We were deep into 2002, probably five or six months after 9/11, before my editor would even entertain the idea of my drawing a cartoon that did not portray George W. Bush in anything but a favorable light.
"We're not ready for that yet," I remember him saying. He was probably right, as far as the sentiments of our readers were concerned.
The terror was still fresh, the country had rallied around its president, and unbeknownst to us, Dick Cheney was quietly machinating behind the scenes to exploit our national myopia and expand executive power to unheard-of levels.
It was a failure on the part of the media as much as anyone else, but consumers of news weren't ready yet for hard-nosed reporting, or commenting for that matter, about our leaders.
These are different times, and the man who used to condemn the Bush naysayers as unpatriotic didn't even wait for the inaugural platform to be disassembled before he began loudly trashing the new president. It's his right. Too bad he didn't see it that way when he was on the receiving end.
As for setting himself up as the world's authority on keeping us safe, let's remember that clever locution Cheney and his supporters like to use to justify their excesses: "The terrorists haven't hit us again since 9/11."
As I recall, Dick Cheney had been running this country for almost eight months when the terrorists did hit us on 9/11.