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A New Spirit of America?

Last week, news reports noted that Barack Obama wax figures were being officially installed in Madame Tussauds around the globe (He was already in place in the Washington DC Tussauds).

Spirit of America.In Amsterdam, for example, the wax George W Bush was given a set of luggage, and put on the street outside the museum as if waiting for Taxi Cab One to take him the hell out of town. Wax Obama smiled at him through a window.

This presents an interesting dilemma for the Las Vegas Madame Tussauds, specifically for their “Spirit of America” room, where the tour ends. In our report about this attraction, we mention that the youngest person in the display–which includes Lincoln, Ben Franklin, John Wayne, JF and Mrs. K and Muhammad Ali—is Princess Diana. What we didn’t mention was the very odd juxtaposition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Bush.

Spirit of America.Until last Thursday, under the large banner, “The Spirit of America,” Dr. King stood on one side of a great divide painted on the floor, President Bush standing on the other side. The Bush and King figures didn’t acknowledge each other directly, and Bush is making his scowly face. As if the winner of a game of capture-the-flag, the President has Old Glory clearly on his side, not about to share it.

The dilemma for Tussauds Las Vegas? Do you merely swap out President Bush with President Obama, or do you change the way the room is organized? If you just swap it out, it’s gonna look weird. How come Obama won’t cross the barrier to thank Dr. King for all he did?

Spirit of America.But if they do reorganize (and it appears that they did), it tells everyone that Tussauds was, in fact, sending a political message to the world’s visitors.

Our suggestion would be not to kick President Bush out immediately, but instead to bring in the poker table with the wax Ben Affleck, dig up a Bush happy-head for his body, and show these four great Americans relaxing a little, another peaceful transfer of power.

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September 25, 2023

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