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December 12, 2005

Does Bubble Boy Float?

Bush-Bubble-2

I love the graphic.  I get the point as political commentary.  But, as an analogy for how Bush World really works, I think it completely misses the mark.

The reason this doesn’t work is because Bush absolutely fails to see any other world — or world view — beyond his own.    Now, if you stuck Jimmy Carter in the bubble and told me he was in the midst of the Iranian hostage crisis, that would make sense.  The distinction, however, is that Carter knew he was isolated.

The article says that “the White House is trying to dispel the image of the Bush Bubble (or Bunker).”  The problem is, the two metaphors contradict.  I think they had it right with the bunker, though.  True to the real Bush world, bunkers (in contrast to bubbles) are hard, impenetrably thick and opaque.

In this illustration, I think the scale works — in his messianic march to God-knows-where, Bush has come way down in size.  The red party-line tie is good, too — it could be seen to allude to a stubborn partisanship.  Even the “air head,” above-the-clouds concept can work.  But I think Bush is way too arrogant and defensive to admit (let alone, examine the fact) that he’s isolated.

(photo illustration: Michael Elins.  Newsweek.  December 19, 2005.  Front cover)

  • ummabdulla

    I was hoping you’d post about this… I agree; I like it, but it makes it look like Bush is trapped by someone else and really wants to get out into the real world, which I don’t think is the case.
    At least I don’t think he wants to join the real world as the rest of us (the “reality-based”) know it. I guess it’s possible that he does feel that he’s not free to do and say what he wants to, so he might want to get out into some little fantasy place that fits in with what he thinks he deserves.
    Maybe he wants to go back in time to his frat-boy years…

  • http://profile.typekey.com/bgrothus/ bg

    I don’t think he wants out, in any sense of that word. (What is up with the way he sspeakss? What is all the enunciation about? To make it seem like he intends to say what is coming out of his mouth? I can’t stand to listen to him.)
    It is amazing he actually went to an unfiltered audience and took unfiltered questions yesterday. Of course it got a lot of media attention, and they have not really bothered to correct the 30,000 Iraqi dead figure. Bill Frist was on TV this morning giving more lie to the same old puppet show. Don’t talk about the 9-11/AQ link, just focus on how many “terrorists” are in Iraq today. One thousand days and counting. The boy in the bubble, love ta love ya baby!!!

  • momly

    Oh, please. It’s already been done!

  • momly
  • Slappy

    He certainly doesn’t look presidential with the oversized head and look of worry. Rather cartoonish. An obvious lack of respect for Bush.

  • black dog barking

    The Bush in the Bubble caricature does capture the ever-present “it’s not my fault” theme of this presidency. Trapped in the bubble he’s been swept aloft. The little cartoon head seems to have just started to catch on that something bad might happen if the bubble breaks.
    Good call on the bubbles vs bunkers thing. Bubble is easier to project visually, less confrontational. Probably why they didn’t go with a simple head-up-the-ass motif either.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/richsodergren/ rchsod

    in those really bad bubble boy movies the character wanted out of his bubble to experience the real world around him. bush does not want to experience the real world. he wants to create his own isolation from the world around him. i think a better image would be bush building a wall around himself.
    can he change? i really don`t think he can.

  • Cactus

    If Bush could change, wouldn’t he have done it instead of cocaine & booze?
    Putting the caricature of him in a bubble is a great way of infantilizing him. Our thoughts will immediately go to ‘the boy in the bubble.’ BTW, he looks extremely angry, like a 2-yr old getting ready to stamp his foot.
    Also, he reminds me somewhat of Alfred E. Newman…….”What, me worry?”

  • Mad_nVT

    It looks like Bush is at about 30,000 feet and only now beginning to think that there is a problem. But he is still headed upward, maybe toward irrelevance. One can always hope.
    I agree that this Bubble Fantasy is more becoming than the Bunker Reality, with Bush and Cheney digging themselves deeper into a hole. Hard to make that look attractive. Because it isn’t, not for them and not for us. But it is Reality.

  • seester Jane

    I think the image is an insult to the real bubble boy.
    Surprised that pointed nose hasn’t poked a hole in the bubble.

  • daniel

    I agree that this image makes it look like Bush might want out of the bubble when it’s always seemed to me that he always does his best to stay IN.
    However, when I first saw this magazine cover earlier today at the local news stand, I was struck above all by how disrespectful it is of him. It’s openly mocking, first and foremost. And the tag line is stated as fact, not opinion: THE ISOLATED PRESIDENT. These are analyses that were showing up on sites like TomDispatch four years ago and which have apparently percolated into the mainstream press.
    I am heartened.

  • lytom

    The image is more than that of “isolation”. Ir is the hope expressed that he is finally in a “cell”, sentenced as he should be for the crimes against humanity. Limited amount of air in a bubble makes one ponder…

  • moss

    Also look at his legs, they are bowed like a stereotypical cowboy’s. It makes me think of the “all hat and no cattle” phrase.
    What’s he got between his legs? Is that just a window reflection? It looks like someone’s head.

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