From The “My Mind’s Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me With Facts” Files

The above political cartoon is from Alas! A Blog, where Ethics Alarms exile Barry Deutsch reigns. Barry was formerly a stand-out advocate for the Left on Ethics Alarms until he self-banished for reasons not relevant here. He’s a smart, ethics-savvy, informed, articulate and passionate straight down-the-agenda progressive; he’s also a political cartoonist by trade, an art form I believe has passed its pull date, and that now mostly serves as a device to make dishonest or simplistic arguments for knee-jerk partisans, kind of a visual Charles M. Blow column. I check in on Barry’s blog periodically, and when I did yesterday I was greeted by the above cartoon, drawn by Barry and written by his occasional collaborator Rachel Moore.

It surprised me, not because of its routine anti-Second Amendment message, for as I said, Barry’s progressivism checks every box. It surprised me because I find it astounding that anyone as informed as Barry would pick this, of all times, to unveil that cartoon.

Two days ago, the New York Times reported that the Ukranians were fending off the Russians in part because of armed civilians:

Here, as elsewhere in the fighting around Kyiv, the Ukrainian military achieved its battlefield success by deploying small, fast-moving units largely on foot that staged ambushes or defended sites with the benefit of local knowledge. Many such units are based in central Kyiv, commuting to the war zone by car.

This is not a perfect analogy to the situation that would arise should the United States government decide to “wipe out freedom,” but it certainly ought to be food for thought for those gun-hating zealots who ridicule the very idea that self-defense and the ability to present armed resistance to government tyranny are basic liberties worth protecting in the U.S. Continuing to make the most crude and insulting version of that argument at this time appears to expose an ideological position that is no longer susceptible to modification or reason.

If you like political cartoons, Barry is certainly a talented one , and you can support his art on Patreon.

13 thoughts on “From The “My Mind’s Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me With Facts” Files

  1. Anyone who reads a little deeper into history would know that. In WW2 partisans and resistance fighters made life difficult for the Nazis and even took out the second-in-command of the SS. In the Franco-Prussian War civilian snipers called the franc tireurs gave the Prussians a VERY hard time. More recently guerilla fighters in Chad gave Gaddaffi’s armored troops a very hard time as well. Then there’s the question of the Viet Cong, painful as it may be for Americans to discuss, and the IRA, which the British hate talking about. Sometimes resolution, ruthlessness, and the ability to drop out of sight are more powerful than armor and aviation. The thing is, if the military was reluctant to aid Trump in ending the 2020 riots, which were closer to an insurrection than anything since the Civil War, what makes anyone think that they would aid the clueless Biden or a would-be leftist tyrant like Bernie Sanders in imposing a Castro-like rule on this country?

  2. But Jack, the government has experts! How could a bunch of people with guns pull off military missions without experts! Whatever evil scheme they decided on would be developed and enacted by the same minds that planned the Afghanistan withdrawal…

    I’m joking, of course, but I do wonder if that underlying philosophy is part of it. They probably argue that the military gave people guns in Ukraine, and there are professional military commanders devising tactics and ordering troops. While I’m sure that’s helpful, you can look to the multiple groups that independently coordinated rescues in Afghanistan to remember that old soldiers don’t vanish when they retire, and that sometimes the real “experts” are just people who are really, really good at using the tools and information at their disposal to analyze a situation and make a good plan.

    Many people with rifles and handguns have spent a lot of time becoming very good at using them. Some of those people also spent time in the military, or run fire departments or police forces, or have spent more time than any general obsessing over military weapon specs, capabilities, history, and tactics. Or just happen to know exactly where to park a tractor-trailer to cause a existential threat to a major world power, as it turns out!

    I sincerely hope that, if one should arise, a potential tyrant mistakes them for “some civilians with rifles and handguns.”

    • Every time someone mentions “the experts” I think of the 7 red lines comedy sketch.

      If the left hasn’t paid enough attention to the Afghanistan and Ukrainian wars to know how an insurgency works, I guess they will never understand the second amendment.

        • The Nazis actually split the place up between themselves, the Bulgarians, and the Italians. They had a tough go there with a resistance that had a million places to hide, but the main thing that got them to withdraw was the advance of the Soviets (which also got the Turks to declare war on Germany in the final three months of the war in Europe). Greece still suffered 400,000 casualties and their Jewish community was pretty much wiped out. The only things that kept them from ending up behind the Iron Curtain were British support for the nationalists in the Greek civil war that followed, and the fact that the Soviets decided they were going to have to concentrate on pulling either Greece or Bulgaria into the fold, but not both, so they picked Bulgaria.

  3. A more cynical me would ask progressives to pick a lane, either “The 2A can’t protect people from the government.” or “January 6th almost succeeded, because 1500 mostly unarmed rioters walked past the barricades”.

    What I hate most about political cartoons is how absolutely mindless they are. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it a million times: I don’t respect the medium. Political cartoons are shitposts with moderate production value. If you have something to say, say it. If you want to have a discussion, discuss. If you want to make zingers that throw out red meat to your base (for financial gain, never forget to plug the Patreon), make a political cartoon.

    And the worst part, I think, about Barry in particular is that he isn’t as stupid as his comics make him out to be. He understand nuance (He also ignores it a lot, because there isn’t a progressive policy prescription he doesn’t religiously adhere to), and every now and again, in the comments, there are flashes of self-awareness. It’s possible he’s as unhinged as his work suggests, but I also wonder if he’s putting himself through this because it’s his livelihood and he’s captive to his audience. What would Barry do with just a little bit of “fuck you” money?

  4. Soft porn for the sort of people who actually believe Biden is a tough guy. Barry should have inserted a panel where Gen. Milley reports that over half of the sergeants, tank commanders, mechanics, fighter pilots, Marines, etc., etc., have gone over to the other side.

  5. “Cause we’re living in a world of fools
    breaking us down…” The Bee Gees

    Political cartoons usually reside in the area of what I call “bumper sticker logic.” A brief sentiment is used to strike up a feeling, not encourage discernment or meaningful exploration.

    The old contention, that citizens shouldn’t be armed because they could never beat an army, has a kernel of truth. Yes indeed a tank can wipe out a group of people carrying guns. Bret Weinstein, in his piece The Liberal Case for Gun Ownership, addresses this issue. https://unherd.com/2021/11/the-liberal-case-for-gun-ownership/

    In the piece he makes some points I can relate to. He and I both resided in Portland, OR where the streets were ceded to thugs by who used radical leftism as a vehicle to harass and attack citizens, including the very citizens they claimed to advocate for (calling a black female cop a “nappy bitch nigger” or attacking a mentally ill trans-identified citizen, for example.)

    As some of you may remember, my wife experienced multiple harassment situations downtown that led me to go to city hall twice to plead for help. This was three years before the 2021 riots. No one cared.

    For years we saw our city get worse and as Weinstein said in his piece, “…politicians are increasingly prone to withdraw or stand-down to… curry favour with confused constituents.” We had a Portland cop a few years back tell us to buy a gun as crime kept increasing.

    A few years later, when the 2021 riots were going on, the police certainly weren’t able to help us when a man was harassing us and our neighbors. In fact we were told when we called 911, “no one is coming, you’re on your own.” Response times to crimes outside of the riots took hours if they were responded to at all. That is just the reality of our times. Even without a riot happening, especially in cities like Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, etc., you’re lucky if you can any protection from the police before or shortly after a crime happens.

    As far as the citizens against the army issue goes, Weinstein makes two assertions: 1. “An armed populace might not be able to defeat a tyrant’s army, but they could well punish it into retreat.” 2. “The second reason an armed population might succeed against the military-gone-rogue is that it is exceedingly unlikely the entire military would accept immoral orders.”

    Weinstein’s arguments may not be 100% correct. However, I do believe that a well armed population of citizens who care about their country does indeed slow down such tyranny. Forces of harm eventually have to pause and take notice. You just can’t kill everyone who doesn’t go along without serious and creative backlash at some point.

    Unlike Weinstein, my wife and I left Portland. Where we live now was recently named the safest town in our state by security company ADT. The reason is because my town is known for its citizens being well armed and rugged. We have crime but not like other towns because people here know you can only get so far without running up against someone packing heat, and knowing how to use it.

    From the 5 ft tall Asian grandma driving a Ford F150 to the cowboy at Walmart, the likelyhood of both people being gun owners is high here. And interestingly, it makes for a community that is polite and very cohesive in a number of ways. When outsiders tried to start a riot, business owners and their supporters lined the streets, took to the roofs, and stood tall together to ensure not one window would get smashed. And they succeeded.

    I’d like to close this comment by quoting Bret Weinstein’s final thought.

    “This is what gun ownership comes down to, whether you’re a liberal or a conservative. If there is a way to protect liberty from spasms of tyranny that does not condemn us to the spectacular cost of regular gun violence, I’d love to know it. But if the dynamism of the West, the productivity, the ingenuity, and the quest for fairness can only be protected from tyrants at the point of a gun, then so be it.”

  6. Comparison with other partisan movements against invaders lack one huge factor. All the tanks, planes, armored vehicles have drivers and pilots. And where do the parents, spouses, and children of those soldiers live? Not on base. In my neighborhood. Think about it.
    And go ahead and drop your nukes. Level my city. I’m sure that’ll get more folks on your side.
    Those tanks and jet planes also don’t enforce curfews or kick in doors. That takes boots on the ground. And when every civilian you see on the street might have a pistol in his waistband and every house you need to search may have an AR-15 behind the door morale isn’t going to stay very high.

  7. The cartoon severely lacks an understanding of math: “over a million troops” sounds impressive, but is not at all impressive if you consider that each individual soldier needs to confiscate 40 “rifles and pistols” and also finish with the same number of holes in their flesh as when started–and that only accomplishes collecting the firearms purchased by civilians in the last year.

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