November 7, 2006

Election Final: The Parting Shot


What happened this past five years to transform America into a spellbound container of paranoia and fear — and to narcotize the public square into an endless loop of word pictures and catch phrases?

What happened was the poisonous “perfect storm” of Osama bin Laden, Cheney/Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove.

My take on last week’s Bush/election cover was that TIME missed the point of their own photo-illustration.  The way I saw it, the image was not about Bush’s isolation so much as his impending exit from the political stage. 

In its own way, the shot above is its companion.

This picture, taken in Texas this week, seems more than fitting on a day in which in the country — in a potential rediscovery of the ballot box — seems poised to, finally, cut and run from the political abuse of the Bush Administration and the cancerous decrepitude of the Republican’s consumption of Washington.

If the destiny of this President is to look back on his tenure and remain profoundly clueless about who he was, what he did, and how anything and everything went down, almost the complete opposite can be said of Rove.  The campaign picture above — on this occasion, and not by accident, a quintessential one — emphasizes, close up, that what we mostly have to look at still is what Karl largely wants us to see. 

(image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/A.P.  November 4, 2006.  Aurora, Colorado.  Via YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
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