Walt Handelsman reminds us of a couple of things.
One is that, in a political contest, the candidates try to out-do each other. There is nothing inherently disloyal in trying to gain more votes than your opponent and doing so does not make you a demon.
The other related point is that, in commenting upon same, you don't have to be a jerk about it.
The level of petulance in anti-Bernie cartoons from the progressive side is disturbing both for its tone and for what it foretells in the general election.
Either the word "socialist" genuinely sends them into a frothing fit or they're simply content to misrepresent the idea that those who make a lot of money off the system should pay some of it back. In any case, if you offer them 52 takes on Bernie, they're sure to come up with something and probably the thing they're programmed to.
I had been thinking that it reminded me of a middle-school clique in which lesser members are enlisted to help slap down the outsider who dares to sit at the cool kids' table, and there is certainly a level of "He's ruining everything!" in which a teacher who tries to intervene can't get a coherent answer about what exactly the interloper is accused of ruining
But there is also a strong element of much younger kids in the back of the car, one of whom keeps screaming "Mom! Make him stop it!"
Which is to say, I'm not sure whether the cartoonists are acting like twelve year olds or like five year olds, and I'm not sure that either perspective is going to fare well against the seasoned, experienced bully who will be Clinton's opponent when November rolls around.
Nick Anderson's response to the report on careless use of a private email server says a lot, however: Clinton's most fearsome opponent is Clinton, and anybody who is pleased with the fact that the report didn't call her a criminal is missing the point.
Back in 1972, McGovern dumped his runningmate, Thomas Eagleton, when it emerged that he had been treated for depression. Even in that benighted era, there was a lot of discussion around whether this was fair, but, like Caesar's wife, a candidate must be above suspicion.
In that same era, it was accepted that, while there's nothing wrong with divorce, Nelson Rockefeller had deep-sixed his White House prospects by dumping his old wife in favor of his new wife.
It's a hard transition for us old folk, to see the Democrats nominate a candidate with a scandal list -- however valid or invalid or credible or ridiculous -- any single element of which would have eliminated her from consideration in those days.
Particularly if her response to even the most bland of challenges is "Mom! He's touching my side of the car!"
In a gentler corner of the world
Ed Stein remembers his first pair of glasses in the current "Sleeper Ave," and his memory of a slowly developing awareness reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt's similar awakening at 13.
It was this summer that I got my first gun, and it puzzled me to find that my companions seemed to see things to shoot at which I could not see at all. One day they read aloud an advertisement in huge letters on a distant billboard, and I then realized that something was the matter, for not only was I unable to read the sign but I could not even see the letters. I spoke of this to my father, and soon afterwards got my first pair of spectacles, which literally opened an entirely new world to me. I had no idea how beautiful the world was until I got those spectacles. I had been a clumsy and awkward little boy, and while much of my clumsiness and awkwardness was doubtless due to general characteristics, a good deal of it was due to the fact that I could not see and yet was wholly ignorant that I was not seeing. The recollection of this experience gives me a keen sympathy with those who are trying in our public schools and elsewhere to remove the physical causes of deficiency in children, who are often unjustly blamed for being obstinate or unambitious, or mentally stupid.
My own experience was not dissimilar to theirs, and I have, like Roosevelt, occasionally wondered if I'd have been a better athlete if I hadn't been half-blind during those developmental years.
But read that last sentence of Roosevelt's once more.
Maybe we could all use a little more actual myopia early on, to avoid developing the metaphorical kind in later years.
Darrin Bell takes a sly poke at both himself and his cartooning colleagues as they gather in Memphis this weekend.
Like Lemont, I take a jaundiced view of awards. I've picked up a few pieces of Lucite over the years, but it's often been for work I continue to think of as unremarkable, while some of my best has either not come along at the right moment to catch judge's eyes or didn't fit into the shapes of the holes being celebrated.
That said, it's nice to be recognized, and, whatever you feel at whatever level of your psyche, there is some dignity and wisdom in Mrs. Bracknell's words, "Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that."
Besides, the Pulitzer comes with a check for five grand, reducing its recipients to paid hacks.
The Reubens, thank god, do not put that kind of ethical pressure on their recipients.