My thoughts on the world around me

The Washington Post’s Ann Telnaes’ Cartoon

The Washington Post recently published one of Ann Telnaes’ cartoons. In it, George H.W. Bush, with George W. sitting on his lap, tells the world how he would love for Jeb Bush to run for the US Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, and to later run for president. At the news of this, George W. lets out a shriek, ultimately shattering the picture frame of Jeb in the background.

This cartoon, while simple, reveals quite a lot. George H.W. Bush plotting to have three generations of Bushes in the White House reminds me of “Manifest Destiny.”

Manifest Destiny was the historical belief that the United States was divinely ordained and destined to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Under this belief, not only was it good to expand, but it was both obvious (“manifest”) and certain (“destiny”).

I found this painting on Wikipedia. Painted by John Gast circa 1872, and titled “American Progress,” it’s an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny. Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads the American settlers westward, stringing telegraph wire as she travels. She’s also holding a school book. The painting, then, highlights the various economic activities of the pioneers, as well as the changing forms of transportation. As you’ll notice to the left, the Native Americans and wild animals flee.

George H.W. Bush saying “I’d like to see [Jeb Bush] be president some day” suggests that he thinks that it’s his family’s destiny to control the most powerful office in the world.

Well, Papa Bush, thankfully we live in a society with elections. I certainly would hate having to flee as our native brethren did in centuries past. Granted, we’re not above making a mockery of elections (Bush v. Gore), now are we? With that said, though, I truly hope America has had enough of this family.


January 5, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Fine Art, Humor, Law, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thank you!!! Happy New productive year!!! ;) Wow! CHANGE is really coming! ;)

    Comment by GR | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  2. It was 1994 or 1995 when I met Jeb Bush. A mandatory tour to the powerful and politically influencing Cuban business community in Miami made it possible. Jeb was graciously shaking hands and attempting to trow some Spanish words to the delight of the older generation of Cuban exiles working at that place. Stopping at my cubicle, shaking my hand, he could not resist his immediate infatuation with my wardrobe: “nice tie!” Jeb said. Yes, it was one of the best ties I ever owned. Colorful, glamorous, a rare piece of art only the ’90s’ yuppie trend allowed.
    I only knew that Jeb was the son of the Vice President, nothing else. Later he became the Governor of Florida. His legacy? Not sure. So the most important question I asked myself today is: is it OK for me to use my old tie in 2009? Adding color to the black and white, Hitchcock-like reality we are living could help. The less important questions is this: why is it that the GOP is focusing in finding a candidate before fixing his mess? It is like finding an engineer to build a new fuel-efficient car without knowing what kind of technology you are planning to use. Perhaps there is more to it in this analogy. The pressure from within must be huge; by pressure I mean the pressure from the old-establishment leaving office this January 20, abandoning the Saud family to the unknown and unpredictable decisions of a new Democratic administration. Believe me, there are lots of people and interest ready to go back in power; Halliburton did not happen to be a business success due to its business model; not even Blackwater. The pressure is already happening to put the old family back in power.
    Interesting, I remember more about my tie than the contribution Jeb made as a Florida Governor –I cannot say the same for Arnold, a progressive Republican with a less ideological agenda. About the joke? The joke is on us. I cannot wait to wear my old, colorful, Jeb Bush-approved glamorous tie!

    Comment by GR | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] SOCIAL VOX My thoughts on the world around me « The Washington Post’s Ann Telnaes’ Cartoon […]

    Pingback by American Progress or American Dilemma? « SOCIAL VOX | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  4. … do not appreciate autoplay…

    Comment by dougrogers | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  5. I’m not a fan of the autoplay, either. I couldn’t find a different video format of the joke. I guess we’ll just have to make do.

    Comment by socialvox | January 7, 2009 | Reply

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