Threw just about everything I had at this one: grand culmination of an almost insurmountable amount of current events, that happen at such a constant, daily rate of delivery that it becomes difficult to keep track, until it becomes a veritable tsunami of bullshit.
The smörgåsbord has references to the hurricanes and subsequent, systemic failure to respond in a timely fashion, adding insult to injury with tRump literally throwing in the towels, to the wildfires decimating the West, which in turn foreshadows the omnipresent and escalating threat of war. The desecration of the universal signal of distress being soiled by the poo-flinging encompasses his the dog-whistle theatrics behind the NFL protests and many other deplorable reactions to racial injustice. A pathological, habitual liar and "reckless con man" only begins to describe his actions. Though both David Roth's and Ezra Klein's succinct assessments each provide insightful commentary on this deepening fiasco.
But the heart of the image showcases the ignorance and greed laid bare by the behind-the-scenes machinations of the main actors upon the political stage, that of our own Alaska congressional delegation. Secondary to the distractions of the circus ringleader performing tricks for his audience, the real disaster is in how these opportunistic lampreys affixed to tRumps underbelly have been working desperately to enact their destructive agenda upon America while we remain distracted. Stemming from the contemporary, Western usage of the three monkeys metaphor, the “Willful Blindness” of Don Young, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan - our tRumped triumvirate is now fully exposed as being morally + ethically compromised.
Shouldacoulda used the dreaded nametag/labels (ie cartooning copout) to ID these three, but opted instead to expand the original caption (as seen in the original doodle + penciled variation) to specify and include “The Alaskan congressional delegation and...” so as to supply more than enough of a hint. This is another example of the interplay between visual + verbal elements in a cartoon wherein each can help to inform each other. Unfortunately we always have to fight against not only political but also visual illiteracy amongst an (un)informed citizenry when it comes to not only knowing who their respective representatives are, but also what they look like (assuming the caricature is good enough), and the context of the situation - which staying abreast of is oftentimes a daily challenge.
Speaking of caricatures I managed to once again successfully depict the dotard without resorting to any actual facial aspects, something which I'm really trying not to study in any close detail. Basically all one needs to see is those tiny hands to know exactly who it is. Was also going leave the bars on the cage as pure white and add a little fluting to suggest the stately columns of the White House, but then again, nah, he belongs in a cell, or given the context, would that be instead a cage at a zoo?
But back to the main actors here. We need to never forget that this is who leads them and their party. They lay quiet, providing instead textbook examples of cowardice, and consequently surrender any pretext to ever using the title of "leader." While these three charlatans have never employed overly religious rhetoric while justifying their motives, one has to wonder at how their demonstrative duplicity can be applied to their self-professed humility when it comes to faking their faith:
‘Christian conservatives should give up the ruse — they’ve made a bargain with the most irreligious and faithless president in history, a man who holds what they value in contempt. Their scam — that they and their candidates operate from some high, moral plane and are the true repositories of American values — should end with this president.” - Jennifer Rubin
That the misogyny that for so long has been on open display, second only to his supremacist instincts, these three cohorts of his in Congress can also now lay claim to participating in the wholesale violation of American values. This is what you are each effectively giving a pass to, and by your inaction, contributing to. In other words, Murkowski, Sullivan and Young: you own it. Granted, you probably even want it, so it won't really bother you a bit. And that’s a moral + ethical stink that won’t ever wash off.
So this will be my extended message to each one you in conjunction with hand-delivering your respective offices a copy of the Ester Republic where this was first published. Quit fucking around with the future of the goddamned planet. This fool will kill us all. Do something. We know you like having the cover of all this sound + fury to enact your plundering legislation while everyone is distracted by the useful idiot at the front of the room. But it’s really serious now, and you are in the meantime now complicit in the collapse of our nation. You are aiding and abetting. Sure, it’s your party, it’s your president. But we – all of us - are your constituents; you supposedly represent everyone, not just your voters, or your own self-interests. In the role of a statesman you also supposedly represent America. Right now, you do not. In personally refusing to take a stand or take responsibility and publicly speak out and take an active role in defusing the disaster eclipsing our nation, you send an unequivocal message of shameful support.
A reminder there are actual neo-Nazis marching in American streets, Americans left helpless and dying from disasters. You do and say nothing, even when the press is undermined, the rule of law is flaunted, our citizens are belittled and abandoned. In the meantime the cohorts that comprise the Alaskan congressional delegation are as of now and forever be indelibly associated with tRump: Murkowski, Sullivan and Young and the entire AK GOP are one and the same with the “tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon.”
Teaser swatch preview of next month's editorial: Alaska's constituents opine about the Secretary of the Interior