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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 03/ 6/2011

One way or another

By Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | March 6, 2011; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  GOP  
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Then there is confirmation bias. Belief based on faith ("science kills") becomes stronger, more fervent in the face of contrary evidence. We have strong, compelling evidence of AGW caused by CO2. But belief in the opposite seems to become stronger because deniers engage in selective thinking. I believe that those of us who take a more science-based approach have little problem changing our minds when faced with compelling evidence, precisely because our beliefs are not based on faith. People with a strong confirmation bias can be made to believe impossible things, such as that increased solar radiation is causing global warming. [Solar radiation has been declining since about 1960.] Another impossible belief is that people were riding around on dinosaurs a very few thousand years ago. Or--try to imagine this if you can--that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility. Or that Scott Walker must eliminate collective union bargaining rights for WI public employees. Or that the Tea Party ( "the Constitution, Founding Fathers) has something going for them other than mindless anger and some slogans. And the Tea Party is the perfect example of those who group-think and are subject to confirmation bias. Science, empirical data, critical thinking do not support their agenda. But they believe.

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 7, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Another Republican Tom Toles dislikes. How unusual! Ever notice how when a problem is linked to a Republican politician Tom manages to picture an elephant in his cartoon but when it is a Democrat behind the problem an affable looking Uncle Sam figure it represented.

Posted by: DennisSmolak | March 7, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps republicans can nominate and run a soundbite because that is all their supposed candidates seem to be capable of ....Kenyan-born, Muslim, tax cuts, entitlement cuts, education cuts, death panels, doctors good nurses bad, teachers bad, middle class American jobs bad ...

Posted by: knjincvc | March 7, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

: pararanger22

You have summed up accurately the current GOP potential candidate list. I am hopeful one of the boring yet effective candidates will succeed with the right coach.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 6, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Newt was an unstoppable force back in the 1990s as he worked towards and became Speaker Of The House. Media types worshipped at his feet. The thing that usually does in a so-called unstoppable force is self-destruction. It happened then, and it will probably happen now. I'd hoped I'd seen the last of him--he came across as no more than a political opportunist. Add in the list of usual suspects/GOP POTUS candidates, and you get a group of people with little chance of unseating the Kenyan-born, Muslim Barack Obama.

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 6, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Newt is a military brat, the son of a 3 war Infantry veteran and a former Speaker of the House, so I wouldn't bet against him. Can't wait for the Newt Obama debates.

Posted by: jornolibist | March 6, 2011 6:52 PM

-----------------------

Good points, jornolibist. But I agree with ptrgrunner - Newt is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a political opportunist of the worst kind. I also agree that most of the potential GOP candidates aren't revolutionary enough to beat Obama in 2012. Romney could give him a good run but would lose. Palin is too controversial. Bachmann is not ready. Pawlenty is a good man but we would all yawn on our way to the voting booth. Barbour is clever enough and could hold the infamous 'base' but it would be difficult to get many votes north of the Mason/Dixon line. Huckabee has the same problems as Barbour but would do even worse. Daniels has credibility but (I hate to say it), not enough pizazz.

The only two 'known' legitimate threats to another Obama term are Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, neither of whom seems to intend to run.

There is probably a GOP candidate out there that hasn't emerged yet that could do well but I haven't seen him/her yet. Nikki Halley from SC might have some traction but I doubt she'll run this time around.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 6, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Newt to Obama during the debate....."I am sorry Mr. President being on the golf course doesn't quite count as one of your green energy jobs."

Posted by: jornolibist | March 6, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Newt was an unstoppable force back in the 1990s as he worked towards and became Speaker Of The House. Media types worshipped at his feet. The thing that usually does in a so-called unstoppable force is self-destruction. It happened then, and it will probably happen now. I'd hoped I'd seen the last of him--he came across as no more than a political opportunist. Add in the list of usual suspects/GOP POTUS candidates, and you get a group of people with little chance of unseating the Kenyan-born, Muslim Barack Obama.

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 6, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Newt is a military brat, the son of a 3 war Infantry veteran and a former Speaker of the House, so I wouldn't bet against him. Can't wait for the Newt Obama debates.

Posted by: jornolibist | March 6, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's a good thing that Newt has left the Fair and Balanced Station (aka Defeat Obama in 2012 Talking Point Factory) - he has learned alot about the value of repeated phrases, especially when, as an interviewee, he compares Obama with Reagan (Obama "weak"; Reagan "strong"....). He's added "Kenyan anti-Colonialism" to the mental flashcards...but that one is just a tad esoteric.
Wonder how helping major corporations and Wall Street show record profits; how continuing the War in Afghanistan; extending the Bush II tax cuts; removing the Healthcare Public option and offering an adjustment mechanism to the States, is not "Reaganesque"? Oh, how NG loves that word!

Posted by: PhilSilvermanofLagunaWoodsCA | March 6, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's a good thing that Newt has left the Fair and Balanced Station (aka Defeat Obama in 2012 Talking Point Factory) - he has learned alot about the value of repeated phrases, especially when, as an interviewee, he compares Obama with Reagan (Obama "weak"; Reagan "strong"....). He's added "Kenyan anti-Colonialism" to the mental flashcards...but that one is just a tad esoteric.
Wonder how helping major corporations and Wall Street show record profits; how continuing the War in Afghanistan; extending the Bush II tax cuts; removing the Healthcare Public option and offering an adjustment mechanism to the States, is not Reaganesque. Oh, how NG loves that word!

Posted by: PhilSilvermanofLagunaWoodsCA | March 6, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Newt has the intellectual power but surely lacks charisma. And since he joined the Fair and Balanced station (aka Defeat Obama in 2012 talking point factory) he has gotten even more off-putting.
I have yet to see him on an Interview where he doesn't compare Obama to Reagan (Reagan "strong"; Obama "weak") and repeats this comparison to the point my skin crawls. He tempers this with stuff like "Kenyan anti-Colonialism", giving us a petty-to-esoteric schematic in a brain numbing monotone.
Why doesn't he just let his Congressional record stand on its' own (pause)?

Posted by: PhilSilvermanofLagunaWoodsCA | March 6, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ranger,
I heard we dropped below 9% in unemployment last month…I said REAL jobs though. I see the numbers but don’t see the actual jobs. Where are all these new jobs? Talking numbers is too easy. Just like when the job market rose in December…ya think?
Also, Public sector jobs are still standing at the gate waiting to be cut so they cannot be counted as of yet. One can ‘Guesstimate’ all one wants but it’s not over ‘til, well, you know.

As for unions bankrupting the states…come on…major overstatement there. I agree they are dinosaurs but the CAUSE of bankruptcy is a bit overboard. A contributing factor, yes. One of many.
I will bash the GOP concerning religion…I bash all religion so why stop short of the
GOP? Conservatives have Religious Positions concerning abortion and gay couples in general. And the fight has been ongoing and getting worse as we speak…Family Planning ring a bell?

By the way ranger your statement concerning the focus of economic issues is generic….either party could ‘win out’ in that arena.

Posted by: bertzel | March 6, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Tom, good toon.

Newt is quite the candidate. No new ideas (or any good old ones for that matter), no vision, questionable ethics, barely dodging jail time as Speaker of the House, etc. What I find kind of disturbing though, is that he in ANY way is considered a legitimate candidate by anyone. It's hard to believe he's one of the best the Republican party can put forward. Yet we keep seeing him on talk show after talk show, week after week.

Posted by: PrairieDog60

------------------------

You don't know much about Newt, apparently. The guy is chocker-bock full of new ideas. He is hired by a lot of firms (and DOD) to be an idea guy and he is pretty good at it. His main problem (one of many) is that his organizational skill is lacking. Newt is a polished debater and will score points in that arena against anyone.

But Newt, although innovative, isn't the leader the average John/Jane Q. Public can get their mind around. I don't see it happening for him.

Let's face it: you pulled the lever for Bill Clinton knowing FULL WELL those bimbo alerts were for real (not to mention Lewinsky). Let's not be too hypocritical, shall we PrairieDog60?

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 6, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Would it be good for the country, really, if we were to repeal the first amendment in whole, or perhaps only modify it to the extent that only speech that offends the military or military families must be prohibited? I would be surprised to hear you really want to go there; I know I certainly don't.

---------------------

No, I don't want to screw with the 1st amendment. But the status quo isn't acceptable either. There has to be an innovative solution to this problem.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 6, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Ranger,
I see where you are coming from but don’t necessarily agree. There are many more factors to be considered here. Egos not, being, one.
For instance, I would say the economy will have a huge factor in the elections arena.

Jobs are falling by the wayside (even the waysides have fallen) and I have yet to see any “real” growth in that area… Jobs, not waysides : )
Public jobs are going to be cut, which certainly will add to the decline. New, private sector jobs are???

Unions and their supporters are “up in arms” against all republicans right now.

Republicans are throwing their “Holier than thou” weight around which has a strong impact on those of us who don’t believe in religious convictions having any place in government. That includes a wide array of people and groups.

Democrats are give, give, give, spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow.
Republicans are cut, cut, cut, pray, pray, pray, and control, control, control.

We need a ‘happy medium’ which is why, I thought, our “two party system” was created.
When I look at TOLES’ TOON I would be the one cruising thru the middle of the path. I would not be zigzagging from one end of the spectrum to the other…

The current state of affairs has run amuck and I don’t see any “real” improvement within the next couple of years…I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Posted by: bertzel

--------------------

Bertzel,

I do not deny the inviolate right of the GOP to screw things up! Nonetheless, I see a lot of good things in the current Conservative-leaning GOP. If they focus on the economic issues, they'll win out. It's the only game to be played right now. Some quit-hit responses to some of your great comments:

1 - We gained 222K in private sector jobs last month. Lost 30K in PS jobs. This is a good trend (unemployment rate has gone from 9.8% to 8.9% in the 2 months the GOP has been in charge of the House).

2 - The fight with the union is a fight worth fighting. The GOP needs to stand firm - public unions and their supporters are bankrupting the States and it's clearly an incestuous relationship between public unions and public servants. The GOP has to hammer home why this fight is worth it or risk being neutered in the next election.

3 - You make a legitimate point about potential GOP overreach. I wouldn't be too quick to bash them on religion though. Conservatives have principled positions on abortion, gay marriage, etc., but I don't see them pushing those issues way up on their agenda. That's a fight for another time.

4 - The spending cuts in the military are coming. The spending cuts in entitlements are coming. I think those battles will indeed turn the tide of the US economic trough.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 6, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

~~~I Nwet would come to this.
The nation is in a pathetic slump and the worst of the worst possible leaders have floated to the top.
Instead of the cream of the crop; we get the crap from the bottom.
dave~~~

Chill dave. It's all just being flushed out as the fiber of our society keeps swirling around. Most seem to be eating it up.... they are told it is good for them.

Not to change topic...nice sunny, winter Sunday. Think I'm going to cook out. That grill is just sitting there looking bored...needs to be heated up. Hope all you AGW climate control people don't mind : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 6, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

~~~Yet we keep seeing him on talk show after talk show, week after week.
pdog~~~~

Me thinks you watch too much tv dog...

Posted by: bertzel | March 6, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Tom, good toon.

Newt is quite the candidate. No new ideas (or any good old ones for that matter), no vision, questionable ethics, barely dodging jail time as Speaker of the House, etc. What I find kind of disturbing though, is that he in ANY way is considered a legitimate candidate by anyone. It's hard to believe he's one of the best the Republican party can put forward. Yet we keep seeing him on talk show after talk show, week after week.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 6, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

To Tom Toles...
I Nwet would come to this.
The nation is in a pathetic slump and the worst of the worst possible leaders have floated to the top.
Instead of the cream of the crop; we get the crap from the bottom.
We have so called "good" Christians who are bad citizens with no conscience and we have sociopaths who have no respect for human life.
Why do we want our children to inherit the wrath of God and the chaos of a dysfunctional society?
We have an economic system that is guaranteed to fail and a corrupted government that has methods designed to encourage corruption.
How pathetic.
May God have mercy on our pathetic souls.
Dave


Posted by: OchamsRazor | March 6, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Daly, perhaps a better question would be, knowing that Edwards and Gingrich carry very close to the same amount of baggage, why is only one of their careers basically over?

Hey I do not think Newt has a chance and if nominated to be the Republican candidate then the Libs are correct that the Republicans are not too bright. Gingrich has not been as stupid foolish as Edwards though. Toles toon nails Newt pretty good, He is in it for the money now.

There was just some response to jornolibist school yard name calling bignoisylawnmower a stepford wife

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 5, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ranger, I too am pretty tired of the Westboro Baptists and their shenanigans. And of people like them. And not only at military funerals.

It seems, however, that a whole lot of people in this country truly believe so deeply in the rightness of their convictions that, they pretty much don't care who they offend or how they do it and in fact go out of their way to do so. Is it right? Of course not. Popular? Not that, either. But that is really the point about free speech, isn't it?

Speech that is popular needs no protection.

Would it be good for the country, really, if we were to repeal the first amendment in whole, or perhaps only modify it to the extent that only speech that offends the military or military families must be prohibited? I would be surprised to hear you really want to go there; I know I certainly don't.

--

Daly, perhaps a better question would be, knowing that Edwards and Gingrich carry very close to the same amount of baggage, why is only one of their careers basically over?

--

Billy, please, were you born so long after the entire American energy infrastructure was built that you're not even AWARE that almost all of it (not just dams and nuclear reactors but also subsidized coal plants) was built with tax dollars? AND missed the parts where it was discussed in History class? Do you think some giant corporations just sprang up practically overnight and built it all with no help from taxpayers, or do you think there was just lots of extra help from the money fairy?

Yes, I know. Socialism. Whatever. Seems to have been around for a LONG time, so long that some of us oldtimers even see it as a cooperative effort between citizens of the same country doing things that benefit all of us. Kinda like providing for our mutual defense.

Why should wind or tidal energy be different?

Sheesh.

Posted by: jonroesler | March 5, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Democrats and liberals want everything to be free including freedom and free cartoons. Can't wait until big bird is defunded.

Posted by: billybeer6 | March 5, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Green energy will cost Maryland taxpayers for life. If green energy is so great why can't it produce a profit? O'Malley wants to tax everyone in Maryland about $120 dollars a year for the rest of their lives to pay for a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City using the same type of union maintenance that keeps the metro escalators in DC working. Those windmills in OC will never pay for themselves, but Maryland citizens will have the cost deducted from their paychecks every month forever.

Posted by: billybeer6 | March 5, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse


Yes, Tom. The “Science of Evolution” is a work in progress. But, one asks, why would man give up his prehensile tail for hemorrhoid tissue?


Posted by: quiensabe | March 5, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ranger,
I see where you are coming from but don’t necessarily agree. There are many more factors to be considered here. Egos not, being, one.
For instance, I would say the economy will have a huge factor in the elections arena.

Jobs are falling by the wayside (even the waysides have fallen) and I have yet to see any “real” growth in that area… Jobs, not waysides : )
Public jobs are going to be cut, which certainly will add to the decline. New, private sector jobs are???

Unions and their supporters are “up in arms” against all republicans right now.

Republicans are throwing their “Holier than thou” weight around which has a strong impact on those of us who don’t believe in religious convictions having any place in government. That includes a wide array of people and groups.

Democrats are give, give, give, spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow.
Republicans are cut, cut, cut, pray, pray, pray, and control, control, control.

We need a ‘happy medium’ which is why, I thought, our “two party system” was created.
When I look at TOLES’ TOON I would be the one cruising thru the middle of the path. I would not be zigzagging from one end of the spectrum to the other…

The current state of affairs has run amuck and I don’t see any “real” improvement within the next couple of years…I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Posted by: bertzel | March 5, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

~~~This is not easy reading so if it is too much just skip to the conclusion for a compelling argument. dalyplanet~~

Why don't you just give us the summation and save us all a lot of eyestrain planet, which you seem to suffer from...don't be blaming the electronics : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 5, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

~~~No, not just for the military, bertzel, but that really isn't a fair jab at me. The Westboro Baptist Church diaspora of evil was disgustingly disparaging a military person, not a civilian. Of course I don't want any funeral event to be treated this way. ranger~~~

Wasn't taking a 'jab' at you ranger. Just questioning your post. Gays are also the target of their 'God-Loving-Hate' as well.

Posted by: bertzel | March 5, 2011 9:25 AM

---------------------

Excellent point - thanks.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 5, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

~~The 2012 elections will be a Conservative GOP cake-walk" will~~~
I wouldn't hold my breath there bud.
Posted by: bertzel | March 4, 2011 7:32 PM |

------------------

pararanger22:
"The 2012 elections will be a Conservative GOP cake-walk"
Except for the fact that job gains helps the party that holds the presidency. More jobs gains help Obama's party more.
I guess you shouldn't be cheering so hard for all of Boehner's amazing legislation to be signed by Obama.
Posted by: will12 | March 4, 2011 5:30 PM |

----------------

Look bertzel & will12, I can see your point. But as long as Liberals keep shooting themselves in the foot, the GOP will continue to make large gains in the elections. Case in point, we listened to Pelosi this week, talk about how her decision not to pass a budget over ALL of last year as a good thing. Americans are TIRED of the smoke and mirrors from both parties. Liberals keep trying these tired magic tricks - it's the M.O. of a desperate, uninspired party. The Liberals tried this bull before the last election and it didn't work. The GOP didn't have to do much with unemployment rising, Guantanamo still open, the overreach of Obamacare, et al. The GOP won in historical proportions. Now the GOP is led by a Speaker that has little of the ego of Pelosi, is committed to spending cuts, is inclusive with debate, and able to work a bit with the Senate and the Democrats in general. We're seeing unemployment go down since the GOP took office and they're bound to get some of the credit for changing (and creating a safe, confident, steady state) the environment for business.

I do not discount the capacity of the sitting President to receive the majority of the credit for the 'good times' here but I think folks are a bit more tuned in now. The reality (based on the GOP candidates we have now) is that the President will get reelected but the GOP will continue to make stunning gains in Congress.


Posted by: pararanger22 | March 5, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

~~~No, not just for the military, bertzel, but that really isn't a fair jab at me. The Westboro Baptist Church diaspora of evil was disgustingly disparaging a military person, not a civilian. Of course I don't want any funeral event to be treated this way. ranger~~~

Wasn't taking a 'jab' at you ranger. Just questioning your post. Gays are also the target of their 'God-Loving-Hate' as well.

Posted by: bertzel | March 5, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The SCOTUS did not say that what the Westboro Baptists do is acceptable Christian behaviour, that's not for them to say. What they said is that hate-filled, ultra-conservative, bigoted, intolerant religious zealots in the U.S. are entitled to the same First Amendment rights as you and me and everyone else.
Posted by: jonroesler | March 4, 2011 4:26 PM

----------------------

~~~Our military deserves better than this...it's not about the Constitution, law, or anything but shutting up people that need to shut up and let families grieve.
Posted by: pararanger22 ~~~
Not only the military ranger.
Right?
Posted by: bertzel | March 4, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse


---------------------

Bertzel and Jonroesler,

No, not just for the military, bertzel, but that really isn't a fair jab at me. The Westboro Baptist Church diaspora of evil was disgustingly disparaging a military person, not a civilian. Of course I don't want any funeral event to be treated this way.

Jonroesler, I hear everyone about how the SCOTUS decision was proper. Let's discuss how we can end this BS at military funerals. It's not right.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 5, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

jornolibist

You seem to be loosing your wit. or wits. Your response to two posts with some meat or at least fat to chew is to name call the posters submissive women? It is somewhat funny in a British sort of way but come on, you can do better. Read the paper and respond or tell us why John Edwards has less baggage than Newt instead of these childish schoolyard insults.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 5, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I am retracting my complaint bertzel it is jornolibist making the insults. I blame the tiny phone for the misunderstanding. Why is there no delete!!! mea culpa.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 5, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Bertzel

You seem to be loosing your wit. or wits. Your response to two posts with some meat or at least fat to chew is to name call the posters submissive women? It is somewhat funny in a British sort of way but come on, you can do better. Read the paper and respond or tell us why John Edwards has less baggage than Newt instead of these childish schoolyard insults.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 4, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Stepford wives demonstrated on the two posts below.

Posted by: jornolibist | March 4, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Since it is so quiet,

Here is a link to a real good peer reviewed published cited paper giving excellent reasons why some 'scientists' are using a very questionable metric for determining average global temperature.

http://www.colorado.edu/geography/blanken/PDF%20Copies%20of%20my%20papers/Unresloved%20issues%20with%20the%20assessment%20of%20multidecedal%20global%20land%20surface%20temperature%20trends.pdf

This is not easy reading so if it is too much just skip to the conclusion for a compelling argument.

This paper should be a must read for you Toles as even if you don't agree it may open your eyes to a major hole in the settled 'science' of taking the earths temperature. Until this current 1850's method is updated there will never be agreement as to the temperature or effect of CO2 from man made sources

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@ bignoisylawnmower....
You have issues.

Posted by: bertzel | March 4, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Leftist Democrats didn't seem to have any problems with John Edwards running. Supposedly some leftwing Democrat media types even suppressed the Edwards love child story during his campaign. Now Johnny is facing indictment and his wife disowned him before she died. The late Ted Kennedy ran for President against his own party after reportedly renting an entire brothel down in Costa Rica and also was known for having invented the waitress sandwich.

Posted by: bignoisylawnmower | March 4, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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