There's so much talk about about the photo, and my post is drawing so much traffic from various blogs — the kind that try to disqualify me as drunk/stupid — that I have to conclude this criticism — it's hardly even a criticism, more of an observation — really hurt.
Here's Andrew Sullivan:
Glenn Reynolds finds a photo in the White House Flickr basket...Flickr basket? Sullivan either doesn't know what things are called, or he's inventing a phrase to create the impression that the White House dumps all manner of images onto its public Flickr page without much thought. In fact, the White House Flickr page — which I check almost daily — gets — I would say — an average of one new photo a day — maybe 2 — and the photos are clearly chosen to flatter President Obama. I have zero doubt that if there is a photo there, the White House believes it presents the President in an excellent light.
... and publishes it to, er, point out how bad the White House's p.r. is, or how blind they are to perceptions of Obama or some such thing.Yes, exactly. It's obvious and it's easy to understand. Acting out a pretense of having difficulty understanding is hammy.
I tried to puzzle this one out and can just about see how an elusive photo of a tired Obama reacting to something unknowable might make him look tired or arrogant or something.
And then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are [sic] damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That's political gold.It's political gold against Sullivan. And I don't just mean because he played the race card with so little provocation. It's damaging to Sullivan because the way he arrived at the racial interpretation was entirely by searching around in his own brain. He thought and he thought — he puzzled — and then he realized what looked bad to "some people." Some people? But that was you seeing that, Andrew! What you see is what you see. How much alienation from one's own thoughts there must be that you would expose your own racism like that!
If you think that's unfair, then take it as a lesson in fairness.