The last time there was so much screaming outside the hotels that face Grant Park it was 1968. Blood flowed, sirens wailed, and from the hotels you could smell the tear gas. Tuesday night, a moment in history just as intense and singular, I wondered how many dozens or hundreds of people in the vast crowd in Grant Park were thinking back 40 years in near disbelief. Who among them could have imagined even a year ago that the adult lives they’d barely embarked on when they chanted “The whole world is watching!” with belligerent terror would come full circle to such an improbable resolution? To what felt for the evening like an actual happy ending?

In his cartoons that led up to the election, the Sun-Times‘s Jack Higgins made it clear he hadn’t drunk the Kool-Aid. On November 2 Higgins likened Barack Obama to Oz the great and powerful, while a runty wizard labeled ACORN pulled the levers behind the curtain. That wasn’t the first time Higgins zinged Obama over ACORN’s voter-registration misdeeds. On October 31, he drew Joe Biden with his shoe in Obama’s mouth. The day before he made fun of Obama’s ad campaign and miracle-worker rep — the dialogue bubbles ask “So Obama’s on TV…What’s so unusual about that?” and answer “The TV is off.” On October 19 he drew Obama in conversation with Joe the Plumber. Obama’s saying, “My campaign’s telling me you’re not what you say you are and you’re really just an apprentice.” And Joe the Plumber says back, “That makes two of us.”

And for the Thursday paper Higgins drew a perfectly conceived cartoon that says everything.