A-ha moment when rant compares sports to GOP politics: When players "are shivved in the gut, the game shouldn't continue"

Originally published at: A-ha moment when rant compares sports to GOP politics: When players "are shivved in the gut, the game shouldn't continue" | Boing Boing



Continued poisoning of the public well by team R is the other parallel that I’ve found useful. but most people don’t drink from public wells and more people enjoy sports… so the first baseman shivving parallel wins!


I guess it depends how you define “rules”.

In the same way that robber barons feel anything they can get away with legally is ethically acceptable as well, Republicans would argue they are playing by the rules.

Being a monstrous asshole is frequently still legal, unfortunately.


The tough part is that this is the same speech that Republicans are constantly drilling into their constituents heads as a pretext for their own vicious sociopathy. According to them, Democrats use the magic of “powerful elites” or satan himself, to shred the playbook. It’s bullshit, of course, but talk is so. fucking. cheap. these days, as Trump’s Twitter laid bare.

[edited for clarity]


Also they have different goals.

Republicans aren’t just playing by different rules. They’re playing a game unrelated to governance or democracy at all.

And honestly, we shouldn’t let them play.


Just like in sports, both teams are owned by wealthy corporate entities.


Yeah, sure, but who’s the umpire? Seems like a better analogy would be ultimate frisbee where the game is self-refereed, but maybe I’m taking the analogy too far.


“But how is our team supposed to have a chance at winning if we can’t cheat?” – the GOP in 2021, as it surveys a much younger and … duskier field.


Sad thing is, if I’d just encountered this on Twitter (and didn’t know the Meidas label), I would have been waiting until near the end to know which side she was on. The same rant and example could be used by the Trumpers to talk about Democrats “cheating” in the election. Not that it would have had any truth to it, but the baseball example isn’t inherently enlightening, it could be used just as well to “justify” the capitol storm.


And then there are the “politicians” who are there to cause problems and shouldn’t have been let in to start with (They know who they are). Sometimes sport is just better at handling this.


I love her, but it is a love from afar.


The rules are for the little people, not their masters.


On the topic of playing by the rules or not, I thought that this essay by Timothy Snyder in the NYTimes spelled it out in damning, solid fashion: The American Abyss - The New York Times

…One group of Republicans is concerned above all with gaming the system to maintain power, taking full advantage of constitutional obscurities, gerrymandering and dark money to win elections with a minority of motivated voters. They have no interest in the collapse of the peculiar form of representation that allows their minority party disproportionate control of government. The most important among them, Mitch McConnell, indulged Trump’s lie while making no comment on its consequences.
Yet other Republicans saw the situation differently: They might actually break the system and have power without democracy. The split between these two groups, the gamers and the breakers, became sharply visible on Dec. 30, when Senator Josh Hawley announced that he would support Trump’s challenge by questioning the validity of the electoral votes on Jan. 6. Ted Cruz then promised his own support, joined by about 10 other senators. More than a hundred Republican representatives took the same position. For many, this seemed like nothing more than a show: challenges to states’ electoral votes would force delays and floor votes but would not affect the outcome…


The Democrats aren’t trying to stop Black people from voting or supporting an out and out authoritarian… but sure. Just the same. /s


A shiv isn’t a normal piece of baseball equipment, however.

Perhaps a better analogy would be a hockey player who starts trying to kick their opponent. Because of the danger of cutting or slicing someone with their skates, rules 49.3 and 21.1 in the National Hockey League (NHL) rulebook says the player is suspended for the rest of the game, sent to the dressing room, and may face other punishment.

1 Like

The analogy doesn’t offer much of a solution. I’ve played a lot of sports in my life, and enforcing fairness really requires a functioning system with multiple layers of skilled, independent arbiters.

the first 2 examples that pop into my head are the time that a player in a basketball game just ran across court and tackled an opponent, and a time when someone drop kicked an opponent in the chest in a soccer game. In both instances the game continued on as though they were just regular fouls because the refs were wholly unequipped to take control as was needed. As for games without refs at all, I couldn’t count the number of pick-up basketball games I’ve played in where a fight broke out and most of us just did our best to ignore it and play on (because the only other option was to not play at all).

If you want to play a fair game (or have fair elections and good-faith governance) and people are playing unfairly there isn’t much the individual participants can do on their own. Just giving up and not playing isn’t a solution (its kind of admitting defeat). Either there are competent, independent “refs” with a structure that gives them the power to enforce the rules or there aren’t. If those that play fair just refuse to play, it doesn’t solve the problem.


Nowhere did I say “just the same.”

Not sure what the sarcasm implies here.

I don’t think you’re denying that both parties are beholden to corporate interests, which was the only point I was making. Perhaps one party is less beholden. Fair enough.

1 Like

One party is now less beholden to corporate interests, since they are the racist party of authoritarianism. They will happily have a one party state, where those of us who aren’t white christian men are second class citizens or dead.

I’d argue there are more important things right now. The threat posed by Trump and his ilk isn’t over and while it’s true that corporations fund both parties, only one is willing to over throw the government right now.

I’m sorry if I’m a bit distracted by that at this moment, and feel it’s a distract from the actual threats we face right now, but given that we have republicans passing laws that curtail people’s rights to vote and as we just saw in AR, people’s right to even EXIST, we have bigger fish to fry.


I thought of the analogy with more nuance. Not as in, “we won’t play this game anymore, we won’t run in politics,” but more like, “we don’t need to make room for you on our debate stages or in our briefing rooms anymore.”
That’s how the game is played, after all. If they don’t want to play by the rules, they don’t get on the playing field.
I haven’t thought through how that would realistically play out, though. Yet.


I agree with everything you say here.

I was just casually pointing out another aspect of the sports analogy, albeit tangential to the main argument.

1 Like