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Claytoonz: Give us the ballot

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Claytoonz: Give us the ballot

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lives in an alternate reality where principles, hypocrisy, irony, and lying your ass off only apply to Democrats. If a Republican changes his mind and does the exact thing he railed on and on against previously, then you’re not supposed to remember that. In fact, they laugh about it. Gotcha!

Currently, the Senate is split between Republicans and Democrats, 50/50. Democrats control the chamber with the vote of the vice president, Kamala Harris. But to pass anything, you need more than 51 votes. To pass any legislation, like Build Back Better or the Voting Rights Act, you need 60 votes. President Joe Biden and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer want to change this. McConnell warns that changing this will destroy the Senate or some shit like that. The guy is adamantly against a 51-vote for anything… except for giving someone a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

McConnell is against changing Senate rules except when he’s for it. He changed the rules from a 60-votes-requirement to confirm a Supreme Court justice to a mere 51. Do you know how many of Trump’s three justices got 60 votes? None, because it’s really hard for lunatics, religious zealots, and rapists to get 60 votes for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. If a person can’t get 60 votes, then that person doesn’t belong on the highest court in the nation. The judges of Top Chef are stricter with their voting requirements than Republicans are for lifetime appointments.

Donald Trump had three opportunities to nominate someone who was not a maniac, and three times he failed. Trump shouldn’t be allowed to make his own selection from McDonald’s kids’ menu less enough three Supreme Court appointments. Call me a radical, but I believe every appointment Trump made that’s still in office should be removed. Vladimir Putin shouldn’t have any influence on our government. At the very least, those three fuckers Trump and McConnell put on the Supreme Court will forever have asterisks by their names.

Also, the majority of this nation was not in favor of these three appointments. A minority of voters put Trump in the White House and Republicans in charge of the Senate. Now, three people have lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court courtesy of the whims of the most ignorant, dumbest, and racist people in this nation. This is like when you and your spouse have to eat Burger King because your kid in the backseat won’t stop screaming for nuggies.

McConnell pretends that Senate rules are sacred… until he needs to change one. In 2016, he refused to give President Barack Obama’s last Supreme Court pick a hearing based on the bullshit argument that Supreme Court justices can’t be confirmed during an election year. Then in less than two months before Election Eay in 2020, he rammed through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, a true religious cultist, onto the Supreme Court.

People like Joe Manchin warn that if Democrats change the filibuster rule now, then Republicans will change rules too if they resume control. But you don’t even have to be a good student of history to know they’re going to do that anyway. Duh. Democrats have got to stop letting Republicans fuck them. Look what they did with the Supreme Court.

During President Biden’s speech on voting rights, he compared those who oppose election reform to believers in racial segregation and rebels in the Civil War. He compared Republicans to Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor, and George Wallace. Despite it being a very accurate portrayal, or because of that, McConnell got his Depends into a twist and referred to Biden’s speech as a “rant” that was “incoherent, incorrect, and beneath his office”.

Then McConnell accused Biden of being “unpresidential” which is very interesting coming from the guy who slobbered all over the shoes of Mr. Grab-Them-By-The-Pussy for four years.

Yesterday, I saw a cartoon from a conservative using Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to make an argument for voter suppression. I always find it interesting when racists quote or use MLK for their racism as if they actually support what Dr. King stood for. But then again, they call themselves Christians while supporting throwing immigrant babies into cages.

The thing is, Martin Luther King Jr. never supported voter suppression. This seems like a dumb thing to have to point out, but when racists co-opt a civil rights leader for their racist policies, I’m gonna have to point it out. King spent his entire life fighting for voting rights and equality. There was this whole big thing about it in the 1950s and 1960s. I swear. But, Republicans, you don’t have to take it from me. Take it from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his speech, “Give us the Ballot,” King said, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. And so our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote.”

King argued for the ballot, not for ballots being taken away. He didn’t want laws that banned people from handing out water to voters in line. He didn’t want a law where legislatures can overrule election boards. He didn’t want laws that allowed legislatures to overturn an election if they don’t like the results. He didn’t campaign for new laws that made it harder for non-white voters to vote. Not even once. He never said, “I have a dream where all ballot boxes are removed from black-majority voting precincts and all dropoffs are banned on Sundays. And he never said we need “voting integrity” based on a bunch of bullshit lies spread by Rudy Giuliani.

I believe every Republican in the Senate should read Dr. King’s speech again. Wait? Again? I mean, for the first time.

Music note: While drawing this cartoon, I listened to some M.I.A, The Fray, Norah Jones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Franz Ferdinand.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at

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