Tom DeLay’s Six-Inch Fear

I just watched John Edwards? electrifying speech on Seb?s giant plasma TV (guest-blogging certainly has its privileges) and started wishing I could be as good-looking and charismatic as he is (Edwards, certainly not Seb). I figured the best way to start would be to wander down the street and try to find something healthy to eat for a change.

This being Germany, the only remotely healthy food I could find was at the Stuttgart Subway (the restaurant, not the U-Bahn). Just imagine my surprise when I leaned over to bite into my 6″ Turkey Club and saw this terrifying phrase written on the tray liner:

Warum sind die Amis so fett?

(Why are Americans so fat?)

My first reaction was to throw my sandwich back onto the tray in disgust. How dare these godless German socialists imply that Americans aren’t all svelte, terrorist-slaying Uebermenschen! Preparing to wash down my anger with a large gulp of good old American soda, I picked up my drink only to find a creepy face leering back at me.

It looked like this:

Upon closer inspection, it turned out that I was looking at a promotional tie-in for the film Super Size Me which is just now opening here in Deutschland (Jetzt im Kino!). I?d actually seen the movie back home and, realizing my error, sat back with a sigh of relief. In the film, Subway is quite positively portrayed as a healthy alternative to the horrific fare usually provided by the American fast food conglomerates and the tie-in actually seems like a good idea.

Unfortunately, somebody far more patriotic than I saw the tray and wasn?t at all amused.

A super-sized Statue of Liberty, holding aloft an order of french fries, is adorning food tray liners in Subway restaurants across Germany. And House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, is angry enough about it to lose his lunch.

It’s amazing how often I find both “Tom DeLay” and “losing one’s lunch” in the same sentence.

“This is every bad stereotype about corporate America come true,” DeLay said in a news release.

That’s an interesting comment. Is DeLay mad because he thinks it’s anti-American or because he thinks it’s anti-corporate? On second thought, the two are probably synonymous in his mind. We are talking, after all, about the man who once visited a notorious sweat shop (which he was trying to promote as a new model for American industry) and said with a laugh, “I saw some of those factories. They were air conditioned. I didn’t see anyone sweating.”

The same man who was recently profiled by the Washington Post in an article entitled DeLay?s Corporate Fundraising Investigated.

“I guess for some companies, corporate patriotism is as flexible as Jared’s waistline,” DeLay said.

Yeah, corporate patriotism. Sounds like a perfect subject for Tom:

On his desk he keeps a list of the 400 largest political action committees and the amounts and percentages they’ve contributed to Republicans and Democrats. Those committees that have given heavily to the GOP are labeled “friendly,” the others “unfriendly.” He also pressures corporations and trade groups to fire Democrats and hire Republicans as their lobbyists. Says DeLay, “We’re just following the adage of punish your enemies and reward your friends.

Nice guy, huh?

Does it surprise you to learn that this puritanical powerhouse won’t be getting a lot of public attention at next month’s Republican Convention? You know, the Republicans…the people currently screaming that John Kerry is hiding the true nature of his party.

DeLay objected to the ad’s parody of the Statue of Liberty, “one of the most recognizable American symbols.”

Do you think he knows the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French?

And he complained about the flier including a quote from filmmaker and “pathological partisan” Michael Moore, whose anti-Bush diatribe Fahrenheit 9/11 has become the Democrats’ choice for best picture.

For the record, the liner made no mention of Fahrenheit 9/11. DeLay is basically saying that it?s now un-American to mention Michael Moore. Here?s what’s really on the liner:

Moore is quoted as saying, “The only time I have been scared for my life has been going through a McDonald’s drive-through.”

How does Tom interpret that?

DeLay said, “For Subway to thumb its nose at its American customers and promote Michael Moore’s blame-America-first conspiracy in a foreign country is very concerning.”

After reading that sentence, I can think of several other things that are “very concerning” too.

DeLay was unavailable for comment Tuesday. But spokesman Jonathan Grella said, “When folks criticize America, especially at this sensitive time, we’re obviously going to stand up and defend our country.”

Thank God for patriots like Tom who aren’t afraid to blast those who would question America’s physical health during this “sensitive time.” For Tom will be the very first to tell you that if fries have the word “freedom” in them, then they couldn’t possibly be unhealthy!

Well, either that or everybody’s second-favorite Texan is just hopping-mad about this:

It also is a touchy Houston issue. Men’s Fitness magazine ranked Houston as the nation’s fattest city three years running, until finally coney dog-chomping Detroit took the honors last year.

When it all boils down, I think Tom?s biggest problem with that Statue of Liberty cartoon is that it bears such a frightening resemblance to him.


Comments: 14


Do you think he knows the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French?

“DeLay” is a French name. Yes, the Bug Man himself is of French descent. (btw, Karen Hughes was born in Paris — and I don’t mean Paris, Texas)


I did not feel that SSM portrayed Subway that positively. After Subway spokesman “Jared” gave a speech at a school, a young girl outside complained about how Jared’s only advice about losing weight was to eat at Subway, and how she couldn’t afford to spend all that money at a sandwich place. I thought the movie was exposing the Subway method as a false solution.


I don’t think this film will mean anything to the Europeans. I spent a bit of time in Europe and they ate about as bad as a lot of Americans, but they weren’t fat. Of course they do walk a whole lot, and do things that are slightly more active than changing the channel.



hell yes! they demonstrate and riot WAY more than we do – think of all that walking carrying signs and giant puppets, running from the cops, hurling bottles and bricks…

i keed, i keed, i keed with you. no actual europeans or protesters were harmed in the making of this comment…

i think that the “fat epidemic” is actually a marketing campaign, because the dieting, self-help, and fashion industries are huge in this country. you can’t get away from it, it’s on tv all day and all night – the constant marketing of hating how you look. to the point that there seems to be a tv show glorifying plastic surgery on every day of the week, ‘nip/tuck’ notwithstanding.

i think it’s less the fact that “americans are fat” than the fact that “americans have been brainwashed into being anxious about how they look by the people trying to sell them a new look”. i mean, if you feel good about yourself, who needs “retail therapy”? what’s sad is that even the poor are brainwashed into worrying about it – i see scrawny kids in my neighborhood all the time who clearly are not getting 3 meals a day, but definitely have on the latest $150 sneakers.


r@d@r – you might have a point. I remember towards the end of the “heroin chic” era, people were complaining and saying you should be happy about how you look and that you don’t have to be that skinny to have a good life. and then everybody got fat, now they’re saying you have to be skinny to have agood life.

Damn the Big Fashion lobby!


Your posted photo of DeLay caused me to lose my lunch! You owe me $5.99


That’s weird, but what can you say, I guess Delay’s got some serious issues to work out anyway.


Please, somebody find DeLay a barber who doesn’t think Trent Lott hair is fashionable! If he loses his job over the ethics probe, he could rent out his head to “That 70’s Show.”

BTW, Pete, could you drop the red/green thing? Hard to read, if even you’re not colorblind.


Re Red/Green:

Or at least strive for lighter hues of each. Like, lighten up, dude.

Oh, good lord. Either I’m having aural hallucinations, or Alexandra Kerry just told the world that Dad once administered CPR to a treasured pet hamster (after rescuing it from drowning).

Why do I have the sinking feeling that this will dominate tomorrow’s coverage of the convention?


Re hair:

Might as well quit tiptoeing around this: John Edwards has republican hair!


Dr.BDH…Thanks for the feedback. You’re right, of course. I’ve taken Chris’s advice and lightened up the colors a bit. Let me know if it’s still hard to read and I’ll try again.


I’ve always thought that Jared-Subway thing was complete bullshit. I mean, they say they have six sandwiches with less than 6 grams of fat and that if you eat there for every meal you’ll lose weight. So, I ate 6 sandwiches per meal three times daily and not too long after, I needed a larger pant size.


And, frankly, even if he’s thinner, Jared is still ugly and stupid. So what has he actually gained?


The most offensive part of this is Michael Moore’s joke about McDonald’s.

Now that he’s a multimillionaire maybe he doesn’t eat there any more but he was a fat guy from the midwest a long time before he was rich.

In the absence of facts to support my argument, Michael-Moore-style, I’ll just go ahead and suggest that 25%+ of the matter that composes Michael Moore was part of a McDonald’s meal at one time or another.


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