Poppy in Cartoons, R.I.P.

Our 41st president George H.W. Bush died over the weekend. And the media has been heaping praise on him ever since. He was a man of great virtue. And the fact that his virtues – he was a genuine war hero with modesty, honesty and compassion –  fit a narrative in sharp contrast to our 45th president may have something to do with it.

Here are some Bush 41 cartoons, along with text, from my book The Recent History of the United States in Political Cartoons, A Look Bok:

 

Poppy in Cartoons

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Bush sought the Republican nomination for the 1988 presidential election and found it difficult to gain attention and traction while serving as vice president to the spotlight-savvy Reagan.

 

 

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George Herbert Walker Bush had run against Reagan for the 1980 Republican nomination. Reagan’s platform was for increased military spending and tax cuts. Reagan subscribed to a theory called “supply-side economics,” illustrated by the Laffer Curve, cooked up by economist Arthur Laffer. He predicted the tax cuts would cause so much new economic activity that tax revenues would increase enough to replace the money lost though tax cuts. During the campaign Bush called it voodoo economics. When the vanquished primary candidate Bush later became Reagan’s vp, many true believers questioned his conversion.

 

 

 

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The wimp factor was really a creation of the press.

 

 

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Budget Director Richard Darman fretted quite a bit about balancing the budget – especially in light of President Bush’s understated campaign pledge: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Eventually Darman convinced Bush to raise taxes, sealing his fate, if not his lips, as a one-term president.

 

 






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