Lawrence Weschler, one of America's foremost chroniclers of the unique and peculiar, notes in an LA Times op-ed piece (reg. req.) yesterday that Bush's campaign Web page's section on "compassion" features mostly photographs of the Prez with Americans of the black persuasion. As Weschler's amusing invective puts it:
First one up: short-sleeved Bush, holding a black kid in his arms, a bleacher full of black kids behind him, and he's merrily waving to the crowd. Click "next." And it's Bush at a Waco Habitat for Humanity building site, his arm draped around a black woman, his other hand tapping the shoulder of another of the black construction volunteers. Next: Bush waving to the Urban League. Next: Bush working a crowd, a black ? or maybe, in this case, South Indian ? kid prominently featured in the foreground, gazing on in amazement. Bush in an African thatch-roofed schoolroom.
And now, there he is again, reading to a different roomful of black schoolchildren. It's amazing ? photo after photo, 19 in all, and almost every single one of them giving further testimony to the astonishing capaciousness of the guy's Compassion, by which we are given to understand: He just has no trouble at all touching black people! Hammering with them, bagging groceries, tottering alongside them on weirdly high stools.
It's like Ben Hur among the lepers ? the guy doesn't hesitate, he just goes and does it! Why, the Compassion page even includes a photo of him standing next to his own secretary of State, Colin Powell!