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The Cravens: A midterm dreary for Joe Biden

With deep apologies to Edgar Allan Poe.

Ivan Ehlers

Nigh upon a midterm dreary, while campaigning, meek and leery,

Against tainted and spurious tombs of misbegotten lore –

While I nodded (no, not napping!), suddenly I felt a slapping,

As of someone now entrapping, yapping at my chamber door;

“ ’Tis my allies,” I had figured, “clapping loud in full support — Just my allies, nothing more.”

“Who are you, you great distractions?”

Why, it’s Sinema and Manchin! Barging through the Capitol like two dreadful and wild boars,

Through my door they slowly entered, these two Janus-faced dissenters

Determined to be the enders of all that I had in store;


“Will you stand and vote with us, to protect the people, as you swore?”

Quoth the Cravens, “Nevermore.”

Lurking near a bust of Lincoln, confidence in the vote shrinkin’, I waited to consider motivations of my new foes,

“Stop with this madness and dissent, and think of your constituents!

With your vote we can all prevent, Democracy’s fatal blow.

We need you more than ever now — Come on, Kyrsten — Come on, Joe!”

Quoth the Cravens, “We vote no.”

“And how can you foul Senators, now side with our competitors?

Knowing that their only goal’s to crush us like pistachios?”

Much astonished at their pressing, every moment more distressing,

The result was too depressing, finding no escape from woe,

That these ghastly creeps would relent!

“One last chance: Come on, let’s go!”

Quoth the Cravens, “We vote no.”

Extending an olive branch in, the reach of Senator Manchin,

He just let it hang there, taking calls from friends with mines of coal. With success now quite uncertain, could this situation worsen? Kyrsten left me cursin’ as I found out that it could be so.

“My friends, please, now reconsider: Could you truly sink so low?”

Quoth the Cravens, “We vote no.”


With the Cravens, never budging; all for nothing, all for nothing!

“Bring it to a vote for all to see you break the oath you swore!”

Not responding to my scolding, drunk on power they’re now holding,

Watching as it is unfolding, dying on that Senate floor!

The soul of Democracy now dying on that Senate floor

Shall be salvaged — nevermore!

Ivan Ehlers is a cartoonist, writer, and illustrator.