Mallard Fillmore bids farewell to President George “Home Work” Bush, who was the comic’s biggest fan:
Bruce Tinsley, creator of the conservative comic strip Mallard Fillmore, remembers feeling stunned when the fan letter showed up in February 1998. After all, his strip— featuring a right-leaning TV newsman or, more accurately, newsduck—was still in its relative infancy. Yet here was George Herbert Walker Bush declaring that he and Barbara turned to Mallard, “sage duck that he is,” first thing every morning. Even more gratifying, the former president thanked Tinsley for taking on “that horrible Doonesbury” and its creator, liberal icon Garry Trudeau, “a guy that tore me up in a vicious, personal way strip after strip.”
I didn’t realize Bush’s distaste for Doonesbury ran so deep until I read this article by Matt Taibbi. Nowadays newspaper comic strips are thought of as this weird relic of a bygone era so it’s wild to learn about, like, Mort Walker being ambushed by a feminist on Phil Donahue or that four panels could reduce The Most Powerful Man On The Face of the Earth into a fuming volcano of rage:
A few weeks later, the Doonesbury comic strip — which was a big deal in an age when everyone read newspapers — ran a cartoon playing on the theme of Bush’s “manhood problem.” Cartoonist Garry Trudeau had newsman character Roland Hedley Jr. doing a standup outside the White House, announcing, “In a White House ceremony today, Bush will formally place his embattled manhood in a blind trust.”
The Bush family never got over the Doonesbury thing. “He’s been reduced to a cartoon,” fumed son Jeb in a 1987 Newsweek cover story called “BUSH BATTLES THE WIMP FACTOR”…
After the “Wimp” cover, Doonesbury doubled down — among other things, depicting Bush as literally invisible, which caused the Bushes to overreact in historic fashion. Bush himself admitted in an interview that he wanted to “kick the hell” out of Trudeau dating back to 1984, and his sons George and Jeb actually reached out to the cartoonist, who was a Yale classmate of W. This is in Poppy’s recollection:
″Trudeau says to our son, ‘Well, I hope your family doesn’t take this personally.’ And George says, ’They don’t take it personally, but my brother (Jeb) wanted to come up and kick your ass all over New York.”
This all seems absurd now, but Bush spent the rest of his political career beating back the wimp/manhood thing.
Not pictured: elephant armed with an AR-15 ready to mow down some Soroscucks
I seem to recall right-wingers flipping out because one of Obama’s daughters wore a shirt with the peace symbol on it, but yes, I agree, the focus on Melania’s jacket was a dumb distraction from a far more important issue…
That’s right, the uncivil behavior of the boorish Left. Mallard Fillmore will still be talking about Red Hen/Whataburger in 2020.
The subject of today’s outrage is… a song from 1875 having entered the public domain. I wonder what he thinks about reparations for slavery.
Boy, it sucks when people refuse to acknowledge your identity, doesn’t it
Mallard Fillmore has been pretty consistent over the years: liberals are naive for thinking you can just will a certain group into being nice instead of taking action, liberals fail to see the real threat and will chide you for casting moral judgement, this feckless non-action of today’s liberalism would be absurd if applied to World War II, and Democrats are trivializing the Holocaust by calling everybody Nazis. Anyway, time to drink a big cup of coffee and read today’s strip…
Bruce Tinsley is horrified, not because Nazis are marching around in 2017 America, but because someone might fantasize about punching one. If you ever pretended to be Captain America or Indiana Jones when you were a kid, guess what, you’re a Nazi too! Somehow he’s become everything he used to mock.
Also, using your public platform to call your friends Nazis is such an alpha move. Who knows what new lows the strip will sink to once he’s completely alienated everyone around him?
Bruce Tinsley appeared to give up on trying to keep up with the news cycle and did a “heartwarming” 2-week story arc about Mallard getting a dog instead…
… but not without getting in a dig at how easy it is to vote. I wonder if “illegally” was in the first draft.
Bureaucracy and red tape are great when it comes to keeping certain people from voting! Is there any doubt Tinsley would be in favor of straight-up poll taxes if it were still politically palatable?
Also, he is inexplicably paranoid that the upcoming Incredibles sequel is just more Fake News from the lieberal media and their Hollyweird pals. It was announced three years ago at a Disney shareholder meeting and heavily reported at the time, but apparently he just now found out about it. Folks, I know this might be a bit controversial, but if you haven’t taken the time to learn anything about The Incredibles because you spend all day on the Daily Wire reading Ben Shapiro articles, then I don’t think you should be allowed to see the sequel.
Mallard Fillmore is drawn at least two weeks in advance. Perfect timing for what I assume will be a series of implicitly pro-Milo, “so much for the tolerant left!” strips.