Thomas Friedman's Thumbs Firmly Grasp the English LanguageS

Golf-playing platitude generator Thomas Friedman has a grasp on the English language that would probably be described, by Thomas Friedman, as "a big tree in the forest swinging in the wind," because Thomas Friedman is just a god damn nonsensical shame, as a writer.

Today, Tom Friedman explains what you need to know about the American presidential contest:

So far, the most accurate slogan for Obama's campaign would have to be: "I'm not Mitt Romney." And when you consider that Romney - a former liberal Republican governor - has spent the whole campaign disavowing his past, for the first time in history both candidates could legitimately run on the same slogan: "I'm not Mitt Romney."

And that's our problem. Romney has embraced the Republican budget drawn up by Representative Paul Ryan that proposes to shrink our long-term structural deficit in a way that not only would make the rich richer and the poor poorer but would deprive the country of the very discretionary spending required to do what we need most: nation-building at home. Sure, Ryan makes deep spending cuts to balance the budget in the long term. If I cut off both my thumbs, I'd also lose weight. But I'd also have a hard time getting another job.

1. "Both candidates could legitimately run on the same slogan: 'I'm not Mitt Romney.' And that's our problem." Is it? Is that our problem? Because directly afterwards, and for the remainder of the column, you explain that the candidates' budget plans are our problem. Whereas here you're saying very directly that this slogan, which you made up, is our problem. The slogans that Tom Friedman makes up and puts in his widely-read newspaper column are my problem, I'll grant you, because I am jealous that someone in my own profession can make an entire career out of writing one single column over and over again, and that that column can be dumb, on top of everything else. But this is more of a personal problem for me, rather than "our" problem.

2. "Sure, Ryan makes deep spending cuts to balance the budget in the long term. If I cut off both my thumbs, I'd also lose weight. But I'd also have a hard time getting another job." Sure, [innocuous factoid]. If I [activity that Tom Friedman believes to be qualitatively comparable to previous factoid, but is not], I'd also [activity bizarrely unrelated not only to original factoid but also to the preceding activity which ostensibly set up this whole comparison]. But I'd also [consequence of preceding bizarre activity which is wholly unconnected to the original premise of this thought, rendering the "also" in this sentence some sort of cruel joke, on all of us, who are reading].

Could Tom Friedman still get another job after he cut off his own thumbs? Let's find out.

[NYT. Photo: Getty]