Monday, July 25, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

I promise to discuss the issue this week without drawing a basketball being slam-dunked into toilet.

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

¿Hispanics Para Trump?

I am not going to second guess the genetic origin of these two delegates to last week's Republican convention, or of any of the others waving "Hispanics para Trump" signs. For all I know, their parents were bankers from Havana until 1959, or lost their government jobs upon the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

And, as someone with only a rudimentary grasp of Spanish, I have difficulty myself knowing when to use "para" and when to use "por," so I'm only taking someone else's word that "para" is the wrong preposition.

(A tweet cited on HuffPo states that "Hispanics con Trump" would be more correct — although I'd suggest that "Trump cons Hispanics" would be better still.)

I'm reminded of a campaign at my alma mater in which a foreign exchange student ran for student government president. The slogan on his campaign literature may have sounded good in the original Ghanaian, but "A vote for [the candidate] is a vote for [his running mate] and a vote for you all" just sounded silly in English.

Returning to the present day, I do know that "Hispanics" is an English word.

It took me three seconds on Google Translate to get "los hispanos."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Democratic Conventions Past

Last week, I dusted off a selection of my cartoons about Republican National Conventions. For Stepback Saturday this week, I ought to give the Democrats equal time.

There's just one problem about that. As Hillary Clinton demonstrated yesterday, Democratic nominees' vice-presidential picks are often spectacularly uninspired.

Walter Mondale's choice of New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was surely intended to be bold and ground-breaking. The choice may have come off as such, if not for a perception that Mondale was yielding to feminist demands, or for his too-public "P.R. parade of personalities" (as Jesse Jackson called it) to his home in Minnesota before making his choice known. Besides, rival Jackson had beat Mondale to the punch by promising to name a woman to as his running mate if he had won the nomination.

1988 nominee Michael Dukakis played it too safe with the choice of Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen to balance the Massachusetts governor's ticket. Jesse Jackson had been the strongest of Dukakis's rivals for the nomination, and his supporters were disappointed that he didn't get the #2 spot.

And that's it.

Nobody got booed off the stage at the Democratic National Conventions of the 1990's, 2000's or (so far) the 2010's. As Veep picks, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and Joe Biden didn't inspire me to rush to my drawing board to laud them as wonderful choices or to bemoan them as terrible ones. I have been inspired at other times to draw cartoons about each of them (which is more than I can say about Timothy M. Kaine), but not about their vice presidential nominations.

So screw equal time. Here's a cartoon about behavior by the front-row Texas delegation at George W. Bush's 2000 Republican National Convention, even though it was drawn three months later.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Q Toon: Veep Stakes

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jul 21, 2016

Donald Trump threw a bone to his right-wing Christian theocratic supporters by letting them write the most antigay party platform in the Republicans' rabidly antigay history, and by naming Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

Followers of this blog (you clearly being a discerning and intelligent bunch) may remember him having signed Indiana's antigay "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," guaranteeing Christian Hoosiers' right to discriminate against LGBT citizens. Blowback from business giants such as Apple, Walmart, and Salesforce – and even the Disciples of Christ and the NCAA – forced Indiana to tweak the law to tone down its antigay hostility a bit.

Although he is not as much of a firebrand as Newt Gingrich or Ted Cruz, former five-term Congressman Pence continues his party's trend of vice presidential picks lurching ever further rightward.
In the 107th Congress (Pence’s first, covering 2001 and 2002), for example, out of 435 members of the U.S. House, Pence ranked #428 – meaning that 427 members were to his left, putting the Hoosier on the far-right-wing fringe. The results were roughly the same in the 108th Congress and the 109th.

By the 110th Congress, Pence was at #432, putting him to the right of nearly everyone in the chamber. The results were roughly the same in the 111th Congress and the 112th.
Let’s put this another way: during his congressional career, Pence wasn’t just more conservative than Paul Ryan. His voting record also put him to the right of Michele Bachmann, Todd Akin, Steve King, and even Louie Gohmert.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

I've been noticing occasional spikes in visits here by readers in Mauritius; so welcome, and my apologies for going yet another week without any cartoons about Mauritius issues.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

GOP Conventions Past

Since I've already posted about 1916 this week, for today's installment of Swerveback Saturday, I rummage through the dusty crate of my own cartoons.

The topic this week is cartoons about Republican National Conventions. I didn't draw national issue toons for a newspaper that published during the summer until 1988, so that's where we'll start. My George H.W. Bush caricature didn't quite come together until this second one:
My caricature of Vice President Dan Quayle never really came together at all, so I don't miss him as a national figure.

Skipping an entire generation, all I can find from 1992 to 2000 is this never-published one. It might have worked better in a vertical (portrait) orientation, so that I'd have had room to draw George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's with their arms raised.

As you've seen, these convention cartoons are usually about the candidates; but once in a while, the convention itself comes up for discussion. There was never any contest for the Republican nomination when Dubya ran for reelection in 2004... instead I coupled the GOP keeping its LGBT supporters at arms length with its introduction of a "free protest zone" that year.

The party platform always gets a lot of attention at convention time, even if it becomes wide open to interpretation afterward.