Saturday, February 06, 2010

Football as Political Metaphor

I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to deal with liberals who INSIST that Democrats are losing because we're not getting everything we want.  That, because we're not stomping Republicans into the ground and getting every American to agree with us that Republicans suck, we're losing.  Sure, Obama enjoys majority support and Republican approval ratings haven't topped 40% in over two years; but all the same, Americans aren't listening to us because they're stupid and Republicans are reaping huge benefits from this stupidity...or so we're told.

But in the current political landscape, Republicans have no chance of winning.  It's impossible.  The best they can possibly hope for is to prevent us from scoring as much as they can, and hope that a tight score on Election Day will help put them in a position so that they might be able to score next year.  But this year, they don't even have the ball and can't put any points on the board.

And sure, we haven't gotten our healthcare reform or scored any major victories, but we have scored.  And a team that wins 3-0 still wins.  And it should be obvious from Obama's Q&A with Congressional Repubs last week that they absolutely HATE being labeled as obstructionists and realize that a stalemate doesn't necessarily bode well for them in November.  Almost every question they put to Obama involved them INSISTING that they had great ideas, if only Obama would implement them.  And Obama did an effective job of squashing that absurd theory while embarrassing them in the process.

And these liberals insist that Brown's victory in Massachussetts proves that America is turning against us. isn't the plural of anecdote and one election isn't enough to determine a trend.  That's why we generally look to general elections to see what the people are thinking, as they have a big enough sample size to see where things are heading.  Had Brown's victory occurred during a general election, it would barely have received any notice.  So ironically, it was BECAUSE Brown won on a day that couldn't have shown us a trend that so many decided he was proof of an anti-Dem backlash. 

And so conservatives latched onto that election as proof that they're finally back in the bigtime, while liberals insist that it's 2003 all over again and Dems are huge losers.  And lost in all this is the probability that Brown won because he ran a better campaign and was better liked than his opponent.  Not because it's true, but because it confirmed the expectations and desires of the people watching.  Conservatives are small-minded bozos who need popularity to soothe their easily bruised egos, while liberals like to be underdogs talking truth to power. 

And that's why we're stuck with so many liberals insisting that we're losing in a political landscape that we can't possibly lose in.  Not because we can't stop Republicans from scoring, but because we're not scoring enough.  Somehow, these people just don't feel comfortable with victory.

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