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Obama Gets Feisty

From a DNC fundraiser:

Now, to the non-Democrats who may be watching today (laughter) I want everybody to know we believe in a strong and loyal opposition. I believe in a two-party system where ideas are tested and assumptions are challenged -- because that’s how we can move this country forward. But what I reject is when some folks decide to sit on the sidelines and root for failure on health care or on energy or on our economy. (Applause.) What I reject is when some folks say we should go back to the past policies when it was those very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. (Applause.)

Another way of putting it is when, you know, I'm busy and Nancy [Pelosi is] busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else’s mess -- we don’t want somebody sitting back saying, you're not holding the mop the right way. (Applause.) Why don’t you grab a mop, why don’t you help clean up. (Applause.) You're not mopping fast enough. (Laughter.) That's a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause.) Grab a mop -- let’s get to work.

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
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I love this analogy. I hope that Obama never stops pointing out the fallacy that problems stem from government or are confined to the government.

Of course, the funny thing is that most of the trouble within the government are the hypocrites in the government who think the government is the problem. How does anyone trust people who don't even concede the necessity for government, the implementation of good policy for good and widely shared results, especially of the win-win type.

Posted by: bcbulger | October 16, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

We want to use a public plan to mop up the health care system. President Obama is just sitting there saying that our mop is too disruptive. Obama's plan is to let the floor mop itself.

Posted by: bmull | October 17, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Presenting political issues in metaphors is itself a sign of lazy thinking. THAT's what has to be cleaned up, above all. This metaphor is lame, and infantilizes the public and the issue. Enough. WHat is with the mop? He complains people call it a "socialist mop"???? Why not a nazi mop? And what a pathetic lack of historical knowledge is displayed by this kind of talk. The idea of "cleaning" and
"cleaning up" in politics has a very unsavory past. Does the ten year old speechwriter who produces things around there not know that?

Posted by: truck1 | October 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The cleanup to which the President refers clearly is applied to "the mess" which he inherited from the previous Administration: An economy on the brink of total collapse into a Depression, two wars, a set of festering issues such as health care, energy independence and climate change, which had gone unaddressed, or even unacknowledged in recent years.

The President makes a good point. Those criticizing how the mess is being cleaned up, how the problems are being addressed, should get busy trying to help solve the problems and offer some constructive ideas on how to do so rather than merely standing back and disavowing any responsibility to assist in providing solutions. Desist being the "Party of NO" as the Republicans have basically done, and get busy helping out on behalf of the American people.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 19, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I did forget to say "let me be clear." If I had said something was "clearly" so, that would have explained it. Every president comes into office with a particular set of circumstances. To imagine that you enter a broom clean piece of real estate, or not, is infantile. Bush "inherited" the plan that was secretly in the works by al qaeda for 9/11. He "inherited" the stock market bubble. He "inherited" the fact that there was not health insurance reform? Bill Clinton "inherited" the lack of healthcare reform too. Inheritance is another stupid idea being foisted on the public.

Posted by: truck1 | October 19, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Here's a valid criticism to you analogy lovers: "Stop swilling the same crud from the bucket that your predecessor 'left you' and spreading it over and over, expecting different results. Get some fresh water (or ideas), and get to work. And BTW, fire the janitors (Geithner, Summers, Goldman refugees, et al.) that help create the mess in the first place."

As any high school debate coach should be able to tell you, analogies are lazy stand-ins for arguments that seek applause from friendly quarters--a DNC fundraiser, really?--and are prone to being flipped around on you.

Ezra, was this the fundraiser that he bailed on New Orleans to attend?

Posted by: Philly213 | October 19, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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