6.17.2005

A Thousand Words...

A Thousand Words…

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m often a bit confused as to what exactly the president and other Republicans think they are communicating so many times. I'm not sure what they are thinking but I'd like to give them a peek into my thoughts about some noteworthy pictures.

January 8, 2002: President Bush and Teddy. President Bush shared the stage with Teddy Kennedy in celebration of the No Child Left Behind compromise. What a noble cause. Compromise can be a good thing. I trusted the President. I thought I could. He wouldn't compromise on core issues, right? Wrong. He did. Increased federal control; decreased parental choice; increased spending. It wasn’t consistent with the Reagan model of conservatism he so boldly espoused.

Seeing that picture of the President and Senator Kennedy sharing the stage at the bill signing simply turned my stomach. What was that about: the best we could offer the children of our nation or an attempt to gain political praise? That photo op represents yet another conservative political and PR gaff accompanied by the all-too-familiar savvy, crafty liberal machinations. Not a good picture.

May 13, 2005: Newt and Hillary. I had just returned from overseas. I logged on to the internet to find out what I'd missed. What headlined the Drudge Report was a picture of Hillary Clinton and Newt Gingrich. I’d only been gone for a week. Had hell frozen over? Was this jet lag, a bad dream or reality? I am supposed to believe that the Clinton-Gingrich alliance is simply a cooperative effort in the interest of health care in our nation.

Honestly, it looked more like a union borne out of self interest and designed to earn political capital of the two individuals participating in the deal. I don’t doubt that they both have a burden to improve health care. However, there’s too much history there. The most likely and most liberal Democratic Presidential nominee standing alongside one of her husband’s greatest political nemesis strikes me as magnificently calculating. Another bad pose. I hate it for those who really are in desperate need for health care. I hate the posturing and the manipulation it represents.

Now: President Bush and a porn star. Apparently, the National Congressional Republican Committee has invited Mark Kulkis, president of Kick Ass productions (a porn production company), to dine with the President. “I’m honored to be invited to this event,” Kulkis said. “Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won’t find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year.” Kulkis and Mary Carey, porn star, are guests of the president. What, exactly, is the White House thinking? Why is the pro-family president of the Faith Based Initiative associating with this most perverse, destructive and degrading of “businesses.”

What would compel the president and the Republican Congressional Committee to set up a photo op with glorified pimps and prostitutes? It’s obvious, based on Kulkis’ statement, what it is that they seek from the president. What does the president stand to gain? Nothing. As a matter of fact, worse than nothing; he will have quite a bit of explaining to do. Is the Republican party so desperate for money that they don’t care where it comes from? They better take note. That’ll be another picture many of us remember. We're not likely to have fond memories of this one either.

It’s been said that bad company corrupts good morals. It may also be true that bad company reflects a condoning at worst and a tolerance at best of those morals. President Bush can’t escape his role as the First Citizen, the model for Americans—adults and children alike. If he doesn’t redeem this photo op, many Americans who proudly elected him will be ashamed of their president. It’s going to take more than a thousand words to gain that respect back.

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