The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Showering With Eric and Rahm

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.

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Alfred Hitchcock Presents



Mark Streeter, Buy this cartoon

INTRODUCTION

Every once in a while a political story is so absurd that it’s virtually impossible to believe it.  When former Congressman Eric Massa confessed that he’d had a rather unpleasant encounter with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in a shower, well… the editorial cartoonists rejoiced.  Whether Massa’s account was real or not, this evoked memories of the Alfred Hitchcock classic film ‘Psycho’ and, in particular, the famous shower scene at the Bates Motel with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins.

Chip Bok

Chip Bok, Comics.com

Over the past year, the Healthcare Reform debate has had many, many twists and turns.  These include long delays in the U.S. Senate Committees where Democrats searched for elusive and non-existent “moderate” Republicans; bizarre and often racist displays by Teabaggers at Town Hall Meetings; the death of a beloved U.S. Senator, Ted Kennedy, for whom HCR was his life’s work; conflicting and confusing signals sent by the White House and often at the same time; an unexpected Republican win in the MA Senate Special Election and one that some thought would signal the end of all HCR efforts; and many other political missteps by Congressional Democrats.  Through it all, the cartoonists mocked anyone and everyone during this long process.  And, in spite of it all, we are about to achieve HCR (perfect or not) after more than sixty years of efforts by presidents going back to President Harry S Truman in the mid-1940’s.  

While enacting HCR into law and establishing the principle of health care for all Americans will be the first step, perfecting it will take months if not years.  The below cartoon signals the sense of relief felt by many in the Democratic Party.  

Clay Bennett

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

It is said that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  So is the case with Liz Cheney and her infamous father, The Dick.  Spreading lies, fearmongering, and engaging in disgraceful political behavior is all that they’re left with.  The editorial cartoonists took notice of it.  Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, came under heavy criticism from many cartoonists for his obstructionist and unhelpful ways even as conditions worsen in the occupied Palestinian territories.

After HCR is signed into law, what will the Republican Party do now?  Will it escalate its attacks in other areas or concede policy and political defeat?  While the Teabaggers, Birthers, Deathers, and wingnuts of all stripes were ascendant last year, I think having no policy proposals and opposing all Democratic measures will only take the GOP so far.  Look for the political tide to turn against them in the coming months.



Monte Wolverton, The Wolvertoon, Buy this cartoon

Hope you enjoy this week’s cartoons as much as I did.

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1. CARTOONS OF THE WEEK



‘The Office’ starring Eric Massa by RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon



A New Job for Eric Massa by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Massa’s Reasons for Resigning by Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon



John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day

Bill Day, Comics.com



Liz Cheney Witch Hunt by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day

Bill Day, Comics.com

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, Comics.com

Go, Rush, Go!!!



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly, Buy this cartoon

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, Comics.com



Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer

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2. Eric Massa vs Rahm Emanuel: Back to the Bates Motel Shower



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

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The Mobile Register‘s Editorial Cartoonist, J.D. Crowe, had a humorous take on this story

President Obama’s pulling out all the stops in his final push for health care legislation.  Now is the time to release the beast: Naked Rahm.

Chicago tough guy Rahm Emanuel had a reputation as an abrasive pit bull when he accepted the position as White House Chief of Staff in the Obama’s new administration.  Recently, he has been under fire from the left as being too soft on pushing the president’s agenda.  Time to live up to his bad boy billing, they say.

One dude who’s not buying the Rahm-gone-soft spin is Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY).  Massa is the Washington’s latest clown-about-town, going from interview from interview, changing his story about groping, tickle-fighting and other horseplay with male staffers.  He stepped down Wednesday, avoiding a House Ethics Committee investigation.

Among Massa’s more entertaining stories has Rahm Emanuel, naked and angry, confronting Massa in the shower, jabbing a finger in his chest and pressuring him to change his vote on one issue or another.  Massa couldn’t have been more stunned, frightened and secretly thrilled by the exchange if Anthony Perkins had forced himself into the shower and done the jabbing himself.

Between the shower scene and the stories of boy-pile tickle-fighting, I’m not sure if Massa has been in Congress or time-traveling back to the ancient Greek Olympics.

So, maybe Rahm The Naked Intimidator is just what Obama needs to scare the troops into backing health care.

Had you rather let your president down or face the wrath of a naked, finger-jabbing Rahm Emanuel?

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And maybe a toga.



Rahm Emanuel – The Enforcer, by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Nick Anderson

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



Kirk Walters, Toledo Blade, Buy this cartoon

Steve Sack

Steve Sack, Comics.com



Towel Snap by Mike Lester, Rome News-Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Jerry Holbert

Jerry Holbert, Comics.com



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate

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Read Comedy Central’s Take on This Entertaining Story

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3. What are the Republicans (and Affiliated Wingnuts) Up To?



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

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Englehart isn’t shy in telling it like it is about the Republican Party

Yes, that’s right, folks.  The Republican Party has become America’s pet rock.  It doesn’t move, or do anything.  It just sits there, not even blocking the way now.  The other politicians have figured out how to move around it.  The brave ones will pass health care reform of some kind and if I catch any of my Democratic representatives voting against it, I’ll vote against THEM in November.

I read the story about how some big shot in the Republican Party left a memo lying around that Politico.com got hold of.  It really reveals what the Republicans think of the sheep that follow them.  It showed how the the professional political manipulators regard the people they want to scare, and I’m sure this is not confined to the GOP.

Politicians are experts at using fear to control us, particularly during an election year.  Fear, greed and sex, is there an easier emotion to use to make people jump through hoops?  It’s too bad we the peeps are so easy. If we had higher standards, we’d have a better government, a better country and a lot less fear.



Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon



RNC Cartoon School by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

Ed Stein

Ed Stein, Comics.com

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Stein excoriates the Cheneys for their disingenuous tactics now that they are out of office

Like father, like daughter.  Liz Cheney is now fronting another one of the right wing’s outrageous smears.  The issue at hand is the conduct of nine lawyers who, prior to their current service in the Department of Justice, represented detainees at Guantanamo.  Cheney has dubbed them the “Gitmo Nine,” and openly questioned their patriotism.  It seems that in the Alice in Wonderland logic of the extreme right, believing in American values is treason is you believe in them enough to act on them in unpopular cases…

I found myself wondering how Cheney, Fox News & co. would have reacted to John Adams’ defense of the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre in 1770.  As tensions escalated in the Colonies, a much-despised contingent of British troops was stationed in Boston.  On March 5, a confrontation between colonists and the troops turned violent, with British soldiers killing five Americans.  Twelve soldiers were arrested, eight ultimately coming to trial for murder.  A young lawyer named John Adams was asked to defend them.  Knowing how unpopular it would make him, he still accepted the job.  He believed that it was essential to show that Americans could give their hated overseers a fair trial. He performed brilliantly, and his clients were ultimately acquitted.

Had he been hounded from government service by his critics, as Liz Cheney and friends are trying to do to the Guantanamo lawyers, that same John Adams would not have been available to negotiate desperately needed loans from foreign governments to keep the fledgling United States solvent, would not have been one of the intellectual fountainheads of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, someone else would have became the second President of the United States, and this country’s history would have been very, very different.

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Liz Cheney as Joe McCarthy by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Paul Szep

Paul Szep, Comics.com

Clay Bennett

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



Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon



Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon



Tapping into 2010 voters by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

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4. President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats: Can They Get it Done?



Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

Frank & Ernest

Frank and Ernest, Comics.com

Clay Bennett

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



Matt Wuerker, Politico



Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate



Tom Toles, Washington Post



Ben Sargent, Universal Press Syndicate



Chair Talk With Click and Clack, The Levin Brothers by RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon

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5. Healthcare Reform: The Final Push

MIke Thompson

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

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Thompson articulates what most everyone knows to be the case: the GOP is corrupt and obstructionist while the Democrats are inept

The motives of the Republican Party in the health care debate are so laughably obvious.  Democrats would be able to easily paint their opposition into a corner on the issue – if they weren’t so laughably inept.



John Trever, Albuquerque Journal, Buy this cartoon



John Cole, Scanton Times-Tribune, Buy this cartoon



Health Care Status Quo by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon



RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

MIke Thompson

Mike Thompson, Comics.com, see reader comments and Thompson’s blog entry in the Detroit Free Press



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon



RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

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6. The Economy: What Kind of Jobs?



Jobs Versus Health Care by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon



Wall Street Pot of Gold by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



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



Overdevelopment During the Recession by Rob Tornoe, Dover Post, Buy this cartoon



Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich, Comics.com



Robert Ariail, Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist (SC), Buy this cartoon

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7. Israel and Progress in the Middle East



Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon



Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com, Buy this cartoon



Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon



Biden Crunch by Steve Greenberg, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, Buy this cartoon



Netanyahu Digs In by Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), Buy this cartoon



Biden visits Israel by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Human Rights – USA vs Europe by Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung (Austria), Buy this cartoon

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8. Texas School Board: Don’t Mess With Texas!



Texas Schoolboard Bookburning by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Nick Anderson

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



School Budgets and Bad Economy by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



School Budgets by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

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9. A Big Surprise at the Academy Awards



Kathryn Bigelow – Statue and Stature by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon



Avatar is Disappointed by Luojie, China Daily, Buy this cartoon

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10. Sports Talk



March Madness by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Drew Litton

Drew Litton, Comics.com

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11. Final Thoughts

Finally, do you measure your life’s worth based on who you are or who you are not?

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A Note About the Diary Poll

Drew Litton

Drew Litton, Comics.com

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With March Madness and the NCAA Basketball Tournament upon us, who are your favorites to reach the Final Four and win it all?

Here are my predictions: of the major schools here in the Washington, D.C. area, Maryland will lose to Kansas in the Round of 16 but Georgetown will beat Kansas in an upset to advance to the Final Four.  The other three Final Four Teams will be Syracuse, Kentucky, and Villanova.  Yes, that’s three teams from the Big East Conference!

Georgetown will beat Syracuse in the Round of Four but will lose to Kentucky in a close game in the finals.

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

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3 comments

  1. … at the Constitution Convention in 1787, the Bill of Rights might have been expanded to include a very important amendment!

    Mike Luckovich

    Mike Luckovich, Comics.com

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    Tips, recs, comments, and suggestions welcomed.  Thanks.  



  2. Tombs of the Unknowns by Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist (Los Angeles, CA), Buy this cartoon

  3. … by a census taker.



    Sunshine Week, Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

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