A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Hidden Ball Trick

The Major League Baseball season is here. For those of us that enjoy a hearty mix of baseball and politics this season is especially welcome. The onset of the baseball season provides a daily welcome distraction from everything not going on in Congress.

A favorite play of sandlot ballplayers is the hidden ball trick. The hidden ball trick is a ploy by which the pitcher pretends to hold the ball when in reality another position player has the ball in his/her possession. The aim is to trick a base runner into taking a lead off and the base runner is then surprised (embarrassed) and tagged out by the position player holding the ball. Organized baseball rules are designed to minimize this type of subterfuge and the hidden ball trick is rarely employed in Major League Baseball. The last successful hidden ball trick in the major leagues was either 2007 or 2005 depending on how you define the execution of the play. Congress has no rules against their version of the hidden ball trick and it is currently in play in another attempt by the minority to enforce their vision on the majority.

Allow me to explain: The GOP use foot soldiers like Allen West, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. West, Palin, Bachmann and others serve two funtions: 
  1. They rile up the "base" (low information voters, those voting against their economic self interest, kloset klanners, etc).
  2. They provide fodder for media to either lionize or minimize their musings. These musings rarely reflect a policy discussion, further masking the ongoings in government.
All the while the GOP is able to further their policy objectives by "moving the middle." For example in the ongoing 2011 Congressional budget battle, The Dems have already conceded GOP budget cuts of $30 billion but that amount of budget cuts continues to increase. No one is sure whether the Dems will compromise (capitulate) further or government will shut down (temporarily) but the GOP has already achieved their goal of shifting shared responsibility for the commons away from those most able to participate.  While the jesters have America's attention, Americans are being tagged out. Surprisingly no one is embarrassed, but we are all diminished.

Nothing can be solved overnight, but you can begin to take back the discussion.  Please join the #99erAid Twitterchat, Tuesdays 8 PM EDT.

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