Thursday, February 07, 2008

Of Superbowls, underdogs, and politics

Man, did you see that game? That incredible escape from the sack? That catch?!

I haven't enjoyed a Superbowl that much in years, and given that my Superbowl munchies consisted of clear broth and dry toast (thank you very much, ugly G-I bug that knocked down my family one by one), that's saying something. But though I, like the whole football-fan world, give the heavy credit to that last 2:39-or-so drive (I was hyperventilating, and I've got no allegiance to either team), I was most impressed with (a) the Giants' absolutely unstoppable defensive line and (b) the Giants rookie Bradshaw. How tall is he? Five-nine or so? Yet the Patriots repeatedly had to pile three or four ginormous men onto him to bring him down. He was a little bitty freight train.

I do love an upset. And funnily enough, whenever I hear about the current Pats' formidableness (is that even a word?), I think only of the Superbowl back in the '80s, when I was first interested in Superbowls, when they were smushed into the turf by the then-awesome Bears. I was pulling so hard for the tiny Patriots - they looked like children opposite the Bears' line. So I came into this Superbowl, in spite of the Pats' season record, with a visceral indecision about who represented the underdogs. My subconscious was saying "little Patriots versus Giant... um, bears?" But of course my conscious mind knew the truth, and that first quarter, when Manning converted four times, was when I realized this was going to be a Game after all - even though the Giants couldn't actually capitalize very much on their relentless drive. I admit to losing interest in the middle a bit, but that fourth quarter was something to stay awake for, wasn't it?

And onward. Deep into primary season, I've lost my candidate, it looks as if I'll lose the one governor I'd support, and McCain will end up with the Republican nomination. Obama and Clinton continue to snipe at one another and to play with their various physical characteristics as differentiators (and/or their campaigns do the playing, which has the same effect); bleah, still. As a woman and a staunch meritocrat, I have no issue whatsoever with the principle of an otherly-than-male-gendered or otherly-than-Caucasian-toned President; but my goodness, could we have a candidate, please? The Republican slate, lily-white and male-appendaged as it is, at least represents experience in high-level governance, and the lily-white maleness of it has, weirdly, an effect similar to the candidates' all wearing the same suits and ties during debates (I'll be so interested to see how they handle this newish tradition if Clinton is the Dem nominee): it removes a distraction and allows easier focus on the actually relevant.

Which means, I believe, that the Democrats had best watch themselves; to make the Presidency a figurehead, where it doesn't matter who's in the big chair as long as that person "looks like America" or some such nonsense (it would've been fascinating to see an America that looked like Lincoln, I think - gives whole new meaning to the term "ugly American"), implies the exact opposite of the Democrat policy platform: that strong central government is not an effective means of actually governing, that the King Log approach is in fact the preferable one. Because if anybody can do it (which is the lesson of the two Dem front-runners' resumes), then nobody actually has to do it.

All right, I think I'm overstating the case. Possibly the Dems have decided to kibosh the strong-Executive thing and return to a stronger Legislative branch. I wish them luck with that too, considering what seems to catch the attention of our legislators in Washington.

But in any event, yup, if McCain gets the nomination I'll vote for him over either Dem front-runner, because as the Captain (a Romney man) says,

I want to emphasize
the point that I have no problem supporting John McCain in a general election against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama if he wins the nomination. Elections are about choices and reality, not fantasy.

That's where we are now. The art of the possible, the necessity of opposing the party and/or candidate who disagrees with one's principles eighty percent of the time and supporting the party and/or candidate who agrees with one's principles seventy percent of the time. McCain-Feingold is bad; McCain selecting Supreme Court justices and acting as CinC is better than Clinton or Obama doing the same, by my lights. He is not perfect - oh so far from it - but he's also not socialist, nor a fool.

1 comment:

Gahrie said...

Since his name was still on the ballot, I went ahead and voted for Fred Thompson last Tuesday.

However I'll hold my nose and vote for McCain in November (barring a better third candidate choice).

I just wish I could be proud of my presidential vote once again...I haven't been since 1984......