Cartoon: If It Quacks Like A Trump

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Transcript of Cartoon

The image shows a bunch of ducklings swimming down a small river, following the mother duck. The ducklings are yellow; the mother duck is orange and has big swooping hair and basically is drawn to look a bit like Donald Trump.

DUCKLING 1: I will always say #nevertrump.
DUCKLING 2: As principled conservatives, we can’t follow a man with no principles!
DUCKLING 3: I myself issued a mild rebuke of Trump before I voted for his latest bill.
DUCKLING 4: We will resist!
DUCKLING 5: We are resisting!
TRUMP DUCK (cheerfully): Come along, kids.

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13 Responses to Cartoon: If It Quacks Like A Trump

  1. 1
    Dreidel says:

    Well, Ampersand, probably your best-drawn political cartoon to date. A single panel with three distinct depth levels: a dark foreground that doesn’t mask the colorful center of attention, all the “action” lined up in the center stream, and a light grey, non-interfering background that stays in the background where it belongs.

    You even made an accurate political point without being hateful toward the despised Republicans. If I were your art teacher, I would give this drawing your first “A.”

    Let’s see if you can keep up the good work.

  2. 2
    Dreidel says:

    Non-art question: If my comments are “awaiting moderation,” why are they instantly posted where everybody can read them, anyway?

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    They’re not. You can read them, and me and the other mods can read them, but until they’re approved no one else can see them.

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    Driedel, thanks! I’m glad you liked this one.

    As for “being hateful,” I think there’s a place for anger and even fury in political cartoons. A friend of mine just had his book about Art Young published, which gave me a chance to read a whole bunch of Young’s cartoons. I’m not nearly as good as Art Young was, of course – but one thing that wasn’t lacking in his cartoons was fury.

  5. 5
    desipis says:

    I agree, this is a well executed cartoon. I like how the Trump hair is subtle enough not to draw your attention straight away, but still makes it clear that the duck is Trump.

  6. 6
    Sebastian H says:

    This is an excellent cartoon. It is especially good that the lead duck doesn’t immediately resonate as Trump until the second look (or maybe 1.5 looks). This is aided of course by the fact that in English we look from left to right when reading and he is on the extreme right.

  7. 7
    pillsy says:

    In addition to all the other deserved praise, you drew some very cute ducklings.

    Definitely one of your best.

  8. 8
    Sam Cole says:

    I do sometimes wonder if this critique is fair.

    I’m a Democrat, and I oppose most of what the #nevertrump Republicans believe. But that’s because they’re Republicans, not because they’re Trump sycophants.

    To take an example, Jeff Flake has really put his neck out there by publishing a book criticizing Trump right before an election. People who voted for Trump are furious with him.

    Now, I oppose Jeff Flake, but I would oppose him even if Mitt Romney were president. I’m able to separate that from his criticism of Trump and can even recognize his Trump criticism as politically courageous, as far as that goes. It seems like a cheap shot to criticize Jeff Flake, et al., for supporting Republican legislation that he would support regardless of who was president but to also act like you’re criticizing him for too much supporting Trump too much. The same argument applies to Bob Corker who recently said that Trump was unfit for office. (The argument does not apply to cowards like Paul Ryan, but Ryan has not been #nevertrump for a long time.)

    To put the shoe on the other foot, suppose the Democrats elected a sexist, racist demagogue like Trump who had no core values but was willing to (mostly) tow the Democratic line in exchange for power. (NB: I do not think this hypothetical is all that plausible in the near future, but please just go along with the thought experiment.)

    If Democratic Trump (DT) came out in favor of universal health care, would you really expect #neverDT Democrats to vote against it or campaign against it? And would it be fair for people who opposed universal healthcare to criticize Democrats who voted for it for just “falling in line” with DT? I think the answer to both questions is no.

    Another problem with this approach, besides its being unfair, is that it’s not a good tactic.

    I don’t think Democrats have to start agreeing with #nevertrump Republicans but criticizing them unfairly as hypocrites when they criticize Trump makes it even harder for fence-sitters to come out against Trump. If Republicans think that they will be criticized by Democrats no matter what they do but criticized by Republicans only for criticizing Trump, they will keep their mouths shut. That will help Republicans maintain a unified front in 2018 and 2020.

  9. 9
    Ben Lehman says:

    RE: the above. I’m going to posit that “not being criticized by people we disagree with” is not a primary political motivator.

    I think that the cartoon is cute, but, for me, it lacks some of the emotional punch of your other work. Probably because you’ve shown less anger.

  10. 10
    Sam Cole says:

    I’m going to posit that “not being criticized by people we disagree with” is not a primary political motivator

    I’d definitely concede that point. But (1) I don’t think it has no effect even if it’s not a “primary political motivator”, and (2) even if it has no effect, that doesn’t address my fairness argument.

    (BTW, I know that Murkowski and McCain were encouraged by the outpouring of support after their Obamacare repeal “no” vote. (Probably Collins, too.) I can’t imagine that support came only from people who agree with them on other things.)

  11. 11
    Ben Lehman says:

    I agree. And I’ve publicly praised Collins, Murkowski and (*sigh*) McCain for it.

    But, to be clear, that was praising them for _not_ being the ducklings in the above cartoon.

  12. 12
    Jake Squid says:

    If Democratic Trump (DT) came out in favor of universal health care, would you really expect #neverDT Democrats to vote against it or campaign against it?

    Is it not possible, even desirable, to vote for DT’s Universal Health Care bill while advocating impeachment/removal of the dangerously unqualified DT?

    I would think that’s what GOP politicians and major donors of sound morals and patriotism would be doing now with the full knowledge that the replacement, Pence, would also advocate for their preferred policies.

  13. 13
    Sam Cole says:

    Jake Squid,

    A few points, it sounded like the cartoon was criticizing conservatives for supporting conservative legislation (great!) but also conflating that with supporting Trump (unfair, IMO).

    First Point:

    To answer your question: It depends. I definition think they should support DT’s Universal Health Care bill.

    But so far, there is little evidence that Trump committed any High Crimes and Misdemeanors. (I use “little” advisedly, because I think that there is some evidence of obstruction of justice, but I also think it would be jumping the gun to act on this evidence before Mueller’s report.) If the Constitution said, High Crimes, Misdemeanors, or Being Racist or Sexist, then I would agree. I also think there’s a strong prudential argument against impeaching someone based on evidence known before the election. We’ve always known Trump was a racist nut. The 25th Amendment is more suited to the current situation, but there is no way Trump’s cabinet would go along with that. (I wasn’t defending Trump’s cabinet, because, obviously, they are not Never Trump.)

    Second Point:

    Plenty of Never Trump conservatives have called for Trump to be removed from office, i.e., Rick Wilson, Ben Wittes, Ross Douthat, etc. It’s clear that many others would be thrilled if he were impeached or otherwise removed.

    If the comic is only meant to apply to politicians, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have all-but called for resignation or (obliquely) a 25th Amendment option. Corker called him unfit for office, and Jeff Flake said Republicans should stop defending him and wrote a whole book saying he isn’t conservative.

    In the absence of solid proof of High Crimes and Misdemeanors or Mueller’s report, this might be the most we can reasonably expect from Never Trump Republicans (beyond, of course, becoming Democrats).