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June 8, 2007

On The Latest Episode Of “As The White House Turns” : The Would-Be Diplomat Vs. The Wannabe-Dictator


When I saw this, I thought: That’s it.  There’s the money shot.  I mean, the idiocy of it aside, is there a better picture of why American foreign policy is so schizophrenic?

Is it your turn to see him?’

‘Is it mine?’

Could you just move over a little bit, you’re cramping me here.’

‘Burn in hell.  Yeah … and I just wrote it down.’

If these two still have plenty of time to further screw things up, the consolation, at least, is that it’s so much more transparent now.

Anyway, FAIR has a nice post, split evenly down the middle.  First, it cites a WAPO article serving as mouthpiece for Cheney’s latest obsession (linking Iran with the Taliban).  Then it hails Newsweek for the latest cat scratch — which is where this photo came from.  In that piece, which is just short of delicious for the denial of infighting (and for calling out Cheney and his latest interagency blah blah blah heavy breathing over the Taliban), we get to hear Condi’s not-so-veiled push back on the big “noise” machine.

By the way, I don’t believe the Newsweek suggestion that Condi is winning, if by a hair.  Pushing the point, the mag quotes Rice as saying (in reference to “The Decider” ): “When I’m speaking, I’m speaking on his behalf.”

Condi, whenever you’re speaking for him, it’s only by half (and that’s on a good day).

(image: Khue Bui for Newsweek.  article dated June 7, 2007.)

  • LazyJournalist

    ..And this is why the BAG is the first place I go every morning. Please keep ‘em coming!

  • mugatea

    It’s almost as if her calf is a third person in the photo. Dead center, expanded by her other knee. It looks like a different shade of skin. Are those stockings doing that? Or is it the light? What’s the deal with stockings anyway, does one match stockings with the clothing they are wearing? If so those must be gray stockings. They look hot, not sexy, uncomfortable hot. The women in my life think stockings are like a straight-jacket (physically & culturally).
    I’m not fond of either these two (or the calf), but it’s nice to see Condi appearing grander than Dick.

  • Asta

    Cheney has always reminded me of Jabba the Hut.
    It seems he is using that lovely chair as a foot rest. I suspect he’d use Condi as a foot rest if he could get away with it.

  • PTate in FR

    I don’t like Condi Rice’s friends or political choices, but without a doubt, she is the most expressive public figure around. One actually sees authentic emotions in her body and visage, and I really like that. To my eye, this photo does not support the idea that CR is “winning” over DC. The Brain is sitting there, busily scratching out this evening’s plan for world domination, and CR, aka Pinky, is waiting with quiet detachment for her marching orders. She has a look of learned helplessness.

  • catfood

    What a great photo! It could be titled “Dysfunction Junction.” In addition to the subjects’ body language, the slant of the floor adds to the overall tension, suggesting that like America’s image during he past 6 1/2 years, they are sliding downhill.

  • tina

    Crowded in and boxed off by the post-Enlightenment European furniture. Nice.

  • non-descript

    schizophrenics are quite often kind and gentle , these guys arne’t .

  • MonsieurGonzo

    ‘Is it your turn to see him?’
    ‘Is it mine?’
    you nailed it today, Michael (^_^)
    he’s active, focused on something : she’s schiz’d; and off the wall somewhere.
    of course, your analogy to a noble court is spot-on. Another, albeit oblique and cynical but nonetheless juicy interpretation might be the children’s game, “musical chairs“.
    oh, let’s just be ‘fantastical’ today and say something like, “the empty chair on the left is the absence of the American people” from the consideration or conscience of the Executive Branch; and the chair with the Veep’s foot on it? voila! the Democratic Party = Congress?
    at any rate, a stupendous image ~ rarely do we ever get to gaze at such an apparently unguarded, unpretentious moment: so full of tension. i wonder what Khue Bui, the Pulitzer prize-winning photographer’s story is (regarding this image, not the article) and i hope you can contact him, Michael, encourage Mr. Bui to tell us more about his amazing photograph.

  • donna

    Ah, all the other rats have left the Titanic ship of the State Dept. All that’s left is to rearrange the furniture.
    What was that, 200 open posts in the State Dept?
    Who would be fool enough to sign on now?

  • lowly grunt

    My first thought was:
    Why is Dick behind a chair? How is he going to get out of there?
    The second thought was:
    Condi looks so tense. If Dick were to suddenly make a noise, she’d leap right out of that seat.
    My third thought:
    I don’t think Dick CARES that he’s trapped behind that chair. He knows what power he has won’t be stopped by a piddling little thing like that.
    Last thought:
    Maybe Condi is so tense because she has been charged with watching over the trapped Dick and knows he is like a cornered badger. She isn’t fooled by the flimsy attempt to keep him isolated.
    and, HEY! stop disparaging Pinky and The Brain!
    TB: Are you pondering what I’m pondering?
    P: I think so, but this time you put the rubber pants on the monkey.

  • Cactus

    There’s something screwy about the chairs; they don’t match, they are not in any recognizable order, they look to be shoved aside, out of the way of something else happening. Which may be a metaphor for these two. The Dick thinks he’s the president and (if reports are true) has been running the Iraq occupation from his office. He is sitting there, purportedly waiting to see The W, affecting deliberate nonchalance and actively ignoring Condi. For her part, Condi has struck a pose (and that’s exactly what it is) of unconcerned indifference, while she is seething with anger inside as if, should she move the fingers from her jaw, she would explode. But then she’s always been rather tightly wound.
    They both have black binders, but The Dick’s seems larger. Did they just come from a meeting, or are they going to the same meeting? In either case, you’d think they would have SOMETHING to say to each other. They obviously know there is a photographer present, maybe more than one. That they can’t even make the pretense of ‘getting along’ for the camera says as much as their body language. This apparently doesn’t bother The Dick; he has his own staff and runs his own world, all the rest is just an annoyance. As in all soaps, nothing ever changes and no one ever makes a good decision to get themselves out of a mess and everybody lies to everybody else.
    While we know The Dick does his work behind locked doors and shreds the evidence, Condi has come late to the diplomatic endeavors. Her prior attitude with foreign heads of state has been more to tell them what the US wants them to do. Now that things are all bellyupsidedown, her diplomatic skills, such as they may be, are not taken seriously by people who have already come to dislike her. I’m just sayin’………..
    I like the comment about rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. Very apt.

  • lytom

    It is misleading to read too much into the disagreements these two despicable characters have going on between them. Both of them, in their capacity, have managed to screw as many countries they have been able to visit in addition to those countries they have discussed with the Deciderer, who is deluded into thinking that he can “fix” everything!
    Newsweek’s hairbrain suggestion that Condi is winning seems like a scheme to feed illusions to their readers and add bit of a soap that the public loves to read about.
    That seems to have worked, just like it had worked for the image of Colin Powell, who was cultivated by MSM as a “honorable man” who was suppossedly going to change the leader’s ways. WOW.

  • readytoblowagasket

    I love this photograph! It makes me laugh because it is so exquisitely uncomfortable! Can you imagine being in that room with them?
    Cactus said: That they can’t even make the pretense of ‘getting along’ for the camera says as much as their body language.
    Nail on the head. Plus, if the photographer meant to capture the essence of stubbornness . . .
    This photo of the last two administration holdouts goes nicely with the rather desolate cover image. And the cover story, by Fareed Zakaria, is a surprisingly damning (for Newsweek) must-read.

  • mugatea

    Sparkle Pony posted this photo/image a week ago. There’s some amusing condi•nalysis on the most recent post as well. One funny pony.
    Good eye on the chairs. It gives the image an upper-class garage sale feel. An auction.
    Was she making a Scalia‘n gesture with that hand under the chin? Or, about to bid on the loveseat?

  • J R

    Actually, both Cheney and Rice are STUNNINGLY intelligent, but I think they lack long-term vision. They only seem to care about succeeding in making their one-sided policies reality. Each “success” seems to chip away at our basic freedoms. Has anyone taken the time to look around at our country? Been to an airport lately? I swear, this country has become what it always hated: Communist Russia!!!

  • linda

    i read rice’s posture as completely closed off and defensive. her legs are crossed with the one knee almost a barrier to moving closer to her; one arm is crossed against her stomach and hand in a fist; and the other is upraised across her chest.
    cheney completely oblivious in his evil detachment.
    they must be a fun couple to hang with.

  • Gasho

    **Spoiler alert: Saprano’s finale comment**
    Looks to me like Condi saw a sneak preview of the Sapranos finale and is just now understanding the import of the Junior/Tony scene. No matter what you do or how high you can get, whoever you can screw and kill and starve and bomb to get there, you don’t get to keep a god-damned thing.. it’s all impermanent after all.
    What a poignant philosophical point for our tragic anti-heroine! Dick is no doubt planning how to conquer the universe and become the dark lord of whatever the frick he thinks he’s supposed to be the dark lord of.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Cheney is just pretending to write something extremely important so he doesn’t have to make conversation with Condi. People in the business world do that all the time with subordinates and clients. It’s a power display.
    I’ll be with you in a minute . . .
    Transparent. Insecure. Immature. Ridiculous.

  • Erich Scholz

    why all the love for condi? the peeps are always, “If only condi could show her real side…she’d make things right!” screw her. she’s a criminal. she deserves a trial at the hague and public humiliation for her role in one of the greatest crimes in human history

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