16 October 2005

We ain't dead yet.

Seems like everywhere I go nowadays, peeps are all like, "Brendan, what the F happened to Whippersnapp? Y'alls spirited debate and rancorous opinionation kept my ass riveted like a mawfukka, no doubt!"

I'm now at liberty to reveal that the thoughtful and provocative editorials that Craig and I would sporadically drop on the public at large were singlehandedly keeping President Bush and his Republican allies out of hot water. Witness the complete disintegration of the White House's crediblity, integrity and political capital since the last time we checked in. Honestly, there couldn't be another explanation.

Look, as far as I know, the president, for all his unchecked executive power, doesn't have the ability to summon a hurricane. But his penchant for putting his dingbat friends in charge of important agencies like FEMA certainly exacerbated the hardship of the good people of Louisiana and Alabama (serves y'all right for giving him your electoral votes, though). But really, who could blame him? George W. Bush, despite being totally unqualified for the jobs, was duly and democratically elected to a governorship and the presidency twice. How was he to know that official positions had experiential prerequisites?

Does he care about black people? I don't care one way or the other. Franklin Roosevelt didn't care about black people beyond poll results, in fact, transcripts of White House meetings reveal that every president we ever had up to Carter threw the n-word around like it was a definite article, but the proof is in the policy.

Now the commander-in-chief is trying to slip another crony into a position of power, this time as a Supreme Court justice. I don't know a thing about Harriet Miers beyond what the Times (of New York and Los Angeles) tells me, but what I do know is that she was a trial lawyer, and wasn't that supposed to be a despicable profession? To hear the righties tell it, it disqualified a certain senator from the vice presidency.

I don't have a problem with conservatism, I just want some consistency. It might just be me, but I would expect a party that built a Congressional majority based on the tenets of fiscal responsibility and moral prudence not to squander a surplus by simultaneously increasing federal spending and slashing taxes -- an economic policy arguably dumber than communism -- and flouting ethical standards in a manner that's despicable, if not strictly criminal. Seriously, put Martha Stewart in charge of the House leadership. At least the Capitol will smell nice.

Even if none of the prominent conservatives currently embroiled in scandals -- Frist, Delay, Rove, Libby -- are convicted, they've already paralyzed the Bush administration by losing the trust of the electorate, and rightfully so. A political sect that subjects the country to daily lectures on morality and propriety should know how to keep its nose clean in public. Whatever financial shenanigans Tom DeLay was up to, he was consciously playing fast and loose with the law, no doubt under advisement from legal counsel that no criminal prosecution would result.

The hypocritical dogma spewed by all of the right-of-center ideologues boils down simply to partisan relativism. All the Republicans now ankle-deep in political shit find themselves there because of witch-hunting Democrats. Really! Was President Clinton the victim of the same kind of injustice? Of course not, he had an orgasm in the Oval Office and lied to the country about it.

I'm not one to believe that the people going after these GOPers are noble and pure of heart, either, but the magnitude and visibility of the fuck-ups these men have committed demand that they be punished and humiliated appropriately. They demonstrate a crude disdain for the public trust, the rule of law and the reputation of the United States.

Diamond shit

Speaking of public humiliation, I move on to my new redheaded stepchild, alleged MVP candidate Alex Rodriguez. After not getting a hit of any importance all season (Hey Elias, be a dear and look up how many of A-Rod's 48 homers came when the team was either ahead or behind by seven or more runs. And fetch me some coffee.), the $250 million-dollar man came up with exactly two hits in the Yanks' embarrassing Division Series loss to the Angels, and grounded into a double play with runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth inning as the team stared down elimination.

Mr. Rod, you're a fucking disgrace. You should return, with interest, your ridiculous, exorbitant salary to the fans who have been consistently underwhelmed by your performance these past two years. You should request a trade back to the stink-ass Rangers so we can have Alfonso Soriano back, a kid who may not always get the big hit but is a hell of a lot more fun to watch.

The argument for Rodriguez for MVP is ridiculous. A-Rod isn't even the most valuable Yankee. He's not even the most valuable guy in the lineup; in fact, he's not even the third-most. I spent this entire spring, summer and fall watching baseball, sometimes following four games at a time, and I saw no one more prone to striking out or popping up in the clutch than Mr. Rod. David Ortiz hit walkoff homers every other day in September. Manny Ramirez drove in a million runs despite his ridiculous hairdo.

But just imagine having to call on Tanyon Sturtze to protect a slim lead in the ninth and you'll understand how crucial Mariano Rivera is to his team.

Rivera hasn't gotten nearly the credit he deserves due to some anti-Yankees bias by the nation's sportswriters, but he should win the MVP and the Cy Young Award this year, after posting a 1.38 ERA (a career low) and saving 43 games, including 31 in a row at one point. Without him, the Yankees might not even have topped .500 this year.

Who else would you give the Cy Young to, anyway? Bartolo Colon had a nice year, but the Angels would have won the AL West even if he hadn't won 20 games. Incidentally, they should really change the name of the award to Pitcher of the Year or something more descriptive; closers, along with starters on weak teams, get overlooked because the inclination is to give the award to the guy with the most wins.

In the National League, I pick Dontrelle Willis for Cy Young, Albert Pujols for MVP, and jeff Francoeur as Rookie of the Year.

Hey, I hear hockey's back.


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