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Donald Clegg: GOP candidates bring comic strip to life

Our refrigerator has scads of magnets from various travels, and many of them hold up favorite old comic strips: “Calvin & Hobbes,” “The Far Side,” “Peanuts,” etc. And my more contemporary faves: “Pearls Before Swine,” “Zits,” “Non-Sequitur.”

As far as I’m concerned, “Non-Sequitur” nearly rivals “The Far Side.” I just took a strip off the fridge for a minute, to describe it, as it pretty well sums up a certain political faction.

It has a boxed caption at the top, which reads, “IF WE HIRED THE SAME WAY WE ELECT …” Under that is a drawing of a little auto repair shop, with the company name, “PURITY GARAGE.” A sandwich board sits on the sidewalk, in front of the open bay, and it reads like this:




I haven’t been paying much attention to the current silly season, but I love how each presidential wannabe vies to tell us how much he hates government interference in our lives. All while asking for our votes so he can, yes, interfere in our lives by governing government away. Barack Obama’s no progressive, but at least he doesn’t ask to govern so that he can then dismantle it.

So imagine my recent surprise, while reading a column by Leonard Pitts (The Spokesman- Review, Feb. 27), to discover that the old is once again new. Women’s reproductive rights, a hot issue, in this day and age? Contraception, a bad thing? All abortions illegal, even in the case of rape? In this day and age?

Just when I thought that discourse on the right had reached bottom, Rick Santorum dug even deeper, in an apparent effort to turn back the clock to the good old days. You know, before women voted, or actually believed that they should have control over their own bodies.

It’s a man’s world, don’tcha know? And in a real man’s world, abortion is just plain wrong. No. Matter. What. In a Jan. 20 interview, CNN’s Piers Morgan posed a hypothetical case in which one of Santorum’s daughters had been raped, made pregnant, and was begging him for an abortion. Morgan asked, “Would you really then look her in the eye and say ‘No,’ as a father?”

Santorum replied, “I would do what every father is to do, is to counsel your daughter to do the right thing.” Morgan scratched his neck in a bemused sort of way, and tried to give him an out, saying, “There will be people in that position who will say, your religious values …,” and got no further. Santorum interrupted, “It’s not a matter of religious values.”

But he continued to shovel away, adding that we should “accept what God has given to you.” And finally, “I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.” But hey, I guess acceptance of “what God has given to you” (via rape) is not a religious principle. My bad.

Oh, and that contraception thing? Geez, I thought it cut down on abortions. Wrong again, I guess. Here’s the Word (slightly shortened), from Mr. Santorum: “I’m not a believer in birth control. I don’t think it works. I think it’s harmful to women. I don’t think it’s a healthy thing for our country.”

That’s what I call a real non sequitur.

Donald Clegg, a longtime Spokane resident, is an author and professional watercolor artist. Contact him via email at

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