April 19, 2014

Obama treats Keystone as the political football he apparently thinks it is.

I like the football metaphor in the Time headline: "Obama Punts On Keystone Pipeline."

ADDED: Wikipedia has an article on "Political football." It quotes William Safire's "Political Dictionary" definition — "To thrust a social, national security, or otherwise ostensibly non-political matter into partisan politics" — and displays this 1889 cartoon satirizing the doings of the Benjamin Harrison administration:



The caption is: "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking?"

AND: The (unlinkable) OED traces the term back to 1833 (and I assume it's not what Americans call "football")
1833   Essex Standard (Colchester) 9 Nov.,   Out-generalled by every petty state that choses [sic] to make it worth its while to deceive us—the political football of Europe—England.
The second example has a mixed metaphor:
1841   Congressional Globe 30 Jan. 119/1   These lands were nothing but a bone of contention—a political football, bandied about first by one party and than the other.
That example makes me wonder not only about the origin of "bone of contention" but also "bandy."  "Bone of contention" is (obviously) something that people fight over the way dogs fight over a bone. But does "bandy" inject a third metaphor into the mix?

I was delighted to see that "bandy" began as a particular way of playing tennis, and that we no longer know what way it was. By the 1600s, there was a game called "bandy" (or "bandy-ball") "in which a small ball is driven to and fro over the ground, with bent club sticks, by two sides of players." That is, hockey. Here's a sentence from  "The Mill on Floss" (1860): "She's only a girl—she can't play at bandy."


The verb "bandy" means "To throw or strike (a ball) to and fro, as in the games of tennis and bandy. (Mostly with figurative reference.)" Here's an example from 1577: "Kingdoms..be no balles for me to bandie." That's the oldest definition. It's a dead metaphor. Here's how Boswell used it in "The Life of Johnson" (1767): 
His Majesty enquired if he was then writing any thing. He answered, he was not, for he had pretty well told the world what he knew, and must now read to acquire more knowledge. The King, as it should seem with a view to urge him to rely on his own stores as an original writer, and to continue his labours, then said, “I do not think you borrow much from any body.” Johnson said, he thought he had already done his part as a writer. “I should have thought so too, (said the King,) if you had not written so well.” — Johnson observed to me, upon this, that “No man could have paid a handsomer compliment; and it was fit for a King to pay. It was decisive.” When asked by another friend, at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, whether he made any reply to this high compliment, he answered, “No, Sir. When the King had said it, it was to be so. It was not for me to bandy civilities with my Sovereign.” Perhaps no man who had spent his whole life in courts could have shewn a more nice and dignified sense of true politeness than Johnson did in this instance.

38 comments:

Mark said...

Sort of like the new tribal casino in WI whose decision will have been out off nearly two years by the time the election is over and the new session starts.

Political footballs are useful. Everyone has one.

The Drill SGT said...

Every thing this administration does is about short or long term political calculus.

Gone is the concept of doing what is good for the country.

Fritz said...

Running out the clock is a better football analogy. Punting puts the ball in the opponent's hands.

Bob Boyd said...

“There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation. Decisions are never really made – at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery. ” - Thomas Pynchon, 'Gravity's Rainbow'

Meade said...

Not only punting but punting on first down.

Meade said...

Punting the pigskin right off the football. Sort of.

Michael K said...

They need that $100 million Tom Breyer promised. Who cares about jobs for those little people.

In addition, this would give us better leverage with Putin but who cares about that ?

Bob Boyd said...

Meade said...
Not only punting but punting on first down.

Well, if the refs and the announcers are on your team, why not?

Hagar said...

I don't see any long term vision.
It is all short term, and we will figure out what to do about the consequences later. Or perhaps someone else will take care of it for us.

traditionalguy said...

Obama is spitting in the face of American people. He is acting as a true tyrant goading good citizens into rebellion. Now why would a football team do that? Does he expect to win acting that way?

Hagar said...

And there is a general attitude among utopianists, that if they just can get the system set up right, and maybe just the right people to get things started, it will run of itself

Diogenes of Sinope said...

There are millions of miles of underground oil and gas pipelines in the USA. If they are so dangerous let's shut them all down.

Illuninati said...

Fritz said...
"Running out the clock is a better football analogy."

Good point. Obama doesn't want the pipeline but thinks it is better to delay than to cancel it. His shabby treatment of the Canadians, who wish to use that pipeline to market their product, is similar to his treatment of all our old allies. America's new best friends are the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey's Islamist prime minister Erdogan.

rhhardin said...

I'd go with political screwball.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


AT least Keystone is currently serving the purpose of exposing Obama for what he really is: a mean, petty, vindictive, small small man, totally unworth of his office.

Can't express how glad I am that I can look in the mirror and see someone who was not ever fooled by his bull shit spin and boldface lying. Must suck at least a little to not be able to say that.

Anonymous said...

The Drill SGT said: "Every thing this administration does is about short or long term political calculus.

Gone is the concept of doing what is good for the country."

And what The Drill SGT misses is that for Obama, Jarrett and company, politics -especially their brand of politics, if spread to a big majority of the population IS the best thing for the Country.
They are, of course, wrong, but at least they are consistently wrong.

Bob Ellison said...

You're all fools!

Obama doesn't care about America. He cares about himself. He's an atheist who wants power. He figures when he's dead, it's all over.

Somehow, he would like a legacy. Maybe he could convince people to build an Obama Memorial. It could look like the Lincoln one, but bigger and more majestic.

He doesn't care. He has no reason to care. This is the leftist philosophy: why should I care? What will it matter?

gk1 said...

At least the idiot "centrist" democrats in the heartland who believed obama on XL are nade to look and feel like fools for believing him about his "all of the above" energy policy. That is constructive in the long run. You can't trust democrats on providing energy for the country (unless you count green doggles like solar and windmills)

AJ Lynch said...

Obama has declared war on the middle class. How else can one interpret his continued opposition to this big project that would offer good paychecks to construction workers? I guess the construction unions are not relevant to the Dem party anymore.

Bob Ellison said...

Illuninati said "Obama doesn't want the pipeline but thinks it is better to delay than to cancel it."

Why does he dislike the Keystone pipeline? Sure, maybe the delay works better, politically, than raw cancellation. Maybe Obama is playing to his base, which obviously hates the pipeline.

Why would Obama dislike the pipeline? Because he knows his base dislikes it, and by delaying it he gains some tiny bit of power?

Or because he is sure that it will add CO2 to the atmosphere and will kill all life on the planet?

Or because he hates humans?

Tom Gallagher said...

The prez gets a solid B+ on fundraising though; that's a goal that counts for something.

Michael K said...

"Because he knows his base dislikes it, and by delaying it he gains some tiny bit of power?

Or because he is sure that it will add CO2 to the atmosphere and will kill all life on the planet?

Or because he hates humans?"

All of the above.

garage mahal said...

“Agencies need additional time based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.

Fuck it! Just build the damn thing with or without court approval!

Big Mike said...

You aren't much of a leader if you can't talk sense to your own base.

St. George said...

Yet another national pastime, degraded and on the heels of this April's shameful baseball unhiding. Surely this fall we shall see the laces come off the pigskin in mid-flight, a symptom of our nation's decline. A bomb, indeed. There will lie the bladder deflated, a source of derision, our global foes mocking our un-unitas'd state, the namaths of our stars fallen, a new league arising in the east.

From a George Will column this November.

Original Mike said...

Decision delayed until after the mid-term elections.

I just realized what he meant by "the most transparent administration ever."

Anonymous said...

"More creative liberals keeping America strong."

garage mahal said...

Imagine for a moment Emperor Obama defying court proceedings and authorizing a large scale wind/solar project against ranchers who didn't want it on their land. Every right-wing nut job with a gun would be on the plains waving their snake flags high. Of course right wingers don't mind land confiscated through eminent domain if a private corporation is doing it. Even a foreign one.

Illuninati said...

garage mahal said...
"Imagine for a moment Emperor Obama defying court proceedings and authorizing a large scale wind/solar project against ranchers who didn't want it on their land."

Perhaps a legal expert can help us here. Is Obama involved in a dispute about eminent domain or the environment? I thought the Federal Government had blocked construction through the EPA and environmental protection regulations not to protect private property owners from eminent domain. Is it not true that issues about eminent domain in this case will be handled at the state level?

garage mahal said...

@Illuninati

See below. For all the normal goofball talk about Obama hates humans and America, the Nebraska Supreme Court isn't even expected to rule on this case until after the midterms.

http://boldnebraska.org/press-statement-us-state-dept-delays-keystone-xl/

Steven said...

And yet, Garage ---

Shortly after the court ruling, administration officials had said the Nebraska case would not have an impact on their deliberations. But in the new statement, the State Department said federal agencies could not evaluate the pipeline’s impact until the “uncertainty created by the ongoing litigation” is resolved.

So, Garage, which time was the Obama Administration lying? The time where they said it wasn't an issue and didn't warrant a delay, or the time that they said it required a delay that was just perfect for the President politically?

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Imagine for a moment Emperor Obama defying court proceedings and authorizing a large scale wind/solar project against ranchers who didn't want it on their land. Every right-wing nut job with a gun would be on the plains waving their snake flags high. Of course right wingers don't mind land confiscated through eminent domain if a private corporation is doing it. Even a foreign one.


Again proving Einstein right. The most abundant material in the universe is 'stupid'.h

Illuninati said...

garage mahal said...
"...the Nebraska Supreme Court isn't even expected to rule on this case until after the midterms."

So it appears that eminent domain is to be decided at the state level. Obama's involvement is to protect the environment - more oil produces more CO2. The problem is that it is not our oil in the first place. Canada is a sovereign first world nation of well educated people who take good care of their environment. It is a slap in the face of the Canadians to try to impose our own standards on them and to refuse to transport their oil because we don't think they should be producing the oil. In essence what Obama is doing is imposing trade sanctions on Canada.

garage mahal said...

Obama's involvement is to protect the environment - more oil produces more CO2.

Facts not in evidence.

RecChief said...

Tom Steyer paid 100 million to have obama punt that

RecChief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

garage: "Of course right wingers don't mind land confiscated through eminent domain if a private corporation is doing it."

LOL

Rake face does it again!

How many times do we have to tell you garage not to venture out on your own without talking points?

It was the LEFTIES on the supreme court who ruled in favor of confiscating private property thru eminent domain in the Kelo decision.

From wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London

snip1: "On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision, ruled in favor of the City of New London. Justice Stevens wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer."

snip2: "The principal dissent was issued on 25 June 2005 by Justice O'Connor, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas. The dissenting opinion suggested that the use of this taking power in a reverse Robin Hood fashion— take from the poor, give to the rich— would become the norm, not the exception"

Christ garage, you are stupid.

Illuninati said...

garage mahal said...
""Obama's involvement is to protect the environment - more oil produces more CO2."

Facts not in evidence."

I'm not sure which facts garage is questioning.