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Apr 11, 2006

From A Place Called Denial


Why did the Administration feature this image on the White House website on Monday?

(Could it have something to do with Bush's repeated stumbles responding to students at this Johns Hopkins forum?  Could it be the compulsion to fashion alternative reality out of every flaw that now shows through?)

What we witnessed Monday was simply a further erosion of the Bush teflon.  On the subject of leaking classified information in the run up to the Iraq war, Bush -- who typically gets away with any action simply by chalking it up to necessity -- suddenly found himself in the unfamiliar (and highly weak-looking) territory of self-justification (link).  On the specific question of whether he had retaliated against Joseph Wilson (link), Bush seemed to markedly fall all over himself before offering up a non-answer.

Given this context, lets look at the companion image that ran on the newswires.


Reflecting his diminishing capacity to hide behind the prerogatives of office, Bush is divorced from his branded background, forced to stand more before the people and on his own.  Despite smiles from the audience, the shot reflects the more recent incarnation of the televangelical Bush, using the appealing and persuading hand to simultaneously defend and plead his case.  Overall, however, Monday's event had one simple and overriding tag line: Bush caught in the harsh glare.

Bushjh1 Bushjh2
Bushjh3 Bushjh4

... But then, the distinction between Monday's White House reality and the less-mediated kind really wasn't as subtle as the shots above represent.  With a closer light on the rough bumps, one gets a much easier-to-read snapshot of the loss of denial.

(image 1: Eric Draper/White House. Washington, D.C., Monday, April 10, 2006.  image 2:  Gerald Herbert/AP.  Washington. April 10, 2006. Via YahooNews. image 3, 4 & 6; Gerald Herbert/AP.  Washington. April 10, 2006. Via YahooNews.  image 5: Jim Young/Reuters. Washington. April 10, 2006. Via YahooNews.)


Although the looks on people's faces suggest warmth, I also get a sense of something being wrong. Perhaps it's from all the black in the photo. Perhaps also because the people in the foreground appear bigger than Bush. The big black box in front of Bush looks like a coffin. Maybe there's a funeral quality to the photo.

Yeah, and what's in that coffin are the remains of Democracy.

Like Blabby, I got a sense of Bush eulogizing, somewhere in the deep, dark catacombs of our shadow government.

The Bag quartet of head shots, in all he looks doped, but the first – his eyes are telling. They must need to sedate him before these things. It sounds like he goes ape sometimes with his staff (the people who work for him, not his package).

Medicated or not, it looks as if he's in a bit of mental pain accepting the questions of the day.

Oh, y'all, it's just that he wants to look "vulnerable," so the "base" will still have sympathy for him, as in " oh, look how mean those smart-aleck college students are treating our dear presd'nt!"(sic)

I saw him acting, the whole way...the well-padded suit (armor, or maybe gaining weight, from stress), the over-stuffed look he had. Nothing in his face is sincere. As BGN has pointed out in the Mexican photo-op a few days ago, he rarely looks natural.

"Doctor Sais, Doctor Sais...0h, Doctor Sais!"

Bush himself has no interest in policy. Politics is handled by Rove and his ilk. All Bush really seems to excell at are the performative aspects of the presidency. And then, only in controlled situations. This president has been campagining/performing for more then 6 years. Even in his second term, he cant stop. Is the american attention span finally running down on act? If the administration had focused on policy and competance slightly more and image slightly less, they wouldnt be in this bind. Of course, they also wouldnt be the Bush administration.

P.S. With Scott McClellen's retirement from the press secretary position coming down the pipe, I have a side question. Do you think it signifigant that McClellen and Flischer are such uncharismatic and uninteresting characters? Mayhaps to make sure no one in this White House shines brighter then the burning Bush?

Is this bush nightmare ever going to end?
That is what appears behind the standing bush and his shadow...
Sure you can recognize some semblance of faces and figures and words...but there is also gloomy mushroom cloud...or it just a vision that the world is facing with the leader? Can anyone see a hope there?

There is a darkness between Bush and the edge of the stage, Is it his own shadow? Does he know when he will reach to far? What will happen if the actor falls/fails? It appears that no one is there to catch him. Will he disappear?

In both photographs, the Pres is minimized. He's on stage, but he's being upstaged by the lights and the mass of faces or the questioner and the bald-headed photographers. And I can't quite make out what that panel is just behind him (even on the site) but the immediate connection is with nuclear clouds....a portent to subliminally ready us to accept it?

While all this may be interesting, I can't escape the thought that it is all very neatly planned. We are all talking about Bush's apparent implosion and whether Libby/Rove will go to jail. Meantime, what's behind it is not being talked about. Was the leak in 2003 just to discredit Wilson and his assessment of Iraq's WMDs? Or was it REALLY to get rid of Plame and her entire operation? Turns out, that NOC and its cover company were involved in finding out about nuclear activity in IRAN!! With that entire operation out of the way, the administration is free to lie about Iran's development or non-development as they please. Which means that they planned to invade/bomb Iran at least since that time, perhaps even before 9/11. Is anybody surprised?

Was the room really that dark? It looks like a cave.

even in the last days of his office ronny was able to communicate on a level well beyond what bush tried to do the other day.
YouTube - President Bush pants like a dog

yes the president of the united states of america panted like a dog.

I feel strange emotions when I look at the four pictures of Bush's reactions. I actually feel something like pity for that man--he has caused so much damage and even now he doesn't comprehend why the mojo isn't working.

Imagine if you believed God had called you to do something important--and gradually it dawns on you that God assigned you the role of Judas the Idiot. This is not pity that softens my fundamental rage over everything he has ruined, clearly.

In the first picture, of Bush speaking in front of the SAIS sign, Bush is leaning on the podium, apparently relaxed and folksy, but the black barricade communicates his distance from the people.

In the second picture Bush is being judged by a jury and under the police interrogation lights at the same time. He's trying to defend himself, but it doesn't look good for the perp-in-charge.

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