20 thoughts on “Barack’s Socialist Mop”

  1. Back in the Before Time, when I worked in a restaurant during college, I remember people mopping up grease without using cleanser. Which, of course, just spread the zone of slipping danger across the restaurant instead of in just one spot.

  2. They like the mop metaphor not because it’s a good metaphor but because Barack told people they disagree with to “Get to work.” That’s been a fantasy of theirs for years. Debate frustrates them, and work camps are very popular with the Left. I’m sure you can see the attraction.

  3. I think he knows how to use a mop.

    Great, then perhaps he should go back to mopping-up after the kids at “31 Flavors” and leave someone competent in charge. (Not so fast, Biden . . . I wan’t talking about you . . .)

  4. 1 Vice President Joe Biden
    2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi
    3 President pro tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd
    4 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    5 Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
    6 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates[2]
    7 Attorney General Eric Holder
    8 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
    9 Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
    10 Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke
    11 Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis
    12 Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
    13 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan
    14 Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
    15 Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
    16 Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
    17 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
    18 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

    Well crap Titus, there just aren’t a lot of good spots to stop impeaching people. I could deal with Hillary or Robert Gates. But the whole list is just… Wow.

  5. I can imagine, in some alternate universe where the show is still funny, a Saturday night Live skit in which Fred Armisen quoted Barack Obama’s exact words … while holding a mop by the wrong end, knocking over buckets of sludge, and finally slipping and wallowing in the muck. Then he would lift his head, grin smugly at the audience, and announce, “See? That’s how to do it! And … live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

  6. Well I would have challenged his metaphor. It’s not like he’s mopping up a mess. It’s more like he’s putting out a fire, and some of us have noticed that his firehose is filled with gasoline.

    So, yeah, Barry, put down that “socialist” firehose, the one full of gasoline, before you turn a little fire — an ordinary business downturn — into the kind of conflagration that can burn the house down, the way your hero FDR almost did, and the way the socialists did very well for the USSR, East Germany, and North Korea.

    I wonder how many people realize that East Germany and North Korea were both the wealthier and more industrialized segments of their nations before the latter were divided, and the socialists got to take over one part? You’d think that kind of remarkable experimental proof that their ideas turn ordinary bad luck into king-size catastrophe would be interesting.

  7. In late 1945, I suspect that very little of Germany was wealthy or industrialized.

    There was the Ruhr river valley (western Germany).

    The ports of Bremen and Hamburg (western Germany).

    The coal mines of Silesia (donated to Poland) (eastern Germany)

    Berlin (shattered ruin) (eastern Germany)

    Pomerania (eastern Germany) — “industry” is thickly furred puppies.


  8. “18 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

    . . . I could deal with Hillary or Robert Gates. But the whole list is just… Wow.”

    Why is it Janet Napolitano reminds me of the comic deadpan Headquarters Dude in the movie “Dark Star”, telling the crew that HQ predicted the fix they are in using their computer models but couldn’t tell them until 18 years later owing to the light-time transmission lag, but hey, keep up the good work and good luck with the rest your mission.

  9. MG, the war killed a lot of Germans — but hardly all of them, or even the majority — and it destroyed a lot of property — but hardly all of it, or even most of it, even in Berlin. Germany did not revert to the Stone Age after the war, although times were amazingly hard. (I have this from personal sources: my mother-in-law survived the Red Army’s sack of Berlin in 1945.)

    What needs explaining is why despite the destruction West Germany 15 years later produced Mercedes-Benz sedans engineered to perfection, while East Germany produced Trabants, a standing joke behind the Iron Curtain. Why West Germany produced the Wirtschaftwunder while East Germany stagnated and contracted.

    One of the excuses offered by apologists for the Soviet Union is that Russia had been a backward agrarian land from the 17th century on — so the Communists “inherited the Bush mess,” so to speak, and were “mopping” up from several centuries of backwardness and Czarist oppression.

    My point is that you cannot make the same argument for East Germany or North Korea. Those places started fair and square at parity, at worst, with their free contemporaries — at the same place with respect to natural resources, history of industrialization, education of the populace, even the ethnic or cultural habits of the populace. The only difference is the socialist government.

    And the horrible contrast in the final results speak for themselves.

  10. About the only thing that I like about the president is that he’s black.

    Rand, I like that we elected a black president … now, if only he were a good president. I wonder whether in the long term his presidency will be viewed as a net negative for black people.

    Damn few Greek-Americans these days are proud of Spiro Agnew.

  11. It’s happened before, Mike. Remember David Dinkins, first black mayor of New York? No? Well, that’s not surprising He was wildly celebrated in his day, then his tenure was a complete disaster for New York, and the man most clearly remembered from that era — Rudy Guiliani — was the one who had to clean up David Dinkin’s mess. You won’t hear much about Dinkins these days, and, yes, I think he easily set back the prospects for a black mayor of New York by — well, let’s see, there hasn’t been one for twenty-odd years, so let us say one full generation.

  12. I think everyone has the wrong idea about why repetition of this “socialist mop” quip is bad for Obama and the Dems. It has nothing to do with whether mopping is easy or hard or whether Obama knows how to hold a mop or not; the quip was funny because Obama proposed a metaphor and then puts a criticism in the mouths of his opponents that would be meaningless in the metaphorical situation — because a mop can’t be socialist, obviously. The listeners laugh for a moment, saying to themselves, “Yeah! What do those Rethugs take us for? Everyone knows a mop can’t be socialist,” etc. And then Obama goes on with his speech having scored a cheap zinger.

    Obama’s problem is that if you keep thinking about the zinger, you realize that the mop is a metaphor for government policies Obama is proposing, and government policy certainly CAN be socialist. Obama’s problem is that, after spending the first nine months of his presidency pooh-poohing the notion that there is anything socialistic about himself or his proposals, he is now heard dismissing the criticism of socialist policies as merely unserious. And his fellow-travelers, who see nothing odd about that, are going to repeat his wonderfully witty remark until everyone in America has it well-fixed in their heads that Obama considers it laughable to worry about whether his policies are socialist.

  13. What puzzles me is the people who think that this quip somehow neutralizes a good deal of criticism. The implication is that the problems that Obama has can be eliminated by the use of smart quips. My view is that he’s far past the sort of problems that can be solved with words only.

  14. Clearly not, Rand! For it’s obvious that the “get a mop” slogan is going to fix Rethuglican opposition through 2012.

  15. I think he was making an appeal to his generation gapped young base. No one under the age of 40, roughly, has any direct memory of the catastrophes of European, African, and Asian socialism. The USSR and its satellites are long gone, Europe has, believe it or not, rather moderated its socialist drive — Airbus remains an anomaly, most of the privatization work of Thatcher remains, there is little talk of nationalizing yet more industry, or coming up with Five Year Plans — and the cool West doesn’t give a damn about Africa anymore, now that those sullen miserable darkies have turned out to be so curiously ungrateful for all the Live Aid Band Aid Peace Corps “help” we gave them. Only quasi-Victorian weirdos like George Bush, willing to labor in the darkness with his quaint AIDS initiatives mess with that plodding sorrow.

    For those young hipsters, “socialism” is just a word, a fragment of theory, some boring paragraphs in a book, stuff you had to bone up on for the AP History exam, like “mercantilism” or Henry Clay’s “American system” or “free silver.” There’s very little emotional content.

    Obama appeals to their boredom with his roll your eyes contemptuous remark. Hey, hipsters. Who cares about the corners the old farts don’t want to cut, quite, because of their precious abstract principles? We need to get stuff done, right? So don’t bother to listen to all their theoretical arguments about why this or that isn’t right because it’s going through proper channels, blah. If it seems reasonable to your mother wit, why, let’s jump. Let’s give it a spin. We can always try something else if it doesn’t work, right? Would I lie to you?

    I think what blows me away a little here is the scale of his cynicism, however. Because his actual policies are arsenic poison for the young. He is screwing them over big time, in order to benefit his mostly Gen X early middle-age cronies.

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