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Today’s Modo Column, By The Numbers

The Gist: All big political disputes of the day--from the Congo to a town hall in Lebanon, PA--hinge on the naivety of Obama.

Unnecessary pop-culture references: 5 (one about Sheryl Crow handing out toilet paper in Obama’s Cold War state; two references to the laws of Fight Club; one to Hillary’s hand gestures recalling “The Sopranos”; one about Bill’s dinner at MGM Grand with Hollywood moguls)

Achingly awful alliteration: 2 (“KO in the Congo;” “postpartisan, postracial, post-Clinton-dysfunction”)

Worst pop-psychology analysis:
“This raw, competitive response showed that the experiment in using the Clintons as a tandem team on diplomacy may not be going as smoothly as we had hoped; once more, as with health care, the conjugal psychodrama drags down the positive contribution the couple can make on policy.”

Was it really “conjugal psychodrama” that killed health care reform in the 1990s? Really?

Most forced analogy: “Another rule of ‘Fight Club,’ as Brad Pitt explained, is: When someone yells ‘stop’ or goes limp, the fight is over. Unfortunately for Arlen Specter and Claire McCaskill, that rule didn’t apply at their donnybrooks on health care on Tuesday. The senators were punching bags for audience members irate about everything from the trillions in debt and illegal immigrants to term limits and toilet paper.”

Since neither Specter nor McCaskill were able to say it, I will: Uncle, Ms. Dowd. Uncle!

--Marin Cogan