He looks at the camera with contempt and arrogance. Pundits are saying he spent hours rehearsing for that photo for his mug shot. He wanted to get the image just right. The image needed to be perfect to be transformed into an effective tool for fund raising. So, they’re saying that the picture was calculated, formed with practiced nuance. He’d only get one shot. Had to get it right.
Contempt and arrogance. Rehearsed. I can see his base using that image to elevate him, to demonstrate proof that he is a super hero. But I see something different. I don’t think it was rehearsed. I’m not saying that he didn’t rehearse how he wanted to look in his mug shot. I completely believe that he did this. But this photo was not what was rehearsed. In this photo, I see a man without a mask. This is what is underneath the jaunty, self-aggrandizing, smug banter that we usually see. Here is the menace behind the mask. His contempt for all is palpable.
Meadows and Giuliani also have the same expression on their faces. White male privilege. Rage that anyone could dare to treat them with anything but delicate deference because of who they are. Contempt. Arrogance.
Here’s what I like to think. I like to think that the Fulton County processing procedures really were performed for these puffed up sleaze bags the same as for everyone else. No nonsense. They were given orders, and it was made clear that, if they did not immediately comply, harsher measures would be used. Imagine being treated that way when you see yourself as being so important that you are above such treatment. When I imagine these men, having been among the most powerful people in the world, now standing under florescent lights, being told what to do by a civil servant, being stripped of their freedom in the same procedure rooms where countless criminals of all kinds had been processed in the same manner, it takes my breath away. Those mug shots were not rehearsed. By the time they came before the camera, their rage had burned away their carefully maintained masks. Their privilege had been cast aside by these lowly civil servants, and what had been carefully stoked and hidden on the inside flared out, allowing us all to see that they are nothing more than malignant scabs, clinging to the still living tissue of our democracy. These men still attempt to spread their malignancy and devour that living tissue until they transform it into something dead and lifeless.
And that’s a cause for hope because our democracy still lives. These roiling spit balls are not going to win. They may be seething with contempt and arrogance as they glare at the camera, but they are arrested. Their freedom has been taken away, and they are now under the control of the State of Georgia. Wow. What a satisfying feeling.