Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Antonym Tom

A favourite device of Thomas L. Friedman is to posit opposites, one, naturally, being superior to and much more desirable than the other. Hence, according to Tom's lame shtick, it's much better to be a Jetson than a Flintstone. Today Tom riffs on new set of opposites--the semi-comendable "Tea Party Movement" and the totally crappy "Tea Kettle Movement," an entity that exists soley in Friedman's satire-challenged mind:
There are actually two Tea Party movements in America today: one you’ve read about that is not that important and one you’ve not read about that could become really important if the right politician understood how to tap into it.
The Tea Party that has gotten all the attention, the amorphous, self-generated protest against the growth in government and the deficit, is what I’d actually call the “Tea Kettle movement” — because all it’s doing is letting off steam.

That is not to say that the energy behind it is not authentic (it clearly is) or that it won’t be electorally impactful (it clearly might be). But affecting elections and affecting America’s future are two different things. Based on all I’ve heard from this movement, it feels to me like it’s all steam and no engine. It has no plan to restore America to greatness.

The Tea Kettle movement can’t have a positive impact on the country because it has both misdiagnosed America’s main problem and hasn’t even offered a credible solution for the problem it has identified. How can you take a movement seriously that says it wants to cut government spending by billions of dollars but won’t identify the specific defense programs, Social Security, Medicare or other services it’s ready to cut — let alone explain how this will make us more competitive and grow the economy?...
No need for specifics at this stage, Tom, since the movement--the one movement, not the two you've confabulated--is committed to rolling back Obama's outrageous spendaholism.

Update: Thought I'd share what is arguably Tom's most misbegotten, blitheringly imbecilic column of recent months--his plea for mosque-balkers to knock it off for the sake of NYC, Broadway and show tunes.

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