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This is a very depressing cartoon – but it’s a thought that has been pressing down on me, and I’m sure on many of us.
Between the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act, extreme gerrymandering favoring Republicans, the electoral college, voter suppression laws and – perhaps most frightening – new laws allowing Republican legislatures to take charge of election administration – it seems plausible that we’re about to be stuck with a permanent Republican government that will have no need to win a majority of the vote to stay in power.
The proposed For The People Act would mend a lot of that. But Republicans will filibuster any proposal that puts fair elections above GOP power – and two Democratic Senators are implacably opposed to removing the filibuster. Due to the current slim margins in the Senate, those two Democrat senators (along with all the Republican senators) are effectively vetoing any attempt to protect voting rights.
I don’t see any way this ends well.
My only comfort – and I know I’ve said this to you before – is that unexpected things can happen. Just because I don’t see any way for this to end well, doesn’t mean it can’t end well. No one saw the fall of the Berlin Wall coming. Lots of people, myself included, were confident Donald Trump would lose the 2016 election. Maybe voting rights will be unexpectedly rescued. It could happen.
But in the meanwhile, I feel like the characters in this cartoon, watching our approaching and not being able to think of anything to be done about it.
(I’m sorry to be a bummer.)
Despite it being so depressing, I had a wonderful time drawing this comic. I don’t know if this is the first time I’ve done a cartoon featuring anthropomorphic characters, but it certainly won’t be the last – drawing furry characters is too much fun.
I also had a great time coloring. The dramatic palette, almost entirely blues with just a few warm spot colors, was a joy to work with. And I think the results look good.
A special thank you, this week, to long-time Patreon supporter Hannah Bowton, who is also thanked in the sidebar of the cartoon. Hannah, if you’d like a print signed to you of this cartoon (or really any cartoon), get in touch and like Captain Pickard’s crew we will make it so.
Stay well, everyone! I’ll be back soon with a new cartoon.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has six panels. All six panels show the same two women on top of an unrealistically round and even hill. One woman is drawn as an anthropomorphic dog; she’s sitting in a reclined lawn chair, wearing flip-flops, shorts, and a t-shirt with an exclamation point design. The other woman is drawn as an anthropomorphic cat. She’s wearing a vest over a polka-dotted shirt, a dark calf-length skirt, and black socks or stockings.
The comic is colored mostly in dim shades of blue, indicating dusk or nighttime.
Cat and Dog are looking out at the horizon. There’s an orange-yellow glow all along the horizon.
CAT: What’s that glow on the horizon?
DOG: It’s democracy burning.
They both continue staring at the distant horizon. The cat crosses her arms and looks angry.
DOG: The fire will rush over us and burn everything down pretty soon.
CAT: That’s horrible! Can’t the Democrats stop it?
A more distant shot shows us a landscape of unrealistically steep, round hills. Cat puts a hand on her face, flabbergasted. The dog seems emotionally withdrawn or numb (as she’s looked all along).
DOG: They could… Except Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema decided we’re not going to.
CAT: But… How can they do that?
DOG: The rules say they can.
The cat yells, looking panicked. The dog, still calm, looks at the cat out of the corner of her eye.
CAT: We can’t just stand here while democracy burns! We have to DO SOMETHING!
DOG: Yes, but– What can we do, specifically?
A closer shot of the cat as she concentrates, a hand on her chin.
CAT: Well, we can… I mean, could we… Maybe if we…
A distant shot from behind the two of them, so we are seeing them, and beyond them, the orange glowing horizon. The cat slumps a bit, looking at the ground.
CAT: Well… Fuck.
DOG: That sums it up.