In the early morning following the blue landslide, I somehow convinced myself that pictures of this lame duck, dead-in-the-water Administration would turn stultifyingly flat — and remain so for the whole next two years.
Wow, what was I thinking?
Literally forced to share the stage, these new political circumstances have blown a gaping hole in the White House’s air-tight, Stepford-like stage management practices. Not one week post rescue, and we are already the visual beneficiaries of tactical and behavioral information that would never have seen the light of day if Rove and Co. continued to control the board.
Having never experienced a drop of sympathy for 41 43 (and never thinking I would), this photo actually made me feel sorry for Bush. (Don’t worry, it’s fleeting.) I’m mostly dispassionate when it comes to politicians, but I would love to have a signed copy of this photo — by Harry Reid, of course. As the Senate Minority Leader under a “can-do-no-wrong” Republican junta, Reid still managed to outmaneuver and undermine that overmatched Bill Frist at almost every turn.
Talk about stage management in reverse! Don’t think for a minute that Reid isn’t posed exactly this way on purpose. For crissakes, he’s got his hand on Bush’s shoulder — meaning, his hand on the power — like he’s channeling every ounce of authority out of that Oval Office and into his own body (and the newly-resuscitated Congressional body).
And George, George, silver spoon George! That tie says every thing about how you’re (not) fitting this together. You don’t even know where to look anymore. And, about Karl and the stage management, who’s aligned with George Washington now!
To boot, Reid has got that terminally contemptuous and perpetually resistant Cheney practically consigned to the clothes closet.
(image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/A.P. White House. Friday, Nov. 10, 2006. Via YahooNews.)