As electoral campaigns get rolling and as the candidates feel a need to distinguish themselves, the quotes become more and more interesting. Sure, there is the obvious craziness of Newt Gingrich and his moonbases but that’s just a drop in the bucket. You expect that sort of thing from a bipolar former Speaker of the House.
But what about Rick Santorum’s pledge to ban pornography in the United States? Number one, anyone who feels this strongly about so many “vices” must have a real problem. Has he even heard of Mark Foley or Ted Haggard? Number two, the states that most support Santorum, the so-called “Red States” who revel in their religiosity, also happen to be the largest consumers of porn. Are you really going to tell me that they’ll let Mr. Santorum take away their dirty little secret?
Finally, how would you even go about doing away with porn? Are you going to start censoring the internet and blocking sites that you consider “morally reprehensible”? The only place I’ve ever visited where they’ve been even moderately successful with this approach is Saudi Arabia. I don’t exactly see that as a model for the US. Besides, you’re going to have about as much luck banning porn in the US as MLB has had in banning PEDs from baseball. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and as long as boys and ballplayers are around, there will always be a will to access porn and PEDs.
Luckily it’s not just Mr. Santorum who’s divorced from reality. In an effort to prove that he, too, is just a regular guy, Mitt Romney recently let us know that he loves sports just like us. In fact, he has “good friends” who own NASCAR and NFL teams. Now, I don’t know if Mr. Romney enjoys car racing or football but there’s a pretty major difference between enjoying sports and being friends with people who own the teams. If you can’t make that distinction, you probably ought to go back and audit Running for Office 101.
I realize that I’m being pretty hard on the Republicans here. But, since they’re the ones in the middle of a heated primary fight, they tend to also be the ones making the ridiculous statements. I’m sure Obama will come out with some of his own once the general election gets underway but for now, he can just sit back and let the other side say what they want. Sounds like a plan to me. Moonbases and porn and franchises, oh my!
Santorum and Gingrich both claim Catholicism as their religious raison d’etre. And according to the Catholic church, divorce is a sin. So, even ignoring Mr. Gingrich’s multiple failed marriages and subsequent divorces, both gentlemen would be guilty of sin. How’s that? Well, both of them are completely divorced from reality.
Here’s the deal, maybe Super Tuesday wasn’t so super for Romney and maybe that has given the other candidates’ backers some little hope but the fact of the matter is, Romney is well on his way to winning the nomination. If you want to put this in baseball terms, it’s like it’s August and the Pirates are in their perennial last place position but claim that they’re going to play this out, make some mega trades and hope that by some miracle, the baseball powers will decide that in spite of their record, Pittsburgh will go to the playoffs. That’s just crazy.
But, crazy never stopped anyone from going into politics. Reason and logic no longer play much of a role, either. When you consider that Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised over one million dollars, well, that pretty much says everything.
So, the Republican primary campaign will continue, Romney will end the up the nominee but he’ll be so bruised and bloody by that point that, barring a second recession, Obama will cruise. And where does that leave the Republicans? Just another broken family. Blame it on divorce.
If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to register for the Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Party Ever and help RSBS raise money to purchase baseball equipment for kids in Chicago. All you have to do is enter “REDS” in the “optional code” box while registering and you’ll not only be part of a World Record, you’ll also be bringing baseball to kids!
One of the best parts of election years is watching the candidates say things that you know are going to come back and bit them in the ass. The classic example is George Bush Sr’s famous “Read my lips: No new taxes” quote. It’s kind of like guaranteeing a victory in the NFL playoffs or calling your shot in baseball. If you make good on it, you look like a genius. And if you don’t, well, you just look like an ass.
The thing about GB Sr., though, is that his promise was rather benign. No new taxes. Sure, that sounds good even if it isn’t really all that realistic. And compared to what the candidates are saying this time around, well, it also sounds rather sane.
Consider Newt Gingrich’s recent promise to colonize the moon by 2020. Now aside from the fact that there is really no good reason to establish a permanent base on the moon nor any feasible way of doing so, it also seems like maybe we should focus the immense resources needed for such a mission on infrastructure projects or the like, things with tangible benefits that can not only be shared by all citizens but also put the those same citizens to work. Call me crazy but that’s just how I look at things.
When it comes to crazy, though, the moon base is only one of Gingrich’s many issues. In fact, the more you look at what the guy says and does, the more you realize that he probably is legitimately mentally ill. Megalomania, irrationality, wild mood swings. It’s all there on the public record and in the numerous articles written about the former Speaker.
I don’t know, though. Even though it’s terrible for the country and would turn the general election into a joke, there’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing Newt get the nomination. Who knows what other gems might be uncovered as he reaches for the highest office in the land? More than that, at least his crazy is kind of fun. It’s much better than the kind of crazy that says rape victims should “Make the best out of a bad situation.” That, my friends, is truly insane.
I told myself that I wasn’t going to write about politics today. Yes, this blog is all about baseball and politics but with the Republican primaries going on, it seems like all I can do is mock the ridiculousness of the candidates. So, today, I wasn’t going to do this. Then I read about “the incident that almost was” yesterday at Tommy’s Country Ham House in South Carolina.
Yes, I know, the zaniness of Newt and Mitt both scheduling events for the same time at Tommy’s Country Ham House is almost unfathomable. It’s like a British farce without the intelligence. Or the British. Actually, I guess it’s just kind of a farce. I particularly like the fact that Newt seems to be intent on making the contest as high school as possible. The exact quote is, “I have a question. Where’s Mitt? I don’t think they have New England clam chowder on the menu.”
This guy is seriously being considered as the next president of the United States? It’s only a matter of time before he resorts to yo’ momma jokes. “Hey Mitt, yo’ momma’s so stupid, she named you Mitt.” To which Romney will of course reply, “Your name is Newt.” I ask again, these guys are seriously being considered as the next president of the United States?
Anyway, so much for not writing about politics today. I blame the Ham House. And South Carolina.
Ty Cobb was a great baseball player but not a very nice person. Actually, he wasn’t a very nice baseball player either, regularly trying to hurt the competition. The thing about Cobb, though, is that he never pretended to care about other people. Love him or hate him, you could never say that he was a hypocrite. He did everything balls out and that included his racism.
That’s the difference between Cobb and two of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. When Cobb said something, he owned it. He was an awful person but he didn’t try to hide behind obfuscations and pseudo-intellectual drivel in an attempt to prove that he actually meant something else.
What is truly amazing is that 50 years after Cobb’s death, Rick Santorum can say he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money” and Newt Gingrich can regularly call Barack Obama “the food-stamp President.” And then both men try to claim that they’re just trying to help black people. I have a feeling that Newt’s phrase “I know among the politically correct you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable…” has a good chance of becoming the new “I’m not a racist but…”
The only thing black that Santorum and Gingrich should be talking about is the space inside their respective heads. Come to think of it, there was an article written about that recently, too. “Abyssal yawns 10 times the size of our universe.” Yep, that sounds about right.
That guy in the pointy hat made another statement on gay marriage recently, saying it is “one of the most serious threats to the traditional family unit” and that it undermines “the very future of humanity.”
Hmm. I can think of a bazillion things that are a far greater danger to the very future of humanity, like, protecting monsters who rape children, making it illegal for someone to marry whom he/she loves, and not challenging a discourse that is solely based on bronze age delusions “encouraged” by an invisible sky daddy.
Two More Years of Bud Selig
Ugh. Really? If only MTV could rock the MLB owners’ vote. No more King Bud! Things have gotten better recently, yes, but there are at least three egregious errors committed during his reign that demand a new king: 1) Not addressing the PED issue until it was too late 2) the ongoing All-Star Game yields World Series home field advantage fiasco and 3) being the last of the big four to launch its own network (seriously, it’s sad when the NHL beats you, at anything).
Also, I can think of at least three perfect candidates for the commissioner’s job: Joe Torre, Bob Costas and ME!!!
Between Mitt, Santorum and a bevy of derailed crazy trains, I can only shake my head as I watch the Republican party fall deeper and deeper into delirium. If only our political leaders would take a page out of Aussie PM Bob Hawke’s book:
Now THAT, my friends, is a dear leader.
A lot of baseball purists hate Bill James. By attempting to intellectualize aspects of a game that had up until then been left to “experts” who used their gut feelings to lead teams in one direction or another, James sought to overturn baseball orthodoxy. These experts/purists/fundamentalists hate James because they no longer get to employ their mystical powers to direct the religion of baseball.
This should hardly come as a surprise, though. Baseball is a uniquely American sport and Americans are uniquely anti-intellectual. It only makes sense that a group of people who disparage America’s professors and other learned people would also disparage someone who tries to apply reason and science to America’s pastime.
But those who hate intellectuals the most are also those who fear them the most. The old school scouts hated James because his emphasis on the quantifiable aspects of baseball undermined their previously hallowed positions as arbiters of all things baseball. They feared losing their previously sacrosanct positions so these high priests of the game had to evolve or risk becoming irrelevant.
Something similar is taking place in the Republican party today. The party of belligerent anti-intellectualism has somehow embraced a self-styled intellectual as their new savior. The truth, though, hides a little deeper in the phenomenon. Newt, intellectual that he claims to be, brings nothing new to the game. He’s merely a priest dressed up in the trappings of an intellectual but he uses this affectation to scare his flock into believing what sounds intellectual to them. Newt is riding high on this image but hopefully his new religion will soon follow the same path as the baseball scout’s “sure thing” and the Contract With America.