They are fighting the uphill current

 This one was uttered by Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show.  It is a mash up of “uphill battle/struggle” (something difficult often because others are causing problems) and “swim against the current” (go against prevailing thought). The latter metaphor was used by Shakespeare Henry IV: “You must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair, which swims against your stream.”   The two phrases were likely jumbled because they both involve someone fighting for something against adversity.  A big thanks to the comedian Frank King!  You can check out Frank at