You're way too hard on Watterson IMO
He still left plenty of room for fantasy stuff like Stupendous Man and Calvinball towards the end of C&H and most of the "political commentary" was handled pretty well in that the strip still remained funny and insightful when used as a vehicle to rail against "high art" consumerism (the term "political commentary" doesn't really seem appropriate TBH- C&H was never Doonesbury or anything like that). I'll reread C&H all the way through every now and again and it remains one of my favorite works of art, period.
Would like to revisit "Salute Your Shorts" but don't think it's ever gotten a DVD release (looks like its available for purchase on Amazon video though). Like most folks, this is the main thing I remember from it: