The Times We Live In
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And the ‘toons keep on coming

Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Today’s authoritarian, Christian nationalist Republican party is showing us over-and-over again exactly who they are. As one satirist/blogger put it, “You’re not supposed to spend your life running around, screaming at people and kicking them. And I feel like that used to be a fairly non-controversial idea, but MAGA culture seems to have diverged here.”  

I posted a selection of political cartoons several weeks ago on More to Come entitled The ‘toons. Shortly thereafter I followed up with the second in the series — More ‘toons. As the election approaches and the craziness rises, the cartoons just keep on coming. (You could almost say they draw themselves…until you realize how difficult it must be to capture the essence of an issue in one drawing and under 20 words, while being funny.)

Here are a few of my recent favorites that show us what the Republican party today is telling us, along with a bit of commentary to go along with the images.

Cruelty is the point

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared to be worried that the Texas and Arizona governors were getting ahead of him in the “use poor immigrants to score political points with the right-wing base of voters” sweepstakes.

Rallying voters with threats of “aliens” swamping traditional society is a common tactic of right-wing politicians; it was the central argument that brought Hungary’s Viktor Orbán into his current authoritarian position. Republican governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona have been bussing migrants to Washington — about 10,000 of them — saying they would bring the immigrant issue to the doorsteps of Democrats. Now DeSantis is in on the trick.

Heather Cox Richardson

Finding himself in need of a response to Abbott and Ducey, DeSantis used taxpayer-provided state funds to gather up some desperate migrants who were in Texas, not Florida, lure them onto a plane under false pretenses just so they could be dumped in a small community, different from the destination they were promised, “all as part of a scheme to allow a politician to smirk at a press conference the next day.”

Rachel Self, a Boston immigration attorney assisting with the migrants’ cases, held a press conference from Martha’s Vineyard, fleshing out additional lies the Venezuelans were told at multiple steps. She described their treatment as “sadistic.”

If there’s a moral defense for such cruelty, I can’t think of it. 

One commentator noted that Martha’s Vineyard is probably well-equipped to handle whatever legal issues arrise from DeSantis’s actions.

As one resident of the island wrote in a highly viral post on social media,

What kind of a depraved individual loads up 50 people onto a plane and then dumps them in a strange place without even notifying anyone that they are coming? These are “leaders”? These are “Christians”? I’ll tell you what this is. It’s a disgusting political stunt — at the expense of human beings just wanting to work and provide for their families. But you know what? On this island we treated them with dignity, we fed them, we gave them medical attention and we will give them a warm and safe place to sleep. Tomorrow, we will give them breakfast and help them figure out what’s next. Because on Martha’s Vineyard, we don’t turn our backs on people in need who are being abused by extremist Republican governors for some cheap soundbite on Fox News. Thank you to all the volunteers who were there — it restores my faith in humanity that we came together to help people in need.

The Status Kuo

Many religious leaders are rightly pointing out that these actions are antithetical to Christian beliefs.

DeSantis likes to play the part of a proud Christian on the campaign trail, even commandeering Bible verses in stump speeches. But apparently, when it comes to the Bible’s repeated commands along the lines of “do not mistreat or oppress an immigrant,” he’s willing to make some compromises.

No one will deny that America’s immigration system is overburdened and in need of serious reform. And Southern states are carrying more of the burden of that broken system by the mere fact of geography. But misleading migrants and sending them where resources to help them are both in shorter supply and less readily obtained is impossible to reconcile with the basic tenets of the Christian faith, which demand that all humans be treated with respect and compassion regardless of their nationality or citizenship.

Religion News Service

Not to mention that DeSantis comes from an immigrant family.

Of course, there are some in the target audience for DeSantis’s stunt who don’t have a clue about Martha’s Vineyard, but still feel free to comment. Here’s a tip: read a bit on the history of Oak Bluffs before you embarrass yourself.

I’ve been to Oak Bluffs, and the story is well worth knowing.

Panorama of Union Chapel
Panorama of Union Chapel, built in 1870 as a non-sectarian worship space on Oak Bluffs
Oak Bluffs
Oak Bluffs

If you are truly interested in a summary to understand the problems with DeSantis’s stunt, the facts about immigrants in places such as Martha’s Vineyard and elsewhere in the US, and the history of how our government has dealt with immigration, especially in recent years, you could do much worse than read Heather Cox Richardson‘s Letters from an American for last Friday evening.

Be careful who you worship

By the way, back when he was President*, seems Tangerine Idi Amin offered the West Bank to the King of Jordan, and it’s amazing how not surprised you were to hear that, isn’t it? “Well, naturally he thought he could do that, remember when he tried to swap Puerto Rico for Greenland?” It’s the kind of diplomacy you only get with a genuine cognitive-test-passer in charge.

Shower Cap blog

They’ve already showed us how they will act

From abortion to guns to same-sex marriage, the leaders and would-be leaders of today’s Republican party have shown where they really stand, even when they lie about it (either before they come clean, like Lindsey Graham, or after, when they’ve told the truth for years and then try and clean up their mess, like Don Bolduc in New Hampshire).

It’s almost adorable, the way they think they can just change hats and smile blankly and make everyone forget a half-decade of extremism. Like, everybody’s mad at Lindsey Graham for his proposed nationwide abortion ban, as though there’s any chance whatsoever at bamboozling all the women registering to vote post-Dobbs. “Oh, it’s up to the STATES? Well, golly, what was I even mad about? Back to the kitchen, I suppose, tee hee!”

Shower Cap blog

Congressman Jamie Raskin has called Donald Trump a one-man crime wave. That seems to be a pretty apt description, especially since Fox host Sean Hannity conveniently listed them all for his viewers — an attempt to show a smear that backfired pretty spectacularly.

Given that we know Trump will do anything for (1) money and (2) power, are we surprised that he found a judge who would write an option so bad that it was panned by Bill (Presidents can do whatever they want) Barr!

Harry Litman, the legal affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, asks and answers his own question.

Respected and generally sober legal analysts have called it an atrocity, “legally and practically incoherent,” “dangerous garbage,” and declared Cannon “a partisan hack.” “No honest and competent legal analyst could have ruled as she did,” tweeted Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe.

Could the opinion really be that bad?

In a word, yes.

And, of course, there is other news going on around the world

Enjoy the cartoons!

More to come…


UPDATE: The first reading in today’s lectionary at church was from the Book of Amos, chapter 8, verses 4-7. It begins:

“Here this, you that trample on the needy. and bring to ruin the poor of the land.” The reading then goes on to talk about how the rich take advantage of the poor, practicing “deceit with false balances.” It ends with: “The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.”

Seems very clear about how a Godly person is to act.

Image: Revenge of the Librarians book cover by Tom Gauld. The book is out now in the U.K. and will be available in the U.S. in mid-October. Buy this book! Here’s another of Gauld’s cartoon:


  1. David Brown says

    The first reading in the lectionary this morning spoke of how to treat the poor. I updated the post with the verses in question.

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