Thursday, March 27, 2008

3-27-08: Athletic Politeness; Progress vs. Congress

It might just be an odd observation, but I've really started to take notice of a certain habit, especially among athletes and politicians, to almost never criticize some one in their field during an interview. With the exception of candidates, who go out of their way to criticize opponents, it seems like there's some strange rule of politeness.

The other part of this is the open unselfishness out there among athletes. It's always a team game, no matter what. I'm not saying they're saying the wrong stuff, or that they need to be selfish. I'm just saying it's funny how so many of these guys are so nice. Do you think it's just that they're expected to answer questions that way? Why even ask athletes questions? They really don't say much. Just listen to a post-game interview with an athlete. If they won, it's a team win. If they lost, it was a tough opponent or things just didn't flow right, or something like that. I love it when some one comes out and says "You know what, we just lost." I like that. I also like it when guys call out their teammates. It adds a bit of spice to the game. Sometimes it just needs that.

How does this really make sense, though? When it comes to politicians, especially on opposing "sides of the aisle," why do they stay so positive when it comes to specific politicians. It's usually fine to say "the Democrats did this" or "the Republicans should have done that." Blanket party blame is fine. But whenever some one asks if a specific colleague (note: a peer, not the President or just some random politician), the answer usually includes the word "respect" or "bit of a disagreement." When is some one going to come out and call somebody an idiot?

Then it dawned on me: what if Congress were a full-contact sport, or a life and death puzzle? What if they just walked in a room with a bat or a weapon of choice and just went at it until the last person was standing, who signed the bill into law? Or, what if they walked in, the doors slammed shut, the windows all closed, and they couldn't leave until they figured out some massive problem? Shit, Cuba basically signs all of their bills into law one day per year. Seriously. Ignoring the fact that their economy is completely down the tubes and they're run by a corrupt government, it seems like an interesting system. I'm not advising communism in any way, shape, or form. I'm just saying it would be interesting to see Congress meet just one day at a time, let's say once a month, and tackle a huge problem. Just get it all out there and literally don't let them leave until it gets done. Make it interesting. Do you think they'd want to filibuster once the cheese sandwiches ran out? I bet they'd think twice.

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