Friday, August 01, 2008

John Shadegg - Master Of The Misapplied Metaphor

Ahhh...the greatest joy of even-numbered years - the ill-thought out campaign press release just begging to be shredded by wiseass bloggers like me (even though in this case, it's an 'official' press release)...

As mentioned in the post immediately prior to this one, John Shadegg (R - Calgon Take Me Away) and many of his cronies in the Republican caucus took to the floor of the House to protest the House's adjournment for its summer district work period (oh, and you may have heard of the two shindigs taking place in Denver and Minneapolis :) ) before voting to allow offshore oil drilling near the American coastline. (Washington Post coverage here)

Two of the main doubts that Democrats (and most people in the country) have related to offshore drilling is the great risks that it poses for the fragile ecosystems along America. The damage resulting from the inevitable leaks and spills could be devastating, and in spite of industry claims about the safety of modern drilling equipment, even existing offshore drilling efforts result in thousands of gallons of oil spills every yearl

And that doesn't even count the water and air pollution that results from the 'normal' operations of offshore drilling rigs. (Sierra Club)

After that bit of background, on to the "misapplied metaphor" part of the post...

Shadegg's press release on the events on the House floor is titled "Shadegg’s Boston Tea Party for American-Made Energy" and contains the following quote -
“Ladies and gentleman, all of you who are here in the House Chamber today, listening to us speak without the TV cameras on, and without the microphones on, are watching history. How many of you remember the Boston Tea Party? This is the Boston Tea Party!"

Perhaps one of Congressman Shadegg's friends or advisors could remind him of a little of the relevant history of The Boston Tea Party - in 1773, a group of 50 or so activists (Sons of Liberty) dressed up as Mohawk Indians, strolled down to Boston Harbor, and dumped tons of British tea into Boston Harbor.

Given that one of the biggest concerns with oil drilling is the likely contamination of coastal waters and beaches, perhaps the use of a historical analogy where the substance at issue was dumped into coastal waters may have been ill-advised.

To add more context to the misapplication - the Boston Tea Party was organized to protest the higher prices for tea charged by the East India Tea Company. Those prices had nearly as great an impact on American life then as do the high prices of oil charged by petroleum companies today, the same petroleum companies that Shadegg and his friends have been working to protect.

Oh, and to complete the Shadegg's metaphorical misapplication - oil is nicknamed "Texas Tea."

Nope, definitely *not* the best analogy there, John.

BTW - many bloggers have written about Friday's events (mostly conservatives crowing about it all), but Airbare8 at in NY had the most apt description of Shadegg and his cronies to be found anywhere -

He called them "The Floundering Fathers."

God, I wish I'd thought of that one. :))