Saturday, November 11, 2017

Late Election Results

This week's elections in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere gave new hope to a beleaguered Democratic Party. It was much the same 25 years ago this week, when Democrats, who had seemed incapable of overcoming their electoral disadvantage in the South, Midwest and West, put an end to 12 years of Republican rule. Souljahback Saturday returns to my thrilling cartoons of yesteryear, as a nation overlooked accusations of sexual harassment to send Bill Clinton to the White House.

Here in Wisconsin, we participated in the Democratic sweep. We ousted Robert Kasten to send Russ Feingold to the Senate, and Armed Forces Committee Chair Les Aspin won decisively over first-time congressional candidate Mark Neumann. But the President-elect had other plans for Aspin...
...little realizing that two years and two elections later, the third time would be the charm for Mr. Neumann.

On his way out the door, President Bush issued a controversial pardon to Caspar Weinberger, who had been Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan and had been indicted for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal in June. Prosecutors added a new count to the indictment less than a week before Election Day, based on a diary entry that contradicted President Bush's claim of being "out of the loop" while the Iran-Contra scheme was concocted.
In December, the additional indictment against Weinberger was thrown out due to the statute of limitations having expired. Bush pardoned Weinberger and five other Reagan administration officials in time for Christmas.

On October 30, President Bush had come to my hometown to be interviewed by Larry King. I had joined a group of protesters on the presidential limousine's route to Memorial Hall, waving a sign mocking a quip Bush had made during one of the presidential debates about Bill Clinton's paper-thin experience in foreign policy.
From inside his brightly lit limousine rushing down Sixth Street at 35 miles per hour, it is extremely unlikely that President Bush was able to read any of our signs, or even to detect that we were protesting at all.

A month later, I drew these last two cartoons by way of appreciation for his handling of four years in which the world went through fundamental change seemingly overnight. I couldn't stand along the road waiting for his motorcade to drive by again, so as much as anything else, these were my apology for that Millie poster. Oh, we were (and are) still stuck with Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, but David Souter didn't turn out to be so bad.

I was particularly pleased at how this cartoon turned out visually, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

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