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May 11, 2007

Gates Breaks World Record For Stupid Metaphors

Amid all the excitement about Robert Gates informing us U.S. troops will be in Iraq forever, he hasn't gotten enough credit for saying this:'s important to defend this country on the extremists' 10-yard line and not on our 10-yard line.

Yes, this situation is very much like a football game. For instance, like in football, it exists on a small field with strictly-defined boundaries. And if a player illegally crosses the line of scrimmage, there are referees who will penalize their team.

ALSO: It makes me very sad Gates was not born in the Soviet Union. Then he could have gotten the opportunity to use a similar metaphor to explain the occupation of Eastern Europe.

Posted at May 11, 2007 12:24 PM | TrackBack

Doesn't he know that the most important question is not who's 10-yard line we're playing on, but whether this is a "home game" or an "away game"? That, and what quarter we're in.

Because really, I can't be bothered to think about foreign policy unless you can put it in football-related terms.

Posted by: SteveB at May 11, 2007 03:35 PM

I get that Gates needed to find a new way to spout the "fight them over there or fight them over here" line, but isn't he paying attention to the focus groups? To reach the Bush base, he needed to find a NASCAR metaphor.

"you can't just go home to your garage; nobody wins the Daytona 499" or

"never tell the other guy when your tank is gonna hit empty" or

"if Dale Earnhardt Jr had quit just 'cos his daddy got killed, he never would have won the Busch Series twice"

Posted by: Whistler Blue at May 11, 2007 04:48 PM

Mr. Gates learned quite a bit about football one Saturday afternoon in 2003 when as President of Texas A&M he watched his team allow the Oklahoma Sooners to cross his 10 yard line and get into his endzone eleven times. His team never crossed the Oklahoma 10, nor did they ever score. Oklahoma 77 - Texas A&M 0.

I'd say that Mr. Gates knows exactly what he means when he uses those football analogies.

Posted by: Richard Armstrong at May 12, 2007 12:10 PM

"Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless minority of people seem to have forgotten good old-fashioned virtues. They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win. If these people would just play the game..."
(Mr. Helpmann, in Brazil)

Posted by: Kip W at May 13, 2007 11:47 AM

The Soviet Union was a country surrounded by embargo and extremely hostile enemies. It shared over two dozen borders in the Eastern Hemisphere. The regime under Stalin was criminal and imperialist to be sure and Nikita was no prize either, but the SS had Eastern Europe fucked long before the Russkies invaded.

Put the blame in its' overall historical context. I mean, it wasn't like the U.S. was squemish about trouncing Mexico. Or hiring "terrorists" to bomb Cubans for that matter.

BTW: Gates would've probably been killed in a battle or died of starvation. Life was hard and only the strong and smart survived in Russia, but that was true long before the USSR. Fucked from the start (Like Eastern Europe).

Posted by: at May 14, 2007 10:59 AM