Mike Pence

Are Mike Pence's Lousy College-Newspaper Comics Worse Than Anyone Else's?

Matt Welch talks GOP ticket, Facebook privacy, and sorority nightmares on Fox News' Red Eye at 3 a.m.


I mean. ||| Mike Pence
Mike Pence

Esquire magazine, God love/hate 'em, has located the real Rosetta Stone of the 2016 election: Mike Pence's law-school college-newspaper cartoons. They are, like 99 percent of all newspaper cartoons, less than good. "These once-forgotten doodles say a lot about the kind of student Pence was and the kind of politician he would become," the men's magazine claims. "The annoying kind."

Yeah, not quite, though points for digging 'em up, I guess. At least Red Eye w/ Tom Shillue, the Fox News humor/news program at 3 a.m., had the artistic generosity to narrate Pence's mediocre cartoons, and that alone is worth the attention for you insomniacs tonight. I will be on the panel discussing the finer points of Pence's penmanship, along with comedians Andrew Schulz and Sam Roberts, and defense lawyer Remi Spencer. We will also talk about rodeo clowns, Facebook non-privacy, and—strangely enough!—female urination. It's quite the program.

I was on Red Eye 10 days ago; watch below:

NEXT: Gary Johnson: No To Carbon Taxes and Mandatory Vaccines, Yes To Black Lives Matter and Transformative Politics

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  1. No tie is the way to go. After-midnight rule (*which i just made up. but it should exist)

    1. When is the hangman’s noose style of tie acceptable? Only teenage girls wearing it with their school uniform or can a goofy Ed Norton kind of guy wear it as a deliberately slovenly panache?

      1. When is the hangman’s noose style of tie acceptable?

        you mean ‘top button unbuttoned, loosened tie’? (e.g. Tom Shillue above)

        or do you mean ‘ridiculously loose, just draped around neck as though this was the intent all along and person would never think of actually wearing it for its god-given purpose’, faux-punk-bitch-chic sort of thing?

        the former is appropriate anytime ‘after work’, esp when you’re planning to get good and drunk.

        the latter = on halloween, if you’re in a band, and/or whenever you want to be laughed at by adults.

        1. The former isn’t (hopefully) the state you are dressing toward. It is what your dress more or less gracefully eventually devolves to. Fine, maybe even mandatory, at times. Not good if it is an affectation though.

          It’s like stubble. Occasional stubble is manly. It signals that you are normally attentive enough to be clean-shaven, but that you have been working/playing so hard that shaving has had to take a back-seat for the moment (or that you’re a wop.) And that you can get away with a bit of sloppiness, because who’s fit to judge you over stubble, and do you need their approval anyway? No, you’re too busy working and/or partying to care.

          But if you always have the same amount of stubble, you might be sneaking off to the bathroom with one of those electric stubble shaving devices to touch it up from time to time.

          A bit of studied carelessness is the key to dressing well, but you need to understand your particular limits. You’re not Gianni Agnelli, and you probably can’t dress like him. And it should go without saying that once enough people are breaking a rule that you’ve heard about it you shouldn’t break it. I wouldn’t have worn a brown belt with black shoes even before that became fashion-forward, but I would avoid it like the plague now. Of course black shoes are not really OK and kind of problematic/verging on triggering in many circumstances as well.

          As for the latter- well, you can probably guess what I think of that. About what Gilmore? does.

    2. I’d actually say that “no tie” can be the way to go even before Noon, depending on circumstances. I wouldn’t wear a suit without a tie, but I’m getting to the point where I don’t wear a tie without a suit. And (this is a matter of my particular circumstances, but they are not at all unique,) a suit is usually not just too much for me, but off-puttingly too much.

      If you do have to/can/want to wear a suit… not sure about the “no-tie” thing. After midnight? Sure, I mean you’re probably doing bad things you wouldn’t want people to know about anyway. But I think in general if you don’t want to wear a tie you should step everything down and just wear a jacket. Suit without tie is almost as weird as tie without jacket- if you can pull it off go for it, but…

  2. Hillary Clinton’s pay to play schemes, no big deal!!

    Mike Pence’s cartoons, oh my god…

  3. Esquire’s another magazine that once used to be great and then became crap. I mean, it’s not quite as bad as Rolling Stone, but it still is ungood.

    Quiet here tonight. I’ll assume all Reasonoids are at the movie theater seeing “Southside With You”

  4. Also, pence draws cartoons like he read a book called “How to draw cartoons”. and made sure to do nothing it didn’t tell him to do.

  5. Apparently the alt-right is claiming Rothbard as one of theirs?

    Dark times, these are.

    1. Why not? The left’s been saying for years that Rothbard’s a terrible racist. Either because he opposed the Civil Rights Act or because he once said something not bad about The Bell Curve, take your pick.

      (I’m not Rothbard’s biggest fan, but … yeah)

    2. Well, LRC is turning into an alt-right site, so dark times indeed. Have they always harbored these feelings, or did they just discover they can get more donations this way?

      1. There has been an “alt-right” undercurrent over there since the Ron Paul days.

        1. Haven’t they always been part of the “the Confederacy wasn’t that bad” brigade?

  6. Just because you’re paranoid…

    Middle ground is disappearing on the question of whether LGBT persons should be treated as full equals, without any discrimination in society ? and on the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs….

    “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, making for 12 to 16 straight years of Democratic control of the White House, it is quite possible that by Supreme Court ruling and federal regulation any kind of discrimination against gay people will have the same legal rights and social acceptance as any kind of racial discrimination. Which is, none.

    “Openly discriminatory religious schools and parachurch organizations will feel the pinch first. Any entity that requires government accreditation or touches government dollars will be in the immediate line of fire. Some organizations will face the choice either to abandon discriminatory policies or risk potential closure. Others will simply face increasing social marginalization.

    “A vast host of neutralist, avoidist or de facto discriminatory institutions and individuals will also find that they can no longer finesse the LGBT issue. Space for neutrality or “mild” discrimination will close up as well.”

      1. In a follow-up column the author insists that he’s not *endorsing* state persecution, just *predicting* it:

        “I was saying: “Watch out, I notice that volcano over there is smoking ominously, and if it erupts, hot molten lava will wash over you.”

        “I was not saying: “I hope that the volcano erupts, and hot molten lava washes over you.”…

        “Personally, *speaking only now in the strategic and prescriptive mode* for a moment [emphasis in original], I think it would be best for liberals in power to use the following approach: Let internal dissent within exclusionary religious organizations, the coming formation and split-off of alternate inclusive organizations in every religious sector, and growing social incomprehension of discrimination against 3-5% of the population in the name of God, do the social change work that you seek, so it happens organically, avoiding the use of coercive state power as far as possible. But I acknowledge that is easier for me to say this, as a heterosexual married person, than it would be for current LGBT victims of discrimination.”

        See, he doesn’t want to put “exclusionary religious organizations” in the “line of fire” of the government, he’s just the good cop, noticing that the bad cop is going to beat the shit out of you if you don’t do what he, the good cop, asks you to do.

        1. To make this entertaining for the rest of us, you should start arguing with yourself and calling yourself names.

          1. You think he doesn’t have any sock-puppets? 😉

            1. When I change my handle I announce that I’m doing so.

        2. Well, this guy isn’t actually talking about religious groups, he’s talking about the civic/social groups that a lot of churches have become. Is Goodwill or Kiwanis allowed to discriminate in their membership and their mission statement? If your church is indistinguishable from the Lions Club or the Rotary Club, you gotta adhere to the same rules they do.

          1. I suspect that a more appropriate analogy than Lions or Rotary might be the Knights of Columbus or the Freemasons. Both have mandated religious requirements. Are you going to say with a straight face that they shouldn’t be allowed to?

    1. “”If Hillary Clinton is elected president, making for 12 to 16 straight years of Democratic control of the White House, it is quite possible that by Supreme Court ruling and federal regulation any kind of discrimination against gay people will have the same legal rights and social acceptance as any kind of racial discrimination. Which is, none.”

      Um… affirmative action?

    2. Others will simply face increasing social marginalization.

      Note the slide from actual government sanctioning to “wahhh, people don’t like us being bigots!”

  7. Morning all.

    1. Morning, sunshine :). What you into today?

  8. So, the press has already delved way deeper into the past of the GOP VP nominee than they still have with Obama. Has anyone even asked him a followup question on why they lied about and then arrested the stupid youtube video guy after Bengazi?

    We know all about Aqua-Budda, but we still haven’t heard anything about Obama’s grades.

    To me this is still the most interesting bit of the story of this embarrassment of an election cycle. The press has always had something of a bias, but wow. They quit even pretending to operate as the 4th estate somewhere during the Bill Clinton years.

    What started with shilling for Clinton on his draft story back in 1991 has evolved into something that they uncritically accept today – they are all on “team democrat”. Or I suppose more specifically they see themselves as kingmakers. Back in 2008 they switched horses from Clinton to Obama and that sealed the deal for the kingmakers.

    They barely asked Clinton anything, definitely not after Christiane Amanpour got suspended for 3 months for asking Clinton a followup question on Bosnia. And they only had the temerity to bother Bush a handful of times. Obama still hasn’t been asked a tough question. Heck, I think “Joe the Plumber” still has the record for the toughest question Obama has faced.

    Even on my High School paper we were taught basic journalistic ethics. And holding the elite’s feet to the fire was a big part of it. What happened to these guys?

    1. You didn’t go to Columbia Journalism School.

      1. I know that was a joke, but you actually, I think, hit on the nature of the problem. The professionalization of journalism has been a disaster for the quality of reporting. At root, it has led to the homogenization of the press in terms of experience, background, and knowledge base (“What do you mean? We have men, women, blacks, whites, Asians, and Hispanics who went to the same handful of universities, live in the same neighborhoods, talk to the same sources, and have the same career path.”). Unsurprisingly, that leads to a self-reinforcing homogenization of outlook and worldview.

        They take sides because everything in their worldview leads them to think of one side as objectively right.

        1. The professionalization of journalism has been a disaster for the quality of reporting.

          That’s part of it, but we’ve also reached a point where the boomer journalists, who came up under the tutelage of the less degreed but more practiced WW2 generation, are now retiring in droves or being kicked out in favor of minimum wage milennials who are more experienced in writing click-bait than building a network of sources and digging relentlessly for a story.

          In addition, journalism in general is returning to its more blatantly partisan roots, when periodicals openly declared themselves for Democrats or Whigs/Republicans, hounded the other side mercilessly, and never took anything the other side had to say in good faith.

    2. Even on my High School paper we were taught basic journalistic ethics. And holding the elite’s feet to the fire was a big part of it. What happened to these guys?

      Where there exists a surplus of production, there exists the question of who disposes of it, and how; and herein lies the ultimate source of power. When a society condones the concept of the use of coercion, that coercion will be used to command the transfer of surplus, and therefore power, from those who produce it, to those who have been designated as the “just” wielders of coercive force. That the resulting congregation of power will tend to attract not those most desirable, but rather most desirous, to wield it, should be no mystery. And it is here, I believe, that we find the answer to your question, and so many others.

    3. It’s been that way for as long as mass media has existed, they’re just less ashamed of it now.

      The press covered up FDR’s disabilities, covered for JFK and his affairs. They accused Richard Nixon of having a corrupt slush fund in 1952 when he was running as VP (leading to the “Checkers Speech”) but then suddenly stopped caring about the subject when it came out that the Democrat nominee for president also had such a fund. Then there’s the stuff they pulled on Reagan and especially Dan Quayle.

  9. Woohoo! Bill Weld on CNN right now.

  10. Picture, if you will: A wafty caricature of President Barack Obama hacking away at his lost ball in the rough on the back nine at Farm Neck. The next pane reveals his caddy is recently pardoned Ray Nagin who, as the grass flies past his head, remarks that when President George W. Bush cleared brush while Louisiana drowned he used a chainsaw instead of a nine iron. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asks to play through, making sure to hug the black golfers and speak to them in Ebonics from her mobility scooter when the press arrives. On the green, KKK Grand Dragon Donald Trump holds the flag for Vladimir Putin as the Russian President sinks a putt, winning the 2016 Cash for Clunkers Invitational.

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  12. Has anyone given a shit about what Esquire has to say about anything in an exceedingly long time?

    Seriously, you can pretty well predict what they’re going to say on any given topic before they print a word. Not because of any intellectual consistency or coherence of principle, but simply unoriginality. They really don’t have a thing to say that I couldn’t have picked up a month earlier and undoubtedly better argued.

    I know a lot of people have argued that the internet has killed off wide swaths of publishing. But, the truth, to me, seems that publishing has done more to kill off wide swaths of publishing. If all you’re putting out is trite bromides about the superiority of gentry progressivism to the preferences of the rabble, and often showing you know less about the topic at hand than the rabble you’re looking down your nose at, don’t be terribly surprised when you find your appeal is more selective.

    1. It’s multiple factors, of which the Internet is the first mover.

      Back when Esquire and Rolling Stone had a wide readership, being stridently liberal would have been stupid, because it would alienate large parts of their readership and not really gain them anything. Now that their readership numbers have been decimated by the internet, they desperately need to appeal to elites, thus they play to elite opinion (which is increasingly leftist and statist).

      1. Esquire, being available in the public library in my home town in the late 60s, was a favorite of mine, if only for the Vargas/Petty style pinups they would print. They printed Tom Wolfe, and I loved the Dubious Achievement Awards.

        So Pence committed sub-mediocre cartooning as a law student. So, what? it is actually refreshing to see a pol attempted to use that side of his brain, once upon a time. It isn’t like he tried to make money on it. How much worse was he than early Dilbert by Scott Adams? A sufficiently stylized comic strip doesn’t need technically proficient art to be popular, or even funny. See also Guisewite’s Cathy or even Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine. That last one is hilarious, and the guy can “draw funny,” but he’s no Alex Raymond! He is an ex-lawyer, though. Imagine, had Pence kept at it and ditched the law, would he have become a conservative alternative to Gary Trudeau? (No great shakes as a draftsman, either.)

        1. Heck, consider XKCD which is hilarious despite literally being just stick figures

  13. Saw the Esquire story yesterday. It’s unduly vicious.

    1. The Esquire article came across to me more like “Annie Garau didn’t get the joke in the comics and just assumed that’s because they weren’t funny rather than that she doesn’t know enough about the law or law school to get them”.

      1. That and “Annie Garau doesn’t understand the concept of an creative author writing a character saying things the author doesn’t personally believe, because she is so lacking in empathy she can’t see how someone could possibly imagine the thought processes of someone who is not them”

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