Well, except that it's graduation time, so we've got a few "college is expensive and you won't get a job" cartoons. There's always something fresh and new if you look for it.
I've been thinking -- and have theorized here -- that it was due to the multi-million dollar PAC David Brock has put together to slime Sanders supporters on behalf of Clinton, and that's surely part of it.
But this morning I went back to May, 2008, and found plenty of evidence that it's just a cycle of inevitable gags, and I'm not sure how to reconcile this with the Prime Directive, and maybe I can't, but goddammit I would almost prefer vitriol and purposeful, partisan dishonesty to lazy same-old, same-old Jay Leno-style knee-jerk gags.
Here are some cartoons from that period, and I won't comment on them, because that would be snark and we don't do snark. Some I like, some I don't, most of them feel like only the faces have been changed to update the perennial insights.
But the overall commentary is about the "perennial" nature of those insights: Editorial cartoons deal in recognizable symbols, so there is a need to stay within the familiar. But, for a good cartoonist, that should not preclude original, independent thought, and, too often, I get a sense of "Time to make the donuts."
That shouldn't happen, especially not during a presidential campaign.
To go back to another campaign, when Al Gore noted that he had been instrumental in funding the development of the Internet, a whole lot of cartoonists and comedians decided he had claimed to have "invented the Internet" and it was hilarious fun all around. Ditto when he allegedly pointed out that he uncovered the Love Canal pollution crisis. Another claim he hadn't made.
And then, in a debate with George W. Bush, he sighed audibly while hearing a nonsensical, non-responsive non-answer from his opponent, and, oh my, that was the funniest thing of all!
More than 7,000 dead Americans later, and many times that many dead Iraqis and Afghans, and whatever toll our nation building has brought to the Middle East, the lies and sighs of Al Gore continue to be a rich source of delightful political humor.
Or not. Maybe it depends on your sense of humor.
Anyway, here's some of the analysis from eight years ago, and the only real lessons to be drawn are that the more things change, the more they remain the same and that perhaps political cartoons are just slogans and rimshots, not actual critical, informed analysis.
Context: As of the end of May, 2008, Obama had piled up an apparently insurmountable lead, but Hillary Clinton insisted on staying in the race and did not suspend her campaign until after the final primary, continuing to lobby superdelegates to shift their support to her. Chief difference I can see being that the superdelegates had not announced their support nearly as early in that campaign.
And so it came to pass that John McCain was elected president.
I blame the PUMAs, those die-hard Hillary supporters (2.5 million of them! No, really!) who turned their back on the Democratic Party out of spite when their favored candidate didn't get the nomination.
And I consider Bernie Bots to be just as real a threat to our electoral system, the big difference being that, in 2008, pundits who pumped up insignificant things to pontificate about didn't have nearly as much social media to breathe hot air into their inventions. Thus the illogic and absurdity of PUMAs swinging the election came and went.
But Bernie Bots? Oh, they're real! Of course they are! Look! They're all over Facebook!
Sigh. It's almost enough to make you wish Al Gore had never invented the Internet.
One more from Steve Benson that I like so much I hope he does repeat it this year, with different faces.