Leftist Anti-Trump ‘Doonesbury’ Cartoonist Finally Takes on a Biden—But Only Very Gently

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Back in early August, fully 18 months into the presidency of Democrat Joe Biden, we noted with curiosity how the liberal newspaper editorial cartoon “Doonesbury” still had not even mentioned Biden, much less ridiculed or lampooned anything about his administration.

That was despite the president’s numerous lies and innumerable speaking gaffes, and in spite of his many policy failures—especially the abrupt military pullout from Afghanistan that gifted the Taliban with $80 billion in armaments, the economic policies fueling skyrocketing inflation and leaving Americans poorer, or his open-borders policies allowing millions of illegal immigrations to pour across our southern border all but unchecked.

These all should have been huge, ripe targets for any editorial cartoonist, liberal or conservative. So should the X-rated contents of his son Hunter’s laptop computer and the latter’s corrupt international business dealings.

Instead, leftist “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau continues to unleash his poison pen on former President Donald Trump, who apparently continues to live rent-free in his head, despite being out of office for more than two years now.

But now, finally, this past Sunday, Trudeau for the first time mentioned a Biden, though still not Joe or his omnishambles administration. In the final panel of the cartoon, Trudeau referenced Hunter, but only ever-so-gingerly. (Only can only imagine the field day “Doonesbury” would have if it were either of Trump’s sons, Don Jr. or Eric.)

More on that in a moment. First, let’s review the past six months of “Doonesbury” comic strips since our initial 18-month review in August (which is appended below).

Over the past six months, Trudeau’s anybody-but-the-Bidens targets have included: Republican election deniers; the Second Amendment; “red America” still legitimately wanting answers on Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s culpability; Trump supposedly seizing the steering wheel of the Secret Service vehicle he was riding in (a story since debunked); Trump supposedly vowing when reelected in 2024 that he would insist on having military “generals who are as loyal as Hitler’s”; Trump decrying “witch hunts”; a fictional Republican congressman complaining about being down in the polls by 10 to a “socialist groomer” and being advised to commit a crime and blame it on “the deep state”; ridiculing criticism of the left’s use of the woke singular “they” (with cheap shots at Tucker Carlson, Viktor Orban, and Jair Bolsonaro); Carlson’s criticism of U.S. policies regarding the Ukraine-Russia war; the baseless E. Jean Carroll lawsuit against Trump; Q-Anon conspiracy theories about voting machines; a mock Trump 2024 election fundraising letter; Trump supposedly taking credit for reclaiming the use of the term “Christmas” in public discourse; more on several of the “witch hunts” Trump has faced from “witches” ranging from Carroll and Liz Cheney to Letitia James and Fani Willis (including yet another cheap shot against Carlson).

That brings us up to the Jan. 29 strip, which begins with a gratuitous slap at Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and other so-called “election deniers” who lost. With “the crazies” out of the way, Trudeau then has his cartoon character say in a rare seemingly pro-conservative Republican turn: “Congress can focus now on problems that people care about … like inflation, gas prices, immigration … the issues the GOP campaigned on”—but without noting those are all “problems” brought on by Biden’s leftist policies.

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The final panel then shifts to a congressional hearing on Hunter’s infamous laptop. “And what was the color of the Biden laptop, sir?” one congressman asks. “It was silver, Congressman, really flashy. Like what a drug dealer would have.”

It’s not much, and it will be interesting to see whether it proves to be just a gentle one-off, or if Trudeau will finally, belatedly start going after the Bidens—Joe and Hunter—with anywhere near the ferocity he has reserved for Trump.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

>>>The following is the original Aug. 2 column for context:

‘Doonesbury’ Still Attacks Trump, Ignores Biden’s Many Gaffes, Policy Failures

July 20 marked a year and a half into the Biden administration, but you’d never know that from Garry Trudeau, the liberal hack political cartoonist behind the long-running, but highly overrated “Doonesbury” comic strip.

Though former President Donald Trump has been out of the White House now for more than 18 months, he apparently still lives rent-free in the head of Trudeau, who clearly suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Trudeau—whose Sunday-only “Doonesbury” cartoon strips not surprisingly still lead the color comics section of the Trump-hating Washington Post—continues to savage the 45th president regularly.

But not once in the 78 Sundays since Jan. 20, 2021, has he ridiculed anything President Joe Biden has said or done, despite Sleepy Joe’s countless verbal gaffes, word salads, and abject policy failures so richly deserving of lampooning.

Politicians are fair game for satire and ridicule, of course, but Trudeau’s attacks on Trump aren’t funny. They’re just relentlessly vicious and mean-spirited.

The personal attacks leveled throughout the Trump presidency have continued since “the former guy”—as Trudeau now calls him—left office on Jan. 20, 2021.

Four days later, on Jan. 24, he likened Trump being gone from the White House to the August 1974 end of the presidency of Richard Nixon, whom Trudeau also savaged in his strip. (“Doonesbury” debuted in October 1970 as a daily comic strip and went to Sundays only in February 2014.)

But that was tame compared with what has followed since. Among the most egregious examples:

Feb. 21, 2021: “Trump was the only candidate ever endorsed by the Taliban, the highly respected terrorist group.” (That “endorsement” was likely meant to hurt Trump rather than help him, and Trump was far tougher on the Taliban than Biden, whose precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan gifted the Taliban with $80 billion in U.S. military armaments. Trump never would have allowed that to happen.)

Feb. 28, 2021: A recurring character, a career scam artist named Duke, laments that Trump had passed him over as an adviser in favor of the deposed dictator of the fictional Berzerkistan, “[a] dictator who had rivals shot. Someone he [Trump] could look up to.”

March 7, 2021: “I wonder if authoritarians ever learn their lesson?” Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” mused after Trump’s second unwarranted impeachment. Accompanying it is an illustration of a New York Times article about Adolf Hitler’s release from a German prison in December 1924 with the headline: “Hitler tamed by prison.” (It’s standard operating procedure for the left to liken Republican presidents to Hitler.)

April 11, 2021: Two characters are discussing Shakespearean lines as they supposedly relate to Trump, though without mentioning him by name: “A most notable coward!” “An infinite and endless liar!” “An hourly promise-breaker!”

At that point, someone else chimes in: “He’s off Twitter. He’s gone! Why is everyone still obsessing over the former guy?” Trudeau might want to ask himself that.

Aug. 29, 2021: Trudeau also besmirches Trump supporters. At a stadium rally attended by MAGA hat-wearing redneck types, a public address announcer asks for a show of hands. “Who here refuses to get vaccinated?” The cartoonist then tut-tuts: “Even though the unvaccinated are the only people still dying of COVID.” That was demonstrably false, even back then.

It’s doubtful Trudeau will call out the double-vaxxed, double-boosted Biden over his repeated assertions that COVID-19 is “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” after the president last week contracted it twice.

Nor has Trudeau pointed out that more Americans have died of COVID-19 in Biden’s first 18 months in office than under Trump in his final year-and-a-half, despite the former having benefited from inheriting the vaccines developed on his predecessor’s watch.

Sept. 19, 2021: “Doonesbury” returned to the COVID-19 theme with “your favorite still-president” supposedly suing for vaccine royalties (untrue) and perpetuating the falsehood spread by the mainstream media that Trump had advocated testing injections of bleach as a treatment. That was taken totally out of context, as any honest reading of Trump’s admittedly rambling April 23, 2020, musing on the subject would show.

Feb. 6 and 13, 2022: “At the state funeral for the 45th president,” it’s suggested that no one would attend “except out of curiosity.” That’s ludicrous on its face, given the tens of thousands who typically show up for Trump’s arena-sized rallies. Also, disheveled “MAGA mourners” are depicted shouting, “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!”

May 1, 2022: A TV news report explains that Russian President Vladimir Putin justifies his invasion of Ukraine “with relentless propaganda”; specifically, that it was necessary to purge the country of Nazis. It then cuts away to a man with a red MAGA cap and a woman with a Q (for QAnon) T-shirt watching Trump repeating his claim that he won the 2020 election. In a cheap shot, the man says, “It’s Nazis. Nazis stole it,” to which the woman replies: “Wait, aren’t they on our side?”

June 6, 2022: The aforementioned ex-dictator of Berzerkistan, talking to an ambulance-chasing lawyer in an emergency room, offers him a job working for “the current president of the United States.” Lawyer: “You work for Trump?” Ex-dictator: “You’re hired.” (Never mind that slip-and-fall tort lawyers overwhelmingly support Democrats.)

There were other examples, but those were the most intellectually dishonest and mean-spirited.

Moreover, Trump is far from the only target of Trudeau’s poison pen. During the same 18-month period reviewed, “Doonesbury” also viciously attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia; Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Ted Cruz of Texas; former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

What do they have in common? They’re all conservative Republicans. There have been no comparable “Doonesbury” fusillades fired at, say, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; or any number of other left-wing Democrats—all of them eminently lampoonable.

(The only Democrat to draw the wrath of “Doonesbury” was Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for single-handedly blocking, until this week, Biden’s Build Back Better boondoggle.)

In the May 30, 2021, “Doonesbury” strip, whose storyline otherwise had nothing to do with him, Trudeau also took a gratuitous shot at Donald Trump Jr.

And that brings us back to Biden, because the cartoonist hasn’t written (or drawn) a single word about first son Hunter Biden, whose corrupt multimillion-dollar business dealings around the globe and whose well-publicized drug use and repeated escapades with hookers are surely editorial cartoon fodder. They certainly would be if it were either of Trump’s sons—and rightly so.

In fact, the closest Trudeau has come to criticizing the current president occurred obliquely Nov. 7, more than a year after his election. A recurring swashbuckler character, “the Rascal,” travels to Afghanistan to rescue Americans stranded there by Biden’s abrupt U.S. pullout in August. “Oh, my God! Taliban warplanes!” one of the would-be rescuees shouts. “Relax,” the Rascal says. “They don’t know how to fly them yet.”

Trudeau is apparently more concerned about the  Americans stranded in Afghanistan than the president is, but note the absence of any acknowledgement that Biden is responsible for them being there or for the fact that the Taliban have warplanes at all—U.S. warplanes he left behind in his reckless withdrawal.

“Doonesbury” also has not savaged Biden for any aspect of his omnishambles administration—the highest-ever gas prices, a 40-year-high rate of inflation, open-borders illegal immigration, soaring violent crime rates and homelessness in our cities, its pro-transgender war on (real) women, unqualified and incompetent Cabinet members, or anything else.

Biden’s pratfalls on the steps of Air Force One or on a bike trail in Delaware never happened as far as “Doonesbury” is concerned. Nor have any of the innumerable verbal miscues of the president or of his in-over-her-head vice president, Kamala Harris.

The fact of the matter is, “Doonesbury” hasn’t been funny—just nasty—for years. It long ago jumped the shark.

Gary Larson, creator of “The Far Side,” and Bill Watterson, the artist behind “Calvin and Hobbes,” prematurely retired those comic strips (both of them far funnier than the long-in-the-tooth “Doonesbury” ever was) and did so at the height of their popularity, no less.

If Trudeau weren’t such a left-wing political hack, he would have hung up his poison pen long ago.

A version of this commentary first appeared in The Washington Times.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

The post Leftist Anti-Trump ‘Doonesbury’ Cartoonist Finally Takes on a Biden—But Only Very Gently appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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