In this morning's paper, Republic cartoonist Steve Benson casts the Republican party in the role of Cleveland basement sex slave criminal Ariel Castro. Are there no limits? Surely, the Republic management is going to realize that they have gone too far.
There are still some areas of political discourse that are unacceptable. 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. Ariel Castro is so evil and his acts were so horrific that he approaches Nazi category. It is simply unacceptable to vilify someone's political views by portraying them as a basement sex slave criminal.
Such comparisons also cheapen and make light of horrific crimes. One of the women in the Benson cartoon is labeled "No contraceptive coverage" Really? Being held as a starving sex slave in a basement for 10 years is just like not having mandated contraception coverage? How does that equate to cartoon label number three "no respect for rape victims"? Doesn't Benson's portrayal show a shocking insensitively to real victims?
At some point the Republic management has to realize that they have crossed a line and are no longer engaged in professional discourse. Sure, Benson has a free speech right, but that doesn't mean that the Republic has to publish his screeds. The Republic must realize that it has to maintain some level of corporate responsibility and professionalism. 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.
Benson hasn't simply crossed that line, he's shattered it. Let's see how the Republic management reacts.