Archive for February, 2015

We were witnessing a particularly humorous event on the news this evening. John Boehner was excoriating the Senate Democrats, imploring them to “get off their asses” and vote for the homeland security funding bill. What’s humorous is: six months ago the Senate Republicans were a part of the “party of `no’”. Extreme partisans can vilify John by saying what he is doing is “evil”. Six months ago Harry Reid would be declared spot on for saying the same thing about Senate Republicans.

Of course the tables are turned. The R’s “control” both House and Senate. (Putting control in quotations is understanding that this “control” is limited, because the other side has certain procedural controls in the game.

So, let’s take a sport – I like baseball, but this could be applied to just about any team sport. The offensive team has one main member, the batter. His job is to hit the ball, that is hurled at the strike zone by the pitcher, and get on base or run the bases. Let’s compare the curve ball to the political “lie”. Oh my, that pitcher “lied” to the batter by pitching a curve ball. He lied to the batter! The ball was supposed to go high, but it went low. Do we say the pitcher was evil for “lying” to the batter by throwing a curve? There are many more strategies used in baseball by the defense to overcome strategies by the offense.

At this point I have to interject the inadvisability of lying with impunity. The liar is not trusted when his lies are detected. The latest scandal of Brian Wilson, the NBC reporter who was released by NBC news for his lying about an event in the middle east. Will Brian ever be trusted again? There is a certain moral code regarding journalists that injects a credibility into the reporting of the news. But, if we simply limit the comparison between politics and sports, we can come to accept deception as a necessary element in doing the job. Once we understand that some people make things up (lie) we can coexist by not trusting what they say. We either accept or not their lying. We shun or socialize with them. Socializing with them removes the stigma in the interest of trying not to achieve teaching them a lesson (which won’t work with the pathological liar). If we shun them we close off any chance of reaching them and avoiding the tendency of evil to fester in the soul of the liar, and result in some catastrophic evil. But, this social commentary is digressing from the subject of politics as a sport. How do we know the politician is lying? No, not when his lips are moving. Try Factcheck.org. While I think the staff sometimes nitpicks, it is a good source to determine the validity of politician’s utterances.

Of course there is the element of cheating. Some people believe that cheating is only bad if the cheater either gets caught or doesn’t, you pick – one is the cynical approach and the other is the realistic. It is pretty much in the court of public opinion whether the cheater is punished, even though there is a system to detect and punish the cheater.

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