Wednesday, July 14, 2004

'Doonesbury' Artist Trudeau Skewers Bush

Huh, I didn't know that Garry Trudeau and GWB had crossed paths in the past.

Yahoo! News - 'Doonesbury' Artist Trudeau Skewers Bush

NEW YORK - Cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who has skewered politicians for decades in his comic strip "Doonesbury," tells Rolling Stone magazine he remembers Yale classmate George W. Bush as "just another sarcastic preppy who gave people nicknames and arranged for keg deliveries."

Trudeau attended Yale University with Bush in the late 1960s and served with him on a dormitory social committee.

"Even then he had clearly awesome social skills," Trudeau said. "He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable ... He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation."

Trudeau said he penned his very first cartoon to illustrate an article in the Yale Daily News on Bush and allegations that his fraternity, DKE, had hazed incoming pledges by branding them with an iron.

The article in the campus paper prompted The New York Times to interview Bush, who was a senior that year. Trudeau recalled that Bush told the Times "it was just a coat hanger, and ... it didn't hurt any more than a cigarette burn."

"It does put one in mind of what his views on torture might be today," Trudeau said.

Having mocked presidents of both parties in the "Doonesbury" strip since 1971, Trudeau said Bush has been, "tragically, the best target" he's worked with yet.

"Bush has created more harm to this country's standing and security than any president in history," Trudeau said. "What a shame the world has to suffer the consequences of Dubya not getting enough approval from Dad."

Rolling Stone was publishing the interview Friday.

And this guy has been at it since Nixon.

(Here's the link to the Rolling Stone piece.)

Update: Shoot, he knew Howard Dean, too:
You were two years behind Bush at Yale?

And four years behind Kerry. Joe Lieberman was also at Yale, and Howard Dean was in my class. My feeling is, there should have been a cap this year on Yale graduates running for president [laughs]. Howard Dean I knew quite well from boyhood. We'd gone to a summer camp together. When Howard became governor, he told some reporter that he'd gotten his sense of humor from me. I wrote him and said, "That's utter bullshit. When you knew me as a teenager, I didn't have a sense of humor. Life was much too grim."

I think Howard did an astonishing thing with his campaign. When people look back at 2004, it'll be obvious just how much he turned an election that Bush could have walked away with into a real competition. He forced everybody to take on the war issue. And his fine, righteous anger got the base motivated, in a way that might not otherwise have happened.

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