Failing politicians dream up seriously goofy metaphors in an election pinch.
Take President Barack Obama, for example. Please.
He likes to use the parables of the car and the ditch, and the floor and the spill.
Americans are a car and the economy is a ditch. "After they (the GOP) drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back," says the president. "No. You can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out."
Or, Americans are the floor and the economy is a messy spill. In that one, Democrats are busy cleaning up the GOP’s mess, only to have Republicans criticize: "Hold the broom better. That’s not how you mop. Don’t tell me how to mop," the president lilts in his condescending way.
But when it comes to strained metaphors, the president has nothing on His Weirdness, Sen. Harry Reid. Almost every day Harry seems to utter a head-scratcher that causes everyone within earshot to wonder how in the world he ever made a dime as a lawyer, much less convinced Democrats to make him their beloved leader in the U.S. Senate.
The latest in a string of Reid "Magoo moments" came last weekend at a get-out-the-vote rally in Las Vegas.
In his speech, Reid said Americans were like miners trapped in a deep, dark, collapsed economic mine shaft:
"It was like the Chilean miners," Reid said of the economy after President Obama took over almost two years ago. "But he, being the man he is, rolled up his sleeves and said, ‘I am going to get us out of this hole.’ "
I thought Obama said he’d already gotten Americans out of the economic ditch. Didn’t he say that "we just got the car out" and we’re not going to let Republicans drive?
But Harry Reid says we’re trapped in an economic mine shaft.
Fact is, neither Obama’s metaphor nor Reid’s — like their economic policies — fit reality.
Whether the car is in the ditch or out of the ditch, Obama can’t find the keys, much less work a stick shift.
The economic floor is still a mess, and it will stay a mess so long as we ask folks like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and crew to clean up a mortgage spill they don’t think they caused.
And, most certainly, with all due respect to Nevada’s silver-tongued orator from Searchlight, we are not anything like those Chilean miners.
Those lucky guys got out, thank God.
We’re still down here with Moe, Larry and Curly-Joe in charge of the rescue effort.
Sherman Frederick (sfrederick@ reviewjournal.com) is publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.