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Catastrophic Success

As if there weren't enough political opinionating out there, I, too, now sing the body bloglectric. Let me FEED you![XML]

Location: United States

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Big Dance (or Invasion of the Sports Metaphor)

The anticipation courses through my body like electricity. I get breathless and panicky thinking about the different possible outcomes. As unexpected events surfaced, I thrill or despair depending on the swing of the pendulum toward or away from my favor. There are two things that elicit this effect in me.

The Chicago Bears (Papa Bear, oh why hast thou forsaken us?) and National Politics.

Sports and politics are quite similar, but I will give sports the win for Best-Looking Cheerleaders (Susan Estrich and Bill Kristol? yecch!). Like football (my sports poison of choice), I knew who I was rooting for before the season started. My team's pre-season wasn't even worth watching since we all knew who our veteran starters would be. Like (sigh) Brett Favre, they had proven their worth and dedication in past years and earned their starting positions. Our opponents though, they had a riotous pre-season loaded with a Quarterback Controversy that would rival anything the Bears dealt with during the Wannstedt/Jauron eras. Could those New york Dems actually start a pro War on Terror QB - er candidate? Would they throw a veteran behind the center or let the rookie have a shot? It was a wild ride for sure. It almost felt like the playoffs as I rooted for both the arch-rival and the patsy while they determined who would play my team. It felt choosing between the Packers or the Lions to win on my team's bye week to determine whether we would compete against our more than competent arch-rival or the division easy-win. Do we hope for the Pack to win so we can prove our mettle, or root for the Lions so that victory is ours to lose?

As it turns out, those Dems put up a decent competitor. More like the Minnesota Vikings. A team with a lot of potential and with a long history of moderate success. A few stellar moments, but otherwise, a reliable mediocrity. Kerry's a candidate that can be relied on to put up a good effort and on any given Sunday has just as good a chance of winning as losing.

Like any good football season, there have been plenty of bright spots on either side that allow for some good discussions. Most of the Democratic bright spots were really just Republican low spots, but if you can't take advantage of an opponent's failure, you don't belong on the field. You've got to pick up those fumbles in order to win. On the other hand, you also have to score points of your own. You can't rely on your opponent to lose in order for you to win.

However, now we are really in the playoffs. This is where the big plays that can break the game wide open are made. The Dems Left Coast Offense has sent attack after attack from the air (the CBS News/60 minutes/New York Times convergence on the 380 tons of HMX - or is it 3 tons? - and the forged Bush Memos, the lies of Fahrenheit 9/11 that turn into Democratic talking points and the repeated assaults of MoveOn.org and George Soros' allies). The Republicans have played smashmouth (i.e., old-school Chicago-style) football. They have stuck with the gameplan and have just rammed the ball up the middle over and over and over. They have broken through the line often for big gains (the RNC Convention for one, the Swift Boat Vets for another), but most gains have been small and even holding the line of scrimmage is a gain when you look at the opposition's defense. By staying on-message and just relentlessly driving home the point that Bush understands the War on Terror and has the will and desire to take the battle to the enemy until he has no more will or ability to fight. Kerry, meanwhile, seems to completely disbelieve that there is such a thing as a War on Terror, believing instead that it is a law enforcement issue; at any rate, he refuses to accept that Al-Qaida is not the alpha and the omega of the War on Terror. The Bush team's consistent, constant and cogent arguments have left their opponents breathless and desperately defensive. Through repetitive running of the ball and control of the clock, the Bush team have set the tone and framed the discussion of this campaign. Not only has Kerry been forced to respond to Bush's message, he has been unable to even form a coherent message of his own to deliver. Even when Bush is on defense, Kerry is scrambling to get any kind of message out, throwing bomb after bomb only to see it swatted down, intercepted or stopped at the point of the catch.

The big game though, is Tuesday. All of the posturing and positioning in these last few days really don't make much of a difference though. All three undecideds aside, most Americans know who they are going to punch their ballots for on Tuesday, and in fact, have known it since March. Bush fans are not likely to converty Kerry fans, and Kerry fans (you few, you happy few) will certainly not be swaying Bush voters. By the same token, we Bears fans will almost never convince our misguided brethren to the North that the Packers, despite their success, really aren't worthy of it. Obviously the only REAL football is BEARS Football!

I hope that the final score is determined on Tuesday and that the game doesn't go into overtime again. No one likes when the SuperBowl goes into overtime. In fact, the winning team's fans always wants to see a blowout. I want a repeat of Superbowl XX (Bears 46, New England 10). I'll be rooting for my team, have fun rooting for yours.

Go Bush!!!