Conservative Cartoonist Watch – Chuck Asay

It’s time for our second look at conservative editorial cartoonists. (For the first installment, see here.) Today we turn the old ‘Toonoscope on one of my personal favorites, Chuck Asay. Asay’s work is a delightfully incoherent melange of conservative views, pitting dumb liberal zealots against earnest-faced conservatives who are just too gosh-darn polite to point out their leftist stupidity. Unfortunately, maintaining this unreal worldview requires him to invent absurdities to support his argument. Example (click to enlarge):

You see, in Chuck Asay’s America, you get carded for buying ice cream. I mean sure. Doesn’t everybody? What’s the big deal? I don’t know what all those noisy Latinos are complaining about!

Here’s his take on British Petroleum (click to enlarge):

I hardly know where to begin. Let’s leave aside the “Lara Liberal” moniker and the always-surreal joy of being condescended to by someone who has no idea what he’s talking about. Let’s get to the heart of it – If BP shouldn’t clean up the mess they made, who should? Asay never says. Not government surely. He already thinks it’s too big and spends too much. Usually Asay believes in personal responsibility, but I guess that doesn’t apply to polluters who create ecological disasters.

At this point you’d be forgiven for concluding that the rules of logic will never penetrate his skull without using a printout, a sharp funnel and a mallet. And you’d be right. I had the personal pleasure of corresponding with Asay back in 2004 when I got fed up enough at his inane reasoning to write him a huffy and insulting email. To his credit, he wrote back and we had a semi-substantive dialogue. I came away from that exchange thinking that he was a decent man who is incapable of seeing sense. For example, when I took issue with the swift-boating of Kerry and denigration of his service by Karl Rove, he replied that “politics is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.” Like Rove and the swift-boaters had no choice but to lie.

Now I think of Asay as a national treasure. He really is a crystal-clear window into the mind of cultural conservatives, and serves as a valuable reminder why such people should never wield power. I’m convinced that the Onion’s parody cartoons are merely imitating him, and I encourage you to go through his archives. He really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Accepting a Job = Rejecting Other Jobs

Chait on the stupidity of Sestak-Gate:

There’s no such thing as offering somebody a job in return for them dropping out of a Senate race. The acceptance of a job means dropping out of a Senate race. The concept of offering somebody a job “in exchange” for them declining to seek another job is like offering to marry a woman in exchange for her not marrying some other guy. It’s conceptually nonsensical.

Update:

It’s worth noting that this is a technique the administration has used in the past. Like when they offered Republican Governor Jon Huntsman (a potential 2012 rival) the ambassadorship to China. Huntsman accepted, Obama’s potential rival was neutralized, and nobody cried foul then, even though Huntsman had to resign his Governorship in order to accept the position. In fact, much of the political press lauded it as a brilliant move on Obama’s part. The only real difference today is that Sestak rejected the offer. Had he accepted it, the White House probably would have issued a press release about it. But since he didn’t, they’re not going to talk about it.

Update #2:

Chait clarifies, for those who are still confused about this:

I’ll keep saying this: A job offer is not a quid pro quo to get somebody out of a race. It is getting somebody out of a race. Accepting one job means you cannot run for another. It happens all the time — the White House appointed John McHugh Army Secretary in part to get him out of New York’s 23rd Congressional District. It offered Judd Gregg a cabinet slot in order to get him out of the Senate. This is completely routine, neither illegal no immoral nor especially unusual. Can’t we wait to appoint a special prosecutor until there’s at least some possibility of underlying illegal behavior?

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

D.C Douglas vs Freedomworks

Freedomworks gets a voice actor blacklisted for leaving an angry message on their answering machine. Actor fires back. Hilarity ensues.

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 1:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Campaign Obama Comes Out To Play

I think the President’s critics who view Obama as ‘detached’ and ‘overly-cerebral’ tend to forget that he keeps Campaign Obama in his pocket and can pull him out anytime he wants. We’ll get to see him a lot more this year. Here’s a perfect example:

Published in: on May 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kagan and the Outrage Machine

Elena Kagan
Andrew Sullivan has been scrambling for an outrage narrative on Kagan. First she’s a closeted lesbian, then maybe not, but why won’t she tell us?? Why the big coverup?? Also, she hasn’t taken enough risks! She defers to her bosses!!

I’m usually a fan, but sheesh. John Cole is tired of the auto-outrage. He makes an additional point that puts me in the Balloon Juice amen corner:

I reject flat out that deferring to the judgment of your Senators and the President is simply “cult like” behavior. WTF did we elect these people to do? Should we just have referendums on Supreme Court nominees now? How is someone like me, with no legal training, supposed to make the kind of informed decision on Kagan’s legal logic? I have a job and a yard to mow and pets to take care of and bills to pay- I don’t have time for a direct democracy. Obviously, that does not mean just greenlighting whatever your elected officials do, but the idea that saying “Hrmm- Sanders, Obama, Feingold, Sherrod Brown, Leahy, and a lot of others whose opinions I respect and who know a helluva lot more than me about this all think she is a good fit” is cult-like behavior is just pure bullshit. That is how our system is supposed to work.

But then, I’ve never gotten really worked up about Supreme Court nominees. So sue me.

How The Far-Right Sees Obama

Genie Obama

This is the work of far-right editorial cartoonist Glen McCoy. But wait – He get’s worse!

Abortion Obama

This is some really pure hatred.

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 12:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Speed-Fisking

Attempted terrorist attacks usually serve as a green light for conservative commentators to start a pants-wetting contest. This Corner post from last Sunday by Bill Burck and Dana Perino is a perfect example, and it seems like a good enough place to start my “speed-fisking” experiment. (For a good definition of fisking, click here.)

Assuming I do this right, the ideal way to read this would be to open this page in another tab or window, so you can flip back and forth between them when you see parts of the post which I dispute. You’ll be able to identify them because they will be numbered and linked. If the result is incomprehensible, please let me know and I will try to improve future entries.

And….Go!

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New York Terror Trial Follies [Bill Burck and Dana Perino]

“No one yet knows for sure who is responsible for the attempted terrorist attack in Times Square last night. It could be al-Qaeda or some other Islamist terrorist group, or some other group, or an individual acting on his or her own. Initial reports are that it may have been a crude bomb and a relatively amateur attack. Of course, homicide bombers (1) are not known for their smarts, nor is the technology they use particularly sophisticated in most cases. But don’t be fooled by claims in the press that this was an amateur attack (2). Whoever tried to kill innocents in midtown Manhattan last night knew exactly what they were doing (3). They targeted Times Square in Manhattan not as a random act (4), but as a message that Americans remain vulnerable to indiscriminate murder for fanatical religious or political reasons, and that our most significant landmarks are not safe from attack. Whoever did this, we can be sure, is in league with the underwear bomber, Major Hasan, and other terrorists either in fact or in spirit (5).

This is a sobering message to all of us. And it should remind us that the federal officials who continue to insist that New York City is the best place to try KSM and other 9/11 terrorists are, frankly, out of their minds. Attorney General Eric Holder remains delusional on this front, as he has continued to say that a civilian trial in New York remains on the table, despite the uniform protest of all major New York public officials from the mayor to the police chief to the governor.

New York is the world’s number-one terrorist target, and has been since at least he first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Those who claim, in spite of all logic and experience, that New York could be secured if KSM were brought there for trial are either being misleading or are plain old crazy. The only way to do this effectively would be to shut down the city, which would paralyze New York and cause terrible damage to its efforts to recover from the recession.

New Yorkers, it’s time for you to demand that the administration come to its senses and officially shut down the civilian terror trial in NYC (6). GTMO is by far the safest and best location for trying KSM and his cohorts. Let’s not make New York more of a target than it already is (7) ( by bringing KSM and his hate to New York, where he will have the world’s biggest platform to rally his fellow lunatics and jihadists to his cause (8).

The only reason to try KSM in New York is to vindicate a misguided political agenda by people that have staked their personal reputations on having a civilian trial in New York, ostensibly to show the world that our justice system is fair. (9) But it has never been clear to us who they are trying to convince. For all of its flaws, our justice system and Constitution remain the envy of the world (10) — at least the part of the world that believes in freedom and individual rights. If they think that a civilian trial will turn our enemies into our friends, well, there’s really not much to talk about. (11) Of course, the attorney general and the White House have undermined even that goal by guaranteeing KSM’s conviction and execution, which violates the core principles of a fair trial. (12)

It’s time to shut down this folly. New Yorkers have enough to worry about without politicians in Washington making them even bigger targets.”

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End of speed-fisk.

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bursting Our Own Bubbles

In President Obama’s recent commencement address at the University of Michigan, he made a call for people across the political spectrum to expose themselves to opposing viewpoints:

[I]f we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we become more polarized, more set in our ways. That will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country.

But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from…

…[I]f you’re somebody who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in a while. If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship.

To that end, I plan on spending a little more time at National Review’s blog, The Corner. For those of you unfamiliar with National Review, it’s a magazine founded by conservative intellectual William F. Buckley during a time when it was possible to imagine an intellectual leading the conservative movement.
In Buckley’s later years, however, he garnered little respect while on a cruise hosted by his own magazine.

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because Dick Cheney convinced him Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,” Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf War I, the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.” He says he is “heartbroken” by this “rise of defeatism on the right.” He adds, apropos of nothing, “There was nobody better than Don Rumsfeld. This defeatist talk only contributes to the impression we are losing, when I think we’re winning.” The audience cheers Podhoretz. The nuanced doubts of Bill Buckley leave them confused. Doesn’t he sound like the liberal media? Later, over dinner, a tablemate from Denver calls Buckley “a coward”. His wife nods and says, “Buckley’s an old man,” tapping her head with her finger to suggest dementia.

It’s worth remembering that today’s apostates from the conservative movement are in good company.

Now I’m off to The Corner where I plan to try something I’m going to call “Speed-Fisking. ” I’ll explain later.

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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On Arizona

Vintage Immigration Cartoon
I don’t have anything to add to the Arizona immigration issue, beyond agreeing with the general consensus that the new law increases the GOP’s divide with Latinos and opens up a huge hole for the Democrats to charge though on immigration reform. Over at Balloon Juice, Mistermix’s post about his mother struck me as noteworthy:

Let’s talk about my Mother. She’s 74 years old, brown (US citizen from Mexican parents), and tough as nails. She spends her winters in a small town near Tucson, a few miles from where she grew up.

Since the Arizona immigration law passed, I’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen the first time she’s pulled over and asked for her papers. The results of my thought experiment aren’t pretty. To say that she’ll be unintimidated by the local cops is a gross understatement. My concern is for the officer who pulls her over, as well as the police department and town that she’ll sue. Life gets a little dull for the retired, and the family joke is that Mom has a titanium grudge carrier, so I expect she’ll do her part to bankrupt her local municipality, and enjoy doing it.

Mom’s a proud Goldwater Republican. She was happy with Reagan, voted for Bush II in 2000 (but not in ‘04), and has long been active in the local Republican party. But I can say with absolute certainty that she will not vote for a Republican, for any office, ever again. She’s the proudest person I know—proud of her family, her achievements in life, and her Mexican heritage. And, whatever else this new law is, it is profoundly disrespectful. I don’t know if this law will kill the Republican party in Arizona, but I can assure you that they’re already dead to her.

Published in: on May 1, 2010 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s Win-Win

Liberals like me are happy about the approval of the wind farm off of Cape Cod, and conservative culture warriors can rejoice that the Kennedys are getting exposed as flaming hypocrites on this issue. Or as Henry Blodget puts it:

Now, the country can finally start developing a huge renewable resource. And a few loaded beachfront homeowners will have to get used looking at tiny white windmills in the distance (the horror!)

Cake for everyone!

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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