Wednesday, December 20, 2006


A Metaphor For War Supporters, Iraq, And The Rest Of The World

Anne Applebaum is now whining that those nasty decadent evil Commie "Old Europeans" are harshing her mellow by daring to report accurately on the results of Bush's actions in Iraq:

On the day James Baker’s Iraq report was published, I gritted my teeth and waited for the well-earned, long-awaited, Franco-German “Old Europe” gloat to begin. I didn’t wait long. “America Faces Up to the Iraq Disaster” read a headline in Der Spiegel. In the patronizing tones of a senior doctor, Le Monde diagnosed the “political feverishness” gripping Washington in Baker’s wake. Suddeutsche Zeitung said the report “stripped Bush of his authority,” although Le Figaro opined that nothing Baker proposed could improve the “catastrophic state” of Iraq anyway.
I'll let Brendan of Brendan Calling take it from here (with certain words edited to meet blog standards while preserving the meaning of the metaphor):
But let’s get back to this “Old Europe” nonsense that Anne insists on clinging to, like her Don Rumsfeld teddy bear. “Old Europe” has unfortunately seeped into our national vocabulary the same way “Democrat Party” is used consistently by Conservatives and Republicans as a passive aggressive barb. It’s the same thing as giving someone an unflattering nickname and expecting them to embrace it. Let’s try that experiment. Let’s say I know someone named… oh, let’s say Anne Applebaum. And let’s say I give her a nickname that she doesn’t like. How’s about I call her “Ugly-Ass Mcgee”: that’s pretty offensive. So I have this tree in my backyard, and I decide I need to prune some branches. But Anne, who has some experience pruning trees, points out that I’m going about it all wrong. “Brendan,” she says, “Don’t saw off that enormous branch over your stained glass skylight. Not only will the falling branch break the glass, but you’re sitting on the branch itself, and by sawing it off, you’re gonna fall like 50 feet and break your leg.” “Whatever, Ugly-Ass McGee,” I say. “Ugly-Ass McGee, you don’t know anything. You know why? Because you have a face that looks like your ass! So back off bitch!” (Not that I would ever talk like that). And I go along merrily on my way, sawing off branches. Then disaster hits: just like my neighbor warned, the branch crashes into my skylight, I go plummeting into a garbage can, and break my leg. “AAAAGHHHH! My leg, my leg!,” I yell. “Hey Ugly-Ass, come help me out! I’m stuck in a garbage can with a broken leg, help me out Ugly-Ass!” No answer. So I yell louder, “Hey UGLY-ASS! Ugly-Ass, where the f--- are you? You know, this downed limb is dangerous to your house too, especially if the whole tree dies and falls over. Then where will you be Ugly-Ass, huh? Awww, c’mon Ugly-Ass, what’s the big deal? Help me out here!” Can you see how Anne might have a problem with helping me out? And how I have a problem not recognizing that I’m still alienating my neighbor?
But of course Anne Applebaum will never understand that. (Hat tip to Atrios.)

Thanks for the editing. It's better than the original. After all, "Old Europe" is a relatively mild insult. "Cheese eating surrender monkeys"... well, that's a bit more like Brendan's version.
A-yep. Brendan actually weakened his example by overamping the insult factor. But the gist of it is just about the best metaphor I've seen so far for this situation.
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