Archive for Editorial Cartoon

When to Forgive Sedition

When to Forgive Sedition

One of the great things about being Catholic is that you can do whatever you want to do, go to confession, say a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys, and all is forgiven — you are healed and free to start over! Except…that’s not really how it works. At least, not the way it’s supposed to work.

Despite the trope of confession being something of a “get out of hell free card,” it’s not really intended to be a transaction — it’s more about providing an opportunity to reflect and truly consider your actions and behaviors. It’s an act of contrition. To get to the point of forgiveness, you need to figure out what you did so you can reconcile with it and commit to being a better person.

I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that Donald Trump has never been contrite. And of all the issues I have with him (and there are plenty), this may be the most foundational. His complete unwillingness (perhaps inability) to apologize for anything precludes healing. Further, he actively salts the earth by doubling-down and selling that behavior as a virtue.

It is not possible to forgive, it is not possible to “get over it,” it is not possible “bring us all together” until Trump and his enablers come to terms with their sedition and reconcile with it. Obviously that won’t happen on its own. So that’s why we must follow the rules set in the constitution and prosecute.

Then the healing can begin.

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Thank God the GOP Had the Fortitude

Thank God the GOP Had the Fortitude

Wednesday morning I had sketched out kind of a light-hearted, “I know, right?” sort of cartoon to ease us all into the new year. Nothing too edgy. Of course that idea went out the window (along with a great deal of our nation’s pride and dignity) with the insurrection later that afternoon. My Thursday deadline loomed.

I knew by the time you would be reading this that much would already have been said about the attempted coup. So I needed to find a unique angle (preferably a Michigan one) if I had any hope of providing perspective.

For me, that angle is the obvious parallels between the mob that marched into the state capital in Lansing last year and the one that attacked our nation’s capital this week — both whipped to a frenzy by the callous lies and endless tantrums of the President of the United States. In April, it was ugly but also a warning: It could get worse. And yet Republicans who could have checked the President either stayed quiet or encouraged him all the more. They were the cowards, but we all now have suffered the consequences.

I apologize for not actually drawing anything, but so many of these images are now seared into our collective memory that I felt them best used directly. Plus, I couldn’t have made them any more gobsmackingly ridiculous than they already are.

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Socks and Underwear for Christmas

Socks and Underwear for Christmas

Best wishes to you, dear reader, in this holiday season. May you enjoy the gifts you give and the gifts you receive today and throughout the new year (even the socks & underwear). Have a Merry Christmas!

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Glad It’s Finally Over

Glad It's Finally Over

You know what I was talking about, right? Don’t make me say it. Please. I don’t want to have to say it!

Okay, fine. The Electoral College results are in. The presidential election is over. It’s final. It’s final, final.

Okay, fine. It’s not final, final, final. There could be a coup. There could be an alien invasion. There could be a majority of lawmakers breaking all norms and sworn promises to uphold the Constitution and hijacking the process before Biden and Harris are sworn in.

There. I acknowledged the rationally impossible. Happy? Can we please stop doing this now? Also, can we please stop paying attention to the deluded sycophants who insist on continuing to play this game? I mean, law enforcement should definitely keep their eyes on the ones threatening violence and insurrection. But everybody else? No more attention oxygen for you. Let’s move on.

Hey, how about them Lions, huh? Making another go at getting better! Rebuilding, as it were. This time by hiring some former players (Chris Spielman, Barry Sanders) from back when they were kinda good. Might work, who knows? If you’re hellbent on wishing for the highly improbable, consider giving this a try.

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Not Funny Anymore

Not Funny Anymore

This week’s cartoon presented a bit of a challenge. I intended to present two people having a conversation, but I wanted to model good behavior. The conversation itself suggests that the two people haven’t seen each other for a while, which implies they aren’t “bubbled.”

But I couldn’t put them indoors and mask them because I wanted to show their smiles fading with each panel. So I put them outside and at a reasonable distance, but still probably too close because I didn’t want to draw them any smaller and lose their expressions. 

I do not claim any of that to be a hardship, especially compared to the real hardships brought on by this raging pandemic. But I think it speaks to just how worn down we all are by the grind — the extra weight that has been added to everything we do and think this godforsaken year.

And as a result, ridiculously idiotic diversions like the Giuliani show — normally something best processed with mockery — is hardly worth acknowledging. At best, it’s a waste of time. At worst, it’s a catalyst for even more stupidity. And it just isn’t funny anymore.

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Keep Christ in Christian

Keep Christ in Christian

I drew a variation of this cartoon four years ago. The first panel acknowledged why Christians celebrate Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ. The second panel reminded readers that the birth was, of course, just the beginning — he eventually grew up and had a few things to say how to treat the poor, the sick, the disenfranchised, and so on. So being Christian is much more than just saying “Merry Christmas.” (I know, not much of punchline.)

This cartoon is much more to the point. With so many examples lately of the disconnect between identifying as a Christian and actually being a disciple of Christ, I figured I could do it much simpler with no need for dialogue, labels, or multiple panels. 

Case in point: The story of a Christian school in West Michigan and their refusal to comply with mask mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19. Yes, they may not like the feeling of being told what to do. And they might not believe that masks help them. But still, making a small sacrifice for the welfare of others would seem to be the Christ-like thing to do, right? 

Keeping Christ in Christian

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Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

Twenty-one years ago, my wife, my two daughters, and I went on a trip to England during Thanksgiving. My brother was living in London at the time and had invited us to stay with him. It was magical. We toured all around. We rode the Underground, we took a motorboat up the Thames, we went to see The Lion King on stage. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Prior to the trip, I had only two misgivings. The first was leaving our son at home, who was just too young to travel. (He had a pretty sweet week, though, basking in the full attention of Nana and Poppie.) The second was missing our traditional Thanksgiving. The families, the food, the fun — everything. I am very much wired to choose what I do know I like over all other options every time. It seems silly to think that I might have opted out of a trip to London just to spend Thanksgiving at home, but I remember it being a consideration.

All that to say, Thanksgiving this year has no doubt been different. And probably not in a good “trip to London” sort of way. (Literally. You couldn’t go even if you wanted.) But still, I hope you have been able to find some joy in the different experience. Or at least it occurred to you that it was Thanksgiving and that you can think of something to be thankful for. 

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Stop Rushing Us, Governor!

Stop Rushing Us, Governor!

Editor’s Note: Yesterday the news broke about Chatfield and Shirkey taking a meeting at the White House to perhaps overturn presidential election results in Michigan. I’ve been trying to compose some sort of note to alert readers that that happened after my deadline and so this cartoon isn’t about that. But you can see how awkward that last sentence is, plus I have no idea what those two guys are actually going to do. So I guess I’m resigned to having to live with the ludicrous speed of the news cycle (and the ludicrous behavior of these politicians).

The posturing around the COVID crisis by Speaker of the Michigan House, Lee Chatfield, and Senate Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey, reminds me of the animated film Kung Fu Panda. (Well of course it does — it’s only natural.) 

There’s a scene in which Shifu comes to his zen-like master, Oogway, to warn him of impending danger:

Shifu: I… I… have… it’s… it’s very bad news.

Oogway: Aah, Shifu. There’s just news. There’s no good or bad.

Shifu: Master, your vision… your vision was right. Tai Lung [the evil and very powerful bad guy] has broken out of prison! He’s on his way!

Oogway: That is bad news…

Although I would hardly describe them as zen-like, I see Chatfield and Shirkey as playing the role of the guru master, Oogway. Their tendency is to try stay above the panic and address the issues with their wisdom about limiting the role of government, about constitutional law, about personal freedoms, and so on. But now that an evil and powerful bad guy (COVID-19) is loose, they could at least acknowledge the reality. Unlike Oogway, these guys have not come close to that.

I want to give Chatfield and Shirkey both the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that their clinging to dogmatic beliefs is authentic and not a political calculation. But it’s difficult in the face of what they did in the spring and what they are doing now.

And to be sure, despite following the advice of the scientific and medical professionals, not everything that Governor Whitmer has done has worked. Some didn’t seem to make sense. (Remember when we collectively lost our minds earlier this year when we couldn’t buy paint at Lowes for a few weeks?) But at least she’s listening and she is engaging. C’mon guys. This virus, it IS bad news.

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But I Thanked You for Your Service

But I Thanked You for Your Service

How utterly disheartening it must be to be a frontline worker right now. Especially for those in healthcare professions. I feel this requires no further explanation.

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The Secret to Democracy

The Secret to Democracy

Back in the day, I used to play in a lot of 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. (Pre-COVID, I used to play basketball period. *sigh*) A lot of Gus Mackers. A lot of local fundraiser events. The idea was to simulate pickup games, the kind you’d play in a driveway with neighbors and friends. So, no refs. Call your own fouls. Play hard, but have fun. And that worked really great. Until it didn’t.

There always seemed to be one team (more typically, one guy on one team) who was in it to win no matter what. He usually was a pretty good player, but would stop at nothing to make sure he won. For instance, if he missed a shot, he would call a foul. Didn’t matter if you were near him or not. He’d call the foul and then argue for 10 minutes if you challenged him. Then when you got ball, he’d smack the crap out of your elbow on a shot and argue for 10 minutes that he never touched you. Purposeful and without shame. His goal was to wear you down so he could call himself a winner.

See where I’m going with this? Yeah, it’s not too difficult figure out. Donald Trump is that guy.

The difference, of course, is that you’d often give in to the basketball guy. It wasn’t worth your time. The Presidency of the United States of America over the next four years — that has more consequence.

Everybody votes, then you count all the votes. It’s really pretty simple.

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