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Mar 29, 2007

On Notice


Yesterday, before I saw this sequence of images, I was admiring the way the Dems, and Nancy Pelosi, in particular, have finally begun exploiting Bush's greatest weakness.

With the White House - Congressional war over Iraq now fully engaged, Pelosi hit Bush earlier yesterday with what, for him, is pure Kryptonite.  If you check out this video clip of Pelosi urging Bush to "calm down," you'll identify that weapon as temperance.

It's not that we haven't seen examples of a hostile Bush having all kinds of trouble keeping his attitude in check (example 1, 2).  What's more recent, however, is that Bush no longer has to get worked up to impress a tone of belligerence.  At this point, the Dems (and his "brand change weary" Iraq campaign) are more plainly revealing Bush as the perpetual militant.

So touché to Nancy for killing with kindness -- and for driving it home at last night's Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner with this fantastic "we've got our hands on you!"

And one more reference to add.  The shot of Nancy in Bush's ear is almost reminiscent of "My Pet Goat."  In this case, however, what seems to have hit the terminally stubborn and consequently off-guard Bush is the growing perception of this war as an elective one -- and the fact he's got another opponent out there he's been seriously underestimating.


By the way, this shot of Laura and Nancy last night, "split" by a color guard and singing the national anthem, also speaks to the strides Dems have made in neutralizing Bush's  PR exploitation of patriotism and the military.

(image 1,2, 4 & 5:  Jason Reed/Reuters.  image 3: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP. Washington March 28, 2007. via YahooNews.)


A great series of pictures. I love the second one in particular, where it looks as if Nancy just said something that alarms Bush but pleases Nancy--perhaps, "The server just admitted he spit in your champagne."

Even better is the color guard shot. Nancy is in disciplined black and white, like the color guard. Her pearls echo his shirt. She and he are in sync. Laura, meanwhile, blotchy lilac and gray...looks out of place, poor dear. Even pledging alliance her face has a tense, angry look.

are more plainly revealing Bush as the perpetual militant.

I would have save petulantly militant ;-)

Pelosi treats Bush the way he developmentally needs to be treated: as a petulant and unpleasant child. In the top four pictures she has very maternal body language (she reminds me of an elementary teacher)--and that's a good way to treat Bush. He never got a shred of unconditional love from his chilly and contemptuous mother. As his bewildered expression shows, Bush doesn't know what to make of her. Or, in his mind, he could be confusing her with Laura. For Bush, older women are either "nice-mommy" or "mean-mommy" types. Cheney and Rove told Bush Pelosi was a mean mommy. But here she is being a nice mommy to him. No wonder he looks puzzled.

Don't you wish you could know what she wispered in his ear? I just love these pictures! Bush has such a rueful look on his face. It's almost as if she had told him his pants were unzipped! Which, metaphorically speaking, they are!

Priceless. Pelosi is brilliant here, I bet she knows exactly how this little chat will look in pictures. And notice that "reverse Merkel", hand on Bush's shoulder.

I would love to know what she said in the second pic.

God I hate these dinners. Let me augment: loved 'em when I went to 'em, now see them as just another horrible example of how the press is in love with celebrity. (And boy howdy, I sure was. Lookit! Me with Richard Hatch! The DC equiv of Oscar Season, you have a dozen of these to-dos, in which guys just get the same tux dry cleaned each week, and women have to shell out hundreds per dress, and heaven help you if you wear the same one twice... And before and after the dinner, everyone is running around with a camera to get pictures taken with the B and C-list celebs in the audience. It's the powerprom!

But I digress. So, at this bizarre and journalistically inappropriate gathering you have these images of Pelosi with Bush -- and that's a logical image conflict. The power on display, the facial expressions -- we're looking at two equals in the midst of a real power struggle. Maybe even a constitutional showdown over Executive Privledge.

But why a shot pearing Pelosi with Laura? Would we have a similar picture with Hillary and Cindy McCain? And why is my first reaction a partisan dig about Laura looking like she's got a shirt made from shiny beetle exoskeleton, obviously taken the last time Rove shed?

I think it's because Laura has no political role in the universe, she's pretty much taken on the role of hostess, State Dinner Fashion Plate and children's book reader for the hot-button issue of literacy. Pelosi, meanwhile is second in line for the Presidency, and is proving to be a more powerful leader than anyone expected. I am taken aback by her "fashionable" image here. But because she is pretty in this context, let's have her compete with the fashionable first lady.

And in doing so, I see a real shock: Pelosi looks prettier. The hair, the dress, even the hint of cleavage -- she looks feminine. Not some castrating San Francisco hear-her-roaring womyn, but like a dainty pretty lady waving the soldiers off at the dock.

So, while I see the patriotism angle, what I see in that last picture as a continuation of the first bunch. She shows the power to beat Bush politically, as well as the power to dispell the fashion-first expectations of our sexist media habits -- something Gingrich and Hastert never had to worry about.

#s 3 & 4 are such a great example of how he reacts emotionally(3) then quickly recovers to a more confident(4) look. Trademark W. And you know what she said made him take his glasses off quickly between 2 & 3. Boy, I'd love to be a fly on her chest.

Nice Bag.

"And in doing so, I see a real shock: Pelosi looks prettier. The hair, the dress, even the hint of cleavage -- she looks feminine. Not some castrating San Francisco hear-her-roaring womyn, but like a dainty pretty lady waving the soldiers off at the dock."

ohmygod. I'm sure you meant that other people carry around such stereotypes.

Open mouth, insert foot.

Actually, what this brought to mind was the notorious shots of Bush touching the German Chancellor Angela Merkle in a roughly similar but quite different way at a banquet roughly a year ago.

Speaker Pelosi has Bush's number. It's almost cruel, in a way, but in a good way. Never, not in a million, billion years did I think the Dems would get their act together, and now look at us, ready to take back our democracy. Democrats -- good governance is in our DNA.

Yes, in my post about a) how these dinners are stupid and sexist and b) how the image comparing the 2nd in line to the presidency to the less-than-politically significant first lady -- soley because they are grrls -- is sexist, my use of the sexist terminology was meant for facetious effect, not some personal endorsement of the inherent sexism with which America colors all discourse of women in politics. Since Laura's "dutiful spouse" image was part of the Bush family selling point post-Hillary, Pelosi's role in that picture is especially interesting. I took out the part about how Hastert's Men's Wearhouse Big'n'Tall suits were never similarly analyzed because I thought that was a gimme. Sorry if I was unclear.

Meanwhile -- BOTH HOUSES of congress have voted in favor of the 2008 Iraq end-date. Amazing and historic. Given how many Democrats were nervous about appearing "weak," or that the resolution wasn't strong enough -- it shows tremendous skill and influence by Reid and Pelosi.

Nah.... it's Pelosi's smirk with Bush's, "What did she say?" look that is beautiful!!!! It's that moment where his brain goes, "FIZZEL!" and nothing seems to make sence - such a wonderful moment.

What did she say? I can bet it was something that took down his hold on power.... I used to watch this dynamic with my grandparents. You know... "Honey, your dinner is at the supermarket and I am leaving you to clean up the dog doo in the living room before your important guests come in ten minutes...don't slip"

I bet Pelosi said, "George, we have both the House and the Senate. Have a nice dinner, Dear."

Can we get that second shot on a stamp?

not some castrating San Francisco hear-her-roaring womyn

...not ?

if not castration, then WTF do you think this is, seduction ?

granted, it's not hear her roar; but, see her, indeed: do you really think Ms. Pelosi's is unaware that her tête-à-tête is being visually seen, recorded, likely to be broadcast ?

Mommy Fearest

surely you meant to write, "not some surly San Francisco lesbian"...

...but didn't have the balls ;-)

Hey ~ like they say here in The City : you can always spit it out !

Excellent Post, Bag !!

Indeed, wouldn't we all want to know what was said that put that cartoon look on Bush's face. I liked Marysz's take regarding the nice mommy/mean mommy dichotomy, but while she bet on the nice Mommy reading of it -- I go with the other angle, perhaps,

"The free ride is over and you can't hide from the WAR CRIMES you've committed. Enjoy your soup, Mr. President."

As for the Laura/Nancy pic..
The large, out of focus soldier is the main topic in this image. The other two, in focus, are showing us their positions in relation to him. Nancy's clothes echo his. Her gaze is in his direction, she is offering both support and honoring his sacrifices, whereas Laura's clothes are all for show - the Bushie Show. Laura is looking away from him and from the harm her family has done to him. She looks distressed and ever so slightly disheveled.

Bush has been perpetrating a lie for years that he's fighting for America's wellbeing (while in reality he's destroying our Constitutional foundation and our honor). He's protecting the world from harm (by killing, bombing, torture and conflict provocation). He's doing God's work on Earth (through violence, greed, spying, and lying).

The Media (2000-2006) has been 99% ineffective in holding his feet to the fire. We've heard about the injustices every day for years, but with the Republican deathgrip on the entire government, there has been zero consequence.

Just a few months of Democratic Congressional oversight have cracked his armor. A few more could have him defending himself in an official capacity - in Congressional hearings or at the Hague. People have been saying there isn't time to impeach him. I disagree. There is time to ask the questions, review the evidence, start the process, bring the truth to light and punish this man for what he has done. Punish the whole inner circle that have caused our country and our world so much suffering. Let the trials take 20 years. Drag this uglyness throught the process until it ALL sees the light of day. Make the next war monger president think long and hard before starting a war of choice.

Pelosi is getting that ball rolling. She's not being careless. She is making it happen.


This post should be considered for the "2007 best post" award. The veins in Nancy's pursed-lipped smile and Bush's crooked glasses are priceless.


Thank goodness for the color guard protecting Nancy from Laura's horrid dress color!

The die has been cast, the dog has been hung, the bell has been poured as a strange looking Russian walks around mumbling some kind of enigmatic gibberish and the subtitles flash by too quickly to give us a clue. But not to worry, as the worm has turned and, yes, what was only a pipe dream of cryptic scrawls rendered by the nubbins of a discarded Ticonderoga #2 pencil in some smoke filled opium den of iniquity is now poised to be a reality. The plumbing gentlemen of the Democratic party will commence repair of the broken GOP shit pipe, with final sealing and inspection instigated 2008. The next step? The realization of a dream as seen through a smoky dark glass of fettered ambitions. So who gets the first flush? Is this the first blush (flush?) of spring? Oh plumbing fellows, mister plumbing gentlemen, purveyor of plumbing apparatus chaps, could this be the end of little Georgie? As Roy Rogers proctologist said, "Happy trails to you."

Potty time ? pic # 1 broke me up, George looks like he's just discovered sitting on something squishy which has arrived from his insides. In pics 2nd & 3rd Nancy whispers "I understand but *now* you clean this one up yourself.

Pelosi:"Now, now Georgie, don't play with your food and behave!"

This is the kind of thing that has the Rush Limabaughs and Michael "Savage" Wiener scared stiff. The Man shown to be a petulant child brought told to behave, that its time for the adults to take over.

Bush has surrounded himself with women who worship him and help him in wifely ways; he likes being mothered at work via Harriet Myers, Condi Rice

Now one of these nice ladies has arrived on the scene who isn't too impressed with him and doesn't share his agenda. What to do, what to do?

The bafflement on his face that this mere female should condescend to HIM is hilarious. This is the BAG post of the year so far!

So if Nancy Pelosi knows these images are going to be visually seen, recorded, and broadcast, why doesn't Bush? Pelosi is the picture of self-control, and she knows Bush has none. Bush HATES to be defied, whether by Congress or by Ahmadinejad or by Chávez or by the UN or by the White House Press Corps (when they stood up to him once). He has pathological anger-management issues no matter what the gender of those who piss him off. So I don't understand the "mommy" references in the comment thread. Or the oldschool "castration" references. Pelosi has pissed Bush off, plain and simple. (Maybe I'm out of touch: Is it still considered castrating when a woman pisses a man off? I haven't heard that concept in forever.) Pelosi knows Bush well, as the hand on the shoulder signifies.

A very funny scene.

Picture #2 is the proverbial deer in the headlights, if I ever saw one.

Three words. Tommy Alessandro's daughter.

The woman was raised on power politics and she learned from an old school master. I agree this should be on a stamp.

It's really amazing how GW has less and less control of his facial expressions as time goes on. He looks more and more like the befuddled and petulant little boy he is. And Nanci is making the most of it. I am a big admirer.

I love this! In the first picture Pelosi is saying something to the W. Second picture is their reaction, the W flummoxed, as usual and Pelosi just ever so slightly smugly smiling. Point and game to Pelosi.

Accepting her win, Pelosi executes a reverse Merkel (thanks, Kvenlander) and exits right, leaving the W with that thousand mile stare into space for which he has become famous. And yes, George, it is just as demeaning as when you did it to Merkel.

OMG, what a breath of fresh air she is! Feminine and powerful at once. How much more can we stand? And speaking of standing, did anyone see the Tuskegee Airmen presentation today? As they lined up for the colors, could Pelosi have stood any farther away from the W? Without falling off the stage, that is.

She has power, strength, poise and is articulate and resolute. In addition, she has the pearl choker thing going on in this pic aka Babs Bush. He can delude,deny and deal with anything but a strong and defined female defiance. Pelosi is so smart she checkmates him with all the right talk, moves and timing. These photos tell it all.

Pics 1 and 2 in sequence are priceless. In the 2nd it looks like Bush is having a Ralph Kramden moment. I can almost hear him saying "humminahummina..."

fantastic post.
the Dems need to Keep The Heat On, because Dubya does not do well when he is actually put on the spot or confronted with his "egregious" (to say the least) behavior. of course, there's a real possibility that if he truly feels he's been backed into a corner without options, he will choose to do something really disastrous or catastrophic. for years, it's been really frightening to me to see how very very tightly wound he is, like he could snap at any second.
i hope at least some of the readers here saw the video of Pelosi and Bush at the Tuskegee Airmen Tribute, a day later, i believe. it certainly looked like they were continuing the dialogue displayed and commented on here, at the incomparable BagNewsNotes.

I agree with other commenters about how hilarious and revealing the first two shots are, but I'm also amazed by the third shot of her hand on his shoulder. A couple of things strike me: first, I agree with kvlander's, Jim Johnson's and especially Cactus's comment that this is just as demeaning as the Merkel shoulder grab, only it's orders of magnitude more effective. Angela Merkel responded reflexivly and immediately to rebuke Bush; here, Bush is clearly put in his place. She looks to be actually physically controlling him - note how his left shoulder looks pushed down. She appears (by both her expression and her gesture) to be telling him "I said, sit DOWN." To use jtfromBC's allusion, she's saying you'll just have to sit in your dirty diaper until this is over.

Another difference from Bush's Merkel-touch: there, he pretended to be looking like he didn't really mean to do it, that it was just something that he thought of as he walked by her; here, Pelosi looks like she is completely in control and knows exactly what she's doing, and Bush knows it too.

Finally, it looks like she pushes him to the left, then strides off to the right, as if she is deliberately demonstrating her power over him. (Pushing him out of her way, metaphorically?) A friendly gesture would have been to put her left hand on his left shoulder, or right on right. No wonder he looks like he's been had.

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