Friday, May 2, 2008

Bottom of the Ninth

I generally dislike sports analogies. They tend to be simplistic, glossing over substantive issues to invoke an emotional response not particularly relevant on close examination.

I am growing increasingly irritated with the Democrats' current contest to select a nominee to run for president. The Clinton campaign has become increasingly simplistic, glossing over substantive issues to invoke an emotional response not particularly relevant on close examination.

Why is it necessary for fellow Democrats, acting on behalf and at the direction of the Clinton campaign, to repeatedly point to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's rhetoric as a measure of Senator Obama's qualifications? Why do those of us yearning to be rid of President Bush and those in his administration whose governance has been an unmitigated disaster stand by and watch our hopes for sweeping victory in November self-destruct?

Is our ability to reason so subverted to Hollywood's cultural influences that we blindly insist on the possibility of a Rocky-like triumph in every conflict we monitor? Do we HAVE to sit through the credits before leaving the theater?

Enough questions. Here's my simplistic, glossy, emotional sports analogy. If you like it, use it. No need for attribution. I don't want folks to think I'm really this shallow.

Think baseball. John McCain has won the National League Pennant. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to compete for the American League Pennant. Traditionally, the pennant championship series is a best of seven endeavor. This year, Senator Obama leads the series 3-2 and is playing Game 6 at home.

It's the bottom of the ninth inning.

The score in Game 6 is Barack 5, Hillary 4. When the Clinton team flied out swinging for the fences for the third time during its at bat in the top of the ninth inning, the Obama team thought they had the pennant won.

But, darn that persistent Hillary. She's refusing to concede and insists that Senator Obama come to bat yet again. She argues that if she can hold Senator Obama to within a run or so, the umpires ought to allow the series to continue until a clear winner is determined.

Moreover, she points to the runs she scored in two games that were called on account of weather in the third inning before they were official. Senator Clinton insists on including those runs in her total, even though the weather was so bad the Obama team adhered to the umpires' advice not to even take the field.

Unable to win under any scenario under the existing rules of Major League Baseball, Senator Clinton is, effectively, calling for the adoption of new rules. In so doing, she succeeds only in wearing down Senator Obama, making his forthcoming World Series appearance pitted against Senator McCain much more difficult.

It's time for Senator Clinton to find it within herself to concede the nomination to Senator Obama. The argument that "only she can win in November" is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy as Senator Clinton continues to blindly assail the character of her last remaining opponent. Her claim to likely victory is belied by the fact that she was unable to win even the nomination of her fellow Democrats, notwithstanding her vastly superior financial and organizational backing at the outset of the contest.

Democrats need to start the healing process necessitated by this spirited competition. The enthusiasm of the millions of new voters Senator Obama has brought into the process needs to be nurtured, not euthanized, as November approaches.


Maura said...

Sam, Your blog is fabulous. I also love the pictures of the little baseball players. It brings back memories of the boys when they were little. The main idea was to learn good sportsmanship. It looks like Hillary didn't learn that lesson. Maura

Kevin said...

I love the photo of the hay rolls... very cool! Could I please get a copy? Couldn't agree more with your Hilary/Obama article.

randi said...

you f#*king rock

Leonard said...

Hi Sam: Are you running for public office? I think you should at some point in your future, sooner rather than later.

Charles Leck said...

Sam, Hillary also has her team playing as if this were rugby or ice hockey and not baseball. Runners are coming in with spikes high and going out of the base paths in order to collide with defensive players. They're taking out a lot of players and leaving both sides weakened and tired for an opponent that is just resting up for the World Series. Hillary's team is just plain playing dirty.
Great blog and wonderful photos... wonderful!

Charles Leck said...

Oh, I forgot to say: I love what randi said. Ditto!

Patrick said...


I couldn't agree more! Keep writing, reading your blog is a nice distraction from studying for finals.

Fred said...

Sam, I love your hay roll picture--can I use it as my wallpaper? I completely agree with you on Hillary, and Barb is getting spitting mad at her campaign. It seems to me that these are extraordinary times (i.e. we've been completely f#*ked by Bush) that call for a leader who can inspire us to a great overcoming. That's Obama, I think, not Hillary.

Charles Leck said...

It's been a month since we've heard from you. That's disappointing to those of us who enjoying reading your thoughts and opinions. What did you think of the Al Franken endorsement? How do you think things will go against Coleman? What about Hillary's strong endorsement of Obama?

What's happening?


Anonymous said...

Hey Sam,
Unlike the other comments, I'm not going to “ooh and awe” over your blog. You are a gifted writer--it's just the content I disagree with. But I discovered something interesting in reading "Bottom of the Ninth". I recalled a very similar analogy that George Will (one of my favorite columnists/writers of all time) used in one of his columns. I must (humbly) admit, as I read your blog, I thought, "hmmm, this baseball analogy sounds awfully familiar to a George Will column I read awhile back, I bet Sam copped this from him". But, I should have known better, it was the other way around. I checked the dates, yours posted on May 2, George Will's ("Yankee Fan Go Home") wasn't published until May 8. So now I'm thinking George Will must be a reader of your blog! To think that the great George Will may possibly get ideas for his column from your blog--now that's a compliment!!—from your former legal assistant- extraordinaire