I've been collecting and commenting on inept and absurd political metaphors over the past few weeks, but I thought of letting James Carville's recent comparison of Bill Richardson to Judas go by. I still don't understand its supposedly transparent logic. Judas : Jesus :: Bill Richardson : Bill Clinton? Hillary Clinton? Both?
I'm interested though in Carville's defense of his statement as metaphor. He defended it in these terms four times in his conversation yesterday with CNN: "It's a seasonal metaphor I was using"; "I was using a biblical metaphor"; "I wanted to use a very strong metaphor"; "It was a metaphor I was using." Carville never says that it was just a metaphor he was using, but his comments carry that suggestion, as if metaphor were simply a way to underscore one's meaning, and not a statement whose implications are its maker's responsibility. Just words after all, right? Just politics.
Another metaphor in Carville's remarks yesterday had me puzzled:
I mean, you do these things, and people come up and say, you’re comparing and everything else. I wanted — I got one in the wheelhouse and I tagged it.As I just learned, wheelhouse is (among other things) a metaphor for "a hitter's power zone," and, it seems, one of Carville's pet words. No home run for James Carville this time — just a foul.
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Everything but the kitchen sink
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Times reporter on metaphorical spree