November 23, 2006

The Times Bit, The White House Bit




(click Bush/Maliki for full size)

It was inevitable — given the American holiday combined with the election reflux suffered by the Administration — that the two most famous turkeys in American political history would visually resurface today.  The New York Times bit in its on-line Thanksgiving Day Iraq update.

What now reads as “Bush on a platter” is particularly cutting when you set it on the table alongside what the White House served up today.  As is tradition, Administration photo editors plied their customary helping of “turkey pardoning.”  This time, a bird by the name of “Flyer” (hmm, interesting choice) was spared from slaughter in this ever more paradoxical expression of “Bush beneficence.”

(Concerning the “Flyer” metaphor, it is savory in opposite ways.  Sure, it has the macho thing going for it.  At the same time, it conveys a White House wish for its own pardon, as just another form of flight for having cooked Iraq.)

Focusing on content for a moment, the NYT article (with the “throw Bush a bone” headline: This Thanksgiving, Bush Team and Iraq Leaders Face Range of New Realities) sketches out the latest trifle Bush plans to pursue to buffer his ego from his new minders, the Poppy-infused Iraq Study Group.

As such, the next course is a trip to Jordan to meet with President Maliki.  With that crow eating in mind, the most deserving image of the day is really this third one, featured on the WH website just before the election.  It postures a desperate suggestion of cooperation, backed with a pathetic statement of solidarity, published two days before Maliki’s face slapping, unilateral order that the U.S. lift part of its cordon of Baghdad.

The gap between Bush and Maliki is as remote as it is miles wide.  (Actually, it’s impossible to tell if Maliki is even there.)  As for George, the furrowed blow, flared nose, pursed lips, clasped hands — and empty desk — says he knows the cupboard is bare.

With two Thanksgivings to go, this Administration is like leftovers you can’t throw out, but you don’t really want to deal with anymore.

(image 1:  Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP. Nov. 27, 2003. Baghdad, Iraq.  image 2:  Paul Morse/White House. Nov. 22, 2006. Washington.  image 3:  Kimberlee Hewitt/White House. October 28, 2006. Washington.

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Michael Shaw
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