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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Congressional Baseball is never out of season

Imagine, for a moment, that Cardinals' starting pitcher Chris Carpenter goes to the mound and proceeds to strike out twenty-six batters in a row. The twenty-seventh batter hits an easy pop-fly into center field. Because the ball doesn't come directly to any of them, however, the out-fielders stand with their arms crossed  and watched the ball fall to the grass. The runner scores, and the Cardinals lose 1-0. Management proceeds to fire Carpenter over the loss.

Wait a minute, that doesn't make any sense, does it? Of course not. The Cardinals didn't lose because of Carpenter, who nearly pitched a shut out. They lost because their offense did nothing, and because their defense was complicit.

Think about that the next time someone blames the new (Tea Party) Republicans in Congress for the fact that we're not in better shape. We didn't elect them en masse in 2010 to hit home runs - we elected them to pitch shut-outs. And every time they have come close to doing just that (the debt deal, the payroll tax cut extension, etc), the game is thrown by establishment Republicans who would rather be complicit in the loss than concede the victory that they have as yet been unable to win themselves.

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