Meacham Analogy Fail: Two of these things are not like each other

When he’s not steering an American newsweekly into the path of an iceberg (as he did as editor of Newsweek), or playing the jester to Morning Ho Scarborough, Jon Meacham fancies himself something of a quasi-theologian/political pundit. So it is not surprising, and yet totally infuriating, that Meacham convinces the editors of the New York Times Book Review to give space to his theological brain farts.

To wit: Meacham uses a translation of the Book of Job as an analogy for, wait for it: President Barack Obama’s “Midterm rebuke.”

The connection between the trials of Job and the president’s midterm rebuke came to mind as I read what I think is the political book of the season: THE WISDOM BOOKS: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes (Norton, $35), a new translation and commentary by Robert Alter.

Because, see, the ancient tale of a man who loses all of his children and is inflicted with painful boils so that he curses the day he was born IS EXACTLY LIKE losing one house of Congress in a midterm election!

Illustration: A plate from William Blake’s The Book of Job. Via.

3 responses to “Meacham Analogy Fail: Two of these things are not like each other”

  1. TheMightyTrowel

    At least it makes a change from using Revelations. I’m getting so sick of ‘Obama-pocalypse’ or ‘Obama’s Armageddon’ I can barely breathe. On the other hand, I’m still waiting for Exodus to come on line… can you even imagine what “Obama’s golden calf” will look like on Fox?

  2. Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Reader blogs

    [...] Arguingwithsignposts calls bullshits on the parson’s strained Obama-as-Job analogy. [...]

  3. aimai

    Man, I just read that Alter translation. And I just couldn’t help thinking about Obama! No, seriously, what a stupid analogy. Not only is losing the midterms not equivalent to Job’s suffering, but the “point” of Job is that he is meaninglessly and viciously cursed by a g-d who is unable to value his faith and suffering properly, who allows him to be used as a pawn in a conflict that has nothing to do with him. And at the end, its all made up to him and he gets everything back good as new. So, what’s the conclusion? An uncaring g-d pushes the hand of the angry elderly as they are voting, and holds up the votes of Obama’s supporters by giving them other things to do that day? And eventually in 2012 he comes roaring back and gets eighty percent of the vote and sweeps the Republicans to the sea? I’ll take it.


This is not my beautiful house!

Many moons ago in the blogosphere there was a minor writer with the moniker “Bryan S.” who flew the flag of “Arguing with Signposts.” His politics were vaguely conservative, warblogger, humorist, cynic, libertarian. In short, he screwed all that up. So, you might say this is my attempt to set that stuff straight. The flag is flying again. But we’ve set a course that’s at odds with the haze of the last eight years. Onward!