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Claytoonz: Betty and Ruth

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Claytoonz: Betty and Ruth

It was a struggle for me a few weeks ago when I did a cartoon honoring Betty White after her death. I was happy with the cartoon I did create and it did really well with my clients and on social media, which is rare. A couple days later, I thought of this idea and did one of those I-should-have-had-a-V8 slaps to my head. This was more my style. But, I decided to save it for Betty’s 100th birthday. My plan was to do the cartoon a day or two before her birthday so my newspaper clients could run it on her birthday. And then I forgot.

Over the weekend, I drew cartoons on Boris Johnson, Prince Andrew, Glenn Youngkin, and on Trump’s racists (which got me slapped by TikTok and YouTube. Racists have feelings, you know). I totally spaced out on Betty’s birthday. I usually tell Alexa to remind me of something upcoming, but I whiffed on this one. Alexa already has about 50 reminders for me and sometimes I don’t enunciate well and then six months later, I can’t understand what Alexa is reminding me to do. What the hell is “upload to goats?”

When Betty died, there was a lot of focus on her not making it to her 100th birthday, which was only weeks away. There was even a TV special planned for the event. Apparently, Death doesn’t care much for Neilsen ratings. But living to 99 is still an accomplishment, especially considering Betty White had good health for most of her life which is probably something required to live to be 99. I think the real injustice is that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t survive long enough for her replacement to be someone who shares her values, and before Republicans and Donald Trump would be able to put a cult-dwelling lunatic in her seat.

And you know what? Ruth Bader Ginsburg did survive long enough for her replacement to be someone more like her. I mean, she lived long enough if you were going to go by the Mitch McConnell rule for SCOTUS nominees. It was just too bad Mitch McConnell didn’t go by the Mitch McConnell rule for SCOTUS nominees.

Obama had 10 months left in office when Justice Antonin Scalia died but McConnell said they couldn’t replace a justice in an election year as the people need to decide at the ballot box in the upcoming November election of 2016. Except, the people did decide when they elected President Obama to serve four years in 2012. McConnell refused to allow Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing. After Trump came into office with the aid of Vladimir Putin meddling in our election, McConnell gave the nomination to the orange toddler.

Four years later, in 2020, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, it was two months before the election. This time, McConnell rushed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barret, a right-wing religious zealot. His argument was that the people had spoken by giving the Senate the Republicans. But, going on Mitch’s previous argument, the people should have been allowed to have their say in the upcoming November 2020 presidential election, where they selected Joe Biden. Also, his argument about the people choosing a GOP senate is bunk too as most American voters voted for Democratic candidates for the United States Senate.

For the slow kids (Republicans), the U.S. Senate isn’t decided by population. It’s decided by states. It doesn’t matter if your state only has 500,000 people or 40 million, it gets two senators. Wyoming’s population is so small that they only have one representative in the House (which is decided by population). But Wyoming also gets two senators, the exact number California has, where the population is represented by 54 House representatives. If that doesn’t seem fair, it’s because it isn’t. Why should you have more representation than I do?

My point is, Mitch McConnell is a sonofabitch and you can’t trust him on anything. He lies. He doesn’t have principles. If he ever puts a line in the sand, the line moves. If the Golden Girls was still on TV when Betty White died, Mitch McConnell would have stolen that seat and had given it to Ann Coulter.

People like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema need to be aware of this. These two are so dedicated to the filibuster that they refuse to bend for voting rights. How in the hell is the filibuster more sacred than voting rights? But if the GOP retakes the Senate, Mitch McConnell isn’t going to care that two Democrats saved the Filibuster when their party had control. He doesn’t feel a need to honor the principles and ethics of others. He doesn’t care if people point out that he totally lacks principles and is a lying thieving hypocrite. He chuckles when people call him “Cocaine Mitch”. He laughed when asked if he’d replace a Supreme Court justice if an opening came up in the last year of a Trump presidency (sic). I remember this because it made my skin crawl.

The really bad thing is, while Sinema may be a newbie, kinda stupid, and not aware of this, Joe Manchin is fully aware of this. He’s been around long enough. He knows better. He knows you can’t trust Mitch McConnell or any of the Republicans. Unless he has amnesia, he doesn’t have an excuse.

I like Betty White. She was a great person. But when she died, I wasn’t sad because she was 99. I was much sadder and truly mourned when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. When RBG died, we lost a lot more.

Music Note: The music I listen to while drawing usually doesn’t have anything to do with the cartoon’s subject matter. It’s usually something to put me in a zone for shading, crosshatching, and coloring. For today’s cartoon, I listened to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which has nothing to do with Betty White or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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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