After a near revolt by Senate Repugs this week over Iraq, intense WH pressure brought them back into line — at least until September. But so? Trapped between saving face and saving their political skins — and did anyone mention, saving lives? — these people understand too well they’re finished.
One reason we know that is because of the tightening circles.
Consider these shots by NYT photographer Brendan Smialowski, the first from Monday, the second, from yesterday. Both emphasize the same social behavior — the huddle. If the contexts are widely different, however — the press all over McCain or Senate Republicans trying (out in public) to keep their act together — what they exhibit, besides fear and tension — are human animals either cornered or closing in.
The metaphors for each are legion. In the case of pro-war martyr McCain, the photo will likely be remembered as his political final hour. He’s not just “surrounded,” but “hunted.” Regarding the despairing and spineless Republican Senators (plus turncoat Lieberman), the pic — straight out of the survivalist handbook – speaks of “circling the wagons.”
(images: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times. Washington. July 2007. nytimes.com. caption 1: Senator John McCain strongly denied Tuesday that he would end his troubled presidential campaign. caption 2: At the Senate Thursday to monitor Iraq were, from left, Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina; Joseph I. Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut; and three other Republicans, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Trent Lott of Mississippi and Christopher Bond of Missouri.)