Autumn is my favorite time of year. The days get cooler as we approach winter, the leaves change color, kids are back in school and life just seems to be more invigorating. That, and the football season begins on college campuses and pro stadiums.
Metaphorically, football is much like politics and life in general. The “good guys” don’t always win, sometimes it isn’t even very fair and the “right team” can be easily upset, even when they have the lead. In football, it seems that any team can knock off another on any given day.
In life, the same is true. Life is rarely fair, and the bad guys seem to win more often than the good guys.
Four years ago, the Democratic Party seized control of the House and Senate from the Republicans. Two years ago, Barack Obama was elected president in an Electoral College landslide. It looked like the “good guys” were finally in control and a progressive agenda would be realized. Everything seemed to be in place for a bright future for the Party of “evil liberals.”
Everything except the economy – the Great Recession changed all the rules.
Like the winless football team that rises up and smites the champions, the recession handcuffed the progressive agenda. The Republicans seized the initiative from the Democrats and backed the “good guys” up to their own goal line. Republicans have a unique ability to shamelessly ignore their past failures and pass off their “new” agenda as somehow being different from their “old” agenda. Unfortunately, the voters are incapable of seeing through the deceit.
In 2010, the Democrats are likely to lose both the House and Senate. President Obama may well be one term president. The progressive agenda appears to be dead and a return to a far right philosophy seems inevitable. In football parlance, we had a big lead at half time and blew it all in the second half.
Well, in football, the schemes of championship teams are frequently copied by the lesser teams. The Democrats need to take the playbook of the Republicans and recognize that there is more than one way to cross the goal line.
The Democrats have to learn to play the game with the Republicans. They have failed miserably, especially over the past two years. Now is the time for a new game plan.
William Stephenson Clark