Thursday, June 22, 2017

Q Toon: Irony in the Fire

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jun 22, 2017

As risky as it was to draw a cartoon on Sunday featuring Steve Scalise (R-LA), the Congressman and House Majority Whip who was shot in the hip while practicing for a GOP-vs.-Democrat baseball game, the point of this week's cartoon is to highlight the role of Capitol police officer Crystal Griner.
Griner, an out and married lesbian, may even have been the one who fatally shot the failed assassin, James T. Hodgkinson.
Law-enforcement officials didn’t say who fired the fatal shot, but witness Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, said it was Griner who took down the shooter, James Hodgkinson.
Flake later visited both officers in the local hospital where they were being treated, and said he “thanked them for saving my life.” ...
[Rep. Rodney] Davis (R-Ill.), who was at bat when the shooting began, said, "They're the ones that saved countless innocent lives and they're the heroes of today."
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), who was also at the practice, pointed out that they fought against superior firepower, because the shooter had a rifle and they had only pistols.
"But for their heroism there's no question that there would have been much more carnage, no doubt about it, because no one else there was armed and this shooter was not only active but he was really unloading so many shots," said the congressman, still in his baseball clothes at Capitol Hill hours later.
Griner was, of course, one of three officers who defended the congressmen's lives, but her status is worth pointing out, given Mr. Scalise's record (and that of Republicans generally) against marriage equality for same-sex couples. According to, Scalise 

  • Authored constitutional amendment to protect marriage. (May 2008)
  • Voted to amend Constitution to define traditional marriage. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted to protect anti-same-sex marriage opinions as free speech. (Sep 2013)
  • Voted that any State definition of marriage supersedes federal gay marriage. (Feb 2014)
  • Voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes. (Apr 2009)
Now, as far as comparing himself to KKK Grand Wizard David Duke is concerned, this refers to a remark reported by Stephanie Grace, a Louisiana political reporter and columnist:
“He was explaining his politics and we were in this getting-to-know-each-other stage,” Ms. Grace said. “He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage."
Now, I'm not from Louisiana, but David Duke has popped up on the national scene repeatedly since being elected to the Louisiana statehouse in 1989. I'm left wondering what, if anything, there is about racist bigot David Duke that is not baggage. Benito Mussolini at least made the trains run on time; what good has Duke ever done?

I acknowledged at the top of this post that drawing a cartoon about a victim of violence that levels the even slightest degree of criticism his way is rather dicey. (Now that Mr. Scalise has been upgraded to "fair" condition, I'm going to say that perhaps makes him fair game.) But some have tried to blame this shooting on editorial cartoons that have been critical of Republicans.

The Facebook "likes" of the gunman, a Bernie Sanders volunteer left disgruntled by last year's election, included a number of nationally published editorial cartoons, notably one by Stuart Carlson in 2015 about Scalise's speech to a white supremacist group in 2002.

Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles was also shared on Facebook by Mr. Hodgkinson, and has responded to criticism that his cartoons critical of Republicans and the Trump administration are somehow to blame for Mr. Hodgkinson's shooting spree — a criticism coming from people who have suddenly developed amnesia about their own rhetoric over past eight years.
[A]s to the question of incitement of violence, let’s indeed look at that. I am opposed to violence in just about every instance. But there are those who specifically define gun ownership as a tool of violence intended for potential use against the government. I have written here before about the dangers of this line of thinking. And it is not an isolated phenomenon, as it has been championed by a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Those words have consequences. Some less mainstream presidential candidates like former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have echoed it, while 2010 Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) raised eyebrows when she floated “Second Amendment remedies” to protect against an out-of-control government.
Clay Jones adds to the list Donald Trump's suggestion to gun advocates that they take care of Hillary Clinton if she were to win the election: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.” And who can possibly count the number of right-wing AM radio and internet blowhards, NRA spokesmen and drunk uncles who have spewed the same incendiary Second Amendment Solution idiocy?

So now they're shocked, shocked! that someone outside their bubble was listening, too?

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