Saturday, September 05, 2009

Terence Samuels and metaphors to infinity....

I don't know what American Prospect is, but it isn't very good. But it was on Real Clear Politics, and I'm having fun doing this, so here you go. Terence Samuels rocking it incomprehensible. Cynical conservative blogger trying to make sense of it all.

Mr. President: You're right; they're wrong, and don't you forget it.

Well, that's a taut little thesis. Also, what’s with the punctuation pu pu platter?

There is some good news for President Barack Obama on health-care reform: No one of consequence is seriously arguing to kill it outright.


And, we add a hyphen. But yeah, people don’t want to kill health care (or healthcare, but not health-care) reform, even those who aren’t all that consequential. Health care needs reforming. It’s just that Obama doesn’t make any sense on this issue.

Despite all the sound and fury of the summer town halls, to be against health-care reform is still not a winning position with the American people.

Yes it is... Because of all the sound and fury of the town halls.

It is important for the president to keep this bottom-line calculus -- that he is on the right side of this issue both morally and politically – at the top of his mind when he returns from vacation to a chorus of depressing reviews about how badly August turned out for him and the prospects of health reform.

Yikes. Now we have a whole paragraph without punctuation. I’d say Terence needs an editor, but he already is one. I do like the idea of Obama returning from vacation, only to be shown an article citing his poor approval ratings, and responding with an exaggerated “whaaaaaaa?” and immediately dropping his coffee on the floor, thusly and immediately burning the tongue of an AP political beat writer.

Health-care reform is an issue that won him the election, and it is one that is worth the good fight, one to which he should not just bring a megaphone but a baseball bat.

That’s an odd mix of metaphors. Maybe he can borrow the bat from that Van Jones creep.

One strategic consideration going forward is how much ammunition the other side has in its possession, measured against the White House arsenal. In this, the opponents to reform come up short.

Pay no mind to the bazooka sitting in the corner. The one with “2010 elections” emblazoned on the side. That’s kind of an overused word, isn’t it, “emblazoned”? I’m retiring that one.

What they have, and have used to great effect, is confusion.


I think what Terence means is that opponents of reform have made a concerted effort to confuse voters, not that they, the opponents, are confused, and are effectively spreading their own confusion. This reads as the latter.

But we should not misread the confusion of the American people as opposition.

Because it is literally impossible that anyone simply disagrees with the author.

The other side, with no alternative plan,


It has two.

no coherent critique of the existing ones,


I’ve read dozens, if not hundreds.

and no argument that we're better off without reforms,

Nobody is attempting to make this argument.

has resorted to a strategy of distortion and distraction and demagoguery


Whereas Samuels is employing a strategy of arbitrary, asinine alliteration.

I never dreamed I would see an administration try to disavow all the things that have made this country different from all others," Sen. James Inhofe said. Even if you had any idea what he meant by that, you'd know that he was not even remotely addressing the specifics of the health-care debate.

And you would be correct, for the reason that the Senator wasn’t referring to health care.

While the right's tactics can be infuriatingly effective at shifting the debate,

From health care to Boston Cops for example.

Indeed, a more dangerous threat comes from the president's own party, split between those who are demanding a controversial public option and those worried that a far-reaching bill will hurt them at the polls. This is where the baseball bat will come in.

Is he going to explain this baseball bat metaphor or what? It is a metaphor, right?

But first Obama will try his megaphone trick.

So, "megaphone trick" simply means, "speaking". What is "tricky" about that, and why would you bother with using the metaphor of a megaphone to refer to a microphone?

On Wednesday, he will pull out his explainer-in-chief cape for a speech before a joint session of Congress.

Explainer-in-chief cape? Maybe Terence is thinking of the wrong kind of bat.

It is a speech the White House hopes will cut through the fog, clear up the confusion, and close the deal.

Thanks for clearing that up, re: White House hopes.

A health-care analogue to his Philadelphia race speech, when he used the trouble caused by comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to talk about how race is really lived in America.


So, it will be self-serving and condescending at the same time? Great. That’ll take the bat to fog, or whatever. Also, THAT speech was a summation of how race is really lived? Really?

The White House's lack of full engagement on health care may have as much to do with the confusion as the Republican misinformation campaign.

I think what he means is that Obama’s reticence to engage has contributed to the confusion. Which: you don’t say.

But after all the explanations, clarifications, and the corrections of fact and context, it will be up to Democrats to pass a bill.

Thank you for the superfluous civics lesson, Terence.

Obama should not allow either political cowardice or ideological intransigence to kill reform.


Actually, ideological intransigence is precisely what he needs, considering he has majorities in both the House and Senate. Not sure Terence really knows what the word intransigence means, though.

To the wobbly legged he needs to explain that this is: 1) not so politically damaging as is being made out, and 2) even if it were, this is the kind of issue that is worth losing an election for.

Wobbly legged? I thought he was dealing with the ideologically intransigent and/or confused.

But the fight should be one to win, not to lose.

Yes, that will clear up everything. Maybe he should also inform the Senate that passage of the bill will require at least a majority of votes in favor, and also that emergency exits are located in the rear of the Capitol building.

If the public option means no bill at this juncture, then it will have to wait.


This is an atrocious sentence. He means that the public option will have to wait, rather than the bill itself, but you have to do some real work to discern that.

If we've learned anything from all the recent Ted Kennedy tributes, it is that there is no dishonor in incremental victories.

And that incremental victories can be earned from a place of dishonor. But, in other words, Obama should try to get a bill passed, even if it means making compromises. Terence Samuels is thinking outside of the box, people.

The real disgrace would be to lose a political fight when you're right and the other side is so poorly armed. August is over.

Wait. We’re done? What about the baseball bat? You can’t just introduce a metaphorical baseball bat, and then fail to explain it. Allow me to summarize Terence’s piece.

1) Obama is right
2) People are confused because of confusion
3) Obama should counteract this confusion by explaining to Congress the political ramifications of health care reform.
4) Baseball bat!
5) Compromise?
6) August is over.

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