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The Week in Editorial Cartoons – With Malice Towards All


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Crossposted at Daily Kos

THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS

This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star, Buy this cartoon

INTRODUCTION

During the past year as the Healthcare Reform debate underwent several twists and turns, the nation’s editorial cartoonists often mocked and made fun of the various players involved on all sides. This past week, however, they let loose a barrage of scathing criticism upon the Republican Party and its many allies seldom seen before on these pages.

As the debate came to a final conclusion a few days ago, cries of bigotry and racism by Teabaggers and other assorted wingnuts reached a new level.  The result was some of the very best cartoons in recent months.  Through their creative minds, the cartoonists noted the fact that the GOP failed to explicitly reign in the crazies on their side and, thus, were tagged with implicitly endorsing racist behavior.



R.J. Matson, New York Observer and Roll Call, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

In spite of strident wall-to-wall opposition by Republicans and their (many) racist allies, enactment of Healthcare Reform was hailed as an historic achievement and was compared to the Social Security Act of 1935 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Medicare, passed during President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s tenure in 1965.  Most everyone had been aware of the difficulty of passing healthcare legislation throughout the past century and many past attempts by previous presidents dating back to former President Teddy Roosevelt in 1912.  The fact that it actually happened under President Barack Obama ensured that his presidency will forever be remembered for it.  

:: ::



Bruce Plante, see the large number of reader comments in Tulsa World, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

How did the opposition react?  A brand new Harris Poll exposed the delusional state of mind of the Republican Party.  It is hardly surprising since this group of voters are exposed daily to relentless, misleading, and, often, irrational hatred by one of the major so-called bastion of cable “news.”  Fair and balanced indeed!    

Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers, Comics.com

:: ::

Independent Cartoonist Ed Stein — formerly of the Rocky Mountain Newsexpounds on the power of words in the public arena

Words have power.  Words lead to action, and actions have consequences.  We have seen in the last year that the misuse of language — the deliberate and repeated misstatements of the content of the health care overhaul, including the infamous “death panel” lie, and the overheated rhetoric of the last couple of weeks, have led to threats and acts of violence against members of Congress.

During the debate last week, members of the minority party frequently launched into such hyperbolic rhetoric it was hard to believe the words were coming from our elected leaders.  Rep. Devin Nunes may have topped them all when he said that Democrats “finally lay the cornerstone of their socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.” This sentiment was echoed, perhaps not as vividly, by others during the debate, often to the applause and cheers of Republicans on the House floor.  It was an ugly, appalling spectacle.  Death threats against Congressmen who voted for the legislation followed, along with bricks thrown through Congressional office windows.

Not surprisingly, the overwhelming number of editorial cartoons in this week’s edition are about the various aspects of Healthcare Reform.  From the historical significance of this legislation to cries of bigotry by the GOP to a blunt remark by Vice President Joe Biden to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership to the “Waterlooing” of the Republicans to the “thrill of victory” by the Democratic Party, the cartoonists covered virtually all angles and didn’t miss much.

I thoroughly enjoyed cataloguing these brilliant cartoons and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

:: ::

1. CARTOONS OF THE WEEK



Jen Sorensen, Slowpoke, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Sorensen has some advice for less-than-satisfied Democrats

One thing that drives me nuts about the health care debate is that the teabaggers make this big manly-man show of standing up for ordinary Americans when they’re really fighting for the rights of insurance companies to bone us all.  If you look at their websites, they’re full of wannabe-heroic chest-puffing — like these guys have watched too many action movies and now need some revolutionary battle to fill an existential void in their lives.  All this uproar, so health insurance CEOs can freely plunge their giant death phalli into the public body!  It’s masochism at its most ironic.

Anyway, it was nice to see Obama return to pre-election form, at last, these past few weeks.  More of that, please.  As much as I wanted a public option, I would urge progressives to rejoice rather than carp about what could have been.  Ending the cruelty towards people with pre-existing conditions is a big deal.  Also remember that a significant number of Democrats are DINOs.  And, of course, we’re not exactly living in the most enlightened times.



Patriot Act by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon



Terror Talk by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon



GOP Paul Jones by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon



Republicans and Health Care Reform by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon



Mike Scott, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day

Bill Day, Comics.com



John Cole, Scranton Times, Buy this cartoon



Rex Babin, Sacramento Bee, Buy this cartoon



Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), Buy this cartoon

Chris Britt

Chris Britt, Comics.com, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

MIke Thompson

Mike Thompson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

:: ::

Mike Thompson has been a long-time critic of the Democratic Party for not having enough guts to directly confront its critics.  Here he shows some love for Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she successfully guided the HCR Bill through the U.S. House of Representatives and made improvements over the U.S. Senate version of the bill

Nancy Pelosi’s comeback

I was wrong about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  I thought her to be something of a lightweight when it came to the barroom brawl known as Congress.  I had never been too impressed by her…until this past January when Democrats and Pelosi began to regain their footing after getting knocked around for most of last year in typical Democrat fashion. I don’t think anyone can question her toughness after the historic vote Sunday night.

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2. Political History and Healthcare Reform

Ed Stein

Ed Stein, Comics.com

Read ‘A History of Overhauling Health Care: Nearly 100 years of legislative milestones and defeats’ in the New York Times

:: ::

It’s been said thousands of times on this blog that this Healthcare Reform law just signed by 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, is not perfect but, still, in historic terms it is a huge achievement.

Former President Teddy Roosevelt (the 26th President) first mentioned national healthcare when he ran on the Bull Moose Party ticket and actually garnered more votes than the incumbent president, William Howard Taft, in the 1912 Election.  President Harry Truman first proposed it to Congress in the mid-1940’s  and, all in all, not only has it taken almost a hundred years to get to this point but since TR first raised the issue all the way today to President Barack Obama, there have been 18 Presidents.  Eighteen!  If it was that easy to do, why is it that no one else even came close to passing HCR?  With HCR now the law of the land, we can all start working on trying to improve it and, once and for all, shut the Teabaggers up.

Independent cartoonist Ed Stein notes this on his blog

It’s certainly not a perfect bill.  I’d have preferred Medicare for all, with substantive changes in how reimbursements are made, but given the toxic political climate, that was not possible.  I watched much of the final debate on CSPAN, which was in turns inspiring and stomach-turning.  If I were a Republican, I’d be deeply embarrassed by many of the outrageous comments, distortions and outright lies that were said in opposition to the bill.  No, this is not a government takeover of health care.  No, it is not a left-wing communist plot to enslave Americans in a new totalitarianism (yes, more than one deranged House member actually made that and similar accusations).  No, it will not destroy the economy

I’m delighted that the Democrats finally used their majority to pass meaningful legislation.  That’s what they were elected to do, even if it means a tougher re-election campaign in November.  No matter what happens then, this was a good day for America.



Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon



Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon



Deals by John Trever, Albuquerque Journal, Buy this cartoon



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), Buy this cartoon

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3. InsaniTea and Threats of Violence



Congressional Death Threats by Chan Lowe, see reader comments in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Citing the 2000 Florida Recount as an example, Lowe lectures crazy wingnuts on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in a democracy, where the ballot box and not brute force ought to settle disagreements amongst political parties

When a conflagration erupts, who is most to blame-the person who brings the can of gasoline, or the one who hands him the match?  There has always been a restive undercurrent in this country, the rugged individualists who feel that any government encroachment into their lives is too much.

What is different now is that cynical, self-serving politicians are stoking the fears and anger of these people and inciting them to perform acts of violence against an imagined threat.  You want to talk takeover? How about the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore in 2000, when the justices — in a five-to-four vote — arbitrarily decided to stop the vote counting and declare George W. Bush the winner?

Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t recall anyone making death threats against Chief Justice Rehnquist at the time.  I would say that that act was far more injurious to our individual liberties than the health care reform vote.  The malcontents should just suck it up and wait until November to vote the scoundrels out.  That’s what real democracy is about.  It isn’t about “taking back” your country by force or intimidation if you don’t like the way Congress is voting.

As for the inciters, they may be sorry someday that they ever unleashed this angry animal.  It could turn around and bite them right in their craven behinds.

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com



David Cohen, Asheville Citizen Times

Bill Day

Bill Day, Comics.com



John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon



Bill Sanders, sanderscartoon.blogspot.com

Paul Szep

Paul Szep, Comics.com



Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer



Ben Sargent, Universal Press Syndicate



Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Steve Benson

Steve Benson, Comics.com



Brian Duffy, Des Moines Register, Buy this cartoon



Bob Englehart, see reader comments in the Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Englehart does not shy away from comparing many in the Republican Party and their wingnut allies to fanatics around Osama Bin Laden.  He states in no uncertain terms that he sees an inverse relationship between loud noises being made by the Teabaggers (promoted heavily by FOX News) and the GOP’s chances in November’s Congressional Elections

If you watch the fear and hysteria on Faux News, you will learn the the real threat of political violence is coming from the Democrats.  Somebody shot a bullet into the campaign headquarters of a Republican somewhere in the South. Interesting.  The 24-hour news nutwork is not concerned about the many, many acts of violence, assault and racial crap perpetrated against Democrats who voted for health insurance reform by the Faux News demographic

I have come to believe that Osama bin Laden defeated a large segment of America’s population.  Look closely.  Al-Qaida is turning many of us into them.  Ironically, the more the conservativists attack the Democrats, the uglier they look — and by association, the GOP too.  Ultimately, the conservativists will destroy the Republicans’ chances of gaining power in November, but I don’t think they care anymore.  All they want to do now is get even.  Then they probably think their fear will go away.  It won’t.



Brian Duffy, Des Moines Register, Buy this cartoon

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press



Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Clay Jones, Freelance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Buy this cartoon

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4. The Republicans: The Agony of Defeat



Bob Englehart, see reader comments in the Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Englehart assesses the state of the Republican Party after losing the big battle over Healtcare Reform.  The “Party of Lincoln,” he says, has degenerated into a bunch of thugs with party leaders losing control or, failing to exercise control, over its fringe elements

We’re watching the death throes of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln.  It had a nice hundred and sixty years, or so, swing through politics in America, but the party has finally burned its last bridge.  It has finally become a disrespectful party incapable of governing.  It has completely lost the mantle of leadership.  They’re no better than a street gang now.

During the successful vote this past weekend in Washington on health care reform, Tea Party activists and other Republican sympathizers shouted racial and homophobic epithets at congressmen.  One was even spit on.  In the House chambers, a Republican called another congressman a baby killer, just yelled it out.  A baby killer.  Think of it…

I don’t know how they can look themselves in the mirror.  Well, I suppose that’s easy.  The living dead and vampires have no reflection.



The Party of NO! by RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon

Clay Bennett

The Obstructionist by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Steve Benson

Steve Benson, Comics.com

Steve Sack

Steve Sack, Comics.com



Kirk Walters, Toledo Blade, Buy this cartoon



Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Buy this cartoon



Jim Day, Las Vegas Review Journal, Buy this cartoon



Clay Jones, Freelance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Buy this cartoon



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon



Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com, [Buy this cartoon http://www.politicalcartoons.c…

Jeff Stahler

Jeff Stahler, Comics.com



R.J. Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon



Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



John Cole, Scranton Times, Buy this cartoon



John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon



GOP Lawsuits by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Nick Anderson

United Front by Nick Anderson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

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5. Insurance Companies: What’s Next for Them?



Bob Englehart, see reader comments in the Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Englehart tries to gauge the impact of the new HCR law on insurance companies.  As he lives in the insurance capital of the country (Hartford, CT), he tries to reassure Republicans that stoic Yankees deal differently with perceived catastrophes

I rarely draw cartoons about insurance, or as they call it in the red states,”in-churnce.”  You would think that being in “The Insurance Capital,” I would do more insurance cartoons, but the fact is, insurance is boring.  Well, it was up until now.  Now it’s the hottest topic in the land and the center of much fear and loathing.  I expect rioting in the streets of Wichita, burning Ted Kennedy in effigy in Texas, marches on Washington from the spitting and cursing Tea Party goons, that sort of thing.  We’re pretty calm here in Hartford, although we’re pretty calm most of the time…

I have no idea how this health care reform will play out, and neither does anyone else, but I don’t think it’s going to be the catastrophe the conservativists think.  And, like every social safety net enacted by every government since the Great Depression, Congress will tinker with it year after year.

My greatest fear is that health insurance will become the only topic we talk about for the next seven months and people will start dying prematurely.  Of boredom.



Abell Smith, Fighting Words



Bruce Plante, see the large number of reader comments in Tulsa World, Buy this cartoon



David Cohen, Asheville Citizen Times

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, Comics.com

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich, Comics.com

Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers, Comics.com

:: ::

Rogers writes on his blog in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that by their strident opposition to the Democratic Party and HCR law, insane Teabaggers seem to be defending greedy insurance and drug companies

Goliath and the Tea Party

The 2010 health care reform battle reminds me of the story of David and Goliath.  David (Obama and the Dems) struggled against insurmountable odds to defeat Goliath (Drug and Insurance company money and influence).  The giant has finally been felled but not everyone is happy about it.  Guess who is still rooting for Goliath?

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6. The Democrats: The Thrill of Victory



J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Crowe sees Catholic nuns as one of the big winners in this year-long HCR debate which divided many constituencies but, ultimately, enough Democrats sided with the leadership to clear the final hurdles in the U.S. House of Representatives

The health care reform debate is not only dividing the country, it’s dividing the church.  The Catholic Church, at least.  And the lines are drawn by gender.  Imagine that.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops oppose President Obama’s health care reform plan, focusing on the unborn.  Catholic nuns have come out forcibly for the president’s plan, advocating for the already-born, and providing cover for pro-life Democrats to also support the bill.

When push comes to shove, anybody who has ever went to a Catholic school will agree, nuns are a force to be reckoned with.  The bishops are a Cinderella team in this March Madness analogy.  And they are going home with their tails between their legs.  Nuns-1.  Bishops-0.

And with the passage of this historic health care reform bill, the nuns are flying high.



Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Buy this cartoon



Tom Toles, Washington Post

Bill Day

Bill Day, Comics.com



Olle Johansson, Freelance Swedish Cartoonist, Buy this cartoon



Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com, Buy this cartoon



Nancy Pelosi Comforts John Boehner by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist (Los Angeles, CA), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

7. Healthcare Reform: The Next Few Months



J..D. Crowe, see reader comments in the Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Crowe explains the HCR Bill from the perspective of moderate-to-conservative voters in deep-red Alabama.  Sudden change, he elaborates, scares off independents and incrementalism is the preferred way to go

Like everyone else sittin’ in the political middle, I’ve been trying to navigate my way through this health care debate.

Predictably, the entire Alabama Congressional delegation has been vocal in their rejection of the president’s health care bill.  Too much change doesn’t wash well with voters here…

Rush Limbaugh, the Republican mouthpiece, even bluffs that he may leave the good ol’ U.S.A. if the bill becomes law.  We can only hope President Obama has a special pen for the official signing of Rush’s passport.  But when the likes of Michael Moore are unhappy with the bill because it doesn’t go far enough, it makes you think, hey, maybe this thing isn’t such a radically socialist detour after all…

When both the right and the left are unhappy, I figure it must be on the right track. And it’s hard for me to be upset that 32 million people will now have access to better health care.  

And, for a moderate plan, to paraphrase VP Joe Biden says, “It’s a big @#%&in’ deal.”



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star, Buy this cartoon



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer, Buy this cartoon



Hopey Changey Thing by Bruce Plante, see the large number of reader comments in theTulsa World, Buy this cartoon



John Trever, Albuquerque Journal, Buy this cartoon



Kirk Walters, Toledo Blade, Buy this cartoon

Signe Wilkinson

Signe Wilkinson, Comics.com



Larry Wright, Detroit News, Buy this cartoon



Rob Tornoe, Caglecartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

8. The Economy: Banking Reform and Jobs

Ed Stein

Ed Stein, Comics.com

:: ::

When it comes to long-overdue Banking Reform, Stein sees light at the end of the tunnel and hopes that the Democratic Party will act in a bold fashion to clamp down on unethical and illegal banking practices

I’m more optimistic now than when I drew this cartoon.  The last 48 hours have seen a dramatic turnaround in the chances of the Democrats achieving their agenda.  Victory has a way of leading to more victories, and this one may be next.  The serious reforms of the banking system proposed by Senator Dodd don’t go far enough, but they’re a necessary and long overdue beginning.  We’ll see if the momentum of the health care triumph will carry over.



Tom Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

9. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The Last Bastion of Ignorance



Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

10. Glenn Beck’s Conspiracy Theory About the 2010 Census

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, Comics.com, see reader comments on the cartoonist’s blog

:: ::

Bors writes on his blog that many conservatives are downright paranoid about the 2010 Census

Conservatives believe all sorts of nonsense about the census and, not surprisingly, oppose filling out the race portion of the form for fear of… I don’t know, a non-white or a non-missile getting a Federal penny? Beck bizarrely posits, “they are asking the race question to try to increase slavery” and many conservatives will be writing in “American” for their race. (Upon informing my brother of this, he replied, “That sounds like a race of assholes.”)

Now I know Beck doesn’t literally believe people have been alive since 1790, but since the things he believes about the census are almost as absurd I decided to run with it for the sake of a joke.

:: ::

11. March Madness and a Rule Change in the National Football League

Drew Litton

Drew Litton, Comics.com



March Madness by Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com, Buy this cartoon

Drew Litton

Drew Litton, Comics.com

Drew Litton

Drew Litton, Comics.com

:: ::

The New York Times reports new changes in the National Football League re: overtime playoff games but not for overtime play in regular season games.  Not everyone is happy about it

Under the new rule, which takes effect this postseason, if the team that wins the coin toss produces a field goal, rather than a touchdown, the overtime will continue with the other team getting a possession.  If the game remains tied after the opponent’s series, the previous sudden-death rule comes into play.  If the team with the first possession in overtime scores a touchdown on its opening drive, the game is over, as was the case previously…

Several coaches said they would prefer a change in regular-season overtime as well.  The reason: coaches will spend time in the off-season and training camp reviewing how to handle the postseason overtime, but will not have an opportunity to use their strategies in the regular season. So months will pass before a coach has to make an overtime decision in a playoff game, with no chance for an earlier test.  

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A Note About the Diary Poll

Raising Duncan Classics

Raising Duncan, Comics.com

:: ::

I don’t know about all of you but the Fall season in the Washington, D.C. area is stunningly beautiful.  The cool, crisp air and countrysides drive to Virginia and Maryland really make it worthwhile.  If you’ve never been to the mountains of West Virginia in mid-October (only 1-2 hours away from D.C.), I would highly recommend it.  Looking at the mostly orange and reddish leaves on the trees, it feels as if someone lit a match to the sky.

So, what is your favorite season of the year?  

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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5 comments

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  1. JekyllnHyde



    David Horsey, see reader comments in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    A reader posted this comment

    Posted by asjogren  at 3/26/2010 8:16 a.m.

    The Republicans THOUGHT that Fox “News” worked for them.  They just learned instead that they work for Fox “News”.

    All ratings, all the time.  News, not so much.

    :: ::

    Tips and the like here.  Thanks.  

  2. JekyllnHyde



    (click here for larger image under ‘latest cartoon’)

    Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World in Salon magazine

  3. JekyllnHyde



    Vic Harville, Stephens Media Group (Little Rock, AR), Buy this cartoon

  4. AndyS In Colorado

    I’d show the Democratic Party committing hari-kiri, with a sword labeled “Health Insurance Industry”, with a wildly waving crowd of Democrats in the background.

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