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January 12, 2007

Foreign Relations

Rice-Testifying

The politics are so raw, so unscripted right now, the pictures hardly bear much analysis.

I’ll get to Bush’s tears tomorrow Sunday.  Today, however, I’m interested in Condi’s affect during her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  You can spare the empathy, though.  The emotion we’re observing originates out of egotism.  Having had a near free-ride up to now, just underneath (and provoking) the anguish is primarily the burning indignation of someone having to account for herself.

… Condi, my dear, it’s just your first pass.

(image: Doug Mills/NYT.  July 12, 2007. Washington. nyt.com)

  • http://mdhatter.blogspot.com mdhatter

    That is some photo. I have yet not heard that any screws have been turned, so it’s safe to say she’s out for campaign ‘08?

  • Gary

    The egg all over her face is almost imperceptible.

  • http://dearauntnettie.com/museum dancinfool

    Crocodile tears in her eyes? Maybe real ones – I can just hear her saying, “Stop picking on me!”

  • Doug

    Has George W. shed any tears while visiting the dead and wounded troops we sneak back into the country in the middle of the night? He keeps talking about honoring our troops, but he apparently only visits where there are vetted audiences, cameras and bands and parades and healthy soldiers. And, of course, he needs to get his sleep…remember, he said he has had no trouble sleeping at night.

  • margaret

    When I saw this picture, I thought it was of a Metropolitan Opera singer: the gesture, the expressiveness of her face, which is usually so bland and pokerish, the sheer drama of it. The angst is showing all over her face and in the quaver of her voice. If I give her the benefit of the doubt, that she has always performed below her pay grade, but has great connections to people in power, but may be well-intentioned, in spite of her ambition, I would say that she is scared that this is going to end up a disaster and she may be hoping to be replaced before it does.

  • PTate in FR

    Man, o, man, what an incredible photo! Raw emotion, yes. When I first saw this picture, on the NYTimes, I thought OPERA. This reference won’t mean much to people who don’t understand the powerful emotionality of opera–Italian opera at least–but this picture is operatic. Condi could be filling the balcony seats at La Scala with a powerful rendition of Tosca’s “Vissi D’Arte.”
    “I lived for my art, I lived for love, I never did harm to a living soul!…why, why, o Lord, why do you reward me thus?”
    Tosca sings this aria, of course, after her vanity and jealousy has betrayed her lover to the Italian KGB and right before she kills the evil, evil Scarpia with a letter opener. And shortly before she jumps to her death from the Castel Sant’Angelo after witnessing the execution of her lover. Hot stuff, opera.
    I just love opera. No other art form that could capture the larger than life meltdown we are witnessing in Bushco. I leave it to others to observe the difference between real life and art.

  • mugatea

    He cried when he took the oath for the office, too.
    He’s a crier. His Pops; big bawler, shot caller.
    The man in the background has a small, almost rectangular, dark patch under his nose.
    This is not a positive image for the FOX girl.

  • PTate in FR

    Margaret! Our posts crossed, but we both thought opera!! It is so, so true. And I like your insight into Condi’s character.

  • Bob

    As the Administration’s credibility gap has widened, it appears that the gap between Condi’s teeth has narrowed.
    Are those veneers? Is that a veneer of potential success that Bush has glued onto his Iraqi failures?

  • tina

    She’s looks like she’s about to cry herself. Look closely. She IS crying. First papa Bush, then Bush, now Condi….there will be more tears before it is all over.
    Weep, you devils, weep….show yourselves for the snivelling weaklings you are. Things not going your way with forming your 1,000 year Bushreich? Bust out crying petulantly in public. Born leaders, you are.
    I’m not saying tears in public are always a sign of weakness or inappropriate. But they are with this group, because these tears are only for themselves. When Cheney finally breaks down, it will be tears of blood as his veins finally collapse totally from the pressure.
    Tears from Bushco. They deserve every single one of the little wet crystal darlings. Empathy? I’m lovin’ every minute of it.

  • Bill

    The perpertrators of the mega-disaster which is Iraq HAVE to be brought to tears!
    As a veteran of the Cambodia/Viet Nam disaster, I have always felt revulsion at the sight of Kissinger, Laird, MacNamara, and others living well and never brought down to the level of suffering deserved.
    I sincerely hope these current war criminals do not escape the wrath of victims.
    I wish them ill. All of them.

  • curt

    Yes…the chickens are coming home to roost, as they say.
    I am wondering if this photo was taken during the hearing when Sen. Boxer pointed out that Secretary of State Rice had no actual potential “pain and suffering” to bear, in that she did not have any children who might have to pay the price of her foreign policy positions regarding Iraq…
    Boxer drove the point home when she pointed out that she (Boxer) also had no potential personal loss to anticipate, as her children were too old (and her grandchildren too young) to have to risk service in Iraq.
    I know it has been said often, but apparently not often enough: The folks who are asking us to fortify ourselves and bear the burden are subject to just about zero “burden bearing” themselves…

  • boom

    Man, that hint of Hitler in the background is chilling, isn’t it? I agree, these people should cry. They have all been suckered and sold their souls to Satan. And used Christ as a perversion. Despicable people.

  • truthseeker

    “Out, out damn spot.” As the pout finally leaves her face, it is replaced by shouting indignation. How dare you accuse her? How many times has this worked for her in the past to get her promoted to her level of incompetency. Did she REALLY think she was worthy of vying for president? If so, she must see it all crashing to the ground now. The image is of broken stained glass windows at her feet.
    But a caution against premature gloating. These people are cornered, desperate, conniving and ruthless. They may be down, but do not count them out until you see their battered and bleeding bodies on the funeral pyre. I’m just sayin’~~

  • boom

    wow, truthseeker. great post

  • lima

    1. Wait, but I have an oil tanker named after me!
    2. I am somebody!
    3. I didn’t know!
    4. I am somebody!
    4. George is my husband, leave him alone all you mean people!
    5. I am somebody!
    6. My shoes are too tight!
    7. I am somebody!

  • LanceThruster

    it appears that the gap between Condi’s teeth has narrowed.
    Are those veneers?
    Posted by: Bob | Jan 12, 2007 at 03:55 PM
    ——-
    My first thought too on the close up. I had a David Leterman gap bonded. They did a good job matching the color on mine; Condi’s look a tad off.
    Sad thing is that I couldn’t care less about her appearance though I think she does look better, it’s her hideous agenda that I find so repulsive. She can use her new mouth to kiss her presidential ambitions good-bye.
    It was fun to see her squirm in front of the panel though she was still able to ignore a lot of the questions put to her. Nonetheles, she’s on the ropes.

  • TBH

    One thing that typifies these Bush admin criminals is their inability to abstract the duties and responsibilities of their office from their personal identities and interests. And I think that’s part of the emotional dynamic depicted here–”How dare you question me? These are MY decisions, therefore you should just respect them.”
    I’m reminded of Condi’s previous appearance before Barbara Boxer, during the Secretary of State confirmation hearings. Boxer was pressing her about some of her failures to live up to her duties, and Condi’s response was the default Bush administration one: “How dare you cast aspersions on my character by criticizing my actions?”
    Answer (obvious to anyone except her and her cronies and lickspittles): Because you’re being interviewed to prove that you’re worthy to be our goddamn Secretary of State, and any failures you have made are relevant to our judgment whether you’re competent to occupy this office, you narcissistic fucking twit.
    But no, it’s all about her personal dignity, and god forbid that public standards of judgment besmirch her ermine cloak and her Manolo Blaniks.
    The same things occur when anyone tries to call any one of these bastards to public account: Cheney and Leahy, Lynne Cheney and Kerry, Lynne Cheney and Vulf Blitzer, Rumsfeld and that goshdarn press, Bill Kristol and John Stewart… These Bush criminals are all spoiled two-year-olds who never learned, as George Costanza put it, that “we live in a SOCIETY!”

  • stevelaudig

    http://www.literally-blogging.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/grendel.gif
    She was used to having her way with the Danes, as was Grendel. There’s a new Beowulf in town.

  • Aunt Deb

    I just listened to the video clip available at the NYT link in your post, Bag. Hm. Rice says she ‘understands’ the ‘pessimism some’ feel about Iraq. She emphasizes the ’some’. I think your comments about the wails and weeping of wounded ego are bullseye hits. And these folks really aren’t willing to let go, ever, are they? When you read Tony Snow’s exchange with Chris Matthews, in which Matthews is pressing hard about the administration’s desire for war with Iran, and Snow is dancing and parrying, the most outrageous thing he says is that the President understands the necessity of having the support of the people. I think they always think they have the support of the ‘people’; it’s just ’some’ of us who are so stubborn as to refuse to click our heels and believe, believe!
    When I look at Rice in the picture above, I see someone who is angry. She is both entreating and excoriating. How can the Congress be so rude to her? But this is what she expected from ’some’ of us, anyway. But still, how can they be so rude??? she seems to be saying. And then she is backed up by Robert Gates who says it’s all about our credibility. These folks are irony-impaired as a result of their classic hubris.

  • http://graphitefurnace.blogs.com Two Dishes

    So well put. I used to try to blog about it but it all gets me so upset. I really, really want these people to burn in Hell. I want to see them caught in a gluetrap, gnawing off their own broken limbs.

  • tina

    TwoDishes–as someone who won’t use gluetraps on mice for that very reason…..that wish is reaallllllyyy cold. I like it.

  • Samantha

    Now THIS is the Condi we all know and love. Not the deceptively hand-crossed and head bowed one in an older photo. Do you all still think she was feeling “shameful” back then? Or is she the same souless political attack dog she always was?
    This photo is certainly an angry and above all, defiant Condi. As is her nature. Some will never be anything else. “This son doesn’t back down” daddy Bush said one day. And he’s right, he doesn’t. Neither does Condi, Rummy, Cheney, or many other famous war criminals.
    Really, when you’re in this deep, what else is there to do, be contrite? No, you go out stubborn and fighting, like Nazi war crimminals standing before the Hague.
    If they were all rounded up, the whole 911 whitehouse bunch, and put on trial, thrown into prison like nazis, it would be Colin Powell who would be the regretful one, like Albert Spears writing his diaries,…while Condi would be like Goebbels and the rest – self rightious, hateful, defiant, and placing her political party above her country.

  • Cactus

    Samantha: The point I was making several posts ago was the difference between having a shame-based personality (and making the case for such with Condi) and actually having a feeling of being shamed for having done something wrong. The latter, I fear, has not touched Condi nor her cohorts, since they apparently never do anything wrong. A shame-based personality would get angry and defensive when her actions are questioned or shown to be faulty, or even the suspicion of same. The construct she has used to protect those old feelings cannot be threatened and she will fiercely defend herself because the risk is to collapse back into that childhood shaming experience. IMHO, of course.
    Those previous photos of Condi with the pouty expression I would attribute more to a sense of impending doom. Perhaps I err in giving Condi the intelligence to realize that things are no longer going exactly as they want and that it could all get very ugly very quickly. One wonders if this will ever dawn on W.

  • Lynn

    You should do a whole series on Condi from that hearing. Especially compelling to me were two other emotions which appeared frequently:
    (1) Pure rage. She looks absolutely furious at times.
    (2) Absolute contempt. As you say, her hubris.
    The picture you used for this post is classic. I can almost hear her saying, “What the hell is wrong with you!” when I look at it.

  • markm8128

    Help get this right-wing fool thrown off the air!!!
    Didn’t CNN get the message from the last election….that the American public has rejected the right-wing extremist agenda?
    Why is CNN giving prime-time every night to the ultra-right-wing extremist, Glenn Beck?
    Please take just 10 seconds to click on this link and send a message to CNN telling them we don’t want the airwaves innundated by this idiotic
    low-grade right-wing propaganda!
    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?69

  • 14All

    Frankly, this picture frightens me. She may have a somewhat pleading expression now, but I also see a person (and an administration) ready to lash out with the next breath, and they still have an enormous amount of power. Like the proverbial cornered tiger, they will attack savagely in order to protect the remnants of their shattered egos.

  • Samantha

    Cactus, thank you for expanding on your original thoughts.
    Well I do agree she has not exhibited any capacity for shame. Or for that matter, compassion, or the desire to compromise or validate another’s views.
    I’m not a psychologist, but I’m sure such things as narcissistic personality disorder come into play here. Two narcisssistic traits in particular that this entire bunch seems to be good at, is distorting reality to fit their view of it, and projection.
    In other words, Spin and Blame. (No we’re not losing just because we’re not winning,…and it’s the liberal media’s fault and Iran’s fault. It’s the fault of those who “hate freedom” – not I who erodes the constitution).
    I’ve always wondered where Condi fits into all this though. Sure she’s disordered and ruthless like the rest, but has she found a satisfactory place behind Bush and Rove? Was THAT her plan when she was in college? Was it the cards dealt to her, being black and female, otherwise she’d have risen to hubris heights and power yet unseen? I always wonder.
    Anyway, this photo scares me every time I look at it. It’s like something out of mythology. The bottom half of her could be a snake and in a few minutes she’ll rip the head off of some Greek warrior and swallow it whole.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/sarigraphics LizDexic

    You know, I had noticed in the recent past that Condo’s glowering expressions did not have her signature wrinkled Klingon-like forehead….she had obviously partaken of the Botox.
    But NOW, the Botox has worn off, the wrinkles are returning. (Even Nora Ephron in her hilarious diary-written-as-Condi on Huffpost mentions how busy she’s been extremely busy wrinkling her forehead.)
    And I believe that this photo was cropped to lessen the severe Klingon thing Condo has going on there.

  • ummabdulla

    LizDexic, it’s interesting that you mention that, because I noticed that in “the tear” photo, Bush has one especially noticeable wrinkle all the way across his forehead.

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