Category Archives: Baseball

Pat Toomey & Club for Growth on Giuliani

The Club for Growth has recently released another white paper discussing Giuliani’s role as a fiscal conservative who led New York City out of a financial death spiral.  A man from Pennsylvania who will not be mistaken for a notorious liberal– social or fiscal– recently wrote a piece summarizing that paper for National Review Online.  You can find Pat Toomey’s remarks for NRO here, and the original Club for Growth white paper here.

This is not a hagiography.  The Club obviously is critical of Giuliani’s support for publicly financed baseball stadiums, and also his instinct there’s something wrong with the way we run our elections.  On the latter I happen to agree.  McCain / Feingold certainly isn’t the answer, but I am not aware of anyone who can long make a straight-faced case that it is ideal to have a two-year long presidential election fueled by more than a billion dollars mostly from the well-heeled.

The Club makes seems to make the case, though, that Giuliani is clearly the presidential candidate with the strongest economic bona fides.  They also point out something that is a bit of a hobby-horse of mine:  The media and political environment in which he effected his conservative agenda was the most hostile one possible in the country.  Therefore:

“…[O]ne cannot help but conclude that if Giuliani could accomplish the pro-growth record he did in the hostile environment of New York City, the potential for him to accomplish even more amid the more politically balanced federal government is great.”

This is obviously great for the campaign nationally.  It is also great for the campaign here in Pennsylvania.  Pat Toomey’s failed coup against Arlen Specter was the cause célèbre arguably responsible for the coalescence of grassroots conservatism in PA.  The Toomey movement has morphed into a dominating constituency in Pennsylvania conservative politics as represented by the PALC crowd.  This piece is obviously an indication that an official Toomey endorsement is possible, and such an endorsement would be huge for Giuliani here in the Commonwealth when it comes to securing the GOP nomination.

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Your Host on Blogtalk Radio W/Eric Dondero

If anyone is interested I will be advocating for Mayor Giuliani on the “Libertarian Politics Live” blogtalk radio program hosted by Eric Dondero.  It is tonight at 10:30pm EST.  Link here.

Jim Dyke, one of the campaign media directors, was supposed to do it.  But he got called away at the last minute, and will be in an airplane when the show airs.  As I am a former libertarian, it was deemed an acceptable risk to have me pinch hit.

See, I told you politics was like baseball.

Wish me luck.  On the one hand, I like to talk, have lots of opinions roughly commensurate with those of the Giuliani campaign, and know lots of smarty-pants words so tend to work well extemporaneously.  On the down side, I tend to get stage fright.  So we’ll see how it goes!

UPDATE:  I think it went well.  Gentlemen all.  Thanks Eric and Andre!  And I got to share some time with a real politician, Jack Brandenburg, state house republican and general GOP mover and shaker in the great state of Michigan.  He was a part of Romney’s leadership team in Michigan, and recently jumped that ship for Giuliani.  He mentioned on the show he was supporting Romney as a favor to the speaker of the Michigan House, and had always said he would back Giuliani if he decided to run.

Rudy & Baseball

I just want to say for the record I am dissappointed at the lack of traffic my Rudy, baseball, and politics post has gotten.  C’mon, people.  That’s some of my best work.

Rick: We Love You– Really– But Please Do Us A Solid & Hang With Team Romney

This more properly belongs in the comments section of the Santorum post below, but it got longish and may be of interest to those who don’t read the comments much.  So apologies… 

It is true the Democrat nominee for President will have a tough time flipping many previously red states in the general, although you can expect Ohio to go blue.  And Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, and Florida aren’t GOP locks.  So the fact Rudy can put California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in play for the GOP is crucial, and nice.  My Santorum post, though, was mostly considering what Rick’s endorsement could do for Rudy in the Pennsylvania primary.  This question may actually matter now that fast Eddie has done his shuck and jive and we’re considering moving the primary up again.

So when it comes to the primary I think the commenter (who happens to be my father, natch) may be wrong that a person put off by a Santorum endorsement is too left wing dig Giuliani anyway.  Santorum was whipped in the Philadelphia suburbs, losing Chester county by ten points, and Montgomery and Delaware Counties by twenty.  Twenty!  Yet there about 40% more registered Republicans in Chester and Delaware counties and 15% more registered Republicans in Montgomery country. [Registration stats here, county 2006 election stats here.]

So clearly there are a bunch of Republicans eligible to vote in the primary who think Rick Santorum is an embarrassing troglodyte. They would rather dance naked on stage at the Kimmel Center in front of the membership of the Union League than run the risk of being associated with him, even if tangentially.  Granted, they know not why they feel that way.  They just know the Inky and NPR have painted him as a racist, homophobic latter day incarnation of Curtis LeMay, and one loses status points in the RINO suburbs for those sorts of social transgressions.  It ain’t the Main Line of 1938 anymore.

So I stand by my initial evaluation:  Let Santorum endorse the more “conservative” Romney.  I haven’t thought through how this would work out nationally, but I do know in PA Rudy would then clean up in southeastern PA and run pretty strong in the rest of the state, thereby winning the state nomination.  Then Rick, during the general, can tell everyone that Giuliani is conservative enough for him, which will hopefully be a small factor among many discouraging the Christian Right from staying home on election day and wondering who, exactly, represents them.  I think Giuliani will do an excellent job of representing us, of course, but one wonders if the NRLC will feel the same way…

I guess the question is would it be better to have Rick’s support now to help with socially conservative voters in the primary states throughout the country, and just fight hard for PA despite that.  Maybe.  This politics stuff is complicated.  And long.  And subtle.  And peppered with the potential for random pitfalls.  Just like baseball!

Baseball and Politics

I think we call all agree that baseball is the sport of politics.

I will take a back seat to no man when it comes to supporting the Iggles, but talk of that club would be inappropriate here.  With only sixteen games a season pro football is episodic, not a lifestyle so much as a way to pass some time on a fall weekend.  The gameplay is also spasmodic, albeit exhilarating, rather unlike the nuanced trudge that is baseball.

Basketball is not suitable to be the sport of politics as it has a similar spasmodic gameplay, while also being the sport of choice for the criminal elements of our society.  That’s not to disrespect a fine sport, or the majority of its law abiding fans and players, but politics already has an image problem.  It ought not be seen consorting with pro basketball players.

Hockey, as we all know, is for Canadians, and the stray Philadelphian starved for a championship in the seventies.  Soccer?  Don’t get me started.

But baseball, a peculiar American past-time, has the history and pacing to be the sport of our politics.  Or at least the sport best suited for those passionate about politics.  In order to truly grok baseball you have to marinate in the interminably long season.  You have feel the pain of its apparently random vicissitudes over time, aptly put by screenwriter Ron Shelton in Bull Durham when journeyman player Crash Davis explains the difference between a .300 hitter and a career in the minor leagues is “one more [weekly] texas leaguer, one more dying quail, one more ground-ball with eyes…”

This, as I’m sure George Will has said better somewhere else, is exactly like politics.  Long, demanding, subtle, and sometimes seemingly random.  And much like politics, baseball can suffuse your daily life.  For many the summer tableau is incomplete– whether taking a nap, doing garden work, or painting the house– without a baseball game on in the background.  It becomes a part of one’s daily foundation in spring, summer, and much of fall.  One’s political consciousness is similar.  It may not always be front of mind, but it provides the soil in which all that follows grows.

So to that end please see the links to the right for some Phillies blogs.  We Phillies fans are the most tortured sports fans in the nation.  I was sick hearing how hard the Cubs, White Sox, or Red Sox had it during the recent success enjoyed by those clubs.  Phooey.  The Phillies are without a doubt the most futile sports franchise in American, and perhaps world, history.

I know were Rudy Giuliani not from the Brooklyn he would be a Phillies fan rather than a Yankees fan.  He would want to barge in and fix that dysfunctional franchise like he fixed New York City because he is a sincere fan of the game.  This cannot, I believe,be said with a straight face by any of the others aspiring to the Presidency.  Obama probably likes lacrosse, Hillary does not like sports as they are too patriarchal, Edwards probably only cares about college football, Romney likely followed BYU until politics demanded he support the Red Sox, and McCain might have liked baseball once, but has been in the Senate so long he probably thinks the Dodgers still play in New York.

This is another reason Giuliani should be leader of the free world.