Driving A Metaphor Into A Ditch.

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The other day, I noted this:

And wasn’t there some campaign speech given by Obama about not putting the car in “R” after driving into a ditch??? OK, logically, if you’ve driven into a ditch, and you’re being pulled out, wouldn’t putting the car in “D” be the move that puts you right back into said ditch???? The rhetoric never really made sense… but that’s politics I suppose.

A commenter at Althouse’s blog took me to task for getting the metaphor wrong, and President Obama and crew were pushing the car out of the ditch, not pulling it!

Obama never said that about the car–you’ve got it completely wrong. His analogy was actually quite brilliant, even if mistaken.

Disregarding the last bit of the comment (“His analogy was actually quite brilliant, even if mistaken“… What does that mean, exactly?)  I recalled him saying he pulled the car out, but I may be remembering incorrectly, and crossing my wires with other politicians who said they pulled the car out of the ditch….

Uhm, no.  He DID say it! From Politico:

The first time President Barack Obama used the metaphor at a Democratic fundraiser in April, he spent exactly four sentences on it: “And yet, after driving our economy into the ditch, they decided to stand on the side of the road and watch us while we pulled it out of the ditch,” Obama said at the Los Angeles event for Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. “They asked, ‘Why haven’t you pulled it out fast enough?’ ‘I noticed there’s, like, a little scratch there in the fender. Why didn’t you do something about that?’”

There it is…  pulled… twice.

The metaphor  evolved as the campaign twisted on its merry way; and what started with pulling the car out of the ditch then became something about handing over the keys, and eventually the story evolved to include the “D” and “R” bits. When he got to that point, he DID say push instead of pull. So in regard to that specific telling of the metaphor, at that specific time, when he mentioned the “D” and “R” thing, I was indeed incorrect.

Now that that is out of the way, lets examine the analogy.  Obama would sometimes say push, other times it would be pull. I think we can agree that the economic crash of 2008 was no little pot hole; this was a ditch… a BIG ditch! But this is where real world experience comes in.  In the real world you almost never “push” a car out of a ditch, you pull.

Why?

Two reasons.

(1)   If you drive a car into a ditch at any speed, it goes in nose first. Because the front end is where the engine is at in most cars, that weight causes the front end to wedge into the ditch. This makes pushing it out impossible.

(2)   If the car was driven off the road into the ditch, and you push the car out of the ditch… Oh, you’re on the wrong side of the ditch! The road is on the other side!!!!

If that’s the case, no wonder the economic recovery is going so crappy. We’re not on the road to recovery. Obama and company pushed the car to the the wrong side of the ditch and now we’re stuck in the field of economic stagnation!

Good going Democrats!!! 🙂

PS. I live in an area where agriculture is king, and there are lots of ditches around here. Myself? I’ve never driven into one. Got stuck on an island once cutting a turn too tight. But people plow their cars into ditches. It happens quite a bit. They NEVER EVER push a car out of the ditch. It is always pulled out, with a tow truck.

And, seeing that he spent so much time on his ranch, where there are a lot of ditches, I’m better Ronald Reagan would have never had this kind of   “push” / “pull” confusion.

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