In September 1991, months after pulling American troops out of the Iraq War I, President George H.W. Bush's administration was again being bedeviled by Saddam Hussein. With the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Department of Defense had to come up with another reason for their space-based missile programs and Hussein's refusal to accept defeat quietly was the best they could do.
I can't say I was entirely pleased with that cartoon. Depicting Vice President J. Danforth Quayle as an intellectual lightweight was pretty low-hanging fruit in those days. Somebody actually devoted an entire quarterly publication to it, in fact.
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Another issue in the news 25 years ago this month was the fear that the U.S. economy wasn't recovering as it had appeared to be: the talk was of a "double dip recession." And thence came a much better cartoon idea than the first.
For that matter, it resulted in a much better caricature of Bush.
By the way, The Quayle Quarterly was put out of business by the 1992 election. They did not move on to become The Al Goreterly.