Section One

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May 10, 1977: “This time it vanished quite slowly . . . Alice in Wonderland
Washington Post

Although Herblock had his bloodhound track down Richard Nixon, he was also fond of Lewis Carroll’s disappearing Cheshire cat, which indicated deception. On December 23, 1971, he had used the cat, with “everything’s dandy” spelled out in its grin, to indicate Richard Nixon’s vanishing candor.

In this cartoon, the liberal promises of the Carter administration were vanishing into a grin of conservative “fiscal policy.” A day before this cartoon appeared, Herblock read in the Washington Post of Vice President Walter Mondale’s disappointment with Carter’s quest for a balanced budget and other conservative fiscal policies that undermined his previously endorsed goals, such as a fifty-dollar tax rebate, full employment, and health insurance. Some Democratic leaders also felt that Carter might not remain committed to a balanced budget either, and it, too, would disappear with the Cheshire cat.