John Cole Cartoons

John Cole has been The Times-Tribune’s editorial cartoonist since April 2005. He draws five to seven full-color cartoons weekly.

Pulling the rug out

Pulling the rug out

Of the 75 Republican candidates that Trump endorsed in the 2018 midterm elections, only 21 — or 28 percent — have so far gone on to win. His percentage locally (8th Congressional District) and statewide (governor and senate) was exactly zero. Trump’s long treated Pennsylvania as a political prize, having won the state in his unlikely 2016 presidential victory. Tuesday’s results strongly suggest that’s not the case anymore.

“W”

“W”

Election night cartooning can be a tricky matter. The situation typically is fluid as returns filter in and leads grow and then shrink.

But not in all cases. The re-elections of Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf were as close to a sure thing as one finds in politics.

Not on the ballot?

Not on the ballot?

The GOP’s reliance on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a fear-inducing boogeywoman of the “radical left” became actually comic as the election year wore on. Her name was sneeringly invoked in endless ads by Republican House candidates both here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as if the mere mention of the former first female Speaker of the House’s name would be enough to carry the day.

Welp, that day has come. It’s time to vote. And despite what the GOP would have you believe, Nancy Pelosi’s name won’t be on your ballot.

Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill

Eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh were gunned down in the worst act of violent anti-semitism in American history. The atrocity has refocused attention on the proliferation of unchecked hate speech on social media — and the now-shuttered Website Gab in particular — and highlighted the dangers that can come from promoting conspiracy theories.

Getaway vehicle

Getaway vehicle

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s promise to find those responsible for the murder/dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has a strangely O.J. Simpson-like feel.

Yeah, you.

Yeah, you.

Trump obviously is stung by criticism that his often-reckless rhetoric has exacerbated the angry divisions in our country. His daily assaults on the First Amendment, on law enforcement and (from where I sit) on compassion and decency itself, have played a major role — if not THE major role — in our poisonous political environment. The identity of the person(s) who mailed pipe bombs to numerous Trump critics remains to be seen, but there’s little argument (among those other than Trump’s most-blinkered supporters, at least) that he has played a significant role in making something like this seem OK to certain individuals. And no one should for a second expect him to accept even an atom’s worth of responsibility for that.

UPDATE: An arrest has been made.