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Steve Benson lost his moral bearings 26 years ago and is a slave to his liberal ideology. His lack of honesty has made him incapable of civil discourse. Benson has found a home on the left where he is comfortable earning filthy lucre for spewing hate and lies about anything on the right and has himself become a cartoon. It's sad that someone so gifted has fallen so far; not the first, nor the last.

"For example, you can't compare your opponents to Nazis because no one is as evil as the Nazis, so no one deserves to be compared to them simply based on policy differences."

That's supposed to be an ironic joke, right? With a Dick Cavett delivery? I mean with all the Obama-sporting-a-Hitler-mustache pictures rolling around in right-wing inboxes, that's quite a wry commentary on the state of political discourse across the spectrum. Bravo. Noel Coward is smiling somewhere.

"Free speech is a right, but if you run the paper of record for the State of Arizona, you have to have some level of self regulation and professionalism."

OK, you're laying the parody on a little think. Subtlety, Espressopundit, always Subtlety.

An absolutely fascinating comment when you consider the source. Patterson used this blog to launch a smear attack on former Republican State Senator Jerry Lewis during the Russell Pearce recall campaign. Over a box of donated old clothing, in which Lewis was portrayed as a thief. Against a fellow Republican no less.

Yes, Klute, I agree. This is supposed to be a joke. Patterson was overjoyed by the Swift Boating of John Kerry. He's been a cheerleader for the now disgraced Russell Pearce and the birthed crowd he runs with. Never heard him complain once about portraying Obama as Hiter. Patterson ran with the fraudulent story about Raul Grijalva stealing the election in 2010 with 3000 fake voter registration forms turned in in Yuma. He never retracted or apologized for that big fat whopper of a lie.

Now he feigns outrage. Yes, it's a joke.

But this in no joke:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html?hp&_r=1&

Only the twisted minds of the left (yes, we're talking about you, Klute, MM, and Robert W), can make the comparisons you guys(?) make when the discussion is about attacking your political opponents. Nothing can compare to the outrageous, bigoted, and uncivil comments you and your liberal buddies (local and national media, Democrat leaders, and run-of-the-mill lefty nutjobs) made about George W. Bush. The negative comments were--and often, still are--beneath contempt. It would appear the left holds Hitler in more esteem than they do G W Bush. So please, spare us the whining about the right criticizing the left. We are not in your league for scurrilous comments.

Did the local paper ever publish a political cartoon comparing President Obama and Hitler? Answer-no...

I think RonJ's thesis is "Yes, conservatives lie about, slander, and otherwise malign liberals and progressives, but we lack the creativity to do it well"?

That would certainly explain "Mallard Fillmore"!

Klute, not sure what your angle is with "Mallard Fillmore." But your guess on my thesis is, as so much of what you think, wrong. Lack of creativity isn't our problem; sinking to the depths of incivility, as you and your buddies do, is my thesis--clear and simple.

I would suggest the Obama-With-the-Bone-in-His-Nose posters and Obama Zombie bleeding targets prove otherwise, but hey, maybe my tolerance for that kind of "humor" is too low.

As for the "Mallard Fillmore" reference, I'm saying conservative attempts at creativity are sub-par. Except for the paintings of John McNaughton, which are hilarious.

Wait, I'm being told McNaughton's paintings are not supposed to be humorous. Oh well.

If Benson were actually a brave man with a functioning moral compass instead of a crazy, sniveling coward, his cartoon would have shown an Islamic extremist and the three women would be labeled, female circumcision, no right to vote, and honor killings. Actually he could fill the room with women with no rights under Sharia law.

Craig's thesis is apparently: "Because American women do not live in a dystopian Sharia hellscape, no one should be allowed to criticize lack of rights/disrespect for women here in America".

Not sure that holds up under the harsh spectrum of logic, but whatevs.

Just another example as to why we dropped our subscription to the Republic years ago...

Klute,

As you well know, that was not my thesis. I did not argue, nor did Greg in his original article, that "no one should be allowed to criticize lack of rights/disrespect for women here in America". You are guilty of a classic straw-man fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Greg's point which I agree with was: "Benson has a free speech right, but that doesn't mean that the Republic has to publish his screeds. ... Free speech is a right, but if you run the paper of record for the State of Arizona, you have to have some level of self regulation and professionalism."

My point was a different one. Benson has been given a paid public podium. He chose to use it to vilify Republicans by equating their views with the horrible acts of a child rapist/beater/kidnapper. Now Benson obviously does not agree with mainstream Republican positions on abortion and free contraception (as you also appear to disagree). But even if you believe that these views abridge women's rights, they pale in comparison to Sharia's abridgment of women's rights.

Benson gets a paycheck to create his cartoons. He could have courageously stood up against Sharia tyranny. Women are treated every bit as badly under Sharia as Castro treated the Cleveland women. His cartoon could have made a fair analogy between Castro and Sharia. But that would have required courage and clear thinking. Instead, he cowardly called half the adult US population (the ones who don't agree with him) child kidnapper/rapists.

"He could have courageously stood up against Sharia tyranny."

Really.

"Hey, take that, illiterate Pashto farmers living in the Himalayan foothills! This cartoon would surely teach them the errors of their ways!"

That's like saying if Ben Affleck mentions Tibet in his awards acceptance speech, Li Keqiang's going to say "That actor is right! Time to pull the troops out of Lahsa!"

"Standing up to Sharia" is one of BS right-wing "get them to the polls" things. It's like Rick Perry praying for rain. It doesn't do anything, but gosh, doesn't it make right-wingers feel good about themselves!

It's neither courageous or effective. This cartoon, however, certainly has done it's job here.

Now, if the roles were reversed, and if it was a Donkey holding the chain of the women and they were labeled "Gosnell", "Planned Parenthood", and "Single-Motherhood", would we see the pearl-clutching we're seeing from EP and the rest of you?

Of course not. You'd be happy as clams. You don't care about the imagery, you care that it's being directed your way. You're upset that you're being caricatured into a monster.

To that I say: Suck. It. Up.

I mentioned the paintings of Jon McNaughton earlier. But there's also Michael Ramirez, Day by Day by Chris Muir, and so on and so on. I may not like them, so I don't look at them.

The Arizona Republic can choose to print whatever cartoons they want. Odds are you aforementioned pearl clutchers don't subscribe anyway, so why should the Republic care about you? A Mexican restaurant doesn't serve to Souvlaki because the customers at the Greek restaurant are eating it.

Besides, EP should be thrilled about this - if it's so offensive, it should just accelerate the decline of the Republic so we then we can all get our "news" from him!

Thanks for this morning's entertainment. After the hyper-shrill hysteria (ample Nazi content included) hurled at Obama, ANY objection to ANY content in the other direction is both ridiculous and hilarious.

I think we can agree that Steve Benson showed his lack of decency long ago by ridiculing Evan Mecham shortly after he died. Even old Ev didn't deserve such slander ... And Republic execs wonder why their circulation keeps falling?

Steve Benson and this cartoon are further evidence of how out of touch the Arizona Republic is with both Arizona and with mainstream America. Yes, 21% of Americans consider themselves "liberals", and maybe this cartoon would appeal to the most base of that bunch, but 40% still call themselves political "conservatives" according to Gallup and among the moderate middle and the conservative right who make up a vast majority of both the nation and Arizona, this sort of cartoon is simply evil. It stoops to a level the even Bill Maher or Michael Moore would have to work to match, and explains why the Republic's readership is shrinking in a state whose population is growing.

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