would be a Republican.

Still, we don’t want to paint with too broad of a brush here. I do know some fine, honorable, decent, loving, strong people with exquisitely beautiful auras who vote GOP. So I could be wrong in this, and I don’t want to be accused of getting ahead of the (up to this point) overwhelming evidence. While I’m waiting for absolute certainty on that front, I’m also working on another research project. This time the focus is on mass murderers.

All righties? Just asking, mind you, but the data I’ve seen so far is quite compelling.
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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee