December 3, 2008

The White House Christmas Card: Laura Doing A Little Projection?

It seems Laura Bush is feeling pretty wounded these days about Dubya’s legacy — according, at least, to two current monumental gestures.

On Monday, we had the photo-op of the couple in front of an enormous AIDS ribbon hung in the South Portico, virtually screaming to the world how Bush — if he did little else of positive note — did contribute to the global fight against AIDS. (That was one day after Laura, in almost the same spot, posed in front of the Bush’s mega-sized Christmas tree.)

The just-released White House Christmas card is the latest Bush public offering to consider with scale in mind.

Beyond the melancholic coloring and the sunset signifying the final days of the Bush reign, you have the pure muscularity of the two White House pillars, echoed by the pointedly phallic feature of the Washington Memorial (offset, perhaps, in the sense of 43 moving aside). Besides the undying identification with power, it’s hard not to see the monument as an extension of “W” himself. …We know that because the bumbler never let us forget it, taking every opportunity to pose in front of the White House photo of “the other George,” (1, 2, 3) who he identified with mostly by (first-) namesake.

What also drives home Laura’s ego injury, however, is the inside card’s biblical quote. It comes from the book of Matthew and reads:

Let your light so shine before men,

that they may see your good works,

and glorify our Father which is in heaven.

We need not go so far as assume that George or Laura have a God complex to understand how Mrs. Bush is doing a bit of projection here. It sounds like Laura’s hope is that, through God’s light, men see the First Lady’s and her husband’s (supposedly) good works and throw a little glory their way.

(image: Hallmark Corp.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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