February 20, 2010

There's been no shortage of ugly Obama-bashing at CPAC, of course, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty yesterday hit a real low in comparing President Obama and the "big government" Democrats to Tiger Woods:

Pawlenty: Now at this very hour, or very shortly this morning, a big event is happening in the United States of America: Tigers Woods is holding his press conference. At 11 o'clock Eastern.

Now, I think we can learn a lot from that situation. Not from Tiger, but from his wife. So, she said, 'I've had enough.' She said, 'No more.' I think we should take a page out of her playbook and take a nine iron and smash the window out of big government in this country.

Now, we understand, of course, that this was just a metaphor. Nevermind that it was a ridiculously inapt one: Unlike Tiger Woods, Obama has not broken his vows; he is in fact working largely to enact the very "big government" policies on which he campaigned and for which he was duly elected. Progressives may have an argument with how well he is fulfilling those promises, but conservatives certainly do not.

But did anyone else notice that this was a particularly violent metaphor, one suggestive of people breaking out windows? It inspires images straight out of Kristallnacht.

Of course, like Glenn Beck, Pawlenty will no doubt claim that it was "just a metaphor." But as we observed in regard to Beck:

We understand metaphors and rhetoric at least as well as Beck does. The point ... [is] that this kind of rhetoric, employing violent metaphors, in fact has the effect of inspiring violent responses among its audiences.

It's grotesquely irresponsible -- which is what we have come to expect from movement conservatives anyway.

UPDATE: Yup, Rachel Maddow noticed.

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