Chris Matthews Remints a Good Cliche

Chris Matthews’ line on Zarqawi’s death yesterday—”he’s dead as Julius Caesar”—was ten times as poetic as President Bush’s: “Zarqawi has met his end.” And Bush’s writers had more advance warning than Matthews’s.

I gather the line comes from Malone on The Untouchables.

Or did they steal it from Joseph Conrad’s Victory, in which two character argue over the coal mine one is holding on to:

“`But all this is as dead as Julius Caesar,’ I cried. `In fact, you have nothing worth holding on to, Heyst.’

Uh-oh. Just did a Google book-search on it and found it in Hawthorne, H.G. Wells, Simeon Baldwin. Oh well—good line, no matter who said it first.

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