Untalented but successful writer Thomas Friedman has been doing a lot of thinking lately. "I like golf," he thinks to himself, while sitting in his palatial mansion. Then he realizes his next column is due in an hour. "Manservant!" he cries. "Bring me a metaphor! Any metaphor!"
What does America need to do to fix its economic, social, political, and existential problems? We need to "roll up our sleeves." Fuck, why didn't I think of that? If only there were some unbelievably clunky wordplay to help get the point across...
What would real conservatives be offering now?
They would understand, as President Eisenhower did, that at this crucial hinge in our history we cannot just be about cutting.
There's a reason that people tend to refer to "a turning point in our history:" because that phrase is intelligible. A reader is able to deduce, from that phrase, what the writer means. Whereas from the phrase "this crucial hinge in our history," a reader is only able to deduce that the writer has gotten trapped in the woods with nothing but a thesaurus and a bottle of ether.
And real conservatives would understand that the Tea Party has become the Tea Kettle Party. It is people in real distress about our predicament letting off steam by trying to indiscriminately cut everywhere. But steam without an engine - without a strategic plan for American greatness based on spending cuts, tax reform and investments in tomorrow - will take us nowhere.
Did you see that? The rarely-spotted-in-the-wild Triple Nonsensical Metaphor Transition? Tea Party to Tea Kettle to Letting Off Steam to Steam Without an Engine, all in the space of three sentences. But will this Steamless Engine become an Engine of our Economy leading to Economy of Motion which will send America In Motion like a Wide Receiver to Receive the Message that It Ain't All About Messaging, It's About the Brass Tacks?
Only Thomas Friedman knows for sure. Now tend to those sleeves, gentlemen.
[NYT, photo via AP]