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August 4, 2009

Partying Like It’s, Well, 2000 – 2008

Bush Tussauds.jpg

If you were walking around Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in D.C. today and took in this figure along every other famous stiff gussied up for Barack Obama’s birthday — that would be one thing. But that’s not the case. Instead, what we encounter here is an isolation shot sent out over the newswire for national consumption, the imaging way too suggestive to contain the context.

As a result, what the picture serves up is a garishly brutal and brutally resonant portrait of a Presidency. (Ha! And they were so omnipotent, they thought they could even dictate the legacy.)

What makes the picture worthy, the same way immediate satisfaction is to be had ripping drywall away from rot, is that it nails the essential character of Bush’s unblinking administration (and also reconciles the early Bush with the much ballyhooed dry drunk version).

9/11 notwithstanding, Bush and his cowboys were always about a party.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images. caption: Birthday decorations are placed on the wax figure of former U.S. President George W. Bush in a mock Oval Office at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum August 4, 2009 in Washington, DC. The museum celebrated President Barack Obama’s birthday with dressing the wax figures as party-goers and made them available for visitors to take pictures with.)

  • Apple

    I notice that this dummy doesn’t fill out his suit.

  • gryphon

    I guess they did it.. they were trying for a serious presidential look and got ‘I think I just farted’ instead… just like the real thing. bravo.
    did dub ever look comfortable in his skin during his 8 yrs? his ever present scowly frown was as fun as the ‘what, me?’ 1000 yard stare..

  • DennisQ

    Bush was taken seriously the way a drunk with a revolver is taken seriously. People humored him because they’d never know when he’d go off.
    Bush’s legacy is the apparent belief among conservatives that they can continue to swagger around drunkenly the way Bush did. “Y’all lissen up or ah’m gonna do something nasty.” How else to interpret the teabaggers’ use of thuggish tactics to disrupt political meetings? When the backlash comes, they’ll act out being victims, as Bush did at his last press conference.

  • Serr8d

    OH! how could I be so rude?


  • Ralph

    Good one!

  • mcmama

    Yuck. Offensive. Probably racist. You know that this one act, this bit of ugliness, is now attached to your moniker, right? And every time you turn up, the rest of us will think – ooh, there’s that racist asshole. Congrats.

  • NS

    ineffective and desperate.
    if you’re going to troll, at least take the initiative to write something in response to the post at hand, instead of merely recycling your own blog posts.
    i’ve seen better trolling by 12-year-olds on 4chan.

  • NS

    a portrait of cognitive dissonance… the “always a party” comment reminds me of nero fiddling while rome burned.
    despite all his projected toughness i always associated bush more with the crinkly eyed smile, the nicknames, the class clown tendencies, the desire to “pal around with” (as they say) his interlocuters or audience. something about this photo sort of highlights that, but in reverse…
    can’t quite put it into words… maybe it’s that there was always something fundamentally INAPPROPRIATE about the guy, and that’s what i see captured here.

  • DennisQ

    I believe so-called conservatives are actually trying to tell us something. The nastiness we perceive is their way of communicating.
    Unfortunately, when they come to power, they don’t communicate any better than Bush did in his notoriously inarticulate press conferences.

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