Bob Franken

Politicians Dropping the Ball

Have you ever watched a football game, where the two sides continuously fumble and throw interceptions and blow their opportunities by repeatedly turning over to each other?

Have you ever sat through nine innings of inept baseball where both teams combine bad pitching and fielding errors to hand the lead back and forth?

Or the basketball game with airballs and traveling on both sides of the court? You get the idea. Bear with me, because as always, sports is an easy metaphor for that other team hot potato competition, Politiball. And I’m not even talking about Tiger Woods.

This is about the conservative comeback. Are you noticing how they’ve resumed a ferocious offense? This year’s CPAC meeting is almost a celebration of the cheerleaders, as the old vets perform their old tricks.

There was Mitt Romney still trying to turn white bread into red meat. There was Dick Cheney, giving the same pro-torture, anti-Constitution speech. Add to the lineup the rookie, Marco Rubio, trying to outdo Cheney as he vies to become the new Senator from Guantanamo. All of them Palin comparison to Sarah, who wasn’t there, but if she was paying attention she could learn a thing or two or more.

What a contrast to just a year ago when the liberals were running all over them, led by new President Barack Obama and his huge Democratic offensive line on Capitol Hill.

He and they made all their gains after the GOPs spent about four years showing how shoddy their team was, which was just the opportunity the Dems needed.

What did the blue shirts do once they took over? From the left side of the field, they threw a lot of long passes but each time they dropped the ball or tossed it smack dab into the hands of a red shirt defender. They kept swinging for the home run and striking out. Worst, they continuously collided with each other, leaving a clear field for the other side, while the ideologues and the pragmatists stayed behind arguing over blame.

When Obama the quarterback called the health care play he was sacked completely unprotected from a blitz. Same thing with the economy, where even gains were a huge loss for him. He hasn’t seemed able to get anything to work. Or anybody.

So, now that they’ve come roaring back, the big question with Republicans is how far to the right do they want to go. There are those conservatives who have a game plan that’s, uh, conservative, that is careful, with hints of good sportsmanship, which is called “bi-partisanship” in Politiball.

They are being pushed off the team by the purist conservatives, as in against everything, for nothing. In fact they insist they’re not even a team even though they operate now out of a Tea formation.

They play before huge crowds of spectators, the American people, who have gotten so disgusted they don’t root for either side. Why would they, since there are no winners, just losers? The two teams and the rest of us too.

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