Saturday, when preparing this post, I found a lot of great cartoons from Tom Toles, but none of them really fit that particular theme. So I thought I'd give him his own show now.
I'm still trying to fit this into a narrative theme - in this case, Republican troubles in 2012 - so some cartoons didn't make the cut for that reason (this one, for example). Well, Toles is one of my favorite political cartoonists. This is why.
That first cartoon was from three-weeks ago, and as fast as the political landscape is moving, Mitt Romney's idea about the "self-deportation" of illegal immigrants - making life in America such a living hell that they'll be clamoring to escape (and us, too, I suspect) - seems almost ancient history by now.
Still, that seems to be exactly the same tactic Republicans have been using on Barack Obama, don't you think?
Throwing up roadblocks, especially when we're trying to escape from the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, is a great way to make people unhappy with the incumbent. But, unfortunately for the Republican Party, they also have to offer an alternative candidate (if not actually a rational alternative policy).
Well, Republicans have just the guy in Mitt Romney. Too bad only Romney himself seems to think so.
Romney has the big money backing him. And since he's been running for president non-stop for years, he's got the organization. He's also willing to do anything, say anything, be anything voters want him to be.
The increasingly lunatic Republican base wants lunacy, so Romney is willing - nay, eager - to give it to them. Whatever they want, no matter how crazy, Mitt Romney will embrace it with at least the appearance of glee. Why won't you love him?
Hmm,... oddly enough, desperation seems to be working the same way for Romney as it always did for my sex life. :)
And so we've had this never-ending quest for... anybody but Romney. Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich - all were embraced for their 15 minutes of infatuation before the beer goggles wore off.
And now it's Rick Santorum's turn. Santorum? Santorum? Yeah, but remember, that was exactly the response from any rational person to all those other Republican candidates, too. How could the Republican Party be scraping the bottom of the barrel this badly?
Well, that's because nothing but the bottom of the barrel is acceptable to the GOP base. And they're still not happy. I've been hearing more and more talk about a brokered convention, where Republican leaders forget about this whole democracy thing and just pick someone brand new.
You betcha! Heh, heh. Yes, Sarah Palin has been one of the people pushing this idea. Does she really want the nomination? I rather doubt that she actually wants to be president. After all, she quit half-way through her first term as governor of Alaska - too much work for not nearly enough money.
But like Donald Trump, she can't stand to be out of the limelight. And just being noticed again will be worth a lot of money to her. Like Trump, being a celebrity means money, and money is all they care about.
I'm not sure a brokered convention is even possible. It might be the GOP's best chance in November, if they pick a candidate no one really knows - and then can keep him away from the media, so that most people are still ignorant by election day.
But think of what that means. The Republican Party has become so crazy that their election chances depend on no one knowing who they are or what they want to do! If they weren't entirely faith-based, maybe Republicans would start to wonder about that.
At any rate, there's still one more option, right?
Yup, Republicans are reduced to praying for nine more months of winter.
Despite their foot-dragging, despite their roadblocks, the economy is getting better. The sun is coming out. Green shoots are starting to show. People are starting to find work again. We're starting to see signs of spring.
And Republicans just hate it. The economy collapsed on their watch, and despite their best efforts, Barack Obama has been turning things around. They're having a harder and harder time denying that, and unless they call pull off something truly spectacular to tank the American economy again, it's going to be a big problem for them.
Let's hope that Republicans are faith-based enough to just pray for disaster, rather than actively creating one themselves. I don't think they can actually turn back the spring, but they can do plenty of damage to America trying.
I'm a skeptic. I think it makes sense to have reasons for what I believe, so I apportion my belief to the evidence. You're welcome to disagree. Please, tell me I'm wrong. I probably don't agree with anyone about everything. Why should disagreement be a problem? Check the Pages section below for series posts and links to book reviews and game posts, as well as contact info. Unfortunately, I rarely blog at all, anymore. So don't expect new posts. - Bill
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. - Robert Wilensky
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
No matter how many times a theory meets its tests successfully, there can be no certainty that it will not be overthrown by the next observation. This, then, is a cornerstone of modern natural philosophy. It makes no claim of attaining ultimate truth. In fact, the phrase "ultimate truth" becomes meaningless, because there is no way in which enough observations can be made to make truth certain and, therefore, "ultimate". - Isaac Asimov
The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. - Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.
This is not about proof. Science does not use proof. We favor evidence, and the work consists largely of the slow accumulation of evidence in support of ideas, not magically potent proofs that establish an idea as unassailable. - PZ Myers
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. - President Barack Obama
The formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat. - Shekhar Gupta
We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small, persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs. - Carl Sagan
We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer. - Sam Harris
To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man. - Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553
Democracy is not about majority rule; it is about minority rights. If there is no culture of not simply tolerating minorities, but actually treating them with equal rights, real democracy can't take root. - Thomas L. Friedman
We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. - Thomas Macauley, 1830
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men. - Edward R. Murrow
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best - that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. - Thomas Huxley
There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. - Arthur Schopenhauer
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. ... Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. - President Thomas Jefferson
To be elected in America, no matter from what party, the candidates have no choice but to year after year pledge to lower taxes further and further. We have become the nation of Ken and Barbie, looking good but very poor at the math. - Rack Jite
Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. - Steve Eley
We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle. - Molly Ivins
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H. L. Mencken
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill