What Haas looked for, and began to find, in his last monochromatic work was what he finally realized most fully in color: a photography that was not dominated by what Richard Kirstel has called "the tyranny of the subject." Like those members of the New York School with whom he had most in common, and like another figure whose explorations must be factored into this equation, the late Aaron Siskind, Haas had grown tired of making pictures of the world and even of making images about it; instead, he'd become desirous of making images that were simply drawn from it. The teacher and theorist Henry Holmes Smith once wrote (in an essay on Siskind), "The question: 'What was really there?' becomes as irrelevant as what Monet's lily pond really looked like to Mme. Monet when she rode by on her bicycle." Haas's mature color images come to that same conclusion.
During the New Deal, liberals recognized that the ballot box and elected branches are generally the appropriate engines of social reform, and liberals used both to spectacular effect — instituting profound social changes that remain deeply ingrained in society today. In the face of great skepticism about the constitutionality of New Deal measures in some corners, a generation of Democratic-appointed judges, from Louis Brandeis to Byron White, argued for judicial restraint and deference to the right of Congress to experiment with economic and social policy. Those voices have been all but forgotten in recent years among liberal activists. It would be a very good thing for all involved — the country, an independent judiciary, and the Left itself — if liberals take a page from David von Drehle and their own judges of the New Deal era, kick their addiction to constitutional litigation, and return to their New Deal roots of trying to win elections rather than lawsuits.