The Only Way Democrats Can Win

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please help me make more at Patreon. Even a $1 pledge makes a difference for me.

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

The cartoon has one panel, which shows three people having a heated discussion. The three people are an older Black woman, a young white woman with tattoos and pink hair, and a middle-aged Latino man wearing suspenders and a collared shirt.

OLDER WOMAN (smiling, holding up a forefinger as she explains): There’s only ONE strategy which will let Democrats win elections, and by an AMAZING coincidence, it requires us to foll all my policy preferences.
TATTOOED WOMAN (angry, holding up a hand in a “stop!” gesture): Don’t be RIDICULOUS! The one true strategy involves following MY policy preferences!
SUSPENDERS MAN (angry, with his arms outspread): You FOOLS! Everyone knows that MY policy preferences are the only way we can win!

Posted in Elections |

Who’s A Good Voter?

Cartoon by Barry

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
Panel 1
Two men are standing slightly above of crowd of people. They are petting people in the crowd on the heads, as if they were dogs. The crowd looks happy. There are t-shirts and a banner that say “Reagan.”
One of the men is young, blond, and wearing a shirt and necktie. The other man is bald, has glasses, and is wearing a vest over his shirt and necktie. Both are white.
BLONDE: We can cut taxes, up military spending, and balance the budget! Yes we can!
GLASSES: WHO’S a good voter? YOU are!

Panel 2
The same scene, but now the crowd is wearing “Dole” t-shirts.
BLONDE: Industry would be doing great if it wasn’t for evil enviornmentalists. GOOD VOTER!
GLASSES: Tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves! GOOD boy! GOOD voter!

Panel 3
The same scene, but now the crow is wearing “Bush” t-shirts.
BLONDE: All your woes are caused by immigrants and Black people! Yes they ARE!
GLASSES: Global Warming is a HOAX made up by Al Gore! What a GOOD voter!

Panel 4
The same scene, except the crowd is looking angrier, and some of them are wearing tricorn hats, indicating that they’re Tea Party members. One wears a “NObama” t-shirt.
BLONDE: Illegal voters are stealing elections for the Democrats! GOOD VOTER!
GLASSES: Experts and journalists are all LIARS! Only Fox tells the truth! GOOD VOTER!

Panel 5 (final panel)
The two men are looking unhappy, having been left behind by the crowd of voters. We can see the crowd well in the foreground, wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
BLONDE: Trump’s a con man and a liar. But our base LOVES him!
GLASSES: How’d they get like that?

Posted in Elections |

Did Democrats Abandon Blue Collar Voters?

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them on Patreon.

This is something that I hear and read frequently, and it always annoys me: People who say “blue collar” or “working class” when what they mean is white working class people. As if people of color somehow don’t count as part of the working class. Ever since the election, this has come up a lot in “why did Hillary lose” analysis.

I don’t usually laugh at my own cartoons, and what I do laugh at is sort of random. But the final line in this comic strip, for whatever reason, makes me chuckle.

(The two paragraphs above, taken together, summarize the job of being a political cartoonist:: Think of something that pisses me off, and then try to make it funny. )

Right now the art looks pretty good to me – but it usually does, right after I finish drawing it. I mainly concentrated on trying to keep the figure drawings loose and lively; I have a real tendency to stiffen up which I’m always fighting against.

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
Two women are having a discussion on the street, a brunette and a redhead. Redhead is speaking intensely.

REDHEAD: Democrats abandoned blue collar voters! That’s why they lose!

Panel 2
BRUNETTE: But don’t democrats push a lot of stuff to help the working class? Minimum wage, obamacare, college grants, the dream act…
REDHEAD (dismissively): Those all help urban people.

Panel 3
BRUNETTE: Besides, Clinton WON blue collar voters, so-
REDHEAD: She only won the blue collar vote if you count urban voters.

Panel 4
Redhead is now looking annoyed, with her arms folded; Redhead leans forward and yells angrily.
BRUNETTE: So to clarify, when you say “blue collar,” that means white?
REDHEAD: I HAVE NEVER ADMITTED THAT!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Elections |

New cartoon on Fusion: The Hunt For Voter Fraud

Cartoon by Barry

If you like these comics, please support them on Patreon.

TRANSCRIPT OF COMIC

Panel 1
A rather cliched-looking hunter, a white man wearing a thick vest with many pockets and a plaid cap with earflaps, is creeping through a woodsy area, holding a rifle and looking around.
HUNTER: I know there’s voter fraud hiding somewhere…

Panel 2
The hunter spots something off-panel and shoots his rifle at it.
HUNTER: A-hah! Take THAT, voter fraud!
RIFLE: BLAM!
OFF-PANEL VOICE: OW!

Panel 3
Voting Rights, a dark-skinned woman with a hole blasted in her chest, has walked up to the Hunter and is chewing him out. The Hunter, rifle pointed towards the ground, looks quite cheerful.

VOTING RIGHTS: Would you PLEASE stop shooting me?
HUNTER: Oh hi, Voting Rights. I was aiming for voter fraud.

Panel 4
The Hunter raises his rifle to point it directly at Voting Rights and cocks the gun.
VOTING RIGHTS: You always say that, but you always hit ME!
HUNTER: What an odd and inexplicable coincidence.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Elections, Social Justice |

On The Origins of The Electoral College

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them on Patreon! Even a pledge of $1 means a lot to me!

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
This panel has a big caption labeling the scene “1787.” Two white men in Colonial-style clothing are speaking; one of them, who is labeled “James Madison,” is smiling and holding up a sheet of paper. The other man, listening, is labeled “John Rutledge.”
MADISON: I’ve figured out how we will elect Presidents!
RUTLEDGE: What’s the plan, Mr. Madison?

Panel 2
Madison presses a hand to his chest, looking reverent. Rutledge cheerfully offers his idea.
MADISON: My Virginia is the largest state in the Union! And I want to protect Virginia’s interests.
RUTLEDGE: So we’ll have people vote directly for the president, to take advantage of Virginia’s large population?

Panel 3
Closer shot of Madison, who is angrily shooting Rutledge’s idea down.
MADISON: Are you on crack? 40% of Virginia is slaves. Salves can’t vote. Direct democracy would be a disaster for us!

Panel 4
A shot of Madison, spreading his arms and smiling as he explains.
MADISON: In my plan, we’ll have “electors” who vote based on the total population, including slaves! That’ll make Virginia the biggest, most powerful state!

Panel 5
Madison is still grinning, but his expression looks a bit evil now. He’s clutching one fist in the air.
MADISON: In fact, all the slave-owning states will get a boost! Which we’ll use to protect slavery! I call it “The Electoral College.”

Panel 6
A large caption says “TODAY.” The image shows a hand holding a smart phone; on the smart phone’s screen, a pundit-type white lady is talking directly to the camera.
PUNDIT: …and then James Madison created the Electoral College to protect small states!

Posted in Elections |

The Two Party System

Cartoon by Barry

Transcript of cartoon

Title at the top of the cartoon: The Two Party System

Panel 1
A woman is standing in front of a little booth with a sign that says “DEMOCRATS.” The booth is in the style of Lucy’s psychiatry booth from the comic strip “Peanuts.” Seated behind the booth is an older white man, leaning his face on his hands; he doesn’t look very energetic.

WOMAN: Poverty is a national disgrace!

Panel 2
A close-up of the Democrat dude.
DEMOCRAT: That’s why we Democrats want to expand the earned income tax credit.
WOMAN: Okay, good. And?

Panel 3
A shot of the two of them. His head is still leaning on his hands; she’s waving her arms angrily.
DEMOCRAT: And there’s some other technical fixes we could do…
WOMAN: Tiny technical changes aren’t enough!

Panel 4
A close-up of the woman. She’s talking angrily and checking off things on her fingers.
WOMAN: What’s needed is single payer! Or free child care! Or a real game-changer, like a universal basic income!

Panel 5
The woman stomps away from the booth. The Democrat doesn’t even lift his head out of his hands.
WOMAN: Forget it! I’m out of here!
DEMOCRAT: You’ll be back.

Panel 6
The woman angrily walks to the right; in the background there’s a stone wall, and beyond that a hillside with trees on it.

Panel 7
The woman has arrived at a similar booth to the Democrat’s booth, but this one is labeled “GOP.” She talks to the middle-aged white an at the booth. The man behind the booth reacts angrily, grabbing the booth with one hand and leaning very far forward, thrusting his other hand out in a “STOP!” gesture.
WOMAN: I’m concerned about poverty. What will Republicans do for-
GOP MAN (very large letters): NO!

Panel 8
A close-up on the GOP man. He is yelling, eyes bulging, spittle flying.
GOP MAN: Not MY fault you’re a lazy welfare queen DEPENDENT wallowing in false victimhood! Take responsibility for your own life, LOSER!

Panel 9
The woman, visibly deflated and shaken, hugging herself, is stumbling back to the Democrat’s booth.
DEMOCRAT: Told ya.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Elections |

The Six Kinds of Republican

Cartoon by Barry

If you like this, consider supporting my Patreon!

Transcript of cartoon:

CAPTION AT THE TOP OF CARTOON: The Six Kinds of Republican

Panel 1
CAPTION: 1. Overt Racists
IMAGE: A natty white man, with a shaved head and a pinstripe vest, is standing on a sidewalk talking directly at the viewer with an intense expression.
NATTY MAN: Obviously white people are better at civilization. That’s why we need to stop Blacks from voting.

Panel 2
CAPTION: 2. Strategic Racists
IMAGE: Same scene as panel one, but now an older, successful-looking white man, in a jacket and tie, has entered and is talking to the Natty Man, putting one hand on the Natty Man’s shoulder.
OLDER MAN: No, my friend! We have to stop Democrats from voting. But most Blacks vote Democrat, so we’ll find some excuse to keep the Blacks from voting.

Panel 3
CAPTION: 3. Enabler Racists
IMAGE: We are looking closely at the screen of a smartphone, being held by a hand. On the screen, a well-dressed white woman with a straight haircut is talking.
PUNDIT LADY: Voter I.D. laws don’t literally say “we hate Black people.” It’s unfair to call them racist!

Panel 4
CAPTION: 4. Pragmatic Racists
IMAGE: A suburban-looking white couple stands in front of a two-story house. The man is holding a baby.
MAN: Maybe voter I.D. laws do suppress the Black vote.
WOMAN: But we’re white, so that’s not a deal-breaker.

Panel 5
CAPTION: 5. Willing Dupe Racists
IMAGE: Two young white men are talking. One, with a chinstrap beard and a plaid shirt, is waving his arms and has an angry expression. The other, with neatly combed hair, a t-shirt, and a lecturing expression, has his arms folded.
PLAID SHIRT: In what way is systematically making it harder for Black voters to vote “racist”? (Stop playing the race card!)
T-SHIRT: We need I.D. laws because millions of “illegals” are voting! (But you’ll never see that reported by the lamestream media!)

Panel 6
CAPTION: Not Racist
IMAGE: A blank white panel, other than a caption in the middle of it.
CAPTION: (No example found)

Little “kicker” panel at the bottom
The plaid shirt guy from panel 5 is angrily gesturing.
PLAID SHIRT: This cartoon is why Trump won!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Elections, Social Justice |

Our Choices

Cartoon by Barry

trump-choices1500If you like these cartoons, please support them at my Patreon.

Transcript of cartoon:

(The title of the comic strip, “Our Choices,” is printed in large letters at the top of the cartoon.)

Panel 1

(A woman and a man talk, the woman holding her hands out, palms up, in a “let’s be reasonable here” gesture.)

CAPTION: Option One

WOMAN: We should give President Trump a chance! It’s too soon to panic.

MAN: Exactly!

Panel 2

(The background is filled with huge fires. Two armed soldiers, both wearing armbands and hats marked “T,” stand in the background looking stern. In the foreground, the man and the woman hurry along, bent downward, looking fearfully towards the ground.)

CAPTION: 8 Years Later

MAN: Why didn’t you resist when you could?

Panel 3

CAPTION: Option Two

(We see dozens or hundreds of angry demonstrators, yelling and waving fists in the air and holding up protest signs that say “RESIST!”. One of the protesters is the woman from the previous two panels.)

Panel 4

(The woman and man from the first panel. The woman looks annoyed, the man is making fun of her, his arms spread wide..)

CAPTION: 4 Years Later

MAN: So Trump didn’t destroy the country… Don’t you feel silly now!

Posted in Elections |

How Democracy Works

Cartoon by Barry

The cartoon has three panels. Each panel shows a crowd of milling citizens, who vary in sex, race, and age, yelling up to a giant white man wearing a suit and tie. The giant’s head is far distant from the citizens, and he gives no sign of hearing what they’re saying.

PANEL 1
GIANT: I’m PROUD I’ve been elected to represent the great people of this region!
CROWD1: I’ve been unemployed for six months!
CROWD2: How come the banks get help…

PANEL 2
From offpanel, a giant hand hands the giant white man a giant bundle of cash.
GIANT: I promise I’ll — Pardon me a moment. THANKS, Eric.
CROWD1: Medical costs keep going up…
CROWD2: In jail for a joint…

Panel 3
The giant resumes speaking while he pockets the bundle of cash.
GIANT: I PROMISE I’ll ALWAYS listen to the voices of ORDINARY CITIZENS!
CROWD1: Tuition has doubled…
CROWD2: Unemployed for ten months…

CAPTION (Running across the strip, under all three panels): HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS

Quoting a paper by Martin Gilens (pdf link):

Using an original data set of almost 2,000 survey questions on proposed policy changes between 1981 and 2002, I find a moderately strong relationship between what the public wants and what the government does, albeit with a strong bias toward the status quo. But I also find that when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear little relationship to the preferences of poor or middle income Americans.

In the table above, the dark line represents the opinions of the highest-earning 10% of Americans. The further to the right the dark line goes, the more that top 10% wants a policy change to happen. And the further towards the top the dark line goes, the more likely it is that politicians will make the desired policy change happen. As you can see, the more the top 10% want a change, the more likely it is to happen.

The gray line represents the opinions of the lowest-earning 10% of Americans. As you can see, it’s completely irrelevant what they (er, we?) think. Politicians couldn’t care less. Gilens also has a similar graph showing that politicians barely listen any more to middle-class Americans than they do to poor Americans.

(See also, this essay by political scientist Larry Bartels.)

Posted in Economic cartoons, Elections |

It’s a Tidy System

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Barry's favorites, Elections, Health care, Media criticism |