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This was originally drawn in February, but I never posted this cartoon outside of Patreon until today. Back in February, Covid took over, well, everything, and it never seemed the right time to post it.
This month I went back to it and made a number of changes. I changed it to be about someone running for Congress, instead of running for President, because this is a cartoon about the generic tenor of political campaigns in the USA, and that doesn’t feel relevant to Donald Trump. (Of course, Trump does promise many things he can’t and won’t deliver on – but it’s almost hard to notice those promises, coming as they do as part of an ongoing, oceanic torrent of lies).
I improved the art, adding in balloons and confetti to the end, and making small changes to a few other panels. The biggest improvement, though, was asking Frank Young to do the colors, giving it a treatment that I didn’t feel I had time to do myself. Frank, as usual, did a great job.
Here’s what the cartoon looked like back in February – I hope you’ll agree with me that it’s enormously improved. (You can visit the original post to see it in a larger size.)
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has thirteen panels. Each of the panels shows a man standing at a podium, speaking to a crowd (the crowd isn’t in every panel). The man has very carefully coiffed hair and is wearing a suit and tie. Let’s call him “the politician.”
In the foreground, we can see a large crowd from the back; we see the backs of their heads, and their arms waving in the air. They’re facing a man on stage, who is waving a hand and speaking to them from behind a podium.
POLITICIAN: When you elect me to Congress, I’ll enact big, big changes!
A closer shot of the politician shrugging.
POLITICIAN: That’s if our party controls congress. Because if not, I literally can’t do anything.
The politician rubs his chin and looks upward a bit, thoughtfully.
POLITICIAN: But if we’re in control, I’ll ask my allies to bring my plan into committee. And if I’m lucky, the committee will only rewrite it a little!
This panel is an extreme close up of the politician – so close that his ears aren’t even in panel. In the five panels that follow, the “camera” will gradually zoom out, away from the politician, until he’s a tiny full-figure.
POLITICIAN: Actually, since big policy changes are complex, many committees will rewrite parts of my plan!
POLITICIAN: And then the CBO scores it, which means more rewriting.
POLITICIAN: And more rewrites, and more, until something that only slightly resembles my plan passes Congress!
POLITICIAN: And that’s only if I’m lucky!
POLITICIAN: Even then, it could still be vetoed. Or struck down in court.
The “zoom out” is now complete; the politician is a tiny figure, no longer using a lot of energy to speak, raising one hand in a “let me explain this” gesture.
POLITICIAN: Because even if I’m elected, that won’t give me the power to just make laws happen.
A close up of the politician, who is now grinning big and waving his arms as he yells.
POLITICIAN: So let’s hear it for big big changes I can’t promise!
A shot from behind the politician, so we see the back of his head, and the crowd looking at him. The crowd is totally silent and is glaring at him; they look angry.
A profile shot of the politician, looking nervous; cartoon beads of sweat are flying off his face, and a sound effect says “gulp.”
A front shot of the politician, grinning and spreading his arms in the air as he talks loudly, one hand making a thumbs up sign. He is surrounded by balloons and confetti falling through the air. In the foreground, we can see members of the crowd grinning and waving their hands.
POLITICIAN: What I meant to say was, Once I’m elected, I’ll wave my magical Congress wand and my ideas will become law like POOF!
VARIOUS PEOPLE IN THE CROWD: Yay! What leadership! Huzzah!