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September 3, 2008

The Republican Clone-vention


You remember the transmitter controversy, regarding the alleged bump under Bush’s jacket and the rumor that Bush — like a pod person — was receiving his debate answers directly from Rove?

Watching the RNC on TV, you quickly get the feeling — especially when it comes to Sarah Palin — that maybe everybody in that convention is also wearing the transmitter, so uniform are the talking points.

It’s for that reason Todd Heisler’s photo last evening of the Bush tele-speech managed to effectively distill the whole situation down to one shot.  I mean, it’s all there: The “cowboy” party.  The “white” party.  The “everything’s black-and-white” party.  The “shifted over to the right” party. The “pretend Bush is relevant” party, and the “pretend Bush didn’t have time to show up in person” party.

Given that McCain didn’t want Bush here in the first place, it was also a fitting farewell for a photo-op Presidency.

(image: Todd Heisler/NYT.  September 2, 2008)

  • mudkitty

    The first thing that comes to mind is some kind of strange dystopia…very Kubrekian – almost Clockwork Orangeish.

  • Roschelle

    “Clone-vention”…great word play! We all know Gov. Palin was the wrong choice for the right…It seems that Terry Trippany over at News Busters feels McCain’s ill-advised decision is Barack Obama’s fault.

  • weisseharre

    sicherhistspoilzelich durchgearbeitet(hakuna matata/vicuna patata/entlausung endlösung,letzcaulth’olethingsoff(?))

  • KansasKowboy

    My college age kids ask me what is it that makes a person be a Republican vs a Democrat. I like to explain to them that in my opinion, generally, people that are Democrats are usually independent type people and Republicans are generally follow-the-herd types. The images from the DNC and RNC conventions reflect that. Though you do see some of the delegations at the DNC in group costumes, for the most part people dress in a variety of ways, not to mention that at a DNC convention you see a wider variety of ethnic groups and ages. At the RNC you see delegations all dressed alike or wearing suits. Mostly white people and mostly past middle age. When RNC attendies dress casual it is usually in khakis and a blue long sleeve shirt. The texas delegation with their cowboy hats and all dressed alike at the RNC in this photo is a good example. All the Regan-like western movie cowboy hats saluting the phony cowboy prez.

  • HarpoSnarx

    I’m hoping said transmitters were inserted upward, so to speak.

  • jean

    Before I read your comment Micheal, I thought that Bush was supposed to be there, but, the podium’s emptpy!. So my take was that these folks were listening intently to…thin air or…a floating hat. Like Doonesbury’s take on Dan Quayle. Wasn’t he a feather? Actually BUSH WAS a hat!!!! So reading your commentary sort of spoiled it for me.

  • jean

    But talking about ‘talking points’: lockstep is what they are good at. No, lockstep is ALL they are good at. Fixed.

  • Liberal AND Proud

    It looked a terrorism tape.
    Or worse…that photo looks like the original “1984″ Apple commercial.

  • catfood

    “-this is the duty to lie according to a fixed convention, to lie with the herd and in a manner binding upon everyone.”
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

  • John

    The first thing I notice is that it looks like a herd of empty sentient hats just floating there. Almost like something out of a Pixar movie…

  • Stuart Noble

    I’ve been very interested in Heisler’s recent work. Check out this related photo from convention day one, also the Texas delegation.

  • cmac

    Yikes. Big Brother on the screen, all the good ‘citizens’ listening obediently, and over there at stage right, in silhouette, one of Big Brother’s soldiers waiting to drag dissenters out of the arena.
    Very, very scary.

  • donna

    All hats, no cattle, all sheep…

  • Scarabus

    On my own blog I posted a frame from Apple’s famous 1984 Super Bowl ad, followed by Heisler’s (credited) photo. That comparison was the first thing that struck my mind when I saw the photo.
    1984 text: “[A]an auditorium filled with zombie-like near-clones staring at Big Brother’s face projected on a huge screen as he intones a speech.”
    RNC text: “[A]nother auditorium filled with zombie-like near-clones staring at Big Brother’s image projected on a huge screen as he intones a speech.”

  • Anonymous

    Yup yup yup, they’re organized and prepared. This morning the local PBS radio reporter noted they were more organized than they were at the DNC. She also noted that it was much less crowded, a lot more somber, and there was much more alcohol available.
    Bwaa haaa hahahahah.

  • mcc

    The way the screen’s set up makes Bush’s visage appear weird and unreal and not part of the same picture, like the holograms of Fred Willard in “Wall*E”…
    I’m not sure that screen was such a good idea, entirely. It seems like an interesting premise at first, but… I don’t know. I saw a brief snatch of Lieberman’s speech on a TV that was showing CNN while I was out last night, and filmed against that illuminated background Lieberman looked washed out, like he was disappearing– the blue light around Lieberman’s edges seemed to be kind of bleeding into the space occupied by Lieberman himself. I can’t find any good examples right now but some of the still photos from Lieberman’s speech that I saw last night had this same weird visual effect.

  • gmoke

    All the cattle wear cowboy hats.

  • mmmm,good.

    The sad thing is that the people meant to receive these messages can be counted on to do just that — and not to ‘read’ them. The first person to figure out how to flip the role of the audience wins a free trip to Wasilla.

  • Rafael

    I noticed that a third of the hall is empty. Where did all the people go?

  • zzyzx

    Invasion of the ten-gallon pod people.
    All hats, no ca……..WTF, you know!

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