As you no doubt know, Congressional Minority Leader John Boehner appears in a video in which he compares the proposed financial-reform legislation to a nuclear weapon and, to fill out his analogy, compares the financial meltdown (so to speak), circa 2008, to an ant.
Like any competent rhetorician, President Obama seized on the six-legged part of the analogy and asked a crowd (I’m paraphrasing), “Do you think the financial crisis was just an ant?” However, Boehner’s analogy did trip up Obama briefly, for Obama then asked, “Do you think we just need, uh, some kind of –ant [pause] swatter?” Venerable means of killing ants include stepping on them, spraying them with Black Flag, or giving them one free night in an Ant Motel. But of course Obama was wise not to introduce these methods into the discussion. Nonetheless, once engaged with Boehner’s metaphor, he had to think of something, and he thought of “swatter” because Boehner’s analogy is a close relative of a more standard one: going after a fly with a Howitzer.
(I often advise students to use analogies cautiously in argumentation because they, the analogies, are so easily dismantled.)
Perhaps the funniest part of the Boehner Analogy Saga is that he compared the financial reform package to a weapon of mass destruction. (Oh, my.) . . . . But does any person in the U.S. or abroad think the U.S. Congress will severely regulate banks and brokerages? Putting Congress (regardless of party-affiliation) in charge of regulating greed is like . . . .
. . . Here’s the fun part of the post, assuming there is one: you get to finish the analogy!