Yesterday morning I wrote that the White House's promise to keep "our boot on the throat of BP" was "maybe a little bit unseemly." Even Commenter Ben, a reliable left-winger, acknowledges that the phrase is "crass," reminscent of "fat cat bankers." Now comes columnist Tony Blankley, a former spokesman for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, to remind us, astonishingly, of the phrase's provenance:
Because not only is the image of a boot on a neck inherently repulsive, but the special history of a government's boot so situated has a particularly vile history.
The most famous image is, of course, George Orwell's:
"But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling forever on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." ("1984," Part III, Chapter III)