Thursday, January 22, 2009

The "Ny" Mets Are Tom Friedman's Favorite Squadron

Where to start?

His image of one America stuck in multiple holes -- even after Matt Taibbi specifically mocked him for his belief in the unified theory of hole-sitting? His reference to "this crazy quilt of immigrants called Americans" (this grammatical nightmare called failures of singular/plural agreement; this awful collection of words called sentences; this terribly constructed pile of idiotic ideas called Tom Friedmans)?

I'll go with this:

That is why this voter is hoping Obama will swing for the fences. But he also has to remember to run the bases. George Bush swung for some fences, but he often failed at the most basic element of leadership — competent management and follow-through.

President Obama will have to decide just how many fences he can swing for at one time[.]

Has Tom Friedman watched even a single inning of baseball?

I hope, for all of our sakes, that Obama can make this decision quickly, as there's only one damn fence in a baseball game. There are multiple pitches and multiple at-bats, either of which would have made for a less-awful metaphor. You don't have, and can never have, multiple fences, each representing a distinct accomplishment.

And did Bush hit the goddamn ball or not? The decision to run the bases kind of depends on that, doesn't it? Is there really a Bush catastrophe that could be described as hitting a home run but forgetting to run the bases? It strikes me that Bush's problem was less that he forgot to run the bases, and more the fact that all his ideas about how to play baseball were horribly wrong and catastrophically destructive.

The more you stare at it, the more problems emerge. Friedman is trying to use running the bases as the equivalent of the day-to-day management that Bush had no interest in, but running the bases is a gigantic and obvious part of the game (for most). Cranky middle-aged sportswriters have long employed "hitting the cut-off man" or "taking the extra base" as examples of underappreciated fundamentals -- why use the most blindingly obvious part of the game to express attention to detail?

Also: Can't you only swing for only one fence at one time? Is he holding multiple bats? Was Bugs Bunny the pitcher?

Isn't the manager supposed to be guilty of poor management, instead of the batter?

Lemme take a crack at this:

I hope that Obama is trying to hit a home run every time he steps to the Congressional Plate, as going 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk (with the walk representing spending on roads and bridges instead of high speed rail) is unlikely to win the World Series of Competent Governance.

He should also coach his teammates to go from first to third on a ball hit to right field, as failure to do so will result in the defeat of card check legislation.

Where's my book deal?