Politicians threw a lot of kitchen sinks this election cycle

Jeff Winkler Contributor
Font Size:

Commentators might have said the 2010 midterms included some of the worst attack ads in history (not true) and while there was plenty of mudslinging and bewitching spells (or not), it seemed candidates were mostly focused on household plumbing.

Much to The Daily Caller’s amusement, more than a few candidates and pundits this election cycle liked to say desperate political opponents were “throwing everything but the kitchen sink.” It seemed the truly maniac losers were going all-in and  “throwing everything including the kitchen sink.”

The phrase itself came about as recently as the invention of kitchen sinks, though it’s not as old as throwing projectiles at your enemies. So, around the 19th century, give or take a plumber’s wrench. Before that, people most likely threw around the phrase “everything but the outhouse” or “everything but grandpa’s wooden dentures.”

According to experts who spoke to TheDC — that is, various amateur websites — the idiom came to be when people frequently moved from one half-built shanty shack to another in the dead of night to avoid the slumlord’s Pinkerton-like thugs. During those less-than-great migrations, the families would take everything but the kitchen sink, i.e. everything that wasn’t nailed, bolted or otherwise impossible to move. This might explain why the country is still stuck with Detroit.

Other experts say the phrase came into popular use during WWII when the army was turning toasters into tanks. According to this history, families were giving the military their all — all their copper pipes, all their metal siding, all their gingham dresses. The only thing that couldn’t be put to much use was the porcelain kitchen sinks. So when someone was giving everything but the kitchen sink, it was a sign that they were willing to do anything to win the war effort.

As for the throwing of everything but the kitchen sink — like some she-Hulk Italian wife — that’s more difficult to explain, which in our culture means Bob Dylan probably had something to do with it. The voice of a generation once wrote a song in which he does a lot of public dumping: Throw my ticket out the window/throw my suitcase of there too/throw my troubles out the door.

In one version of the song, Dylan even throws his mattress(!) out the window. The one thing he doesn’t throw, however, is his kitchen sink

But seriously, what ‘roid-raging, rent-by-the-week anarchist handyman would even consider throwing modern conveniences out on the lawn? Based on TheDC’s research, the answer is pretty clear: Democrats (at least according to numerous Republican candidates and pundits).

The borrowing of a worn — and visually amusing — cliché wasn’t completely partisan, though. Democrats also enjoyed describing the physically impossible feat, although this might be because they had nothing left after throwing everything else at health care.

Regardless of who was doing the throwing, it was inspiring to hear politicians compliment the physical abilities of their opponents. And so as a token of our appreciation, TheDC now presents the best kitchen sink moments of the 2010 midterms: