Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tom Toles

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.

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