Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Politics as Sport

Imagine that politics is baseball. Following from that, political junkies are baseball fans. And elections are the World Series (debates are the play-offs). But here's where the metaphor gets tricky. Baseball fans expect that they will get to watch the World Series every fall. After the mother of all elections last fall which created innumerable new political junkies, we now expect that same kind of annual fix that baseball fans have come to rightly expect.

Yesterday was a special election. The political world treated it like it was this year's political World Series. But it wasn't. It had serious consequences for the state of New Jersey and the state of Virginia. It had conventional consequences for New York City. It had minor consequences for the United States House of Representatives, which is now slightly but measurably more progressive than it used to be. The election NY-23 may have affected the internal politics of the Republican Party in a serious way. And of course, it had consequences for the gay population of Maine, who have been tragically deprived of some of their human rights.

But that's all. A little drama, a little comedy, a little tragedy. It was not this year's political World Series. This year, the political World Series is not an election. It's what happens with health care. But don't be a spectator. Go and play a little hardball.

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