Category Archives: Bush
I imagine this is what it might look like when the family stockings are hung with care.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
The funeral for President George H. W. Bush was beautiful, and informative. W’s eulogy was touching.
I drew Bush 41 a lot, and felt like I understood him pretty well as a goofy but decent guy. And I was aware of of his other virtues like integrity, kindness, courage, high speed golfing and fishing, airplane jumping and lip reading. But hearing the speakers, all of whom were close to him and loved him, one virtue seemed to stand out – humility. Maybe that’s because it’s a rare commodity these days, especially in Washington. Anyway, former Senator Alan Simpson nailed it in his warm and witty eulogy:
Those who crave the high road of humility in Washington , DC are not bothered by heavy traffic.
Then the camera panned to President Trump and the past presidents the front row and, well, this cartoon idea kind of jumped out.
It’s not often you get a pack of presidents together in one shot. So I try to make the most of it. Here’s a cartoon I drew when they gathered for Nixon’s funeral.
Maybe I’ll do the Bush bunch pondering, “If Perot hadn’t run…”
I know. I left Jimmy Carter out of the humility cartoon. It’s not the first time.
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:
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.
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.
The wimp factor was really a creation of the press.
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.
In his 1996 State of the Union speech Bill Clinton signed the death certificate for the era of big government. He went on to challenge Congress to send him a welfare reform bill. Congress did just that and he signed it.
But Big Gov was Rasputin-like. According to the Cato Institute federal spending grew 60% during the George W. Bush years. Then in 2012 Barack Obama killed Clinton’s signature Welfare reform and Rasputin was back.
Hillary Clinton, pushed to the left by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, campaigned to expand the Big Government command and control economy even further. But she lost.
Big Government RIP?
So Rasputin is dead again.
Now what’s this Donald Trump trillion dollar stimulus plan all about?
Alive or dead, the constitution gives Obama the right to appoint a successor to Scalia. It also gives the Senate the right to ignore him or turn him down. Obama agreed with that back when he was opposed to executive overreach. As a senator, he called Alito un-American and filibustered Bush’s appointment of him.
At the time, Obama told ABC News that he supported the filibuster”because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values.” Obama said the court needed to “provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”