Do “Big-Guys” ever “approach the mound” in politics? You know, like in baseball when the pitcher’s doing a miserable job and is about to be replaced?
It’s reliably reported that beheadings used to be the “sport” that filled the seats in the stadium in Afghanistan. You need not go that far to find inhumanity on the playing field. When the average player screws up in football you can hardly tell he’s not there for the next play. It’s all too fast, too many players running around. But the solemn march of the baseball manager out to the pitcher’s mound after a series of disastrous mis-pitchings can only mean the public execution of a pitcher’s reputation, underscored by his long, lonely walk from the mound back to the dugout, or to the showers, or to the minors.
Alfred Hitchcock once said that New York state “killed” the circus when it demanded a net under the high-wire acts. I wouldn’t go if it weren’t for that law. I don’t go to see anybody killed or maimed. I want to see spectacular talent in mid-air – I’m prepared to cheer the successful completion of what look like miracles of human motion, and I’m prepared to forgive the rare – and, in New York, survivable – blunder.
Those of you who support the president and see this as a slow-moving missile targeting the Obama record might be quick to say, “No. No Big-Guys ever go to the Oval Office to fire a president. There’s no pitcher’s mound in the White House.” Sorry, you don’t get rid of me that quickly. I remember when a gang of “Big-Guys” in the Republican Party converged on the Oval Office in July 1974 to send President Richard Nixon to the dugout for keeps.
The agonizing part of the “Mission-to-the-Mound” is precisely which blunder it is that breaks the camel’s back. Any pitcher can give up a hit, a few doubles; even a homer doesn’t always lead to middle-of-the-inning disaster. I’d love to see a moving picture of my abdominal muscles when the pitcher is having it rough. One more hit, one more double, two more runs scored, when will it strike? On the screen my gut would look like a bowl of spaghetti in a typhoon over an earthquake. And the picture would be identical if it were our pitcher or their pitcher. Humanity overrules team partisanship.
I’ve done time in countries where the art of ignoring the 800-pound gorilla is literally a survival art. Take the old Yugoslavia; a Communist country allied to America and the West. The standard of living in all Communist countries was low enough to end all arguments. The people learned to brag about how much better Yugoslavia’s living standard was than its Communist neighbors, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. But people disappeared who mentioned the gorilla of non-Communist neighbors Italy and Austria, who lived vastly better than the Yugoslavs even though they lost the war and Yugoslavia won!
I feel “Yugoslav” again. Everybody knows, many talk, but almost nobody rants, raves, stomps and screams about how poorly America is doing and how poorly it’s doing it. Hillary Clinton is at this moment the front-runner for the Democratic nomination next time and therefore the front-runner for the presidency.
Can you name one Clinton foreign policy success as four-year secretary of state? Answer yes and you’re either a great scholar or a great liar. There was an “Arab Spring” in early 2011. We expected a necklace of pro-American Arab countries headed toward freedom. Instead, from Tunisia, where it began, through Libya, Egypt and Yemen, they hate us. Nothing has improved, and Egypt is in the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. We’ve even failed to slow the rate of slaughter in Syria. Or slow down Iran’s race for the Bomb. North Korea is untamed. South America is a hotbox of toxic anti-American weeds. Hillary’s biggest blunder may be seeming to believe Russia and China might someday be our friends. Naivete can be terminal.
The debt unpayable. The deficit irreducible. The economy. Unemployment. The abject failure of the “Green Adventures,” like Solyndra and electric cars, costing taxpayers billions and enriching Obama’s cronies; the mind-blowing extravagance of presidential and vice presidential vacations that seem to sneer and say, “You see. I told you they’re brain-dead.” The absurd game of pretending that sequester hurt where it didn’t. America, who kept Hitler guessing when we would strike, now lets the Taliban know exactly when we’re getting out.
The student takes his paper to the teacher and says, “I don’t think I deserve a zero on this test.” The teacher replies, “I don’t either, but it’s the lowest grade I’m allowed to give.”
Worst of all, still no movement toward the Mound. Instead, re-election!
Dodger Sandy Koufax, Jewish, wouldn’t pitch on Yom Kippur, the highest of the Jewish High Holy Days. On one such occasion, Don Drysdale was pitching for him and getting annihilated. Singles, doubles, homers; the works. Eventually, manager Walter Alston made his “Mission-to-the-Mound.” As he approached, before Alston could say a word, Don Drysdale said, “I’ll bet today you wish I were Jewish, too!”