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Those Original Ideas are Just Restin’…Pinin’ for the Fjords of Norway

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We like to read Paul Krugman. Trust us, we like his stuff way more than we like to read Robert Reich. Krugman is wittier, easier to read, less pedantic. But fair is fair, metaphors are tracable, and if you don’t have an original idea, why not just shut the hell up?

We agree with Mr. Krugman’s point entirely in this NY Times Op-Ed piece concerning Mr. Bush’s veracity about the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and Iraq; to wit, there is none (neither links nor veracity). But we take exception with Mr. Krugman’s metaphor.

“Reading all these euphemisms,” Mr. Krugman says, “I was reminded of Monty Python’s parrot: he’s pushing up the daisies, his metabolic processes are history, he’s joined the choir invisible. That is, he’s dead. And the Bush administration lies a lot.”

Cute? Clever? Funny? Hip, with-it, great pop culture reference? Sure. And it was just as cute, clever, funny, hip, with-it pop-culture referential when Robert Reich used it (to better comic effect) to describe the Democratic Party a year and a half ago in the Washington Post (linked here to the American Prospect):

“If I were a political consumer,” Mr. Reich says, “I would — with apologies to the late Monty Python parrot — be going back to the store right about now and registering a complaint: ‘This political party — the Democratic Party. It’s dead.’ ‘No, no, no no,’ he replies. ‘It’s just resting.’ But I know a dead party when I see one, and I’m looking at a dead party right now.”

Ok, ok, you say, but after a year and a half hasn’t the op-ed metaphor-stealing statute of limitations run out? Perhaps. But gee whiz, it’s not like Mr. Krugman would have had to go very far to find another, even better surreal British sketch comedy group metaphor to make his point:

Hello, the United States says, we’d like peace and prosperity from our president please.

No, you wouldn’t.

Yes, we would.

No, you wouldn’t.

Yes, we would.

No, you wouldn’t…oh, sorry, will this be a regular disinformation PR campaign, or the supreme deluxe?

Oh, we’d like the deluxe, please.

Very good. Saddam Hussein is working with the Al Qaeda!

No, he isn’t!

Yes, he is!

No, he isn’t!

Yes, he is!

Etc. etc.

What’s next? Mark Shields channeling Benny Hill?

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  • http://www.stevegigl.com Steve Gigl

    …the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and Iraq; to wit, there is none (neither links nor veracity).

    Actually, I was led to believe that Saddam Hussein was quite involved in Iraqi politics… damn those government disinformation campaigns!

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist :-)